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Do you need to be flexible to do yoga?

Sure, but only in your mind.

Those fancy 'poses' you see are called Asanas. I took a class with a delightful instructor who called them shapes.

To do yoga you need to drop the ego and accept where you're at. If you're pushing to create a 'pose' or driven by how you feel something should look you've got the wrong approach.

So anyway, back to the question. Asanas are just one of seven other parts of yoga. It just happens to be the most photogenic so it's more visible.

While it might look like you need to touch your toes in yoga...

The bigger challenge is being flexible in your mind to accept that it may never happen even with practice. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the practice and work towards it. Besides what does touching the toes actually mean? Just that, you can touch your toes. Nothing more significant. There are so many more benefits to yoga than just flexibility. There's strength, balance, mindfulness, and with regular practice you become more in tune with your body.

There are studies where people reported they made better food choices or drank less as a consequence of regular practice. Noticing that some foods can make the body feel sluggish or foggy. Others reporting participants had better nights sleep. Each is of course subjective but enough to raise medical curiosity to keep exploring and researching.

The question really is can you get over the ego?

The ego that is worried about being the only one in the room who can't touch their toes and looking silly, to give class a try and find out? (By the way, you won't be, unless you take a class with a room full of professional gymnasts).

Being flexible in your mind, open to new ideas and ways of doing things using tools and props to help. Sure you may not be able to reach your toes, or stand on one leg with your foot over your head but you can use a strap to help you until you can.

Final note - if by accident you find yourself in class with someone who makes you feel bad for where you're at, try somewhere else. Look for the instructors who teach shapes not poses.

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