As an Osteopath and a Yoga Teacher I truly believe that Yoga is a practice that everyone can benefit from. I have been teaching yoga locally for 16 years and I have heard and during that time have heard many reasons why some people may be reluctant to try Yoga.
Here are the top three reasons that people give for not coming to a class:
- “I am not flexible enough” or “I can’t touch my toes”
Being flexible is not a pre-requisite for practising yoga, it is one of the many physical benefits of a regular practise. Yoga naturally attracts people who are genetically flexible (dancers, gymnasts etc) and these are the people used to advertise Yoga commercially and on social media, which is a shame as it can discourage people from wanting to try a class. It is important to remember that most people will never achieve that extreme range of movement. However, Yoga can be adapted to suit your individual flexibility and finding a teacher who can understand and tailor your practice to your individual anatomy is key. Understanding that the Yoga you see on Instagram is not the essence of a traditional Yoga practice. Yoga is much more than a physical stretching programme… it’s true benefits come from the effects on the cardiovascular system, on stress management and the mental health benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Yoga is a process for you as a whole person, not just your muscles.
- “I am worried about aggravating pain or an injury”
As with all activities involving movement there is always a risk of injury and this is as true for Yoga as much as it is for going to the gym or running. When you start any new activity it is important to work with someone who can understand your medical history and adapt the class where appropriate. This is especially important if you have a previous or reoccurring injury that you are worried about. Yoga is a great tool for preventing and recovering from injuries, but EVERY BODY is different, and a one size fits all approach is not ideal for people with a more complex medical history.
- “It’s not hard enough”
Yoga can be gentle and restorative but can also be physically demanding and make you sweat. In a class you may lay still and meditate in a pose for a long time, or you may flow in a sequence of moving postures. Some styles of Yoga involve lots of strength and some require mental concentration. Yoga is a varied practice with many different styles and in addition every teacher will also have a different approach. It’s worth spending the time talking to the teacher and making sure that your intention for practice suits their teaching style.
My Yoga classes take place at the beautiful Place Eight Wellness in Swanbourne where I also run a busy Osteopathic practice. You can book a FREE trial Yoga class from Jan-March with the voucher on this page. Classes take place on Mondays and Wednesdays and have a maximum of 10 people. For more information visit my website www.anosteopathy.com and for booking to bookwhen.com/aimeenewton