Getting yourself into workout mode is NBD most days, but some days… not so much. So maybe you’ve got motivational posters tacked to your office cubicle, or maybe even framed in your bedroom. Maybe you even have that perfect travel mug to keep your ‘tude as perky as your jolt of java. Some days, you love channeling Lady Gaga’s secret to happiness. Other days, you just need a succinct, motivational mantra to turn that frown upside down. Look no further! We’re sharing our favorite, most-inspiring fitness — and life — mantras from brilliant workout instructors.
1. I am enough. “How many of us these days fall trap to the comparison game? The rise of social media and our addiction to it enables us to take a peek into others’ lives 24 hours a day. While this may be fun, it also sets us up for feeling inadequate in more ways than one,” says Jessica Bellofatto of JBYoga, a studio that specializes in SUP yoga and retreats.
“As a yoga instructor of 22+ years, I sometimes see the most popular ‘Instagram yogis’ and wonder why my following is not as big as theirs, why I am not as popular, etc. This simple mantra, repeated silently to yourself (try synchronizing it with the breath as in ‘I Am’ on the inhale and ‘Enough’ on the exhale), can be an amazing way to press the reset button and get off the comparison bandwagon. Remember, you are enough!”
2. Breathe, breathe, breathe. “This is one I use in class when I’m teaching. I’ll speak in a staccato, manner which helps students, because rhythmic speech, like music, has a calming effect on people,” offers Chidimma Ozor, instructor at TruFusion in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Many students have told me they appreciate the calmness of my voice, which helps them both in pushing them to break through new barriers, but also to experience peace and serenity in the moment.”
3. No one has ever regretted a workout. “This is too, too true. We get so used to making up excuses to why we shouldn’t work out,” comments Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, Pilates Mat Certified instructor and Registered Dietitian. “We self-talk our way into sleeping late, or make up reasons to procrastinate. The truth is, no one has ever regretted working out, but they do regret the excuses they make at the end of the day.
4. Ham Sa. “This is another simple Sanskrit mantra. It means ‘I am That.’ We spell the word That with a capital ‘T’ because it represents the BIG THAT. That which is Universal Energy, All Knowing, All Seeing,” offers Jessica. “It’s an amazing reminder that although we are all individuals in human form, with these limited bodies and minds, the essence of us is Vast, Universal, Divine Consciousness. A great one to chant when you are feeling limited or stuck,” Jessica shares.
5. It takes four weeks for you to see your body changing; eight weeks for your friends and family to see it; and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. This is a brilliant way to remind yourself that the magic doesn’t happen overnight, and a weight loss journey is about your lifestyle and not just a number on the scale. “When we make a lifestyle change, we expect the results to be instant. While we may start to feel them earlier on, we often need others to notice it to feel validated and committed,” says Lisa.
“Remembering that it’s a process — and that body changes take time — motivates you to keep going instead of giving up after a month. When clients complain after a month, I remind them how far they have come, and how they would have to start all over again if they gave up now!
6. Om Shanti. “This is a simple Sanskrit mantra. Om means ‘the Universal Oneness’ and Shanti means ‘Peace.’ Om Shanti can be chanted anywhere, anytime you need to feel at ease, during times of turmoil or stress. Try it!” suggests Jessica.
7. Enjoy the journey. Live light. Simple but profound words worth living by: “It’s not about where or what you’re trying to get. It’s all about how you get there and trying the growth and experience that comes with finding the way,” says Jacqueline Reinhardt, instructor at TruFusion.
8. The hardest part of exercise is just to start. We think Woody Allen was onto something when he said that “80 percent of success is showing up.” Lisa elaborates: “Getting out of a sedentary funk is the hardest part. That first time seems impossible and pointless. It’s easy to give up on yourself and decide that the road is too hard. However, once you start, there is no turning back. Just 15 minutes of cardio is enough to get your endorphins firing, and getting you to feel like your old self again!”
9. I am enough. Who I am is enough. What I do is enough, and what I have is enough. We love how this sentiment echoes Jessica’s mantra (see #1) and captures the intention of being okay exactly where you are. Some days you can rock a headstand like it ain’t no thang; others you may struggle just getting through a tree pose. And that’s okay! “[This mantra] works because it gives me permission to be who I am in the present moment, and makes me feel like I can take big risks, because even if they fail, I am still enough,” explains Whitney Koch Owens, instructor at TruFusion.
10. If you can, you must. If you must, you can. “I think sometimes we get caught in the emotional roller coaster that inevitably comes along with training. Sometimes it feels like the world is against you,” comments Julia Falamas, Director of Programming and Operations at Epic Hybrid Training. “But for me, it’s important to remember that my feelings do not reflect my physical state. If I am able-bodied and healthy, then I can do something, no matter how small.
11. Mind over matter. “I don’t necessarily ‘meditate’ to this mantra, but when I am working out, this is often what I remind myself to push myself and keep going. I heard the phrase when I was younger, running cross country in junior high, and it resonated with me,” says Ashle Worrick, TruFusion instructor. “I found that as soon as I want to give up, I remind myself ‘mind over matter.’ Our minds are so powerful, and we have the ability to push past our limits as long as we put our minds to it. I say it to my classes to encourage them when I feel they need motivation. ‘Mind over matter, guys. Put your mind to it. You can do it. You will do it!’”
12. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. Mahatma Gandhi may have been the originator of this quote, but Zumba instructor Edmee Cherdieu lives by its virtues: “Personally, this is a big one for me. I was not given the best physique to achieve physical greatness, but I very soon realized that by training my mind to push through my body, I became stronger and more capable. With focus, will and invincible mind power, one can achieve everything. Do not let self doubt get in the way of your personal goal.”
Got a favorite fitness mantra you live by? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)