I’ve been practicing Yoga for around 10 years now, having started when I was in the midst of my anxiety disorder, desperate to find something – anything – that would help. I’d heard a lot of people talk about Yoga, so decided to give it a go for myself. It took a little while to find my groove, especially when I was so anxious all the time but before long, I was hooked.
Since then, Yoga has become my safe space. My way to wind down, switch off, ground myself, get inspired, motivated, a place to go when I’m stressed or sad or need some time for myself.
I honestly can’t begin to explain the benefits I’ve experienced from Yoga, mentally, physically and emotionally.
However, I still end up having a lot of awkward conversations with people around Yoga, those who have never tried it (or perhaps tried it once) and don’t quite understand what it entails.
“Isn’t Yoga just laying on the floor?” – My Mum.
“Oh no I can’t do Yoga, I’m too old.” – My Dad.
“I did it once and found it so boring”. – A friend.
Don’t get me wrong, I know Yoga isn’t for everyone and that’s fine, just like running isn’t for everyone – including me. But I am a believer in actually trying something, before you judge it and decide you don’t like it.
I’m not asking you to skydive here.
And I feel like a lot of misconceptions around Yoga come from how it’s portrayed, as a skinny white girl thing. Wearing the most expensive athletic wear and for some reason, always practicing in Bali.
If people realised that Yoga is for everyone and that there isn’t one “look” that goes with Yoga or a person who does Yoga, you’d have more people jumping on the mat to give it a go.
In this post, my aim is to help you see that Yoga isn’t always glamorous.
It’s not always performed by size 8 white girls, who can do handstands and bend themselves into every position possible.
Of course, there are people that can do that and that’s great. But I feel like when people see Yoga on the outside, like this glossy magazine cover, it can really put them off trying.
And it shouldn’t because Yoga really is yours and yours alone. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.
People tend to have a lot of misconceptions about Yoga and it’s easy to understand why. Aside from the traditional and cultural aspects of Yoga (which I’m not going to go into here because I don’t feel qualified to do so), people tend to think you have to look and be a certain way in order to practice Yoga and reap the wonderful physical, mental and emotional benefits from it.
You really, really, really don’t.
Saying, “I can’t do Yoga because I’m not flexible”, is just like saying, “I can’t go running because I’m not fast”. Both ridiculous and utterly untrue statements.
In fact, if you’re not flexible, you’re the exact sort of person who would benefit from Yoga.
Just like I was!
Before I did Yoga, I was the LEAST flexible person I knew. I was like a tinman. I couldn’t even touch my toes WITH my knees bent.
So here are my 9 Yoga confessions to show you that Yoga is for everyone and you absolutely DO NOT have to be perfect, skinny, flexible or fit to do it:
I can’t do a crow pose
The first of my Yoga confessions is that I can’t do crow pose. I just can’t do it.
I’ve tried and tried but crow pose is not for me, it would seem. This is a crow pose, if you’re not familiar. It requires a lot of core strength and stability throughout the body as well as balance and focus. It’s such a beautiful and powerful pose but I just can’t do it. Boo.
I didn’t enjoy the Yoga retreat I went on
In 2018, I went on a Yoga retreat.
And I hated it.
Yep! It wasn’t for me at ALL.
The venue was beautiful, the food was to die for and the whole weekend was really well put together. But the instructor wasn’t my cup of tea at all and I just didn’t vibe with the people at this particular retreat.
It was definitely my fault for not doing more research before I booked this specific retreat.
My hips are super tight – which makes a few poses really difficult
God my HIPS. My left hip in particular is incredibly tight – and has got tighter over the years. It’s really annoying and can make some poses really difficult – or impossible in some cases.
This is where you learn to modify. Modifying is one of the great aspects of Yoga because it really is about what feels good for you. So if I can’t get into a pose because of my hips, then I’ll modify it to something I can do.
As are my shoulders
Same with my shoulders, they are incredibly tight, no doubt after many years working from home, from my laptop and having terrible posture.
I can’t get my arms int0 the eagle position, nor can I bring my palms together clasped behind my back. But that’s okay – I do my best and that’s the main thing.
I’m not skinny or a size 10
I’m a size 14 (sometimes 16, depending on the store) and I definitely don’t have the same body that you’ll see on most stereotypical “Yoga people”. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get great benefits from it. It doesn’t mean I’m not strong and powerful.
Yoga is for every body, size and shape. As long as you have your breath, then you can do Yoga.
When I started Yoga, I struggled with my wrists
My wrists used to give me a lot of grief, as you spend quite a lot of time on them during a Yoga practice, including downward dogs and tabletop. I used to have to wear a tight bandage for extra support.
Aside from the retreat, I’ve never been to a Yoga class
Nope, not a single one.
The only person I really use is Yoga With Adriene, as she’s the person I relate to the most. I love her attitude towards Yoga, her deep knowledge, her range of practices and how accommodating she is for the viewer.
I don’t really feel the need to go to a class. I wouldn’t say no completely though, if the right one came about!
Sometimes I do Yoga in my pyjamas
No expensive Yoga pants over here. Again, another thing you see a lot of which can make Yoga seem a bit misleading. You can absolutely do Yoga in your pyjamas, in disgusting old tracksuit bottoms – or cute athletic wear if you want to.
Sometimes my mind is wandering for the entire practice
Yoga and meditation often go hand in hand and you do find that you will spend a small portion of a practice breathing deeply or perhaps doing a short meditation. But sometimes… boy oh boy, sometimes… I just can’t switch off.
Which is totally normal, given how busy everyone is and how much we have going on. But it’s definitely a bit annoying when I want to focus on a practice but my mind is frantic.
If you can’t drop in to a practice fully, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. And that’s the last of my Yoga confessions for today.
If you practice Yoga, let me hear your Yoga confessions in the comments!
Want more Yoga content from me? Check out these posts:
- 5 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Yoga Lovers
- Yoga While Travelling: 6 Tips To Maintain Your Practice
- Yoga Essentials For Beginners: 6 Things To Start Your Journey
Want some more exclusive content? Sign up to my mailing list for access to your Self Love Handbook plus more freebies!