Making Yoga Work for You

I can’t do yoga…I don’t have the time…I’m not flexible…I don’t understand  what is being said…People will look at me…Yoga is expensive…I don’t like the heat…Everyone will know I’m new…<insert your own excuse(s) here>…

These are all things people say to avoid doing yoga.  I’m here to tell you that EVERYONE can do yoga!

Yes, some yoga classes are 90 minutes long, but many are only 60 minutes, and yes there could be a drive to a yoga studio or gym to account for.  But there are alternatives – do you work in a corporate setting that could support on site yoga classes?  Do you have access to a DVD player or the internet to watch and practice along with videos? (note: always do this with caution especially if you are new to the practice).  Nobody says you have to practice at a studio to enjoy the practice of yoga.

You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga.  I know many people that practice that aren’t flexible, sliding down into the splits, yet they still practice yoga and get a lot out of their practice.  Everybody’s body is different and your limits and capabilities should be respected by any good yoga teacher. You need to know what you can do now and maybe with time your flexibility will increase – or maybe not, depending on your body.  Regardless, you’ll gain benefits from practicing yoga.

Yes, some teachers name the poses in Sanskrit.  Some teachers use Sanskrit a lot, some don’t use it at all, some use the Sanskrit name of the pose then the English name.  If you are new to yoga it may very well seem confusing.  The good news is, you’ll quickly be able to see the teacher demonstrating and other students moving into the pose.  So even if you don’t know that “adho mukha svanasana” is downward facing dog, you’ll figure it out from what’s going on around you.  As you continue going to classes the words will become more familiar.  But, if you really don’t like hearing the Sanskrit, look for other classes that you feel more comfortable attending.

People may know you are new, but that could be because the teacher asks at the beginning of the class is anyone new to yoga and you raised your hand.  Or they may realize that you aren’t someone that they recognize from attending this class previously.  Everyone is new to yoga at some point, so your newness might as well start now.

I don’t like the heat is not a valid excuse for avoiding yoga.  While Bikram and other heated yoga flow classes are popular, they are far from being the only options available.  There are so many styles of yoga available that there is no reason you can’t find at least one style that is right for you.

Yoga can be expensive, but you can make it fit into your budget pretty easily.  Many studios offer new student specials, such as a month for $40 – which could easily be the price of just 2 drop in classes.  Most studios offer class packages, if you buy a package of 10 classes and go twice a week, that’s slightly more than a month of classes.  If you are fortunate enough to live some place with a number of studios, you can studio hop fairly easily using new student specials, until you find the place you want to call your home studio.  Picking up deals on Groupon or Living Social for classes is also a great bargain, as is asking about work-practice share options in which a few hours at the front desk, gets you yoga classes.

Make yoga work for you by trying a variety of classes, studios and teachers until you find a perfect fit.  Remember that what is a perfect fit this month or this year, may be different as you begin to practice more.  Once you are comfortable with the poses of yoga, you can start your own home practice.  Shorter sessions can be just as valuable as a ninety minute session too, so don’t feel that if you don’t have at least an hour to contribute to your practice that getting in a short home practice isn’t worth it.

The benefits you can gain from yoga are  invaluable and include; increased strength, better posture, self-confidence and a calmer mind.  Let today be the day you open yourself up to these benefits and start a yoga practice.

Do you have an excuse for avoiding yoga that I didn’t list?  I’d love to hear it and help you find a solution to making yoga a part of your life.

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