At some point in our teacher training, we were asked who we wanted to teach….our ultimate “target audience”…the demographic that tickled our teaching fancy, so to speak.
There’s something to be learned from every class I teach, every new person I meet. There’s a challenge and a reward waiting for me every time I walk through the studio door.
But I’m drawn to those who are just starting out, those who are nervous, hesitant, curious, embarrassed. Those who want to try yoga but, for some reason, are bummed because they think they can’t.
You don’t take piano lessons when you already know how to play, do you? Of course not. So why do you have to be “yoga fit” to take a yoga class?
“I’m too old.” No you’re not.
“I’m too stiff.” Try again.
“I’m not strong enough.” Wrong.
“I’m too big.” (sigh)
I can’t count the number of times I hear all of these (especially the last one)….in one way or another.
“I need to get stronger first, then I’ll go.” “I need to lose weight before I try it.” “People are going to stare at me.” I’ll be the oldest (or biggest) person there.” “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
I know where they are coming from…I’ve been there. The place in the brain where we store all of the images of young, tanned, thin, athletic yoga bodies. You know the ones. We see them on the covers of magazine, web pages, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
We don’t all look like that. We’re all individuals….separate, unique people.
Going to yoga isn’t like going to an amusement park, where there’s a sign at the front of the line saying “you must be this tall to ride this ride.” It’s not so black and white.
Short, tall, young, old, big, small…..we all have our limitations. There are things one person can do like a rock star, but another may never be able to do. Muscles might stretch, but they aren’t jello. Tendons and ligaments hold us together, but they aren’t infinitely strong. Muscle, fascia, skin, fat……everything about us can present an obstacle.
If you can’t support all of your weight on your wrists…..then don’t do it. Your nose doesn’t touch your knee…..don’t worry about it! Need to take a break during class, take one! It’s your hour, it’s your time, it’s your yoga practice.
To those who think they aren’t right for yoga I say “pish-shaw!!!”
The question isn’t whether you’re right for yoga, it’s whether yoga is right for YOU. And only you can make that call.
Forget about the size of your body, and take a look at the size of your heart and your soul. Those are the sizes that matter most.