Let’s get one thing straight, Yoga is not a one-size fits all!
All kinds of people come to Yoga for all kinds of reasons and contrary to popular belief you don’t have to be able to touch your toes to be “good” at Yoga! In fact to be “good” at Yoga you literally just need to be your messy human self open to working through some stuff and willing to take a moment to focus on the breath.
Let’s address some of the common concerns people may have before joining a yoga class:
There is so much more to Yoga than the postures we do on the mat but often it’s the postures that people worry about. So we made this graphic to affirm that if you’ve ever had any of these worries then Yoga is still absolutely for you!
You can’t touch your toes
A okay! Being able to touch your toes is not a prerequisite! Everybody has different experiences of flexibility, ranges of motion and bone structure. With the rise of glorifying bendiness and aesthetics in yoga there’s been growing concern about the risks of overstretching to achieve extreme poses for the “perfect” IG shot. Who knows, you may well have a healthier range of motion than a super bendy yogi who was practicing postures unsafely and had to get a hip replacement from overdoing it in splits.
You feel self-conscious
We probably all do sometimes to different degrees. Everyone has a unique relationship with their body and different life experiences leading to feelings of self-consciousness. Unfortunately a lot of Wellness spaces can feel unsafe for many due to lack of representation, inclusivity and accessibility. Feeling self-conscious is a valid concern, especially for those who don’t fit the narrow box of slim, white, able-bodied. Choose teachers / studios that have a broader understanding of adapting yoga postures to fit the body, as well as those who are engaged with anti-racism work and are actively contributing to positive change in the industry so everyone is made to feel welcome and safe. Trauma-informed teachers are also worth looking out for.
I’d recommend following @diannebondyyogaofficial ‘leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.’
You don’t have much time
That’s fine! You don’t have to be doing full 90 minute practices everyday. Gentle movement for 20 minutes or a 10 minute Core Yoga sequence is great. Perhaps even 5 minutes of pressing “pause” at work to simply breathe deeply. Small efforts daily can be really beneficial.
You use props
Fantastic, props can be a really useful resource to support us with our yoga practice. Make the most of them! I often use a wall for balance, or a block to sit on. Same goes for taking variations of a posture, different options are offered in class because different bodies come to class and what works for one person may not work for another! If you adapt the postures with props, you’re doing a great job at supporting yourself.
Click here to learn more and book onto ‘Yoga for Everyone: Yoga, Social Justice, Body Image and Anti-Racism’ workshop with Dianne Bondy in September 2020.
This workshop is completely non-profit and all money raised through ticket sales will be donated to BLM UK and Project Yogi –
“Project Yogi creates yoga, mindfulness and social emotional well-being based programmes, classes and workshops. As well as this, we teach yoga as an alternative to competitive sports. Our programmes are designed for children, adolescents and young adults. Through yoga, mindfulness and social emotional learning, we help young people live better, learn better and make better choices.