First-time yogis often imagine a yoga class of people gracefully contorting themselves into unattainable, pretzel-like positions. This misconception frequently stops a participant from joining an in-studio yoga class. Those that do darken the doors, then have a hard time immersing themselves in the practice as they are waiting for those around them to start bending their bodies like a contortionist. This concept of yoga, is simply not true. To say that you must be flexible to do yoga, is like saying you must be in shape to go to the gym.
The Vinyasa Yoga practiced by innovative studios, like Yoga Body Shop, is more focused on a system of breathing that encourages adaptation and modification to accommodate each yogi as they are. Flexibility is not a goal, nor a qualification, of a successful yoga journey. It, however, can be a biproduct. In fact, regular yoga practice can help with conditions that impact range of motion over time. The irony is that when you accept yourself just as you are, then change is possible. Your limitations are no longer a roadblock, but an opportunity.
What do you have to keep in mind when embarking on your new yoga journey so that you see the opportunity, and not the roadblock?
- It’s Called A “Practice” for a Reason.
People assume that all yogis are flexible because they see the result of years of practice when they watch the teacher moving easily through the class. They don’t see the struggle and journey those yogis have had since they first stepped on the yoga mat. Practice and patience are key to increased strength, balance and flexibility.
- Listen to Your Body.
When watching others execute a particular pose, it is natural to think “I want to do that”. While pushing yourself towards the execution of that pose is a great goal, it is important to listen to what your body is telling you. Respecting your current limitations is not a sign of weakness, but an opportunity for growth. Pushing to your personal edge can create a breakthrough performance, as you are not judging yourself creating artificial limitations. Pushing too far can result in injury. When your instructor says, “listen to your body”. Embrace the reminder and act accordingly.
- More than Touching Toes.
Stop focusing on the social media images of poses that require insane flexibility. Yoga, when engaged correctly, will allow you to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you are doing. You will find you are not overly reactive or overwhelmed by the movement next to you, but aware of the space you are personally moving through.
Yoga Body Shop offers a wide variety of classes each week for the beginner. Check out our class schedule, review information for new students, or take advantage of our $39 Introductory 2-Week Special to begin your yoga journey at yogabodyshop.com. Yoga Body Shop is a passionate community of yogis ready to guide you towards living a more balance, healthier and happier life!