What is Holding you Back?
You can pretty much find a yoga class just about anywhere these days. Sometimes it seems like there are as many yoga studios as there are Starbucks. Yoga is also being offered in gyms, community centers, or done privately as well. Yet I still hear countless of excuses of why people are not doing yoga from the very people claiming they want to do yoga. They say they want to try it, that they have heard of all the amazing benefits you can receive from it, and after many months and many conversations they still have not taken a class.
Yes, yoga is available for everyone, regardless of age, gender, body type or skill level, but I also know it is not for everybody. We all have our preferences, and if it does not interest you today, maybe it will in the future. It is not something that you should force upon yourself or anyone else. It is a decision and commitment that you must make for yourself.
But for all of those sitting on the fence or maybe a little nervous to take your first class, I thought I would breakdown some of the common misconceptions that might be holding you back.
- I am not flexible enough to do yoga. Probably the most common reason I hear. Looking from just the physical aspect of the practice, a lot of it can be about gaining flexible. You do not need to be flexible to do the postures, that will come in time. There are many variations or props that you can apply to your classes as well. I have heard this analogy used a lot... saying you are not flexible enough to do yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a shower. For a lot of people, yoga is just physical, and they are working to gain the flexibility. If you want the flexibility, a yoga class is a great way to get it.
- I am too old to do yoga. Let me just get this out of the way, you can be any age to do yoga. Sure, certain forms of yoga may cater to certain people, but not all types of yoga are fast paced that get you to move into handstands. If you like it a little more vigorous, try a power class, or if you like a little slower pace you can try a yin class. I have seen an 85 year old woman do a hot class. I teach classes where there is a huge age gap difference. You do what you can to the best of your abilities, whether you are young or old, and that is all you need to do.
- Yoga is too expensive. Yes, with the popularity of yoga on the rise, there is a certain cost with it. I remember when I was a university student I would have difficulties paying for my memberships. But after being around the community for a while now, I can say there are many affordable options if you look around. Some studios offer a sliding scale payment where you pay what you can. Many studios also offer cheap introductory passes to try out their studio. Studios usually hire karma helpers where you help out at the studio and as compensation you get to take classes for free. Also, remember that you do not need to be in the fanciest and most expensive studio. You can even practice from home with DVDs.
- Yoga is too hard. My response to that...well, life is hard. The yoga practice offers healing to you physical, mentally, and spiritually, and you also start to build a deeper connection with yourself. The only thing I can tell you to do is to ask yourself 'is it worth the hard work?' Just as in life, if you want something, you need to put the effort into it. Classes can be challenging and they can push you to your limits, but there are so many benefits you receive just by sticking with it. As a beginner, it can be really difficult, but you will eventually build up to it. Just like if you are going to do a marathon, you cannot just jump right into it with no training and expect to perfect. You need to train yourself and as you progress you get better and better. Same with the yoga practice. Commit to it and things will get easier and better over time.
I hope these help clear up any mental blockages that is preventing you from doing class. There is no harm in trying it out. Just go to it with an open mind and try to have some fun. Hopefully I will see some of you on your mats soon :)