(September Series) Anyone can…YOGA!
Yes, you, the reluctant yoga go-er. The athlete. The coach potato. The Crossfitter. The mother. The grandfather. The golfer. The entrepreneur. The injured. The pregnant. The go go go-er…The…you name it!
You CAN do yoga.
Reasons I have been told by people that they CAN’T do yoga:
- “I’m not flexible.”
- “Not enough time.”
- “Not enough calories burned.”
- “Afraid of looking stupid.”
- “Too boring.”
- “Yoga costs too much.”
- “Worried it will hurt my running.”
- “I’m intimidated.”
I’m here to dispel these reasons why you “can’t” do yoga and help you know all the reasons why you CAN!
1) You don’t need to be flexible to do yoga.
Yoga is not about touching your toes. Guess what? If we bend our knees we can ALLLLLLLLL touch our toes somehow.
Yoga will help you to become more flexible. To create strength and suppleness in the body. But that takes time. You don’t wake up one day and say “Hmmm today I think I will run a marathon” with no prior training or practice. It’s just not possible unless you’re Captain America. The same thing goes for yoga. You don’t need to start by being flexible, strong, good at balancing, meditating, breathing. You just need to show up. To start. And things will, slowly but surely, go from there. You may never touch your toes with straight legs, but who cares? There’s no winning in yoga. There’s no prize for doing the coolest posture or being the most flexible. The only prize is for showing up to your mat!
2) You can ALWAYS make time for yoga. Even if it’s just 10 minutes at home.
Stuck for ideas? Check out Yogaglo or Yogavibes for online classes. Or find your own three favorite yoga poses and practice those. It doesn’t need to be much. Five minutes is ALWAYS better than NO minutes.
3) Yoga does burn calories…It just depends on the kind of yoga you do!
Vinyasa Flow, Power Flow, Bikram Yoga, these all will burn a hefty dose of calories. Often Prana Flow, Ashtanga, “the Rocket,” and more will all help you on the yogi quest to burn calories. Yoga is all about getting in tune with your body. Learning when to go further and amp up the flow/cardio aspect of yoga, and when to slow down and rest. Yoga teaches you to understand your edge and go forward! So get your booty to a yoga class and start learning how to push yourself properly–by learning your body from the inside out. And if you really want to make burning calories a goal, feel free to ask for class recommendations and help from a studio staff member, teacher, etc.
4) BUT WHAT IF I LOOK STUPID?
We all look stupid in yoga class. Check me out below.
Do I look like the queen of cool here? Heck no! I am wrapping my inner thighs around my triceps in an arm balance! That’s not something you would do in the middle of the street now, is it? No! Because it’s a little bit awkward and silly looking. You will look silly in yoga. So will I. And that is a-ok!
No one will be looking at you, everyone is too busy figuring out what’s going on for themselves. There will be times in yoga when you will look stupid. It happens. It will happen over and over again. The trick is just to breathe in the moment and embrace the potential for looking stupid. Acknowledge that the postures can be weird, different, uncomfortable, and sometimes just plain silly! And then let go and enjoy!
5) Yoga is fun. Yoga is “busy.” Yoga doesn’t need to be “boring.”
Yoga can be a blast!!! There are classes with live music. Classes with pop music. Laughter is allowed. Smiling in yoga class is my personal favorite. 😀 (Elf should take classes with me!) It doesn’t all have to be slow serious yoga with lots of Enya music playing. There is yoga for everyone! Ask around and approach the class with an open mind. Have fun. Because sometimes all it takes is for YOU to walk in expecting fun and then you will discover you actually HAVE fun. If you are worried about getting bored try a flow class to keep your body moving. Or try the opposite! If you really struggle to slow down, maybe a restorative yoga class or yoga nidra could transform your opinion! Sometimes we all need a little quality R&R.
6) Yoga is affordable! And worth every penny.
Tight on money? Take an online class? Visit a donation based class at your local studio. Maybe you have an awesome local studio like the Body Electric Yoga Company in St. Pete, which offers $5 Fridays, wherein all classes are only $5 to drop in! Google yoga in the park. You can often find free yoga in the park, as we have in Tampa with Yoga Downtown Tampa! I teach a monthly free yoga class at Fit2Run St. Pete. There’s yoga for everyone and every budget. Just ask around, use google, try a class online, and jump in!
7) Yoga will enhance your running and other athletic activities!
Yoga prevents injuries, corrects imbalances, and can actually help you reach new athletic achievements! Yoga brings balance to your body which is key to help you find success. Moreover, yoga helps bring mental balance and mindfulness, which will make your games and races all the better. If you are worried about getting too “bendy” or hurting yourself in yoga class, be sure to find a local restorative or gentle class or sign up for a yoga for athletes workshop from a trained yoga for athletes professional such as myself!
8) Yoga is for ALL. Don’t be intimidated. It can seem scary at first to try a yoga class out. But there are classes designed specifically for newbies.
Nervous about starting a class? Check out my tips on “What do you do before yoga class starts” to feel comfortable. I also wrote a beginner’s guide to yoga for Fit Not Fad! Find a class for “beginners” at your local studio, let them know you are new. Wear the right clothes, come with an open mind. Yoga is for EVERYONE…just be open to finding the right class for you!
Have I left anything off? What has scared you away from yoga in the past or kept you from regular time on your mat? How can we get past that? Let me know in the comments below!