Ok, so over the years I’ve heard some gooders. Little things that people say and assume about yoga and and the yoga community that are off track, false or limiting.
One that I hear most frequently when I tell someone I meet for the first time that I teach yoga, that I was reminded of when walking behind a couple at the outdoor market the other day as they contemplated a flyer for beach yoga.
“I can’t do yoga anyways, I’m not flexible enough.”
How do the following sound to you:
“I can’t go the gym, I’m not fit.”
“I can’t be a CEO, I’ve never run an organisation before.”
“I can’t write a novel, I’ve never been published.”
Illogical right? You have to start somewhere. And that is: where you are, right now.
Too often, we view a situation from an end result or condition that we believe has to happen or magically be there before we even begin. We close the doors on the possibility of a new life experience based on prejudices and expectations drawn oftentimes from a murky perspective.
I get it, maybe you think yoga ain’t your thing. But don’t knock it until you try it, and please don’t make the final decision until you’ve explored a few different styles, instructors and spaces. I believe there’s the “just right” for everyone out there as far as yoga is concerned.
Besides, the point of yoga isn’t to get “flexible,” it’s to feel good. To move through life with a bit more buoyancy, freedom and connection. 15 years into my relationship with yoga and I continue to work on hanumanasana (aka, the splits). Do I let the fact that I’ve yet to master this pose hold me back in pursuing my yoga teaching? Hells no! Would I like to do the splits one day – hmmm sure, that would be cool and provide a real sense of accomplishment. But that’s not why I get on the mat, day in and day out.
For me, yoga has awoken a feeling of aliveness and contentedness that I use to inform my life. It does not exist in a vacuum – it pervades everything. Yoga opens my body, alleviates the aches and pains that come with chasing around after a fearless, curious toddler half the time, and seated at a desk for my fundraising job the other half.
It certainly helps to deal with injury as well as prevent it. I’m convinced it’s why I had a pain-free marathon finish ten years ago. It’s opened up a more frank dialogue between my heart and mind, transforming my life in ways I could not have imagined.
Yoga is a modality that almost anyone can benefit from. I don’t teach to make you flexible, I teach to help you love your life. If this sounds like something that appeals to you, please join me at my upcoming classes.
On a closing note, what are some ways right now that you could become more “flexible” right now, get out of your own way before deciding that something isn’t right for you, or take an initially uncomfortable risk in he name of living life more fully?