Yoga has been touted as an exercise that almost anyone can do. But is yoga really for everyone? Do you really think that everyone who owns and wears a pair of yoga pants is a die hard practitioner? I wear yoga pants because they’re comfortable but I also wear them when I’m doing yoga. It took me quite some time to finally settle into a routine and I’m still looking for a mommy and me option so I can get Squeaker in on it too. I’ve also looked into yoga for special needs to see if it would help Sweet B.
So with mommy and me yoga, yoga for special needs, yoga for pregnancy, etc… is yoga really for everyone? Or is that just what they want you to think?
Or maybe you’re just convinced that you can’t do yoga… and believe me, I was one of those people. I’m not very coordinated (I have tripped over flat surfaces on several occasions) and I wasn’t always that flexible. So for me to start yoga? Pssh. I was such a skeptic! Here are several reasons why people think they can’t start yoga.
Not Flexible Enough
To be honest, most people aren’t flexible. Most people spend their lives sitting down. This shortens muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The result is that there’s no chance in heck that you’re going to be able to touch your toes. The good news is that with time and a bit of patience you can improve your flexibility and yoga can help.
In fact, you can go from someone who can’t touch their toes to the ability to bend yourself into a human pretzel with dedication to your yoga practice. It all begins with bolsters and a bit of assistance. So you can’t touch your toes; so what? Can you place two blocks on the ground and touch those? Can you touch your knees? Yoga is infinitely modifiable to anyone’s current flexibility level and it will help you improve your flexibility quite quickly.
As the population increases in size (we’re talking girth here, not number of people), more and more yoga studios are offering classes designed specifically for this population. You may have to modify the poses to suit your current fitness level and size but that’s just fine. Almost every new yoga student has to do some sort of modifications to the poses. Don’t let your weight hold you back. Yoga can help you lose weight, improve your endurance and strength, and make you more comfortable in your body.
Chronic conditions like chronic fatigue, arthritis, and even respiratory conditions prevent many people from trying yoga. This is unfortunate because yoga can actually improve your condition and reduce or even alleviate symptoms.
For example, arthritis is painful; however, regular movement often reduces the pain. Chronic fatigue can be debilitating, yet when you get the blood circulating through your muscles and tissues it can help balance your energy and release positive, healthy, hormones that make you feel better and have more vitality.
Even people undergoing chemotherapy can benefit from yoga. The key is to choose a yoga that fits your present health and fitness level. Start with a gentle beginner’s class; try Hatha for a basic approach that’s easy to learn. Find an instructor that is compassionate and begin enjoying the myriad benefits of yoga.
And the list could very well go on as far as reasons why people don’t try yoga. So is yoga really for everyone? I’d say yes, if they’d just give it a chance. You never know, it may just become your favorite exercise.
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I started doing yoga years ago following an injury, and it did wonders when nothing else helped. After a different injury later, I found a yoga pose to help with that as well, when nothing else helped. I am definitely not the most flexible or athletic person, though I’ve exercised regularly for years. The yoga also helped with my recurrent back and neck issues, to the point where I hardly ever need to see my chiropractor anymore.
Thanks much for sharing this. I’m a yoga teacher and often have to explain why yoga really is beneficial to everybody HOWEVER choosing the appropriate style of yoga is key to success.