“I’m not flexible”
“I’m not spiritual”
“I can’t sit still”
Just a few of the many reasons people have given me why they don’t do yoga… It always reminds me of this quote I once posted:
Saying you’re not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you’re too dirty to take a bath.
Yoga can benefit anyone, if you find the right style and the right teacher. It can release tension from the body, quiet the mind, deepen the breath, relieve back pain, lower stress levels, … That’s why I try to adapt my classes to my student’s needs.
That which we know as yoga in the West – the physical postures – is actually just a small part of the complete yoga system as it originated thousands of years ago in India. The asanas or postures were designed to prepare body and mind for meditation, so your sore knees or racing thoughts wouldn’t distract you after ten minutes.
Now, the main focus is often the physical practice, and many yoga classes are work-outs in the gym. I pledge guilty: I started doing Ashtanga Vinyasa to keep my body fit and flexible while training for a dance recital. Luckily I had an amazing teacher who held space in her classes for all the other aspects of yoga, ours to integrate – or not – into our practice when needed. It took me a couple of years (and two trips to India) to fully grasp the essence of yoga and what it could mean for me. So I always try to respect my student’s personal path and offer them those tools useful in their lives.
Check out a few of the different styles here.