As a long time yoga student turned yoga teacher I have been trying to get everyone I know to try yoga for years, and honestly think the world would be better if everyone did yoga. I mean EVERYONE. Every man, woman and child should be practicing some form of yoga daily. But hey, I would settle for a few of my friends trying it just once before they dismissed it. And I would love for my friend who tried a hot power vinyasa class and decided it was some form of torture to maybe give another style a chance!
1. I’m not flexible enough
This is by far the most common excuse that I hear. It’s also the most ridiculous. For me, it’s the equivalent of saying “I’m too dirty to take a bath” or “I’m too sick to see the doctor”. If you aren’t flexible, then should that not be MORE of a reason to do something that improves your flexibility? Not only that, but yoga doesn’t just work on your flexibility. It builds strength, balance, coordination and most importantly, calms your mind and helps you to be kinder more compassionate person. You don’t need to touch your toes to practice being kinder!
2. I don’t have the time
Everyone these days is so “time poor”. It’s a phrase I truly hate because I know for a fact that most people waste hours and hours each day! If we look at just doing 1 hour long class, that’s 0.006% of your week, or only 4.2% of your day. The average person spends 2 hours on Facebook every week (check out How Much Time Have You Wasted On Facebook if you want to calculate it exactly), over 5 hours watching television and countless hours just really stuffing about doing things that really aren’t important (and certainly don’t make them any healthier!). Thankfully, yoga classes run at all times of the day, night and weekend, go for varying amounts of time and are even available to you in the comfort of your own home online and on DVDs. I bet that if you needed to find an hour every week to get a free massage you wouldn’t have a problem!
3. I can’t afford it
As someone who was a student for 9 years I know about not having much money. It truly sucks. But, somehow, despite my limited bank account, I always found money for pretty new dresses, nights out on the town, cider and concert tickets. I’m sure you do too (or equally frivolous things). Much more important than how much money you have, is how you prioritise that money. What is going to bring you more long term happiness – a new top, or a week at yoga? Even better, along with the surge in yoga’s popularity has come an almost limitless array of ways to practice yoga at little or no cost. Whether it’s checking out studios by using their opening special, buying an online deal, finding donation based classes or simply checking out yoga on YouTube - practicing yoga doesn’t need to cost the earth!
4. I’m too embarrassed of what people will think of me
There are several issues with this excuse. Firstly, no-one will be looking at you, because everyone is far too busy trying to figure out what they should be doing (and probably being embarrassed themselved). Secondly, if they do judge you, then their opinion is invalid anyway because they probably aren’t very nice. Thirdly, you simply need to get over it. Life is filled with moments where you don’t know what you’re doing, where you are out of your comfort zone and where you are making mistakes. If you can be brave enough to take a yoga class even though it’s a little scary, just think of all the other amazing things you might just be able to get out there and achieve!
5. I’m too fat/old/broken…
Unless you’re a head in a jar or on your deathbed none of these are going to fly with me. There is literally a yoga class to suit every single ability level. There is yoga for over 50’s, over 60’s, over 70s… yoga for pregnant women, yoga for women who have just had a baby, yoga for people in wheelchairs and just good old beginners yoga for people who have no idea what they’re doing! You are not too fat, you are certainly not too old and your physical limitations may just improve a little given the right style of practice.
6. I’m not into that spiritual crap
Hey, you know what, that’s totally ok. I’m definitely not going to tell you that you should be. But not practicing yoga because you aren’t into crystals and energy healing really doesn’t make sense. Not only is yoga an ancient health science that has been practiced for thousands of years, but it’s also continuously being validated by modern scientific methods as an excellent treatment for numerous physical and mental conditions as well as overall wellbeing. There are classes that don’t even mention anything but anatomy and alignment, and even if they do, you only have to listen to and believe what sounds right to you! You can go full hippy or full workout or somewhere in between. Just find the teacher and class that makes the most sense to you.
Choosing to practice yoga is choosing to be healthy. It is good for you physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. So enough with the excuses - get on a mat (or rug, beach or patch of grass) and give it a go!
Interested in giving yoga a try? Why not check out the Stretch Yoga Brisbane Beginners Course