There are many reasons why someone won't attend a yoga class. Myself included. But the excuses are just that and shouldn't hold us back. Yoga is for everyone and every body. The benefits are incredible! There are physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and yes financial benefits. There's a study out there that makes the connection between a regular yoga practice with financial stability. Crazy right!
We know yoga can help us, so here are some excuses and how to overcome them.
Gassy. Aka farts
A few months ago, I had a friend say to me "I want to go to your class but I'm afraid I'll fart." You know what I say to this, "Who cares!" And here's why. 1. In almost every single one of my yoga books where the benefits of each pose are listed, included in the benefits are that the pose relieves gas. I will say, the more yoga one practices, the less gas they do have. All the twisting and bending and downward dogging wrings one out sort to speak. It's a natural process. Plus, there are a lot of yogis that are vegetarians and studies show that vegetarians are more gassy than meat eaters...or maybe I just read that on Twitter. Show we someone that practices yoga regularly who says they've never farted or passed gas in class and I'll show you a lier. It's happened to me once or twice. Sure, it's scary and you don't want to disrupt anyone's concentration but it is a natural process of the body. If you are nervous there are a few things you can do to help.
1. Drink more water through out the day.
2. Do not eat or drink an excessive amount of water an hour before class. This helps on many levels. Not eating or drinking an hour before class actually can help you with the poses and move deeper into them.
3. Sit at the edges of the room. Either to the sides, by the door or in the back of the room...maybe by a window will ease your mind.
4. If you feel a fart coming, you can always go to the bathroom or hallway.
5. If a fart sneaks up on you, just cough and then forget about it.
It's for women.
This just isn't true.
Traditional yoga in India is practiced by men. Nowadays, women are exposed to it but it's not the norm to walk into a yoga class and see a room full or women or a female teacher. The norm is men. But in the USA, it's a different story but that story is changing. More and more men are seeing the benefits of yoga and are enjoying themselves. I once taught a class that had more men than women.
I am not flexible.
Here's the deal here. Who truly is flexible? Dancers, gyminsits, as well as those that are naturally flexible. There are some days when I struggle to touch my toes and then others when I can grab the bottoms of my feet. Every day is different. If you want a rule; it takes three to six months of practice 45 minutes a day for the muscles to reach their flexibility. Two years for ligaments to reach their flexibility. After that, it's up to the bone, which is acceptance of flexibility.
Yoga isn't about being flexible. Really and truly it's about whatever you want to make it about. For me, it about moving my energy within my body and breathing deeper. It's your choice always.
I don't have a yoga body.
If you're Breathing then you have a yoga body. You can gain the same benefits (or very close) in child's pose as one can doing a headstand. You can also gain the same benefits just by sitting still and doing deep breathing (pranayama). So really yoga is for everyone and every type of body. There are variations and of course there are some poses that are challenging. The challenge is there for the yogi to expand their mind. But there's more than one path in yoga. More than one way to get into a pose, practice a pose or get out of a pose. Always listen to your heart and your body. Can you challenge yourself today? Or is it just enough of a challenge to hold the space and be on your mat? Either way works. It's your practice. You don't need to do what the instructor is doing. They are there to guide you and if they try to challenge you beyond your limits, be a peaceful warrior and say "I am good. Nameste"
I've never been to a class. I have no idea what I am doing.
Choose the right class and the right teacher. Those that don't like yoga, it's usually because of the teacher. And there's nothing wrong with that. Not every teacher is for everyone. Teachers all have their own styles as well as they are humans. You may have caught them on an off day or maybe their journey is not where your yoga journey is currently. Or maybe their style is not your style. That's ok. I know of people that don't like my classes. The class is too slow and they are looking for more movement and challenging poses. Then I've heard others say after a class, "that's my type of yoga". Each yoga class is merely an offering. When it comes to those that have never been to a yoga class or are new, choose a beginners class. This is going to move slower and have more modifications that are very helpful and more explanation. Plus, usually the class is shorter, which is helpful in the beginning.
I don't feel like going. Or I'm already in my jammies. Or I just want to watch my show on Netflix.
As I learned at yoga camp, that which we resist we need the most. You're going to feel oh so good after class. It's worth it. All you need to do in get in your car or open up the door to your home and begin. Let inertia take care of the rest. Netflix and jammies will be waiting for you at home. Trust me, there are days I would rather have my face in my animals, than make it to my mat but when I do, my world is better.
I can't afford it.
There are free websites galore. There's chair yoga, there water yoga, There's free yoga classes all over the place. Most studios if you plead your case will not turn you away. Call ahead and speak with the owner or manager. Usually, they can figure something out. Most yoga studios don't turn someone away for lack of payment. There are many options; self at home practice using free tools on the Internet, books from the library, tv shows or contacting a studio and coming to an arrangement. There's always a way to practice no matter your financial status.
Which brings me to today's Love Tip - Investing and spending time on your self care is always a good idea. The return on investment is priceless.
Upcoming Yoga and meditation offerings -
Free meditation 4pm every Tuesday at Nantuckets Family and children's services. I'll be guiding this evenings. Drop ins welcome. See flyer below for more details.
There are classes everyday at Dharma Yoga Nantucket. Every Wednesday at Dharma Yoga Nantucket, 530pm I guide a Hatha yoga class. Tomorrow there will be an emphasis with the third eye chakra (energy point) to help strengthen intuition. For all levels. For more information, including to Book a class, here's the website. http://dharmayoganantucket.com
Dharma Yoga Nantucket and the Nantucket Historical Association present yoga at Greater Light. Which is an incredible historic building on the island. Every Saturday during March and April, 9-10am at Greater Light. Book class here. I'll be guiding this coming Saturday. http://www.nha.org/tickets/
Yoga Reaches Out. A yoga marathon that helps those in need. For more information go to their website. http://yogareachesout.org
Nantucket Yoga Festival. Incredible workshops. Including free community classes. Check out website here. http://nantucketyogafestival.com.
If there someone you think would benefit from this, please forward to them. And if you would like more love sent to your email box each week, join the love letter here. It's free! Just the way love should be.
Peace, Love & Hugs!