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I can’t do yoga because …

I can’t do yoga because …

As a yoga teacher I hear this all the time, “I can’t do yoga because (insert reason here). It is usually words like I am not flexible, I am to fat or I don’t have any clothes from Lululemon. Of course there are many thousands of reasons both reasonable and ridiculous.

My intention in this post is to point out that almost anyone can do yoga. You don’t have to be thin or flexible or shop at Lululemon.

I’m not flexible
Yoga poses are a great way to increase flexibility. Your tissues can learn to be flexible. If you are not flexible it is a great way to become flexible.

I’m to fat
Being overweight does not mean you can’t move. Maybe the extra pounds will inhibit full range of motion at first but over time your body can change.

I don’t have the right brand of clothing
This is by far the most ridiculous reason I have heard. Most of the time it was said to me as a joke but some people were serious. I am not going to respond directly to this here.

The only real reason you can’t do yoga is because you don’t really want to. This is a fine, very legitimate, and honest excuse.

I have taken a yoga class from a teacher who is a quadriplegic so I don’t buy any physical limitation excuse unless you are recovering from an injury (always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program). I myself started practicing yoga while so crippled with pain I had to walk with a cane. After a few weeks of practicing I was able to walk with out the cane and pretty much pain free.

The other excuses for the most part are about ego. They really could just be, I don’t want to look awkward or foolish in front of the other people in the class. If the people in the class gave a damn about how flexible or how fat or how you are dressed than they are not really practicing yoga either.

Yoga is many things but it isn’t about being thin, well dressed or any other superficial thing. Flexibility comes with practice and you may be surprised to find that you are more flexible than you realized.

Being comfortable in a class is important and just like starting anything new there will be feelings of awkwardness but they will soon pass. Living here on Bowen Island people are lucky because we have a three yoga studios teaching different styles with different teachers. One of them will surely appeal to you.

Stop saying I can’t do yoga because … and go find a teacher, style and class you like or just admit you don’t really want to do it.

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