Updated: Sep 20, 2020
What's that you say? Yoga 'ey?
So, the title of this article caught your eye! That's the first step. A gentle curiosity in Yoga, learning a little bit about what yoga may be able to do for you, and maybe even joining a yoga class. You may be brand new to even considering trying yoga, or maybe you've dabbled here and there in the past and feel like you may like to revive your practice, or maybe you practice YouTube yoga videos and wonder if there may be a next step. You're here.. read on 🙂
But I'm not flexible enough!
Yoga has many benefits for many people. You may have heard the saying:
If you can breathe, you can do yoga.
And yes, it's true. Yoga really is for all. So often I'll talk to somebody about yoga, and they'll say, "but I can't touch my toes," "I'm not flexible enough," or "I need to lose some weight first!" Yes, people believe these are barriers to yoga, but believe me, they are not! If you're ready, you're ready. Whatever shape, size, age, weight, ability, colour, gender, you name it... if you're ready, there are no barriers. But if you are still coming up with these excuses, then you may not be ready, and that's fine too. It isn't an overnight fix (like a lot of social media tries to bribe us with these days. "Follow my news feed on Instagram and I'll change your life!" we see so much of this, and do their perfect posts about their perfect meals, kids, walks in nature, and inspirational quotes really change your life? Nope. I'm afraid. But getting up, getting on the floor, checking into you, your breath, your body and mind. Well that's a whole other kettle of fish. It takes time, dedication, and more than five minutes a week!
Still reading? 5 reasons why.
So are you ready to dive deep? Here are five signs that perhaps it may be time to give a yoga class a shot:
1. You can't really stop 'thinking'
Have you ever heard somebody say, I'd like to try meditation but I just can't stop thinking. Or, I can't fall asleep at night because my mind is just so full. Well, a regular yoga practice may be just what the doctor ordered. Yoga means Union and can be interpreted to mean union of body and mind. The vehicle in any good yoga asana (or posture) practice is the breath. Every posture is performed with the breath, and by slowing down and working with the breath, we in turn slow down the body and ultimately the mind. Your thoughts will still be there, but you'll learn to detach a little from them, take a step back, and let them pass you by. Certainly not an overnight fix, but definitely a step in the right direction towards a quieter and more controllable mind.
2. You have aches and pains that just won't budge
Our day to day lives generally contribute to niggles and kinks that can cause all sorts of aches and pains. The way we sit (super-sexy-swivel desk chairs and comfy eat-you-up sofas are equally to blame!), the way we stand (all day at a certain kind of job or lugging babies or other heavy things around), and the way we work (especially if we're hunched over a computer and a desk), are all contributors to these aches and pains we feel in our backs, necks, shoulders, feet. You name it! A good yoga asana (posture) practice will help you to connect to your body. Firstly, to identify where the aches and pains are coming from, and then guide you through gentle postures to help iron out the kinks. Relieving compression in the spine, tightness in the hips, freeing up the shoulders, gently easing repetitive strain issues and generally making space in the body (and the mind - that's a freebie!).
3. Your every day bodily functions seem a little 'off' (e.g. digestion)
We live in a high stress world. Everything moves at a hundred miles an hour, and we are expected to be here, there and everywhere all at the same time. We may as well be running from the tiger trying to eat us. Constantly. You may have heard of 'fight and flight' and 'rest and digest.' These are two ways of describing the state of our nervous system (also known as parasympathetic and sympathetic). And quite simply, they exist to protect us from the tiger. If we are in danger, our body kicks into the 'fight and flight' response and puts on hold normal processes like digestion (needing a poo when trying to out run a sabre tooth isn't really going to help!). But unfortunately, our nervous system doesn't know there aren't many tigers about, but stress can have the same effect. And when we are in high levels of stress or anxiety (from work, family, relationships, anything!), the fight and flight response kicks in and our bodies stop working quite how we'd like them too. So, the idea here is that we want to encourage more 'rest and digest' in our day to day lives, and an hour of yoga here and there is a really great way to start. In any good asana class, you will be guided to relax into every posture (even the more challenging ones!). The goal of a pose is to find balance between building strength and comfort, and ultimately finding that sweet spot of ease, and a whole lot of rest and digest.
4. 'Me time' - what's that?!
You wear many hats. You're a parent, a friend, a colleague, an employee, a manager, a carer, a spouse. You have so many responsibilities, and you work hard, but do you ever take a moment for yourself? Put your mask on first! Yoga philosophy talks about how important it is to take care of yourself first. And when you do this, you are in a much better position to take care of others around you and perform all of your day to day responsibilities to the best of your abilities. So put on some comfy clothes, shut yourself away from the hustle and bustle of everyday goings on, and get down on the floor. A wonderful way to start factoring in a little 'you time.' Having a regular yoga practice to participate in gives you that structured, but guided, 'you time.' Nothing to do but breathe, be with your body and your mind, and stretch a little. Building strength, confidence, stillness and letting go all at the same time. Sounds dreamy right? It really is.
5. I'd love to join a yoga class, but how, when, where?
Well the beauty of the Internet and being so connected these days is that you can now access a real live yoga class without having to find your keys, factor in travel time, have someone watch the kids, walk the dog, or even leave the house or get dressed! Live Online Yoga offers full length classes, with friendly and qualified teachers and a real life class experience. You'll practice with other students just like you, from all around the country, and the World. Everybody with their own individual and unique experiences, coming together for an hour of connectiveness. At home. Together. Connect to You.
If one or more of these applies to you, then it's probably a sign that it might be time to give a class a go! And the best bit is, you really don't even need to leave the house. So, what are you waiting for. Give it a go. And if it really isn't for you, just switch your computer off and pretend it never happened!
Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.