As a yoga teacher I am always seeking to identify the barriers to starting a yoga practice. Apart from the common misconception that yoga means lying on the floor and chanting there are two main things that I hear on a regular basis. The first one is “I would go to yoga but I’m just not flexible enough” and the second one is “I’ve been to a few classes but I’m not very good”.
Unfortunately we live in a society that is focussed on winning, being the best. From a young age we are driven to succeed, we are tested continuously throughout our childhood as if getting 100% is a marker of who we are, whether we are good enough. Social media bombards us every day with images of women and men in swimwear performing impossible looking yoga poses with impossibly perfect bodies as if getting 100 instagram likes is the main aim of practicing yoga. Really…is it? Well I can tell you that if it is then I have definitely failed!
This is the thing. A yoga practice isn’t about being good (theres a reason its called a practice). It’s not about what it looks like, its more about how it feels. Accomplishment in yoga can’t been seen from the outside, it is a very personal and internal journey. Now, I could go on lecturing about the philosophy and practice but my point might be better illustrated by telling you a couple of stories.