Moving Forward : Excerpt from “Motivational Yoga: 100 Lessons for Strength, Energy, and Transformation” | By Nancy Gerstein

Last Updated: July 2, 2021By

The following is an excerpt of “Motivational Yoga: 100 Lessons for Strength, Energy, and Transformation” by Nancy Gerstein.

Taking Control of Your Energy State

On any given day, the choices you make can be significantly altered when you live in an active state of energy. Your energy state is your current identity, what you’re feeling right now is who you are. If you feel tired, your identity at this moment may be lethargic. If you feel sad, your identity may be withdrawn. Recognizing that fact, you can improve your mindset simply by changing your physiology.

Check in with yourself. How do you feel? Get very clear about it. Can you put a name to the feeling? Alow, fearful, or angry mood can ruin your day and turn people off, just as your bright, high-energy positive self will turn people on. When you have the ability to improve your mood and shift the direction of your energy and emotional state, your entire physiology — even the expression on your face and the light in your eyes changes. Researchers who study life experiences and the effects on body chemistry know this: When you feel different, you are different.

Asanas for Deepening

These practices increase bloodflow, move you out of your comfort zone, and get the blood pumping to give you the power to transform your consciousness.

  • Mountain. Notice how your feet face forward to symbolize taking one step at a time in a progressive direction.
  • Lunge switch.  Focus on your strong legs as you strengthen your lunge by switching legs with a single jump.
  • Downward  dog–upward dog. Begin in downward dog (photo a), and inhale to upward dog (photo b). Repeat the sequence five times.
  • Crescent lunge. Extend the arms out to the side, and move the front thigh bone parallel to the ground.
  • High lunge twist. Bring the opposite elbow to the outside of the knee for a twist. energy
  • Universal temple.  As you exhale, round the upper back, pull the chin to the chest, and wrap the arms in a self-love hug (photo a). As you inhale, lift the torso, arch the spine, and reach up through the heart center while opening the arms to send your loving energy to all that need it (photo b).




Motivation Off the Mat

Be mindful of the emotional changes triggered by other people’s actions or words. Visualize a shield of light energy protecting you from unfavorable influences; don’t let negative people ruin your day. To stimulate positive life force around you, embody the kind of energy you want to attract.

If a word or phrase is meaningful to you, acronyms such as the following can help you remember the mindfulness of motivation.


Always energy








IM DEEP (I’m deep) energy







Teacher Tip

Motivate yourself first before attempting to motivate others. Watch your attitude; it’s the first thing people notice about you. Take action, read books, experiment, travel and never stop learning. Be an inspiration for someone today. energy

Photo by (c)Human Kinetics.

Nancy Gerstein is a yoga teacher, speaker, and author. She is the creator of Motivational Yoga, a yoga style that empowers life decisions, goals, and results incorporating spiritually strengthening practices that bolster personal growth and self-motivation. Her classes feed body and mind, encouraging students to make conscious choices about how they direct thoughts, energy, and physical focus to live the best live they can. A Himalayan Institute–certified yoga teacher, Nancy is the author of three books including Guiding Yoga’s Light and Motivational Yoga: 100 Lessons for Strength, Energy, and Transformation. For more information, visit Motivational Yoga.

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