Saying you can't do yoga because you're not flexible is like saying you can't take a bath because you're dirty. If you are not flexible...then that's a VERY GOOD reason to do yoga.
Start Where You Are
I know it's tough in a yoga class where everyone is touching their toes and you can barely touch your knees. But here's the thing you might forget: all those people touching their toes were at one point just like you.
My hamstrings (muscles in the back of my thighs) were so tight when I first started yoga 20 years ago, I thought they were going to snap whenever I tried to touch my toes.
For some reason, we look at all those bendy yogis and think we should be just like them on our first few attempts at a yoga practice. The key word there is practice. What you don't know is they probably do it every day for an hour, which is why they're good at it. Why do we all think we should be that good on our third try? I don't know.
Remember to tell yourself: I am starting right where I am on this day.
That may mean that you can't touch your toes. Oh well. But you're doing it and that's better than most people who don't even try, or worse they try and give up.
Discovery on the Path to Flexibility
As you work your way down to your toes (or into whatever position you're working on), you make many discoveries. You learn that if you breath deep enough, you can stay in an uncomfortable position for longer than you thought. After a while, you see that on some days you CAN touch your toes with no strain.
You might find that you started your yoga practice with a bad attitude or you were super stressed but after about 30 minutes, your mood and attitude have completely changed. Maybe, you even look forward to the time you spend on your mat because it's the only time in your day where you can just be you.
Flexible in More Ways Than One
The funny is if you keep it up, you'll start to notice that you become more flexible both on and off your yoga mat.
When things don't go the way you planned (and that never happens, right?), you don't get as flustered. If someone disagrees with you on an important topic, you let it go and choose not to engage. Should disaster strike, you take in the situation and just deal with it without freaking out.
With yoga, there's way more to flexibility than you might think and because we're all flawed humans it's a practice that never ends. My question to you is not do you want to do yoga, it's do you want to be more flexible to deal with life better?
Peace, love & yoga!
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