As a passionate yogi and yoga teacher, I have heard every excuse why people can’t do yoga or why it is not for them. Most have never set foot in a studio, never taken that first step onto a sticky mat, assuming from what they’ve heard that they won’t like it or won’t be good at it. So, hear me out… I’m going to give you a list of reasons why you can’t do yoga and why none of them are true!
1. I’m not a yogi
Okay, okay, I hear you! In fact, I NEVER thought I would love yoga until I tried. I always thought it would be the last thing this spunky energetic aerobics teacher back in the day would love. Yet, here I am today and I am so thankful to have yoga in my life. There are so many teachers and style out there, so take your time to find the right class and teacher you resonate with. That class is out there, and you might even find that yoga is something you can deal with, perhaps even love.
2. I am not flexible enough
Awww…this one! If I got paid every single time somebody said this, I would be a millionaire. Saying you have to be flexible to do yoga is like saying you have to be in shape to go to the gym, or that you have to be clean to take a shower. Sure, yoga has a relationship with flexibility, but being flexible isn’t a prerequisite to do yoga. In fact, I am so thankful that when I started yoga I was the most inflexible person. Why? It makes me more humble, relatable to all of my students. Over time, yoga will help you become more flexible. That’s why we call it a practice. You don’t have to be limber and flexible to start.
3. I don’t have time
We all have 24 hours in a day; how we use it is up to us. But, like any exercise, people who do it regularly don’t have time, make time. Your yoga practice can take as much or as little time as you prefer. Sure, formal yoga classes are 90 minutes long, but the idea that you have to commit yourself to 90 minutes to reap its benefits is far from reality. Even just 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes can make a huge difference in your day. If you have 10 minutes to watch TV or get on the computer, you have time for yoga! And now with so many online classes, you can even do yoga in the comfort of your own home.
4. I don’t have the body for yoga
Anybody and any BODY can do yoga, regardless of age, body size, gender, ethnicity, or fitness level. Social media may have perpetuated the image of yoga in America to be thin, bendy, young women in pretzel-like body contortions. But the true image (and intent!) of yoga goes beyond that. All ages-from kids to older adults-can reap the benefits of adding yoga into your life.
5. Yoga is a religion
Certainly, there’s a spiritual element to the practice, but it’s essential to understand that yoga itself is not a religion. Yoga does not consider any particular religious belief as a requirement for the practice. Come as you are. All are welcome. The only requirement is to uphold the values of ethics and inner peacefulness. “OM” to that!
6. I prefer more ‘hardcore’ workouts
Yoga can be as easy or as challenging as you make it. For those of you who like to run, embrace high-intensity training sessions, and generally get sweaty, you may look at yoga and think, “it is way to slow and low-key for me.” You may feel it is a waste of your time and less effective than your usual workout routine. Remember the following, yoga isn’t intended to be a workout in the traditional sense, but you can make it as hard or as easy as you like. It offers many health benefits such as balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, mindfulness that can improve overall performance in your chosen sport or activity. And lastly, don’t knock it “til you’ve tried it. Just because something looks easy doesn’t mean it is!
7. Yoga is for women only
You guys…yoga is gender-neutral! It may not be a surprise to you that yoga classes now days are likely to have more women in attendance than men. But that doesn’t mean men can’t reap the benefits that yoga has to offer. In fact, yoga was started by men and some of the greatest yoga teachers have been men. Yoga truly is for every one and for every body: for women, for men, for children, for young people, for old people.
8. I’m not in shape enough
Don’t wait! Yoga can be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Practicing yoga helps you develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism and increase body awareness. And even though the more physical yoga classes can burn more calories, restorative yoga is still effective in helping with weight loss. Just start!
9. I’m injured
First, always listen to your body and your doctor as to whether or not you are healthy enough to exercise. An experienced yoga teacher will know how to approach common ailments or injuries for class. If you are experiencing back pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, just to name a few, yoga has been shown to help tremendously!
10. It’s too expensive
We completely understand, which is why we share FREE yoga for all ages on our ABC’s of Health YouTube channel and we share FREE yoga sessions right here on our website.
Just remember, if you have a tight budget, Do a Google search or Facebook Events search for free yoga events in your community and you will often find something going on nearly every week. Also, many yoga studios offer new student specials. The biggest thing to consider is how yoga can affect your health, relationships, and decision-making abilities which can actually save you money!
Yoga has a reputation for being one of the best ways to take care of your body, mind, and spirit. With evidence of yoga’s benefits mounting, why continue to drag your feet? Don’t let any of the misconceptions above keep you from starting a yoga practice. But caution-it truly might enhance your life!