Yoga means so many different things and with all the different names in various languages, teachers, studios, traditions, locations and books and magazines that take yoga to be their topic that it’s easy to get turned off by the complexity. It makes yoga exotic, other and certainly not for someone as “regular” as you! Not to mention the fact that, if all the glossy pictures of young folks who can hold themselves up on their pinky finger while chanting the entire Patanjali Sutra and the cute, size 0 woman on the cover of a fitness magazine doing a “perfect” downdog make it seem as though yoga is only for the most flexible, the young—–the fabulous and beautiful.
The first truth is that yoga is for anyone who is brave enough to show up. The second truth is that yoga means something different to everyone who practices it. You can go to many websites and magazines and they will give you a list of the benefits of yoga: weight management, lower blood pressure, less stress, helps with back pain, builds strong bones, etc. Yes, these are the benefits of yoga and there are many more. BUT, I can guarantee that these aren’t the reasons you will keep coming back to class. I guarantee that you will find some personal motivation based on what yoga means to you that is entirely unique to YOU. This unique motivation will extend itself into your practice—–the way you move, the things that you think, the way that you breathe and the way you decide to make yoga a part of your life will all be unique to you.
You should do yoga because you should learn these things about yourself! Learn how your mind works—-what do you do when you are faced with a challenge? What happens to your breathing when you lift your arms over your head? Can you lie still for 5-minutes? Is your left ankle stronger than your right? Are you steady when you try to balance on one foot? And why should you learn these things about yourself? This is youth. This is the work of the young and you will carry this awareness and flexibility into every aspect of your life. Watch a baby. They delight in their own toes with their gaze and take great amusement in putting their feet in their mouth. Babies roll and giggle and breathe fast and slow and balance and fall and get up and crawl. When you try new things with your body and mind you capture this sense of self-adventure.
No one can give you the courage you need to try yoga. But I challenge you to look at yourself in the mirror tonight as you brush your teeth and stick out your tongue, make a face, wiggle your nostrils and make a silly face—–go ahead. You’ll probably laugh and feel silly. Nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, it will probably feel good to stop being so very serious for even just a few moments. Multiply that let go and feel good feeling by 500 and that’s what you feel like after a yoga class—–like the weight of years of serious dropped off your body and you feel taller and lighter and graceful and relaxed. You will wonder why you waited so long. You will be back.
I can’t wait to meet you!