Is the number one reason why people don't do yoga.
And my reply "Maybe that's why you might want to give it a go.'
In Western cultures, yoga is often associated with images of bendy 20 year old gymnastic types. That's great but as a woman in my 40's I don't identify with those pretty instagram photos and it's also misleading because it's not really yoga.
Sure, I practice yoga for the physical benefits. I could hardly walk when I started yoga. It took three months of a daily practice to be able to kneel down. Over time yoga makes you more flexible. It also strengthens your muscles and has been linked to numerous other health improvements such as anxiety reduction, alleviating headaches, relieving insomnia and many other issues. However, I mostly practice because yoga helps me to stay sane in this crazy twenty-four hour global economy. With so many demands of our time, unlimited distractions and temptation around every corner, yoga gives me a direct connection to my inner self, it keeps me grounded and gives me a broader perspective.
Yoga is a 3000+ years old tradition developed to help human beings stay physically and mentally well. It's been passed down from generation to generation, honed and perfected and is a systematic and holistic approach for complete well-being.This is why I coming back to it day in day out.
Despite having practiced meditation for years, despite having being an 'expert in Psychology,' it has been the challenge of a life-time to quiet my overly active mind. However, the power of yoga movement has taught me how to detach from my thoughts and calm my hyper-active mind.
My brain is an amazing tool. It's helped me to experience so much in life. To learn, travel, create, teach and explore. But it's hard to switch off and yoga has helped more than anything. Yoga taught me to listen to my body. So simple to say but not easy to do. Nietzsche once wrote "There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy" and of course he's correct. The human brain is why we have been able to build the incredible environment we live in. But it's our bodily instincts that keep us alive. The power of our breath alone can help to centre our awareness when our poor brains get easily overwhelmed?
And so, next time your body is asking you to begin a yoga practice, and that little voice of self-doubt whispers in your head "you are not flexible." Notice it. Accept it. And then tell it to get the hell out of there because as the story goes ""Nothing changes if nothing changes, and if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got, and you'll keep feeling the way you've always felt."