A common misconception for people fearing their first yoga class is, ‘what if I’m not flexible enough?!’ This is a strong reason why it’s a good idea to give it a go, you can go a long way with it. Yoga is however, also much more than just stretching and strengthening the body.
When I started on my yoga and Pilates journey 4 years ago, when I tried to bend over to touch my toes, I could barely even get past my knees! Many years of running, kickboxing, weight training, netball, hockey and other such activities had left my flexibility in a stiff state. 4 years on and well, you’re reading this from my website so you can see how bendy I’ve now become! Not only bendy but the strongest it’s ever been.
Yoga and Pilates are intelligent and scientific approaches to making the most of the body, stretching the antagonist muscles while you work deeper to strengthen it’s agonist; always utilising the fact that our muscles work in pairs. If you take a look at either of these activities and the mechanics they use, it can unveil to you just how beneficial they are for the whole body, mind and spirit; what you can get out of life as the potentially sweet package it is.
The key to not feeling like an idiot in a yoga class when you’re new is to
1) find a good teacher who breaks down each posture to enable even the stiffest of bodies to make the most of where they’re at and
2) leave any judgement of how you or anyone else (able or unable) is doing outside of the class, or even better yet, stick any judgement in a box for a while and see how great you are without it
Long and short, YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE – if you’re less bendy right now, it just means it’s easier for you to find the place which will help you to focus without yet having to tie yourself up in crazy knots to find the same lesson! 😉