Come try a class and experience for yourself the benefits of yoga! Here are some of the reasons that people may be hesitant to try yoga.
“I’m not flexible enough.” If you lack flexibility then yoga is a great thing for you to do! As in any new undertaking, practice is needed to make progress. Yoga poses are not one-size-fits-all. Each pose looks different on each body. Different bodies allow for different expressions of a pose. Mindful instruction and use of props allow each person to experience and feel the pose. With continued practice, you are likely to find you have gained flexibility!
“I heard you can get hurt doing yoga.” You could get hurt getting out of bed every morning. You can get hurt doing pretty much anything if you do not pay attention to what you are doing. When it comes to yoga, the same rules apply. Choose a class where you trust the teacher and know their credentials. But it doesn’t stop there. You need to recognize your inner teacher as the best and most important teacher you have. Yoga will help you to practice mindfulness. The key to staying injury-free is to listen to your body. Ease out of poses if it feels uncomfortable or hurts. Do not force your body into poses. Look at every feeling in your body as an important message not to be ignored.
“Yoga is a religion.” Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not a religion. It doesn’t require you to worship any dieties or partake in any kind of religious ceremonies. While yoga is more than a physical practice, the spiritual side is about uniting your mind, your body and your breath. It is about recognizing how your thoughts, words and actions affect everything that happens around you. It is about seeing your connection to every other living being on the planet. Having any one particular religion, or no religion at all for that matter, does not exclude you from practicing yoga. Please reference the following two recent publications about this concern:
Exercise or Religion: Yoga is for Everyone, USA Today, May 20, 2013
Judge rejects claim that yoga in schools is religious instruction, LA Times, July 1, 2013