3 Yoga Fears You Need To Forget
If you hang around me long enough, eventually the topic of yoga will come up… Because that’s what happens when you love and are passionate about something, you end up wanting to share it! However I’ve found that there are a few misconceptions or fears that people have around going to a class or starting a personal practice. So today I’ve decided to share the top 3 reasons people give me for not rolling out their mat – and why you need to forget about them all together.
1. I’m not flexible and I don’t want to get hurt.
Yoga is fantastic for strengthening and lengthening your muscles and in doing so, you will become more flexible. It’s physically impossible to not see increased flexibility if commit to attending yoga classes twice a week for a month. I’m not saying that you will magically be able to touch your toes by your third lesson if you couldn’t reach down past your knees to begin with. But I can promise that you will definitely see an improvement and you will probably get to touching your toes if you stick with it.
As for getting hurt, I would advise starting your yoga journey at an actual studio as opposed to at home with YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, YouTube videos are great but nothing beats being in a room with a teacher who will adjust you and be on hand to answer questions. They will also be there to safely guide you in and out of poses – something so important if you have never done yoga before – as well as making sure you don’t get hurt.
2. I’m too fat to do yoga
Please don’t believe Instagram. Not all yogis are size zero, 6 foot and live in bikini’s. They are mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, over-weight, under weight, come from every race, culture and earning bracket. Some are high powered business women, some are hippies whose life ambition is to meditate on the beach every morning at the same time. In short they are like you, me and everything in between.
Don’t believe me? If you feel your weight may get in the way of your trying yoga, you need to go and read Do You Yoga’s article 6 Big & Beautiful Yogis You Should Follow On Instagram. These ladies are pretty inspiring and completely challenge the yoga stereotype.
3. I can’t meditate
This always makes me smile because meditation is literally one of the hardest things you will ever do. Depending on the yoga studio you attend, meditation may form part of your class or it may be a separate class altogether. However a little secret I’ll let you in on… NO ONE can meditate in the beginning. As humans we seem to be constantly planning for the future or obsessing on how we could have done better in the past. Very rarely do we focus on the present. What’s happening right now seems to almost happen in a constant ‘auto pilot’ mode. We are aware but at the same time we aren’t really present. Our mind is somewhere else.
You are not alone. Yogis refer to this as the monkey mind. As soon as you want to sit down, empty your mind and focus on this moment as it’s happening… You start putting your weekly shop together. You think about that email you should have sent your mum. You wonder if your local salon could squeeze you in for a nail appointment on your way home. An entire universe worth of topics, questions and information floods your head. This is normal. Meditation takes a lifetime to master and even then, you may not get there. But if you focus on it, you will find that the more you try, occasionally you may find a little break between all the noise in your head – an occasional quiet moment where you can just be. This is what you’ve been looking for!
If you are considering putting a meditation practice into your daily routine, colour therapy books are a great way to start. They help to focus your mind on one thing – just colouring in – and you will find through concentrating on only that, your mind will empty of everything else.