Many of us have been there — coming up with reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t do yoga. The most common ones I hear people say are that they are not flexible or they have some sort of injury.
I can’t do yoga: I can’t even touch my toes. I have back issues. What if I do it wrong? I tried it once, and it was hard. What if I fart?
I mean, how can you be expected to bring your head to your knee if your hamstrings are tighter than Batman and Robin?! How can you be expected to do a handstand (or even downward dog!) when you suffer from a shoulder injury?
Folks, I have the answer to how anyone, even YOU, can nail any yoga pose, and it is so simple that you can implement it right now!
Are you ready for it? Like… really ready? Okay, here it is…
You can’t… I can’t! Nope. Not even close! Great yogi masters can’t! Though sometimes, after many many many years of practice, they can “nail” quite a few.
But I do have two little secrets that I will give you, and I won’t even charge you for them.
- Anyone still can practice yoga despite any limitations.
- There is a reason it is called a yoga practice.
Here’s the breakdown.
Anyone can practice yoga.
Way too many people think that yoga is a physically intense sequence of poses designed for people who are super flexible and super strong. Some yoga practices are, indeed, like that.
However, there are so many different types of yoga out there that anyone (and I mean anyone) can do it. Yoga can be anything from just laying in savasana (on your back) for the entire session to a strong, flowy, sweaty class. It’s made for everyone, despite injuries, flexibility, or strength.
Even if you don’t have anything funky going on with your body, people are, quite literally, built differently. (Don’t believe me? Check out this article on why people must squat differently.)
The most valuable thing I’ve learned through my yoga study is that I have my own limitations, and they change every day! One day I can do a balance pose, and one day I can’t. It just happens. So if my body doesn’t like a pose, I thank it for letting me know and back off from the posture… and I avoid injury. Woot woot!
It’s called a practice for a reason.
Before I start teaching a class, I tell my students that yoga is not a competition. Don’t get me wrong — yoga competitions exist, but sorrynotsorry, that’s just a sport.
Yoga poses, or asanas, as they are called in yogi world, are designed to get you to tune in to your body and go within. So, there is no perfect pose — there is only what is right for your body at any given point in time to get you where you need to be in your mind. When you’ve done that, you’ve nailed the pose!
With that said, I can’t do the splits. Though I could in high school and I have no injuries preventing me from doing them, I simply don’t have that kind of flexibility right now, which is one of the reasons why I… practice.
In my poses, I proudly use props, I stumble, I fall, I laugh. But doing so gives me all the benefits of the pose and helps me grow. Give me until the end of the year, and I might or might not get those splits, but yoga is called a practice for a reason.
So, just because you aren’t flexible, or you’ve had an injury, or you’ve tried hot yoga and wanted to collapse onto your mat in the middle of it does not mean that you can’t embark on an amazing yoga journey. Honor your body along with its limitations, and you will experience the benefits of yoga.
Because to be honest, if you have a functioning brain, you can practice yoga.
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