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I’m not flexible enough to do yoga, or am I?

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Aug 2 2017 08:00AM

Our yoga teacher, Emma Klein, dispels the myths that may be stopping you reap the benefits of exploring yoga practice and offers an alternative way in.

For most of us being asked to touch our toes seems like an unobtainable dream, but this is one of the big mythical yoga requirements, together with a Vegan diet and an ability to post drool worthy Instagram photos.

Yoga has become so mainstream that anytime you turn a corner there’s a yoga studio, someone doing yoga in the park or an upmarket shop selling extremely expensive leggings. Googling yoga returns thousands of pictures of people in poses that only a tiny portion of the population will ever be able to achieve. Making us believe that unless we can achieve these shapes we cannot do yoga.

This is all a Myth. Yoga is not about the creation of shapes, it is about learning discipline for the mind, about practice. Mastering it overnight is not practical or possible. It is a lifelong journey.

Asana is the physical practice of yoga. It is the aspect that people are most familiar with as it is easy to see. It is about keeping your body healthy. Without a healthy body, there are too many physical distractions to enable you to work on a healthy mind.

Physical practice doesn’t need to be yoga; it can be any physical activity that keeps you healthy. Although the classical yoga poses are designed to work on your body as a whole and aid in exercising the mind towards stillness as well as teaching control.

Having a regular practice takes dedication and commitment, both mentally and physically. Whether that practice is every day or once a week. Whether it is self-practice or attending a class.

It is important to remember that the benefits of an Asana practice are not in being able to obtain the most bendy or complex poses, but in how you do the poses. By using every single muscle to their full potential, and being aware of your breath as you move with control through the poses.

It is through this dedication and focus that we gain the most out of an Asana practice but also work on disciplining the mind helping us to exercise this muscle.

Yoga is about your personal growth. Learning to understand and trust your own body and mind, and about finding acceptance of yourself and others

Being able to accept this philosophy is the first step. The second is finding the courage to attend a class. And remember:

“All who breathe can practice yoga”

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