Overcoming Obstacles to Yoga Practice
A new year is upon us along with our resolutions to follow our best intentions. Among those for most of us is a desire to feel well and maintain good health. We have all read the articles about the importance of exercise. There is an increasing body of knowledge showing that yoga practice is a wonderful way to reduce stress, build strength and endurance and feel great. So, then you ask yourself, why can't I make it to yoga class?
1. I don't have the time.
Actually all of us have the same amount of time at least day to day. Twenty four hours for each of seven days a week. It is how we choose to spend and organize that time that makes the difference. If I set my intention to do a certain thing, then everything else must find the space around it. Choosing to attend a yoga class may require giving up something else or maybe just being more efficient in some way. Years ago I realized I was saying no to some activity because "I had to do the laundry that night!" Yikes!
2. I am not flexible enough.
One of the reasons we do yoga is because we are not flexible enough. Anyone who has reached adulthood will never again be as flexible as they once were. By maintaining a regular yoga practice we can increase and maintain our flexibilty and our strength as we age.
3. I couldn't possibly do those poses I have seen on TV and in magazines.
Actually very few people can or choose to do those advanced poses. There are hundreds of yoga poses that are accessible and enjoyable without looking anything like a Cirque de Soleil performer.
4. I am worried that I won't be able to do the poses and everyone in the class will be looking at me and snickering.
Yoga is a non-contact, non-competitive activity. Everyone in a class works in their own space and focuses only on their own practice. Your fellow students will be too absorbed in their own practice to notice anyone else. There are no points or demerits based upon how well you do a pose and over time you come to realize that it is not about the pose itself. It is about learning to breath and use your breath to free restrictions in your body. Everyone comes to yoga with a different body and things they want to work on to feel better and move with greater ease. Everyone works at their own pace and builds their own practice over time. The most important thing to do is show up for class and the rest will happen over time.
5. How do I find a good yoga teacher.
You may have to do some searching to find a teacher that is a good fit for you. According to ancient wisdom when the student is ready, the teacher appears.