by Allison Dearling, Live and Breathe Yoga
It’s really hard to commit ourselves to a yoga practice. Let’s face it – it’s really hard to commit ourselves to anything that will be good for us. Anything worthwhile takes grit, determination and a whole lot of discipline. Saving money, eating well, studying, exercising – all really hard work. But always worth it. We never regret a yoga practice either. The hardest part is the thinking about it beforehand.
So I thought I’d share some of the most common excuses I hear (and come up with myself) and my response to those excuses in the hope to help you get on your mat and feeling good.
I’m too busy – We all are. I would say 99% of the time when I ask anyone who comes to the studio how they are, they reply “Busy”. If you truly want to show yourself that you are important, then prioritise your health and wellbeing. No one else will. I know it’s hard to get a baby sitter and get out of the house sometimes but you can practise some simple postures, meditation techniques and breathing exercises at home for less than 15 minutes a day.
I’ve got a lot of sh!t going on in my life right now – We all do. Lots of it. But we need to take responsibility for that and take action to sort it out. I sort so much stuff out in my head during practice; I wish I could record my thoughts sometimes. I have the difficult conversations, I problem solve, I figure things out. Mainly, I realise that a lot of what’s in my head is simply not true. Of course you need time to grieve and go super easy on yourself in extremely difficult times but you don’t want that grief/worry/stress/anxiety to get stuck in your body either.
I don’t have the right gear – You don’t need shoes. Most studios have mats to hire. Wear a pair of shorts and a singlet. Do it at home in your PJs. You’ve got the right gear.
I need to lose weight first – If you don’t feel comfortable to go out to a yoga studio just yet, then there are plenty of classes online to try. Or find a teacher you trust and have a connection with, and have some private classes first to build your confidence. A good teacher should hold the space so well that there is no room for any ego or competition and everyone should feel welcome and comfortable.
I won’t know what to do – You take guitar lessons because you don’t know how to play the guitar. You go to French class because you don’t know how to speak French. You go to yoga class so you can learn how to practise yoga. It’s called yoga practice not a yoga perfect. Stop trying to be good at everything. There is no competition in yoga. It’s about feeling really really really good. And if the place you practise in cultivates a culture of ego and competition then find another place to practise.
I can’t afford it – I totally get that sometimes the class fees are expensive. Studios have to pay rent, electricity, the teacher and so on, so they need to charge accordingly. But there are teachers out there teaching in parks that have no overheads so should be a little less pricey. Also, there are classes in community and church halls that also shouldn’t have the overheads that a studio has. A lot of gyms now have yoga classes included in their membership. And there’s plenty of free online resources out there too.
I’m not flexible enough – Lamest excuse ever! That’s like saying I’m too hungry to eat!
I just don’t want to – OK this is totally valid. No worries. See you round like a rissole. But if one day you decide you’d like to again, then yoga will welcome you back with open arms.
Bottom line is....stop resisting. Stop the excuses. Start where you are. Find a class, get on your mat and go! Or if it’s been a while, go back!