Check Your Expectations at the Door
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
“Saying you’re not flexible enough for YOGA is like saying you’re too dirty to take a BATH.”
So, you say you're not flexible? I hear that a lot. I’ve found it to be the most common reason why people are hesitant to try yoga. When I attended my first yoga class I could not touch my knees with my hands. I WAS NOT FLEXIBLE. There’s a saying in yoga that you are considered a beginner for the first 10 years of your practice. And what a blissful experience it was and continues to be.
Many factors can contribute to a less-than-bendy body, from genetics to the weather outside. Age and gender also play a role, as men and older people tend to be less flexible than the young and females. But that doesn't mean you should rule out yoga. Yoga will help you feel calmer, sleep better, and yes, get more flexible.
There may be some poses you can do ‘perfectly’ right off the bat. And then there are poses that may take months, years or decades until you can do them ‘perfectly.’
Yoga isn’t about performing that ‘textbook perfect’ pose. Every single person has their completely unique challenges and they are on their own journey. Yoga is more about this process of unwinding and participating in your journey.
Yoga is also not just about flexibility. It’s about flexibility, strength and balance and creating a calm, cool collective expression while practicing.
In yoga, we talk about practicing santosha, which is the idea of letting go of expectations and preconceived ideas about how things should be. A yoga class can be intimidating for a first timer, but this idea that we need to be able to wrap our bodies up like pretzels on the first go is setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, see if you can cultivate a sense of passive acceptance to what is happening in each moment. Don't worry about what happens in the middle of class or the end of class or even next week's class. Stay present and fully aware in each moment and you will reap the benefits tenfold.
But one thing is for sure, if you keep avoiding yoga because you’re not flexible enough… then when will you be flexible enough to do it?
Live, love, laugh,