There is a stigma commonly associated with the practice of yoga; the need to be flexible in order to participate! This misconception has kept thousands of people from enjoying the many benefits of this incredible practice. Well, it’s time to clear the air and set the record straight.
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE TO DO YOGA!
In fact, flexibility doesn’t come easy for most men. As a former weightlifter and survivor of two car accidents that caused injuries to my lower back, I’m not a very flexible person. Knowing this, I usually try to get to Strala at least 15 minutes before class starts so I can warm up (especially before STRONG— I’m just sayin). I need time for my muscles to loosen up a bit before I do any kind of physical activity. However, I’m not the only person with this genius idea.
As I place my mat along the back wall in preparation for class, I can’t help but notice the 20 or so beautiful women dressed in Reebok pants and multi-colored tops, moving easily through poses that would probably break me in half. Remember, this is during my warm up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched in awe as these incredible ladies seamlessly flow into Scorpion, or find a bit of a meditative state as they glide into a bow pose.
These are just two of the many poses that I don’t seem to get along with– yet! I’ve tried and though they continue to show me no mercy, I feel like we’re beginning to warm up to one another.
The beautiful thing about yoga is that there is always something to work towards. Whether it’s holding a handstand or being able to get into a low squat, the possibility to improve is endless. That’s why it’s called yoga practice, not yoga perfect.
Before I started practicing yoga, I was training for a Men’s Physique competition. I was 5’7″ (I still am), weighed about 161 lbs. and was only 7.4% body fat. I had a physique that I loved, but had the flexibility of a turtle. I could barely scratch my back, let alone attempt a reverse prayer, which I can do now by the way. Two and a half years later, I still have a body that I’m proud of and I’m able to do things I never would have imagined. I’m still a work in progress and have accepted that I always will be!
Today, as a practicing yogi and yoga guide, I’ve discovered an affinity toward the practice. Yoga has taught me how to break through barriers, trust my instincts, find ease in my movements and listen to my body. From overcoming addiction, conquering an anxiety disorder and now acquiring more strength and flexibility, I now realize my only limitation is the one I create for myself.
Whether you’re a man, woman, overweight, bulky, short or tall, yoga is for you– it’s for everyone! Don’t allow your insecurities and/or fears of limitation keep you from discovering your best self. Hope to see you in class 🙂
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.
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