YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE!
If I just had a nickel for every time someone said they would not come to yoga class because they are not flexible. Yoga is for everyone, regardless of flexibility and all of those other mainstream excuses we hear. Of the various myth’s out there as to why someone states an excuse as to not take a yoga class, flexibility levels are near the top of the list. The yoga teachers I know, as well as myself, can’t believe people are still believing these false concepts. Although one of the benefits, flexibility is not even one of the 8 limbs of yoga, and actually asana (postures) or movement itself, is just 1 of the 8 limbs of yoga. If you click on that link you will find that yoga involves not just the physical body, but the mind and spirit as well. This brings me to my next point.
Good yoga teachers know that students should not even be pushing themselves into positions that will stretch them passed 70%-80% of their stretching ability. This wreaks havoc on the fascia and can actually make you less flexible. Students can challenge themselves in poses as long as ego and comparison to others has been eliminated and they are listening to and honoring their bodies on that given day (as each day our bodies differ). A student’s ability to really listen to their bodies is what makes an excellent yoga student. Perfectionism does not go with yoga and as my good teacher friend Cindy will tell you, seek C or C+ effort, as A+ mentality in yoga will get you an F.
With respect to the aforementioned, I am a huge fan of students doing their own thing. Resting in a child’s pose when they do not want to do a particular pose, or even laying down in my class is great, as long as they are honoring healthy sensation in their bodies.
Whether you never exercise or are a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes for any level. You do not even have to be in shape, although magazines and other media would have you believe otherwise. The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some super flexible perfection.
No excuses, No excuses, Not excuses – Just come and have a good time!
You will benefit from it!
Benefits include: calmness, stress reduction, mindfulness, external and internal body awareness, and pain management.
Yoga helps you to develop coping skills and to reach a more positive outlook on life. Click here for a quick view of the various other benefits to adding a yoga routine to your life.
Author: Karen Garrett