Did I hear you say ‘I’m not good at yoga!’?
When people talk about yoga, there often is an immediate stereotypical image which springs to mind. Lithe, uber flexible human bodies, contorting into positions which look pretzel-like and certainly not for the average human body!
And because of this perception, the most common things I hear from new students are, ‘I’m not good at yoga’ or ‘I’m not flexible, so I’m rubbish at yoga’.
Not so. One tiny part of ‘yoga’ is the positions (or asanas), which we use to carefully strengthen the body. You cannot be ‘good’ at yoga – or ‘bad’ either! It’s not a competition with anyone other than yourself, and those who go to classes to be measured against others are definitely not practicing yoga, rather, extreme sports!
As I travel down my own personal yoga path I realise yoga is very much a personal, private individual practice. It doesn’t have to be about anything else other than being in the present moment and listening to what’s happening in this instance of time. That’s the place we are truly alive after all. And when listening hard, beyond all the usual chatter, often we find many gifts.
My belief is this – if you have a ritual you perform regularly, whether gardening, baking, sewing, playing an instrument or whatever, you in a sense are already practicing yoga. Yoga is a holistic practice – for the health and union of the mind, body and the spirit. Having a healthy mind, body and spirit makes life a lot less challenging and a lot more beautiful. Colours are brighter, feelings are felt more intensely and compassion and empathy flow more easily.
So open your heart and don’t be afraid to see what’s inside. Take the time to be silent and just be. If you enjoy this place, maybe you can begin to find out a little more about the traditionally considered practice of yoga – no pretzels required. There’s no need to ever feel you are not good at yoga! All you need to do is simply enjoy…