Yoga Myth #1: “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga.”
You may have heard this when you tell people you do yoga. You may have thought it yourself before taking that big brave first step into a yoga studio. Pictures of uber-bendy yoga people on the Internet may have contributed to this belief. But I’m here to tell you that this statement is a myth.
In my early 20s I carried about 40 extra pounds and felt really uncomfortable with my body. When I finally worked up the courage to join a gym and showed up to work out, I saw something shocking. Wanna know what I saw? There were SLENDER PEOPLE WORKING OUT! I can laugh now at how surprising this was. But at the time I had a core belief that some people were just naturally thin and didn’t have to do anything to be that way, and then there was me. It had never occurred to me that fit people actually worked to get that way.
The same is true with yoga. Yes there are some people whose bodies are naturally flexible. (I’m not one of them.) But, more likely, the flexible people next to you on their mats have worked consistently to get that way.
When I started teacher training with Spotted Dog this year I did not have a regular yoga practice going into it. (If you’re going to do teacher training, it works best to have a regular practice, fyi.) Like I already said, I’m not naturally flexible. And I was the oldest student in the class. But I was determined to try to do what was asked of us. In one of our first practices we were asked to come into Wheel. I tried. I really did. But I felt a strange pulling on one side of my back that I knew wasn’t good. So I did Bridge instead, and felt discouraged and defeated. This happened again and again (teacher says Wheel, everybody else does Wheel, I do Bridge) until the time when I tried and my back was fine with Wheel. I’ve rarely been so happy! And now Wheel is a regular part of my practice.
For me, sometimes it’s my ego that’s not flexible enough for me to do yoga. But if I come to my mat and trust that yoga works and repeat this again and again, I will get more flexible and you will too.
See you on the mat,