Yoga Is for Everyone (Even If You're Not Perfect!)

70 Pounds overweight, inflexible, can’t balance if someone offered me the Mega Millions to do it...yep – that was me in 2009. I came back to my yoga practice in that condition – definitely not the lean, strong, athletic picture of a yogi we often see in magazines and online.

Yoga is for everyone – especially  if you’re not perfect. When I tell people I teach yoga, the responses I hear most often are:

-- Oh, I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.-- It’s been years since I’ve done anything physical, I’d fall over, and take everyone else down with me.-- Yoga? Look at me – I’m not one of those tiny size 2’s (Yeah, me either!). The point of yoga is not to stick your foot behind your head, or to have some place to wear your cute Lululemon gear. The point of yoga is to reconnect you to the deepest part of you – to rediscover who you are, and then carry that out into the world. Yoga is awesome physical exercise, and yes, it’s going to help you lose weight, get strong, and feel great. But yoga also helps you get still, find peace, and remember who you are, why you’re here, and what you want out of life. And if you can bring that stillness, peace, and confidence from your practice into the rest of your life, life is going to change in amazing ways. I’m a real-life-living-breathing example of that. Here are 3 reasons why you need to stop making excuses and just do yoga: 1. You can find a class to suit your needs – if you’re new to yoga, look for gentle classes or beginner classes. These classes will help introduce you to the poses and the sequences, and will help you start building strength and flexibility. If you live in a rural area, or are extremely apprehensive about taking a live class – start with DVD’s or online classes and videos. There are incredible resources out there. Again, look for gentle or beginner versions, and go for it. 2. Yogis are awesome – if you go to a studio, no one is judging you – and if they are, find another studio. The vast majority of yogis are caring people who are all on a journey just like you. Many yogis have been where you are and they relate to what you’re going through – regardless of what they look like now, and what they’re capable of on the mat now. I can tell you, when I came back to my practice, I could barely touch my shins in forward bend. The fact that I can do advanced poses now has nothing to do with me wanting to show off, and everything to do with me celebrating how far I’ve come in my own journey. When I’m in classes, I’m not looking around at the newbies thinking “ha! I can bind and she can’t!” I’m turning inward, and focusing on what’s going on with me… and so are all the other class participants. No one is even noticing that you’re wobbling, or that you’re not as flexible as they are. Trust me. When you step into a class, you will be welcomed, you will be acknowledged, and you will be guided and supported. The yoga community is something you need – not something to be wary of. And again, if you can’t find a local community, there are great places online to hang out with like-minded people. Do a search and you’ll find something that fits you exactly right. 3. You need time for you – you just do. The only way out of your current situation is through it. And the only way through it is to get still, and spend some time with yourself. Yoga is perfect for that. Yoga is different than any other physical exercise out there. At first, you’re going to feel awkward, and out of touch. But, the amount of support, confidence and energy you will receive is beyond measure – and so worth a little discomfort in the beginning.

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