‘I Can’t Do Yoga. I’m Not That Flexible.’
Mar 02, 2012 03:43PM
● By Rene E. S. Gregg
Many people would like to try yoga, but are afraid to do so because they aren’t flexible. I like to remind people that yoga is not about wrapping your feet behind your ears. It’s about body awareness.
Vinyasa means to place with awareness. Body awareness can mean simply knowing your strengths and weaknesses and striving to improve wherever possible. When considering weaknesses, be sure to discover the reason it’s a weakness for you. Is it that your strength or flexibility needs improvement or is it that your bones simply block you from doing that pose? Yoga emphasizes the principle of ahimsa, which means to avoid doing harm. Yoga prescribes never forcing the body to do anything it is not ready or able to do.
Recently, in a 40-hour teacher training, I was learning poses I’d never tried before. I felt like a beginner again, confronting and conquering my weaknesses. There are still certain poses that I may not ever be able to do. However, there are some that I can do now because I applied the principles of ahimsa and body awareness and tried without self-judgment.