This post is inspired. The main reason I decided to write it is for the same reasons I became a teacher in the first place – to share the many benefits of this practice with those open to practicing it.
In my classes (and in random encounters), I’ve come across a few people who very openly express the reasons they haven’t done yoga in the past and, for some, continue not to.
Now, before diving in, keep in mind that my writing isn’t a preach – do what’s best for you. I just want to share and, hopefully, inspire you to do something a little different that may bring great benefit to your days.
Though there are many reasons I hear for not continuing or starting a practice, I’ve narrowed them down to 6.
This one is at the TOP of the list. There’s a misconception that to do yoga you have to be bendy and flexible, when in reality, it’s quite far from the truth.
You gain your flexibility through the practice!
There are futbol players and other athletes that benefit from doing yoga – it helps them increase their strength and avoid injury by lengthening their muscles.
You begin to listen to your body a little more and challenge it gently, which then allows you to move more freely, therefore, become a little more flexible.
Not to sound crude or anything but pregnant ladies practice! There’s a reason there’s a whole specialization of Pre-natal yoga. Postures are modified so every body can benefit.
If you think believe that a belly or a few added pounds are reason enough to hold you back from wanting to take up a practice, change the cassette (80’s kid here :).
Step your feet a little wider than “hip distance apart”, lower into a Child’s Pose with knees as wide as your mat; modifications and variations are usually available. Look for a class where the teacher is well-versed and capable to offer proper alignment so you stay safe as you practice.
There are many inspirational yogis out there that are embracing their curves in such a way that makes you think twice about what you decide will hold you back. Two of my fave on Instagram are: crazycurvy_yoga and biggalyoga – follow them!
I snicker inside <em> when I hear this, I’ve had some really great sweat sessions on my mat by integrating my muscles into each posture.
Most of the time when somebody says that “yoga is not a workout” they’ve either:
a) been to a restorative class where, like the name says, is meant to soothe your nervous system and slow down the pace in your day.
b) have gone to class but just hung there in each posture.
By going to a Hatha class, or a flow class, power, or strength class, you’ll get quite the workout. You’ll be encouraged to be mindful of your body by integrating your muscles into the postures. Just hanging there won’t allow for a full integration which means you’re not building up the sweat.
Ok, this one may be the only reason I could potentially see as a possibility but still. How many other things do you say you’re too busy for yet crave having the time to do it? If you’re too busy, it might be a good idea to check where your time goes. Are you being productive with your time or not valuing it enough?
Starting a practice doesn’t have to mean going on your mat for a full 60 minutes. Start with 20 minutes. Or better yet, start with 10 minutes and add-on, either by making your practice longer as you progress or step onto your mat in 10 minute intervals throughout the day.
I get it, studio classes can be a little up there. Usually for good reason: paying their instructors fair rates, overhead, etc. But if you’re wanting to take a practice and this is the reason why you haven’t, I’ll let you in on a little secret…you can have a home practice!
There are quite a few free options available online nowadays. Go on YouTube and search for a 30 minute class, or sign up for a free trial with one of those websites that offer classes online like MyYogaOnline, GaiamTV or YoGo TV.
You definitely should but it’s not a requirement for you to practice yoga. We, yogis, practice meditation because we’ve experienced and believe in the wonderful benefits it can bring to our day but by all means, if you don’t want to try it out, you really don’t need to.
A lot of times this reason comes up in objection to spirituality versus a religious belief. I’m not going to get into that but it’s important acknowledge and point it out.
I hope you reconsider attending a class or starting a practice at home. It really doesn’t have to be complicated, those reasons aren’t reason enough to stop you from doing yoga if it’s something you really want to try.