[This is the first part of How to Make Yoga Easy. For Part II click HERE.]
Yoga is NOT easy.
But CHANGING YOUR MINDSET can make it easier.
Like everything else.
I wish I had guidance when I first started yoga. My first experience was kinda weird - there were tealights alongside the walls; felt like a stretching class but it wasn't; fell asleep which wasn't good. I couldn't remember what style of yoga it was but I didn’t go back because I felt it was too slow for me and a bit confusing.
20 years later, I went back to yoga because I had no choice - I had to find an alternative workout as I was nursing a strain in my hamstring, from attempting the jade on the pole.
The pain refused to go away. I thought yoga could could heal me and improve my flexibility.
Guess what! It was a super big time struggle, more mentally than physically.
- I struggled with the fact that I couldn’t straighten my legs fully in my forward fold. If I straighten my legs, my belly doesn't touch my thigh. And by right, it's supposed to, DAMN IT!
- I thought I had a good backbend because of my Exotic Dance background, and that I had a good sexy "S" arch in my spine.Or so I thought. Through pilates and my chiropractor (which is another story), I learnt that I have a Military Back, so I was born with a back that wouldn’t bend as much as I want it. Boo hoo!
- I couldn’t get over the fact that everyone else is more flexible than me. I was ashamed, embarrassed and seriously thought that there was something wrong with my body.
If you're not flexible, your ego is definitely in for a treat! You want to look like every one else, or rather you don’t want to look like you can’t do the pose. Right?
I think the instagram yoginis spoil the yoga market - in spite of their good intentions to inspire others with their amazing and beautiful contortionist poses - they deter others who then don’t do yoga because they think they need to be flexible. They think that whatever pose they see, is what they have to do, and because they know their body can’t do it, so they don’t do yoga.
I’m HERE to tell you that
YOU DON'T NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE TO DO YOGA!
Take it from the Inflexible me! I wish someone had told me this when I first started.
I came in with a mindset of wanting to be flexible, and I ended up being miserable. This is the honest truth - you are either born flexible or not. I'm not saying that you should not try and test your limits, who knows right? But if you are struggling in yoga, or have not yet started yoga and you want to start - START BY CHANGING YOUR MINDSET!
I don’t want you to miss out on a good thing based on a LIE. I want you to do yoga because other than pilates, it is one of the safest exercise to do, ONLY IF you have the patience to learn to do it properly, and move according to how your body feels.
I Practise Yoga because I want to be able to move joyfully past the age of 80. This is my new Truth; my new purpose.
So be a YES to being MESSY and NOT looking like everyone else. Learn to accept and love your body as it is today.
Just go for a class (DO MINE!) - and come from a place of.........
I’m here for me, and no one else. I am here to get stronger and will explore every single pose with an open heart. I will have no expectations of what will happen, nor worry about the other people around me. I love my imperfectly perfect me! I am here for me. There will be doubts. There will be insecurities.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois says “Practice and all is coming”
This doesn't only refer to the physical practice but also to the your state of mind.
P.S. Why do you do yoga? Write in the comments below. Would love to hear about it!