So let's explore the top 3 reasons that people give me to explain why they don't/can't/won't come to a yoga class. Here we go!
Reason #1: "I'm not flexible enough."
Um, you guys, that's WHY a lot of people go to yoga in the first place! Your teacher does not expect that you can already touch your toes, do a split or even just sit comfortably in a cross-legged position (that's really hard for a lot of people). We know that everyone is assembled differently and therefore we have different strengths and areas of need. In your mind you may imagine a yoga class where everyone is touching their toes or in "perfect" poses, but in reality most yoga classes have people at all different levels...some use props, some don't go as deep, and some do completely different postures. And guess, what? It's all good! So...you ARE flexible enough!
Reason #2: "I'm too big to do yoga."
Please, get rid of the image of a what you think a yogi looks like. I know that when you see images of yogis in US magazines they are tall with sculpted muscles and skimpy yoga clothes. But this is not the required look of a yogi. Yogis come in all shapes and sizes. And the cool thing about yoga is though you practice in the energy of a group, your focus is inward, so no one is looking at you or judging you. The tricky part is...not judging yourself. Let go of the image of what you think you SHOULD look like and start showing loving-kindness to yourself as you are right NOW. You deserve it!
Reason #3: "I'm too old to start/do yoga."
Nope. You're not too old. Ever! Now this being said, if you are an older adult who has not exercised in awhile then I would suggest starting out slowly....especially if you have injuries! Please do not jump into a hot yoga class, a power yoga class, or a crowded flow class at the gym expecting to pick it up and practice safely right away. For older adult yoga newbies, I would suggest attending a small beginner's class, taking a one on one lesson, or taking a yoga class that isn't flow oriented (usually those classes will be labeled Iyengar, Yin, Restorative, Gentle, Chair Yoga, or Active Adult Yoga). Taking a slower-paced, less crowded class is really important if you're just starting out. The teacher will be able to spend a little more time with you and show you how to use props to get the safest and most beneficial practice for you! It will be worth it...yoga is great for dealing with the aches, stiffness, and pains that pop up as we get older. Plus, it can help us with strength and balance so we don't get injured as easily. Yoga is GREAT for older adults!
So, my yoga newbies, I hope that helped you a bit! Go, right now, and check out a small beginner/gentle class in your neighborhood. Learn the basics. Find new strength, flexibility and balance. Explore new techniques to deal with stress. Experience increased awareness, energy and joy! Have fun with it! And let me know if you have questions. I'd love to help out if I can!