“I’m Not a Yogi” and other silly things people say

I see you over there.  You with the excuses.  You’re not fooling anyone.  The more I practice yoga, the more I hear my peers tell me how they ‘wish’ they could do the same.  I’m here to tell you that that is premium ba-lon-ieee.  I’m here to give you a little insight.  And, while I acknowledge your opinion, I’m here to give you a bit of tough love.

I’m not really a ‘Yogi’

Cool, me either!  What exactly is a yogi?  At what point do you stop being a regular person and turn into one?  Sometimes people have this image in their mind of what a yoga practitioner looks like but they fail to take a peak inside a studio.  It may come as a surprise to some, but you are not actually required to be vegan in order to roll out your mat in a public studio.  Yoga is an attractive practice because it is fundamentally individual.  There are no two identical practices, and yours can never be replicated…even by you.  So, while you may have a certain stereotype set in your mind, I challenge you to throw it away.  Find a studio that caters to the type of yoga you might be interested in.  There are so many “craft” studios around- from Senior Yoga to Death Metal Yoga (Jacob Stone, that one’s for you)- you’re bound to find something approachable.

^^ Still yoga

I don’t have time for that

You don’t have time for YOU?  This myth plagues our society.  We are constantly on the move, working multiple jobs and trying to still manage a family/social life/fitness regimen/etc.  There are never enough hours in the day.  Let’s talk less about hours, and more about efficiency.  Through my own personal experience, I have found that yoga actually gives me more time.  My mind is more focused, my body more energetic, and my heart more open.  I am able to be my best for others because I take the time to be my best for me, too.  This is a realization that snuck up on me- I started to see a pattern in my work productivity, attitude, energy and yoga practice.  The weeks when I convinced myself I was too busy or too tired to go to yoga were the weeks that I got the least done and felt the most overwhelmed.  I figured out that it wasn’t my workload that made me so stressed, it was the fact that I took away my ability to release that tension and recenter my focus.  If your schedule doesn’t coincide with your local studios, try a home practice!  That beautiful technology thing that consumes most of our daily lives can be re-purposed for good!  Double win!

Okay, but I’m not flexible

When it comes to yoga, this has to be the most widely used excuse..and it is such a myth.  I started practicing a little over a year ago and touching my toes was not in the cards for me.  I still have a long way to go before I’d consider myself to be physically “flexible” but I’ve learned that this is not a great metric of success.  In fact, learning to let go of all metrics of success is what makes yoga so open.  When you walk into a yoga studio, your fellow practitioners may be excited to meet you, but make no mistake- they are not watching you.  You could be front and center and sit in child’s pose for the entire class and no one will notice.  The most beautiful thing about yoga is that is not a competition.  The physical practice of yoga is only a teeny tiny little part of a the big picture.  The only flexibility required is an open, flexible mind.

I don’t know what “Adho Mukha Svanasana” is

You’re not alone.  With over 3,000 poses, it’d be amazing if any average practitioner knew all of the poses. You will inevitably hear some Sanskrit throughout your practice, but that yoga certification your teacher has means he or she has spent 200+ hours learning how to show you what poses look like through safe verbal, visual, and hands-on cues.  Don’t like to be touched?  No problemo.  We ask first.

I’m not …… enough

This excuse has a few permutations:  I’m not fit enough/I’m too old/I’m a dude/I have chronic pain (in which case you ABSOLUTELY should consider practicing) ect.  It all boils down to one thing: you do not need to be a young, beautiful, bendy female to do yoga.  You do not need to walk around the room on your hands to do yoga.  You do not need to move at all to do yoga.  Yoga is not for anyone, yoga is for everyone.  There are no prerequisites.  You are enough, and Yoga needs YOU.

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