Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Everyone tells you you should love yoga, but you just don't. Here are some of the reasons why and how you might get past them.
Most people don't like doing things that make them feel stupid. Who can blame them? No one wants to feel stupid and yoga can do that to a person.
There's complicated language with weird sounding words that are thousands of years old. There are ways to move your body that, straight up, just don't make any sense.
It's something you need to approach with a sense of adventure and for those people who hate adventure and the unknown it can be a leap.
So you try it, feel embarrassed, you avoid it. Declare it is not for you.
I'll tell you the biggest secret - no one is looking. Everyone else in the room is so stuck in their own heads they won't notice if you wobble trying to stand still or put the wrong leg forward and simply it just doesn't matter. Who cares?
I suggest try it, hate it, try again. Start with a beginner class and get used to some of the language. Don't like the teacher? Find another one.
Embrace the awkward
So how do you get past feeling like a bit of a drip. You're up everyone else is down. Mortifying. It's a life skill. If you can do this you can put your two cents in a meeting, speak up when someone is being put down, assert your rights when someone asks something of you you don't want to give.
That feeling of being awkward and embarrassed comes up all the time. Yoga is a safe space to practice it. Hell I've been practising almost 20 years and fall over trying to get into complicated poses almost every advanced class I take.
The mind is never quiet
Another reason yoga can be anxiety producing is trying to still the mind, you're stuck with your legs and arms in these weird shapes and since you can't concentrate on breathing, you're thinking about your foot then find your mind wandering to a conversation you had that day that didn't go as you intended.
That can drive people crazy, being forced to recognise who you are can be confronting. We're often so busy doing, being rushing we don't give a second thought to the internal conversation it's just always there. It's part of the process and with lots of practice you can switch-off and just be. Don't beat yourself up for not being calm enough. Sometimes that's too big an ask, trying going for a run instead.
So what next?
There are dozens of different styles then thousands of teachers teaching each of those styles. Somewhere in there is something for everyone and no you don't need to be flexible or own yoga tights. Plus at the end of class you get "Savasana" a chance to lie down so you know there will be one pose you'll always be great at. No other sports do that.