We welcome the month of December with twinkling lights, warm sweaters, sweet treats and holiday parties with family and friends. This month is meant to be a joyous one, filled with cheer but sometimes the cold, dark days can leave us feeling a bit down and uninspired.

Inspiration is not a quality reserved for artists, writers or musicians, but rather it is a feeling we all need in order to experience life in a full and enthusiastic way. It provides energy to the present and light to the future.

Sometimes when we are feeling uninspired it can be a welcome reminder that the word inspire means to breathe. The etymology of the word breaks down as: in = into and spire = breath. So often we look for inspiration in our external world but, similar to many of the teachings of yoga and meditation, it can prove more advantageous to turn our focus inwards to find that inner lift or boost that inspiration gifts. 

The word inspire is also related to the word, spirit, from the Latin spiritus. When we feel like we are lacking inspiration and spirit, our yoga and meditation practice can be a place to turn to in order to find that inner enthusiasm that drives us forward.

As a dancer, I will often take a yoga class before heading to rehearsal. Class not only prepares me physically, but it enables a calmer, more open mind, receptive to creativity, trying new things, and ultimately, inspiration. Yoga and meditation give us a break from our regular internal mental chatter so that the mind is more clear headed by the end of our time on the mat and thus more open to new ideas and perspectives, a much needed requirement for finding inspiration. 

If you feel like you could use a little more internal enthusiasm these winter days, find a way to practice. Whether that means a few minutes of meditation, going to a yoga class or practicing a few asanas on your own, find a way to look inwards so that you are fueled to move forward with inspiration.