I hear it all the time. “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga. I’m not strong enough to do yoga. I’m too old to do yoga. Not enough time, not enough money … “. You know what? I call BULLSHIT! These could be excuses for any form of exercise people are trying to avoid, but I want to focus on yoga. You know why? Because yoga truly is for every body.
Okay, I admit it. If you’ve never practiced yoga and you pick up the latest issue of Yoga Journal with the cover featuring some skinny bitch twisted up like a pretzel, it can be a bit intimidating. But that is so not yoga! Well, it is. But if you consider it for a minute, do you really think that skinny bitch just decided to twist herself into that position one day, and did it no problem? Of course not! The poses featured on the cover of those magazines are the result of those yogis having practiced for years.
So, yes. Every body is different. And that is exactly why yoga is perfect for everybody. You can modify the poses and the entire practice to fit your specific needs and abilities. Yoga makes you more flexible. Yoga makes you stronger. Dare I say, yoga makes you younger?
I went to the studio last Friday night to watch the documentary Yogawoman with my instructor and some fellow yogis. What really stood out for me was how many different bodies I saw practicing yoga in the film. There was a woman who was 39 weeks pregnant; a woman who would be classified as about 200 pounds overweight; there was an 8 year old girl and a 95 year old woman - all practicing yoga. Let me say that again. Ninety-five years old, practicing yoga. No, she wasn’t hanging out in plow pose. She was seated on a chair doing arm raises and lying in her bed doing some simple twists. But, she was doing yoga and looked damn good doing it. I would have given her 80 years, tops.
I understand that some of you just aren’t interested in yoga. If you have your own thing going on (maybe a Zumba class?) then that’s awesome. But, lemme say this. Just try it. No, not one class. Try it for a month of classes. You can’t know if you truly like (or don’t like) something if you only try it a handful of times. Maybe the one class you went to was not the style of yoga you would prefer to practice. There are so many different types of yoga. Maybe the instructor that lead the class you went to just wasn’t your kind o’ people - try a new studio/instructor.
When it comes to not having enough time, there is time. You have to make time. For you. It may take some figuring, but you should always find time for you.
Some yoga classes can be expensive, especially for those on a tight budget. You could subscribe to yogaglo.com for $18/month and get unlimited classes. You could subscribe to Yoga Journal for less than $20/year and practice the sequences featured in the mag. Or you could purchase a yoga DVD and follow that for your practice.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t tell me you can’t do yoga, because you can. What’s your excuse? I dare you to give it a go. It’ll rock your world. And if it doesn’t, at least you can honestly say you’ve tried.