I’ve been hearing a lot from new students or people that want to get started with yoga, or simply just to give a try, that they aren’t flexible enough so they won’t be able to do it well.
This is a huge misconception of the entire concept of what yoga really is.
Flexibility is a side effect of a good physical yoga practice, not a requirement. Yoga has nothing to do with being flexible. If any part of your body needs to be flexible to do yoga, it’s your brain! We have to let go of these misconceptions in order to get to the heart of the practice. Yoga is much more mind work than body work. We simply use our body in order to go deeper into the mind.
And as far as doing it well, it’s impossible not to. You start reaping the benefits of yoga the moment you step on the mat for the very first time. By showing up you are already signalling the mind that you are in control now. This is in fact one of the main goals we wish to achieve in yoga, not being controlled by our thoughts. Finding peace of mind by actually escaping the mind itself. Yoga is a mental practice first and a physical practice second.
I’ve worked with all realms of stiff people from body builders to seniors. What they all had in common was the same thought, that they couldn’t do it because they weren’t flexible enough. However, they all became flexible much faster than they had ever imagined. In the process they too realized that that is not the goal. And funnily enough, when you reach the point of flexibility that you had thought was never possible, you then realize for yourself that something else has changed, your thoughts and ideas of what yoga is.
So, don’t let that be an excuse not to get started. Join us on the mat and become flexible in the process of quieting your mind and connecting with a deeper aspect of your true self.