'Get the pose into the body, not the body into the pose'
I am always trying to address the many concerns that people have when I talk about taking up yoga.
Mostly, they are the same and exactly where I was before I took the first step. Let me suggest a few and see if they resonate,
I’m not flexible enough
It’s not for me
I can’t touch my toes
It’s a bit ‘woo woo’ and chanting isn’t it?
I wouldn’t have time
Why would I?
The list does go on and quite understandably these are enough to act as significant barriers to entry for some people.
I am encouraged however that more people lately are getting involved. Yoga is on the increase, we, the yoga industry, are finally improving the social media content to be more inclusive and diverse and, thanks to Yoga Alliance Professionals and some of the other organisations, better training for teachers. The Health Service is encouraging people to self-medicate for some common conditions, I have been privileged to teach yoga to students that have simply turned their lives around through their own home practice.
These students came to yoga as a last resort, the painkillers were helping but they didn’t see this as sustainable for the body, they went through the physio regime, as best they could… but they were still concerned that their lives were not great due to constraints in their bodies and they wanted to do something about it.
Now we find that each one of them wishes they had considered yoga years ago but were put off, (see above).
I say in my yoga classes that the most challenging part of yoga is rolling out the mat and committing your mind and body to start a practice. The asanas (postures) and movements are relatively easy, with a good teacher and working with the unique body we have, we will reap the full benefits that yoga provides, right from day one.
It isn’t about achieving the extreme yoga postures we see in pictures on Facebook or in the magazines, what makes these postures the right representation of yoga? Also, the individuals achieving the postures are biomechanically and anatomically different to you and me.
The key is to get pose into the body and not the body into the pose, if this is our intention we will be able to really engage our mind and breath into the practice - essentially what differentiates yoga from other forms of sport or exercise and what makes it so rewarding.
So please don’t be put off if are considering yoga but still unsure, perhaps talk to a yogi or teacher about their own experience and allow them to clarify and inform. After all..
“Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try”
Look forward to seeing you on the mat.