Why You Hesitate to Start Yoga & How To Banish These Thoughts
I know, I know. I remember my first yoga class when I walked in and there was deep loud breathing surrounding me and everyone joining in for the “Ommm” before and after class… it was weird for me too.
So maybe you’ve tried yoga. You’ve either personally sought out a class and decided to give it a whirl, or you’ve been dragged to a class by someone else and had to “endure the experience” (sorry not sorry).
Maybe you’ve never even tried yoga and are still under the impression, somehow, that it’s just not for you?
Whether you’ve tried it or not, or even if your friends are currently making fun of this lifestyle and don’t understand it, that’s fine. It’s perfectly ok that people chose to remain ignorant and make fun of what they haven’t experienced themselves. Unfortunately, it’s just kind of a Western civilization judgemental thing. Some mature out of though, maybe.
I’m here to get down to the nitty gritty ... breaking apart all the reasons why you think yoga isn’t for you. Any reasons why you’re hesitating to really invest in this life-changing practice should be granted clarity.
It’s for your own good, trust me.
A wise yoga instructor once told me “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” Since that’s what yoga is founded on, I suggest you come clean with the fact that you breathe air and are completely capable of doing yoga.
So let’s get started… I’ve been given 10 hesitations below:
“I’m Not Flexible Enough”
It’s similar to going to the gym and saying “I’m not strong enough,” it takes time! Beginning anything is going to take a few weeks to get the hang out it, so be patient with yourself. Which is another thing yoga will teach you in the long run by the way.
You aren’t required to be flexible for yoga. It would be awesome to someday touch your toes to your forehead like you’ve seen in photos online, but that took them like 5 years… so chill out. If you can’t even touch your toes starting out, but your reaching for them… you’re doing an excellent job at yoga.
Stretch with your body as it is now, and remove the judgment that it needs to be a certain way.
“I Have A Bad Back”
Okay, fair. I have mild scoliosis in my lower back and it can hurt too. This was actually one of my blockages when first starting my practice, so I get it.
However, yoga has actually helped me, and many others, with more serious health conditions as well.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a practitioner and teacher of integrative medicine for the last thirty years, spoke wonders when he said: “One way to help prevent further injury and lessen the symptoms of recurrent back pain is through yoga.”
Many would agree with him.
Don’t freak out thinking you need a “special kind of yoga” for your particular back problem. Maybe a specific type of yoga, but otherwise, every certified yoga instructor has over 200 hours of training, requiring them to learn and apply anatomy of the human body. This gives them the ability to modify any poses needed for injuries students may have, as well teach students proper body alignment to even eventually heal your body over time.
Just let them know.
“I’m So Out Of Shape”
Nice try, but there are several professional yogis who have dealt with weight being a concern for their practice (this concern sometimes not even being their own). This is not the model industry. It doesn’t matter what size or shape you are. Just like everyone else, you put forth the effort and learn to work with your own individual body.
It’s part of the process.
If you are truly concerned with showing up to class and being the largest shape or size in the room, which you shouldn’t, but if you are… there are local yoga classes that empower women (& men) with a focus on letting go of this harsh judgment (meaning you won’t be the only one).
Please be nice to yourself, it’s not worth it. I promise if you show up to a yoga class and people are mean to you or you feel judged, they aren’t doing yoga. That’s when you find another studio.
“I Wouldn’t Even Know What I Was Doing”
I remember the first time I walked into a studio… it was like a different planet. You will learn, I promise. Just like with everything you’ve ever studied or tried, you pay attention and ask questions. It’s always awkward at first when you’re the “new student.” Just know it’s worth it.
“I Actually Want To Lose Weight”
Yes, most of us work out to get toned and drop a few pounds. I wouldn’t follow any stereotypes or outside opinions when it comes to yoga though. If you ask anyone who actually practices, they’ll let you know how much they sweat. However, if you ask someone…like yourself, thinking it’s not their thing, guess what they’ll probably say?
Hot yoga or a Vinyasa class will be sure to challenge your body!
“It’s Such An Expensive Lifestyle”
A yoga studio membership can be up there in price, costing you up to $120.00 per month! It’s understandable if this is deterring you from starting your practice. I myself couldn’t afford the membership either, I’m still on a drop-in class policy floating from studio to studio depending on what teacher is scheduled for the nights I sign-up.
When not in a studio drop-in class, which is usually around $20.00, I attend local community donation-based studios.
There are a lot of local studios or even outdoor pop-up classes that are donation-based, welcoming all yoga students who are committed to their practice (even if their wallets aren’t).
You can also follow hundreds of flows on YouTube channels for FREE and at home.
Money isn’t an issue with yoga.
“Ummm...Are All Instructors Like This?”
Every yoga instructor is different, not to mention there are several styles of yoga that are instructed as well. Just like when you attend a fitness class or have a nice waiter at a restaurant, it takes a little shopping around before you find your style of yoga and “guru.”
It took finding that one instructor for me to truly connect with and commit fully to my practice. I have other instructors I love, but there will be one that really “hits the spot” so to speak. Different personalities and backgrounds, like who they trained with, will influence their teaching styles.
Don’t be afraid to try different studios and teachers to find one you like.
“I Tried It, But Didn’t Like It”
So let’s say you have already meditated on every hesitation-breaking reason above, but still don’t love yoga. Again, it’s not that you can’t do yoga, because everyone can, but maybe that you tried it for a month and still didn’t like it.
This Eastern style of philosophy and spiritual connection is all about timing. When it’s the right time in your life for you to embrace this journey, it will come. Otherwise, you’ll know what’s best for you for the time being.