If you want to find a yoga skeptic, keep reading, you’re listening to her. You know that person who tried it once, isn’t already perfect at it so gives up. Yep, that was me. The one who rolled her eyes when the teacher starts sharing her inner hippie. Also me. You know that person who can concentrate on the mat for about as long as Dorey. Still me. The one who expects to be immediately bendy. Yours truly.
I tried different forms of yoga because clearly it was the type of yoga, and not me. In fact I did a lot of trying and not a lot of persevering. And I had no reason to persevere, what was the point when I couldn’t feel the benefit? I could share my story about practising mindfulness and meditation and I would be telling you the exact same story.
So what’s the point? I’m also now totally reformed. I’m that person who is preaching because she’s the converted. So consider yourself warned. Tune out now if you don’t want to hear me wax lyrical about yoga. If you keep reading I promise to try and keep it down to earth (or at least I will try harder than I did with yoga in the first place) by talking to you about this the way I wish someone had talked to me about it, by unlocking some of the excuses.
Excuse: I don’t have time
Shut up. Yes you do. You have time and you know it. Time is just a concept and you get to choose what you do with it. This is true even with those pesky time thiefs that we call ‘kids’.
Excuse: I’m no good at it
No s**t Sherlock. Did you get in a car and miraculously start to be able to drive it without some practise? I don’t think so.
Excuse: The yoga teacher sounds like a tree hugging flower child
Yes they say some odd things. It can be hard to concentrate when they say stuff like ‘melt your heart’ and ‘float your arms upwards’. It sounds pretentious, I get it. But it’s just a metaphor and the moment you quit your judging and actually try to replicate the very thing they are trying to tell you then you suddenly get much better at it. Next time you are told to ‘snuggle your shoulders underneath your heart space’ just bloody do it. And head over heart, heart over hips (aka sit up straight naughty child) is worth the effort.
Excuse: The yoga teacher is annoyingly slim and bendy
That may be true. Get over it. They are the master, you should expect them to be good at yoga or how could they be the teacher in the first place? Would you tolerate your children being taught by someone who wasn’t good at their job? Actually, don’t answer that!
Excuse: My mind keeps wandering
Great, no worries, let it go. It doesn’t matter. I did a yoga session called ‘I am creative’ the other day and I had so many ideas on the mat. You could argue I wasn’t very present in that session as I contemplated these ideas. But the theme matched my mind chatter – so maybe I was present after all. Whichever way, there’s no such thing as the yoga police. Nobody knows, or cares for that matter.
Excuse: I don’t like the idea of doing a class
Fine, don’t do it. I use Yoga with Adrienne through youtube. All free source. There’s no benchmark, no standard, just me, the mat and an iPad.
Excuse: I need to buy a mat
Wrong. No you don’t. Use a towel. When it comes to props like blocks then just use a cushion. Your tools are only limited by your imagaination.
Excuse: I need yoga clothes
Nope. Put on leggings, joggers, baggy trousers, anything soft and giving. Grab an old t-shirt. Be a rebel and make sure they clash. I did yoga the other morning in my pjs. My only recommendation is to layer as some sessions get you warmer than others. I’m not going to be a hypocrite on this point. I’ll admit I’m a massive fan of Sweaty Betty yoga pants (this is not an ad). But the absence of an overpriced, highly patterned yoga pant doesn’t stop you getting your yoga on!
Excuse: I can’t get my breathing right
This one is infuriating, I will give you that. Just when I think I’ve got it, I’m taking a nice deep breath in when I hear “release the breath down to forward fold”. I have replaced my grimace with an ironic smile. I now just take in that nice lung full of air, and make my way to the position a touch later than the teacher. Basically I move when I’m damned well ready and not a moment before. You don’t have to be perfectly in sync with the teacher. In fact it’s better if you are having your own experience.
Excuse: I don’t know the shapes
This one simply gets better with time. I’ve made a habit of actively trying not to remember the shape of each positon. I’m playing Sods Law at its own game and funnily enough when I stop giving a damn I start to know my dogs from my pigeons by default. And you know what. Quite frankly, I refuse to know the name of a shape I just can’t get into yet. Life’s too short.
Ok there you have it. I would love to hear from you on this topic. Are you a yoga yay or neigh? Whichever way, Namaste!