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I've been a yoga teacher for two years, long enough to notice a few trends in what I hear from students. I often hear excuses, self-deprecation, disclaimers, and apologies. In the yoga room, we're pretty supportive of others, yet we're so hard on ourselves.
It’s okay to be challenged, overwhelmed, have days where you do less, or discover that the entire bottle of wine last night was not a good idea. Enter the yoga room with an open mind and leave these thoughts and phrases at the door:
1. "I’m not good at this."
Yoga is a practice not a competition. Your instructor and classmates are there to teach you, not judge you.
2. "I’m sorry."
Whether you’re sorry about your performance or how it’s affecting others, it's all something you and your classmates should welcome as a learning experience, not a burden.
3. "I can’t do that!"
Postures can be executed properly across an endless range of abilities. While it may feel like you’re doing very little of the posture, it still counts!
4. "I’ll never be able do that!"
You have no idea how much you’re capable of. But whatever you decide will become evident so start with positive thinking.
5. "Where’s the back of the room?"
You're just as entitled to any spot in the room as anyone else, my friend. If you need a lot of instruction, why try to hide?!
6. "I’ll be doing my own modifications."
If a trained professional instructed you to do so that’s one thing, but the phrase “my own” is a bit disconcerting. Try following the teacher’s instruction the best you can.
7. "I’m too stressed out to do yoga today."
Saying you’re too stressed for yoga is like saying you’re too dirty to take a shower!
8. "It’s too hot outside to do hot yoga."
But you won’t have to do any acclimatizing!
9. "Sweaty people are so gross."
Healthy people exercise, exercise makes you sweat.
10. "I shouldn’t have eaten those nachos an hour ago."
Live and learn!