Yoga is more than just a fitness fad. It changes lives. In fact, a study by Gobec and Travis in 2018 established the positive effects of yoga, which include improving happiness and overall wellbeing.
But yoga offers much more than just improving your mood and physical health. It can help you turn your life around, making you more focused on the tasks at hand.
The following stories focus on yoga’s power to transform individuals, and will hopefully inspire you to learn more about this particular discpline and use it as a stepping stone to change your mindset for the better.
Russell Brand – Comedian
Russell Brand is a very versatile actor and comedian best known for his appearance in movies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Get Him To The Greek (2010), Arthur (2011), as well as his sold out comedy tours. But he was also known for his promiscuous lifestyle.
However, he began a dramatic transformation in the early 2010s when he became more involved in politics and spirituality. He published a critical book called Revolution in 2014, and then Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions in 2017, detailing his long and arduous journey towards self-improvement. He is vocal about how his Kundalini yoga practice and meditation helped him get away from his past, and move towards a quieter and more spiritual life. Now, he is fully rehabilitated and happily married with two daughters.
(Source: trewrussellbrand Instagram)
Myles Turner – Athlete
The Indiana Pacers forward is in on his way to stardom, but last year, he shared some of his challenges as an athlete. He told ESPN, “I took a look at myself in the mirror last season, and I was pudgy. I was getting tired a lot faster, and a lot of that had to do with eating fast food, eating pizza the nights before games.” However, he eventually decided to make a change to his diet and overall lifestyle. Part of this decision is practicing vinyasa flow hot yoga. While the 22-year-old initially found it difficult to master, the 6’11 baller is now a lot leaner and more flexible than ever. He is now an important part of the Pacers’ young core and one step closer to his dreams.
Tao Porchon-Lynch – Yogi
Tao Porchon-Lynch is best known as the “centenarian yogi”, a master who, at the age of 100, still teaches six to eight yoga classes a week. Porchon-Lynch’s mother died soon after she was born and as a result she was raised by her uncle. She first encountered yoga at the age of 8. She eventually became an MGM starlet but realized that the showbiz life wasn’t for her. She shared with Winchester Magazine, “I didn’t want to go out and just get drunk at parties. That didn’t interest me. Going alone into the desert interested me.” After going to India and being mentored by influential yogi B.K.S. Iyengar, she started teaching. She has this to say to her students, “Don’t breathe in the negative. Whatever you put in your mind materializes. So materialize what you want to happen and know that it’s possible.”
American actor Scarlett Johansson became a household name with her roles in The Prestige (2006), He’s Just Not That Into You (2009) where she, in fact, played a yoga instructor, and as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She’s set to her reprise her role as the character in June where she will be starring in her very own Black Widow movie. It’s important to note that Johansson has moved on from her sexy roles to more empowering ones that are inspiring women across the world. Her star appeal has also transcended industries with homages to her character influencing The Black Widow slot game on Slingo. This particular game has a female on the cover art with a striking resemblance to Johansson, proving that she has a profound effect on many niches across the world. Now she is using this influence to pursue other projects.
In real life she also leads a very healthy life where she regularly practices yoga. And because of her healthy living, Johansson has also been able to pursue her other passions such as singing. She has collaborated with artists such as Pete Yorn and Steel Train as well as releasing a very successful solo album.
She is also involved with non-profit Operation Warrior Shield where the actress encourages the use of transcendental meditation. It’s fascinating how Johansson’s career has blossomed but more importantly how it is helping others in the process.
Adriene Mishler – Online Yoga Instructor
The phenomenal YouTube star of “Yoga With Adriene”, which now has more than 4 million subscribers, once dreamed of becoming an actress. Texas native Adriene Mishler was at a crossroads in her life, laboring over whether she should move to Los Angeles and pursue an acting career or to teach yoga full-time. However, one of her friends told her to “find one voice outside” of her art. Similar to what was mention in our blog post on ‘Yoga and Work’, Mishler learned that her yoga career and her work can go together. Now, her channel is more than a side job and has become one of the most successful yoga channels on YouTube.