Yep. I’m hereby calling bullshit on any of you who say you “can’t do” yoga. Everyone can do yoga.
I’m not a gambling girl, but I’m willing to bet you’ve already done at least one yoga pose today, whether you realized it or not. If you break down the poses, you’ll find a lot of them are actions we already do in our everyday lives. So who says yoga is only for the super flexible, or yogi-gods? You got dis.
So many people avoid ever trying yoga because of the fear of their expectations. There’s such an intimidation factor around yoga, but there really shouldn’t be. I discussed this already a bit in my “nobody starts out as an expert” post. Yes, there are all kinds of crazy-impressive yoga poses to aim for, but there are plenty of poses that are quite simple, and are just as good. You don’t get bonus points for doing the things no one else can do – there aren’t any points at all. It’s not about keeping up with the girl across the studio from you, or comparing yourself to anyone else. Yoga is about doing what you can do, with your body, here, today. And your body is capable of a whole lot more than you’d give it credit for.
Have you put on socks today? Look, you probably did standing pigeon, or at least a bit of balancing on one foot! Scrubbed a floor lately? Ta-da! Spinal balance.
Picked a rock out of the bottom of your sneaker? Dancer’s pose.
Reached around to get something from the backseat? Spinal twist.
Balanced on one foot while on the phone? Tree pose.
BAM BAM BAM – look at all that yoga you’re doing!
Just think of last time you used a public bathroom. Did you do the little hover-squat-to-avoid-the-yucky-toilet-seat thing? Hellllllllo, chair pose. (Sorry to disappoint, but I was reeeeally not gonna post a pic of me on a toilet.)
Seriously. I can’t stress it enough – yoga is not just about doing the fancy-schmancy impressive stuff. You don’t (/shouldn’t) go to a yoga class with the goal of impressing the teacher or the other people there. Your goal should just be to enjoy that hour of peace you’ve given yourself, and to soak in the goodness that yoga creates.
Whatever makes your body feel good, and puts your mind a little bit more at ease, that’s the goal of yoga. Whether that means taking the full extension of every pose, or spending 90% of a class in child’s pose. It’s up to you to choose what works for you. When the teacher moves on to a more advanced variation of a pose that you’re just not ready for, remember: it’s optional. When your legs are shaking and you’re about to fall over but the teacher says “just three more breaths”? It’s optional. At any point, if something’s going on and you’re just not feelin’ it – it’s optional. You can always take child’s pose on your mat. Listen to your body. The whole class is optional. The fact that you chose the option of showing up is good enough – just by doing that for yourself, you are doing yoga.
So, please. If you’re one of the many protesters who are sure they “just aren’t made for yoga”, give yourself some credit. Stop hesitating, and go try a class. Do what you can do, and just be present and patient; you got dis. I believe in you.
mai pen rai, namaste.
This post was inspired by my #yogaboss / favorite part of Tuesday nights, Susan Butler. I love the way your brain works, and thank you for being such a beautiful part of mine and many others’ lives. Thanks for the brain-spark!