As a yoga teacher, many have said to me that they don’t do yoga as they aren’t flexible enough and don’t look like the super bendy models in the yoga magazines. I think it is a shame to miss out on the joy of yoga due to a misconception of not being good enough.
I personally have been doing yoga for over 18 years. I was never a natural. I first discovered how unflexible I was in my early twenties when at a health assessment at a local gym I could bearly stretch passed my toes!
I forgot about it until a few weeks later when visiting relatives I came across a second-hand yoga book. The book was written in the 1960’s and featured a daily practice that promised to transform the reader if they followed two key components: daily practice and meditation. It did take more than the book to transform me, but it was a good start! I benefited more further going to weekly yoga classes. I stuck at it and improved so much that I now teach it.
I still have to work at my yoga now. Some poses I have reached my maximum stretch and will never look like a yoga model. Some poses I find very easy, and they came to me with little effort. Others took time. Like souls, bodies are all unique. Therefore, it’s never worth comparing yourself to others. Better to measure your own progress.
Through my experience here are my top 14 tips on how to enjoy yoga and let go of looking perfect.
- Stop pushing your body beyond what it is ready to do and accept where you are at. Sometimes not going so far in the stretch long-term takes you further
- Never ignore pain nor force. Be kind to yourself and patient
- Enjoy your yoga. Find the fun and gratitude in your practice
- Find a good teacher and one that understands your body but also keeps it interesting
- To progress with yoga, work at your comfortable edge without any violence to your body
- Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing in the yoga class. They are far too busy with their own yoga to care about what you are doing
- Enjoy the journey in each pose by staying present
- remember everybody is different, and we all have different challenges
- Yoga generally is a supportive network, if it isn’t then you are in the wrong class. Find one that is
- Remember the slow deep breathing. Once you forget to take conscious breaths, you are no longer doing yoga but just a workout
- Never skip final relaxation. It’s like trying to make a sandwich without any bread. During relaxation, your fight and flight nervous system will get a rest, and you will feel better for it.
- Stop telling yourself you can’t do a pose. Imagine you can! Remember; happiness won’t come from doing the pose. Happiness will come from enjoying the process
- Don’t skip meditation. It makes life so much better if you can make 5-30 minutes a day to sit quietly
For more life changing inspiration check out my new book based on my blog and available on Amazon and Kindle worldwide today. In it, you will find inspiring yoga, meditations and holistic ideas to fit in even the busiest of days.
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The Word Sprite