In this past week we’ve seen a lot of new starters in the studio. They come in through the door a little excited, a little nervous. But for all the rush of brave new faces storming the studio, I know there are hundreds more curious beings out there who have yet to make the leap.
“I would look out of place in a yoga class.”
“These people are going to make me bend in directions my body can’t go.”
“I need to lose some weight before coming to class.”
“All those wholesome, tree-hugging vegans will make me feel guilty for loving my chili cheeseburger, red wine and a good Friday night out.”
In short, all these doubtful voices are echoing the same sentiment: “Yoga is just not ‘me’.”
Through these next few paragraphs, I hope to show you that yoga is actually closer to you than you think.
First of all, yoga changes your relationship to food. Rather than thinking, “This [insert latest fad lifestyle diet] worked for my best friend, I’ll do it,” you recognize what your own body needs. You take notice – without any guilt, judgment or self-derision – of what you’re consuming, and how you feel after you’ve consumed it. It becomes a simple decision of eating what’s right for you.
When you’re in the gym busting out rep after rep of curls, you’ve got your favourite pumping tunes blasting on the earphones, your jaw set and eyes fixed into the middle distance, imagining the glorious results of all your hard work – glistening pecs, rock-hard abs, in short, that ideal body to die for. Yoga is not about those gravity-defying, Instagram-friendly arm balances. We’re here on the mat, moment to moment, practicing – not perfecting. You never have to be, or aspire to be, other than exactly as you are, right now.
Finally, if you’re worried that some frothy yogi is going to try convert you to an ascetic life of meditating behind waterfalls, wrapped in sheepskin and om-ming your life away, rest assured that no one understands and respects personal choice more than a person who practices yoga. A huge part of the practice is honouring your truth, living your own unique experience.
Every person that comes to yoga starts off with the same question – is this really right for me? I make no promises that it is or that it will work miracles for you. But I assure you that when you come to the mat, with no fancy equipment, no dietary restrictions, no rigid dogma or expectation – all you’ll find is you, and how you might become the best version of you possible.
What self-limiting thoughts are stopping you from yoga? Leave a comment and let us know!
Photo credit: YogaExpress