Ky Autumn Russell – Pilates, yoga, & relaxation

Understanding Inspiration

woman on Pilates Trapeze Table in Backbend

Yesterday I was asked, “What inspires you?”

At first glance it seemed like I had an easy answer. My clients and students. Done.

But then I couldn’t get the question out of mind. All day it sat in there and kept popping back in. I started to wonder what the heck really did inspire me. Sure my clients do, but I felt there was something deeper I was missing.

I looked the word up in the dictionary. I love to do this. Reading definitions and etymology of words is fascinating to me. Inspiration – it has roots from Latin that mean to draw in (as in to take a breath) and it has evolved to include: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Later in the day I found myself with my family at a local music festival we go to every year. It’s a sweet kid friendly festival that is always loads of fun. One of the activities was this awesome bungee jumping apparatus. My daughter was drawn to it but hesitant.

With her friend’s urging she lobbied for a ticket to try it. After some pleading I relented (ticket was pricey and I didn’t want to “waste” it). She started weeping in line with her friend and pronounced she didn’t want to do it. I don’t pressure her so we moved on.

All day long, I could feel that ticket in my pocket. Near the end of the day I asked her if I could use it. She excitedly said yes. I had a feeling that she needed me to jump first.

I bounced and flipped as she urged me on (first flip was scary). I was also very glad I do Pilates and yoga – it was work to get high!! Immediately when I got done, she really wanted to do it. Right when they strapped her in she said, “I don’t want to.” I was right there with her and told her she didn’t have to bounce. Needless to say, she did. She bounced high. And loved it. Jumped and flipped and squealed with delight.

This is why I am inspired to teach movement. To help people do more with their bodies and themselves then they thought they could. I don’t think of it as empowering, but in a sense it is. We are taught so early not to trust ourselves and particularly our bodies. Some of my proudest moments are when a student does Snake or Twist (advanced Pilates exercises) for the first time after being certain they couldn’t do it. Maybe not yet I like to say.

And not every exercise is appropriate for every person – I am not saying that. But it is so inspiring when I help someone do something they never thought they could. For one client that was rolling over, for another it was walkover – both had the same power and same magic in that moment.

So what inspires you? Or what have you done though movement that has left you proud and happy at your accomplishment?

And even more importantly, what movement/exercise/pose are you dreaming of but doubt you can achieve? I’d love to help you get there!

Let me know in the comments and make it a wonderful day.



About your host, Ky

Hi, I'm Ky Russell! I'm committed to democratizing and sharing my knowledge of fitness and wellness accumulated over decades of study and teaching Pilates and mindful movement, stress management, and wellness. In addition to having a Master's degree in Kinesiology and teaching wellness as faculty at San Jose State University, I'm a busy working mom so all of my solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly integrate into your full life. I want you to move and love your body so you can live the life of your dreams!


  1. Christine Asmus on 10/01/2018 at 4:11 PM

    I say balance!! The key to a healthy life throughout aging. Ugh.
    This portion of my body needs work, which I am loathe to do.
    I would like to get back on the hill skiing, but I’m not allowed to fall (according to docs).
    I’m willing to ski groomers. Just want to be around my family skiing.
    That’s all!!!!

    • Ky Russell on 04/13/2019 at 7:48 AM

      Hi Christine,
      I’m sorry to hear that you are not being able to ski and enjoy one of your favorite activities!And yes balance is so important! The good news is that it is like any other physical skill – with practice it can get better. I’ll plan a future blog post about balance soon!
      Take care and have a great day dear,

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