“I have to be flexible”
This is probably the most common excuse that I hear from people, and it honestly is a pile of rubbish. Most yoga teachers will tell you that flexibility is overrated, and actually if you are overly flexible this can cause injury in various poses. What yoga will help with is mobility, a combination of increasing strength and softness so that you can move freely in your body however you want. Also, you will never be judged, no one will really notice how flexible or inflexible you are. Your instructor’s priority will be bringing body awareness, so they don’t mind if you can rest your nose on your thighs or simply sit up, there’s just checking that you’re listening to your body and not overstraining. One thing that I can guarantee is that if you stick with a regular yoga practise you will notice results in feeling comfortable in your body fairly quickly.
“It’s too serious”
When I was first asked if I wanted to try a yoga class with a friend, I’ll admit that I was fairly hesitant as I believed it would be a completely silent and very serious situation and that just wasn’t my cup of tea. However, what I discovered was completely different, a yoga class is a very respectful environment and can therefor feel quite quiet, as the instructor wants people to feel safe. However, yogi’s are also some of the funniest people you will ever meet. Some of my best classes have involved us all rolling on the floor laughing during flows that “went wrong”.
“But what if I fall over?”
Get back up? I mean, if you practise twice a week chances are at some point or another you will fall. Obviously if for medical reasons falling is an issue the instructor will always make sure you are in a safe situation and can’t fall. But asides from that just embrace it. As adults we are fairly terrified of failing, yoga teaches us that failing is neither good nor bad, in fact you’re never really failing its all just part of life’s rich tapestry. What I can promise is that no one will laugh at you if you do, in fact half the time they don’t notice. Your instructor will have fallen hundreds of times themselves to them its just part of yoga, they’ll check your okay and carry on. And after that first fall, you’ll feel a whole lot lighter as the fear of failing is lifted from your shoulders.
“It’s too expensive”
Starting yoga can be as expensive or cheap as you like. There are a huge range of classes, and their costs hugely vary. Some will be a little more money, and that is okay, “teachers gotta eat”. Whilst there are also plenty of classes that do “pay what you can” schemes or are around the £5 mark. Local community classes whether online or in person are usually hugely affordable, incredibly inclusive and the instructors are very knowledgeable. Equally if paying for classes is not in your budget that is okay, there are plenty of YouTube classes. A fellow yoga instructor started her yoga journey through avidly practising “Yoga with Adrienne” You can also look out for free pop-up yoga classes in your area or online. A lot of yoga instructors are big believers in giving back and encouraging accessibility for yoga so they can often run one off free session and that can be a chance for you to join in. Equally our app, Yes To Being Fit is very affordable and has a huge range of classes that are suitable for everyone. With your first month free, its even better value for money.
“I’m not fit enough”
The amazingly cool thing about yoga is that there are loads of different styles and varieties and so there is genuinely a style for all. In my experience of teaching people are always far more capable than they believe and so if you are keen to practise yoga, we would recommend that you find a class suitable for you and near you and then just go along, you really might surprise yourself. Some yoga styles, you have hatha, Ashtanga, vinyasa, hot yoga, chair yoga, yin yoga, yoga nidra and restorative yoga. I can guarantee that there will always be a yoga style for you. But also, just to emphasise you do not have to have any level of fitness at all to start yoga.
“Yoga is not a workout”
Oh boy, your in for a shock. Most yoga classes specifically teach a small element of yoga which is the ‘asanas’ or postures. Many of these were originally designed to strengthen the body so that a yogi could sit comfortably in meditation for hours. Therefor a large part of these asanas looks at strength as well as suppleness. In my experience yoga introduces you to parts of your body that you may neglect in an average workout. Some of the poses especially when being held for longer counts require strength from your toes to wrists to glutes, truly looking at the whole body for strength. Even many of the “stretches” actually require strength at the same time. Thus, making it a complete “workout” experience.