All of us who practice yoga regularly were once beginners. Stepping into a yoga studio for the first time can be intimidating. Stepping into any yoga studio for the first time can be very intimidating, new teachers, new community and a new space.
I thought that it would be useful to discuss the top three reasons why people tell me they can’t practice yoga.
There are also those of us, and it has happened to the best of us, who fall away from our practice for periods of time. I like to call this the ebb and the flow of the yoga practice.
This is why yoga is a practice, like any practice sometimes we are more dedicated than others. As I own a yoga studio and I am a yoga teacher when I run into people they often start off by saying hello and then begin to explain why they have not been at yoga.
I like to call this “Yoga practice confessions.” Let’s take a look at some of these confessions in more detail, and see if any of them pertain to you.
Top 3 reasons why I can’t practice yoga:
1) I am tight.
2) I am not good at yoga.
3) I don’t know what I am doing and I am worried people (specifically the teacher) will laugh at me.
These three reasons can all be addressed by practicing more yoga. And I can guarantee that no one will laugh at you.
However, I will warn you that I have been known to laugh at myself while practicing and a good sense of humour and taking yourself less seriously can go a long way to creating greater overall happiness.
I did not start yoga naturally flexible. In fact I remember being so tight. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) was a battle. Forward folding (Uttanasana) was torture and forget about a seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana) or Staff Pose (Dandasana) my entire body would shake. The changes began appearing slowly over time, and the progress has been continuous and long lasting.
A regular yoga practice will create more space in your body, make you better at yoga over time and you will begin to learn the poses and feel more confident in making the shapes.
The reality is that yoga is a life long practice and that the poses are continually expanding and growing. Even poses that I do daily change and shift as my body and mind change and shift.
How about these confessions:
1) I have been busy.
2) It’s not you it’s me.
3) I have been injured.
The first two sound like they could double for break up lines, don’t they?
First of all, of course I love having you in class as do all the teachers and I also love seeing your face at the studio. However, please don’t feel like you need to confess to me why you haven’t been practicing, although I do appreciate the sentiment.
We are all busy and making time for our practice whether it is at a studio or a home practice is a struggle, trust me I know! I get that life can often get in the way of a practice that can actually help us deal with the commitments of our lives.
Thank you for letting me know that it’s not me, but I realize that we all go through phases with our yoga practice. It’s best to set an attainable goal for yourself in terms of practice time per day or frequency per week. You don’t need to do an hour or ninety minute practice each time. A little goes a long way.
Injury is a serious issue especially in our active community. Although, yoga can often aggravate and sometimes, yes, be the cause of injury it can also help some injuries.
So please let us know and we can help you to accommodate and modify your practice so that you are still taking the time to connect with your breath and your body.
Thanks for taking the time to read and see you on the mat soon exactly as you are!