Yoga poses for non-flexible people – by Red Pearl Yoga
As Yoga Teachers, we so often hear “I can’t do Yoga; I’m not flexible”. Here we tell you why that excuse doesn’t have any weight.
#1 Yoga Excuse: “But I can’t do Yoga; I’m not flexible!”
Why this statement doesn’t make sense.
Would you say “Well, I can’t got to the Gym because I’m not fit.” ? NO. You wouldn’t. Same thing. See?
When most of us think of Yoga or see an image that we recognize as someone in a Yoga posture, we tend to think of the super stretchy, pretzel shapes. The lithe streamlined body that can flip from one pose another with ease and strength..sort of like a Transformer Toy. But quieter. Right?
Well just for a second, think of that level of ability as akin to the runway model, or the olympic athlete, or the Cirque de Soleil artist, Prima Ballerina…you get the picture. That is not the majority of people who practice Yoga. OR play sports. Or Dance, or can wear couture clothing with a certain je ne c’est quoi. You can be inspired by them, but you don’t have to be them.
What IS true is that you CAN do Yoga, because Yoga meets you exactly where you are. Any pressure to be more or different is not coming from outside, but from you–from inside. Any good teacher will honor you as an individual -with all your challenges and bad habits, and strengths- and encourage you to explore your practice to unfold on your own terms.
Yoga has been around a long time. The origins of Yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic circles.
Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. Yoga had it first “boom” in the Western Hemisphere in the 1970’s/80’s as a form of physical exercise.Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core. Which brings us to the other top excuse for not doing yoga:
“I can’t do Yoga because I can’t sit still.”
Type A’s, we got you! Yes, Yoga can be slow and meditative, AND it can also be fast and furious. And that could even be two people in the same class having a different experience.
You’ll be so busy breathing and moving with awareness, that you won’t have time to think about much else. It lets your mind get off the hamster wheel, so that it can get back on later with some new mojo. You’ll find yourself sleeping better, thinking better, and feeling better.
So if you protest that you cannot sit still, and that is why you can’t do yoga, or you tried it once and you couldn’t keep up, then we invite you to come back. We have a class just for you.
A Teeny Tiny Bit of Yoga’s History in the West
Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid-19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy. The first Hindu teacher to actively spread teach and demonstrate aspects of yoga to a western audience, Swami Vivekananda, toured Europe and the United States in the 1890s. And, documented in one of our favorite Yoga history books -The Great Oom by Robert Love- there were other Yoga luminaries such as the sage and sometimes scandalous Pierre Bernard, who brought Yoga to the consciousness of the public, albeit a very secular one. The Jazz Age saw Pierre Bernard and his Yoga tribe welcomed at the marbled doorsteps of New York’s most elite artistic population and it’s wealthiest residents(think Vanderbilt, Goodrich, Stokowski ) and the stories…oh, the stories. Do give it a read!
But we digress.
What we want to say, is “come as you are”. Trust us– no one is looking because they are all mostly having the same thoughts about themselves that you are looking at them. This is where you make friends with your humanity, your community and yourself. And get fit inside and out. This is YOUR time to nourish your body and mind in all kinds of ways. You will be amazed at where this journey can take you.