Ooooh I’m not flexible enough for yoga!
Whenever I meet new people and mention I’m a yoga teacher – this is the main response I receive. I’d like to help everyone overcome this misconception that yoga is all about flexibility. Yes – flexibility is an element of yoga that we can improve and move towards but it’s not just about that. The western take on yoga has definitely highlighted the ‘need to be flexible’ by constantly showcasing the most graceful, technical, highly advanced arm and head balances that people have practised for years, on a very regular basis to get to. And that’s exactly why we call yoga a practice, we all have to start somewhere and by practising on a regular basis you will see the benefits, become more flexible but more importantly, you will become more in tune with you, your emotions and your higher self.
“Yoga isn’t about touching your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down.”
Yoga means to unite – unite the self with your infinite self, indicating a perfect harmony between your mind, body and soul. These days we are so disconnected from our bodies – we are constantly in our own heads getting lost in thoughts that half the time are unnecessary. How flexible you are is pretty much irrelevant and of little interest.
Touching your toes – isn’t the goal.
Standing on your hands – isn’t the goal.
The goal is creating a space to see yourself, just as you are.
Our yoga practice reflects our life and as with life, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. Sometimes we run away from ourselves and this is a great opportunity to dedicate that time to ourselves.
Yoga poses aren’t about how long and well we can hold them for.
Yoga poses reflect the diverse situations that we go through in life. We have ups and we have downs. Some situations we like, some we don’t. Some are pleasant and come easily to us. Others appear to defy physics and/or feel like they’ve been sent to destroy us personally.
Yoga isn’t really about the poses at all. Each posture is like a mirror within which we can see ourselves and our conditioned reactivity more clearly.
They bring the old habits, out-dated beliefs, assumptions and thoughts that are imprinted in our mind up to the surface to review.
Are you ready to move away from these limiting beliefs?
Would you like to transform so that you’re always operating at your highest potential?
This is the alchemy of yoga! We raise our consciousness from reactivity to a higher state of awareness.
The practice brings to our awareness our self-limiting beliefs and habit patterns that we inherited from the past. It invites us to process sometimes really painful memories that are stored in our subconscious and yoga allows us to release them. It awakens our ability to become even more intuitive, to understand a person or a situation even without words.
Let’s forget about everything that we see on Social Media – guide your awareness internally instead. Check in and see what’s really going on inside:
- How do you respond to situations?
- Do you resist any discomfort?
- Do you make a situation ten times worse going over and over things in your mind?
- Can you differentiate between the true you and your ego?
- Can you stay connected to your breath during everyday tasks?
- Or do you tense up and hold your breath?
- Do you give up easily?
- Can you notice all of this without judgement, without beating yourself up?
Yoga is everywhere – it’s not just on the mat. It’s all about mindfulness and being present in the moment. Taking a walk, cooking, eating – everyday tasks that we do without thinking. Become present in that moment, not constantly looking at your phone or allowing your thoughts to run away. Then when you do come to practice yoga, really tune in and notice how you show up.
- Is your mind elsewhere?
- Can you bring it back and offer your full attention to each movement?
- Can you embrace every move and learn what each posture has to offer?
- Or is your mind running away with ‘when will this be over’?
- Are you becoming more inquisitive about how you’re showing up to each session?
If you’re unable to find joy in the moment on the mat chances are you’re not finding joy in the moment in your life.
I’m a firm believer that your yoga practice reflects your life.
How you respond to what arises on your mat is how you will respond to what comes up in everyday situations. Yoga creates space that you might never have experienced before – we’re so much on the go all the time that having space can sometimes be quite scary as our minds have been trained to be filled with so much busyness. Combining movement and breath really allows you to connect back to your body, with consistent practice we develop the ability to stay steady, conscious and respond more intuitively with whatever arises both and on and off the mat. And eventually, you will probably end up touching your toes!
Yoga is for anyone who is willing to dive beneath the surface of mundane existence and experience their real truth. Whatever story is preventing you from starting your yoga journey (I’m not flexible, young, skinny, strong [insert your thought here] enough). Take note – that’s just a samskara, an old story you tell yourself to stay safe. Don’t play small. You are magnificent beyond belief – wanna see how high you can really fly? Commit to you.