I hear people say all the time, “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.” But the truth is, it’s the yoga that helps you get flexible. In fact, the more inflexible you are, the more flexibility benefit you’ll get; in other words, the sky is the limit for improvement!
More often than not, yoga can help you obtain what you think you need in order to begin yoga. Here’s what I mean:
I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.
Yoga will build flexibility.
I can’t do yoga, I’m too stressed out.
Yoga will help you de-stress.
I can’t do yoga, I’m not strong enough.
Yoga will help you build strength.
I can’t do yoga, I have a bad back.
Yoga will heal your back.
I can’t do yoga, I don’t have the right clothes.
There really aren’t any “right clothes.” Wear whatever you feel comfortable in.
I can’t do yoga, I need to lose weight.
Yoga will help you lose the weight.
I can’t do yoga because I can’t concentrate.
Yoga will help you concentrate.
I can’t do yoga, I’m in too much chronic pain.
Yoga relieves, reduces, and eliminates chronic pain.
I can’t do yoga, I can’t afford it.
Ask your local studio about whether it has a work study or trade program. Often studios will allow you to take free or discounted yoga classes in exchange for work around the studio.
I can’t do yoga, I can barely balance on one leg.
Yoga improves your balance and coordination so that you’ll be able to balance on one leg.
I can’t do yoga, I don’t have a yoga body.
Do you have a body? Good. Then go to yoga. There, you have a yoga body. (Totally stole this one from one of my teachers, it’s too good not to share!) But seriously, a “yoga body” is a body doing yoga, plain and simple.
I can’t do yoga/I don’t want to do yoga, I’m not spiritual.
This may differ from style to style, but I’ve found that the spiritual side of yoga is a very personal practice. If you don’t want it to be a spiritual experience, it’s not, it’s really just physical. But if spirituality is something you’re seeking in yoga, it can provide that too. Just like some runners say that running is spiritual while others do it just for the exercise, the same is true for yoga.
I can’t do yoga, I’m too busy taking care of my kids/family/job/home/etc.
Yoga provides a space to take care of yourself so that you have the energy and ability to continue taking care of your kids/family/job/home/etc.
I definitely get that a lot of this stuff that yoga will give you requires you to go outside your comfort zone to get it. And that’s hard. But when we push beyond those boundaries, amazing growth and improvement happens. And then when yoga becomes part of your routine, part of your life, you can take the lessons you learn in class out into the world. Yoga then has the ability to help you with everything, whether you’re in the studio or not.
So what do you think? Is there anything holding you back from doing yoga that you think yoga might actually help?