‘’I couldn't do yoga’’

This is something I hear A LOT when I tell someone I do yoga. There seems to be different perceptions of yoga with many people believing that you need to be flexible.  Actually, not many yoga teachers are naturally flexible and additionally, the best thing about being a teacher is that you can instruct a class without demonstrating how to do it. You can remove the false thinking ‘’this is what you have to do’’ and allow students to be open to how far they want to go and get them to understand their body’s limits when the pose becomes challenging.

‘’Yoga is not challenging’’

Trust me, when you work on a pose for months that you have finally mastered, is it is a wonderful feeling. Most of the time, we are sitting awkwardly at our desk or in the car, standing and walking with bad posture through no fault of our own. Our body’s aren't symmetrical and it finds a way to compensate. When you get into a pose, at first it may feel uncomfortable or you may have trouble getting into it. This is FINE. This is where your challenge lies and to find your body’s limits.  Also, it’s not a bad thing if you can’t get into a pose immediately. I have been working on pincha mayurasana for 7 months now and it’s an on-going challenge.

This leads nicely into being open and stepping out of your comfort zone. You may be a little anxious to try something different, perhaps some new sport like yoga or a new pose. However, you can go on in life thinking about trying out something new, or you can be open and accept challenges in life, and live it to the fullest.

‘’I don’t have time’’

Or ‘’I’m too busy’’. I understand that many people lead busy lives. It is hard to fit in an active lifestyle around work and family and friends. But when are you going to have time for YOURSELF to reflect and just be? Think of it as a self- indulgent mini holiday. You don’t have to do this every day or at a specific time. You can now do yoga at home, or during lunch or on the way home from work for 10 minutes, 5 minutes or once a week. Even if it is just sitting on your bed or mat, to quieten your mind and reflect on the day for 5 minutes. 

‘’It’s too girly’’

There are definitely more females than males who do yoga, however I feel that things are starting to change. Over the last 10 years I have noticed more men getting into it, perhaps this is because yoga has been ‘’modernised’’ in the West  and has been incorporated into athletic training with big footballers and marathon runners turning to hot yoga for its deep muscle heat benefits  and turned into a hybrid sport such as boxercise yoga.

‘’I’m not skinny enough’’

Yoga is fast becoming popular in social media, mainly for its beautiful artistic images of skinny girls holding elegant poses. I admit, they look wondrously perfect. However, here is the thing; yoga is not perfect, you do not need to look perfect in a pose, you do not need to look skinny. It is open to everyone. Like life, yoga is something that will always change and develop you physically and mentally. Things are always improving; technology and people, therefore is anything actually ‘’perfect’’?

My top 5 reasons why I do yoga

1.  You can do it anywhere, anytime, for however long you like… bed, floor, beach, park. Ahem, I mean yoga. I know what some of you may have been thinking

2.  Connecting mind to body; listening to my body when I start to feel stressed or anxious, when I feel any aches or tension and knowing my body’s limits and learning how to stretch them

3.  Time for myself. Life is busy, I’m pretty sure I am expected to be glued to my emails, be ready to take a work call 24/7 and  still find time to fit in admin at the end of a working day

4.  It’s surprisingly challenging. Even the simple things can be a challenge; the key is how you overcome it. CHALLENGE: I want you to stand up and close your eyes whilst trying to keep balanced for a minute. How did you do?

5.  Reflection and meditation. When do we have time to just sit down and reflect on ourselves and what we can do differently?  I like to repeat affirmations, dedicate a practice to someone who I feel needs some love and support or just let my mind be at rest for a few minutes. 

What are your thoughts?