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Not so long ago, during one of my winter slumps, I began looking for some unexpected sources of inspiration. I knew that this sense of enthusiasm could be found anywhere: in nature, in books, or in my day to day yoga practice and meditation. Still, as a yoga teacher and student of almost a decade, keeping my “inspiration tank” full is, as I see it, just as important as asana practice.
A vital part of practicing and sharing yoga is being able to guide from a place of love and insight about what it means to be human. There are so many beautiful and unfolding parts to what that means, but in today’s world of constant sense stimulation and technological clicking; things are only getting more complex and less mindful.
We are addicted to the noise of cultural and personal expectations, to the beeps on our phones and to the nonstop commentary of our thoughts. But, the irony is hidden in how all of these things make us even more tuned out, disconnected and unsatisfied. That is where, for many of us, yoga moves in with its special moments of silence and stillness, able to offer true peace and connection to a larger, conscious way of being.
More than any of our technologies, our bodies are the smartest machines in the world; and they are constantly absorbing and filtering out live and technological information. Perhaps, I thought to myself this past winter; these machines could have a more meaningful presence? Similar to how a mantra practice stimulates positive thinking; could mindful use of noisy technologies be an inspiring, off-the-mat practice bringing us back to our true selves, to a positive outlook and a broadened perspective?
Once we bring awareness to everyday noise, a new landscape of possibilities opens up. We start to notice what words, philosophies, outlooks, tones, voices, and images enrich our lives and lead it towards beauty rather than the easy choice of laziness, negativity, or boredom.
I now return to these beautiful (and free) online sources as a reminder that inspiration is always out there and that so many others are seeking it as well. These channels support my mindfulness practice in a noisy world that seems only to be getting louder. I hope that when you’re in need of a gentle reminder, you remember that these guides are available to you, too.
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5 Mindful YouTube Channels
1. The Mindful Movement
The Mindful Movement is a wonderful source that supports listeners in finding a conscious moment throughout their day from sunrise to sunset. Their abundant selection of meditations, affirmations, visualizations, yoga classes and categorized playlists respond to human needs of calming anxieties, quieting the busy mind, and rewiring thinking towards gratitude and positivity. Each meditation speaks to its own message of breath, physical relaxation, connecting to nature, healing, and self-love. A daily dose of this channel creates ease and accessibility around the meditation practice, allowing you to integrate anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour into your routine.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is an Indian author and yoga guru who brings ancient wisdom to online listeners’ ears. Sadhguru embodies a traditional essence of yoga while articulately speaking with humor, simplicity and wisdom about the complex world we live in it today. In his videos, he responds to all kind of questions about relationships, gender roles, business, politics and more. His words provide insight and inspiration on how to bring the yoga practice into daily interactions, thought processes and behaviors.
3. Tara Brach
From the west we have Tara Brach, a mindfulness expert and guide who discusses, amongst many topics, the growing need for introspection and wellbeing in one’s personal journey. Her soothing voice can be heard in online YouTube lectures, meditations and talks, which physically take place in her home base in Bethesda, Maryland (the town where I grew up). I remember going to these talks in my adolescents and till today Tara continues to share her wisdom and perspective on life’s many questions.
4. Eckharte Tolle
If you are familiar with the renowned teachings of Eckhart Tolle, you will enjoy his YouTube channel filled with more of his insights. The short and long videos highlight the philosopher’s perception on important personal topics such as overcoming neediness and loneliness, releasing the ego and of course, learning to be present and live in the now.
5. Yoga with Adriene
Following Yoga with Adriene’s channel is a playful, light and user-friendly way of practicing yoga at home for free. Adrianne’s warm personality helps yogis ease into any one of her many sequences with slow and what-feels-good-for-you instruction. Adriene’s channel offers several options to YouTubers who can choose between different yoga and workout programs, meditations or specialized sequences for scoliosis and other health needs.