Yoga seems to have taken over the…right? We see celebrities doing it. We see Yoga in commercials, in Movies, on Billboards. At this point everybody is on board, and riding the Yoga train, right? Wrong. While Yoga has gotten a lot of attention and its popularity has grown there are many people out there who still avoid Yoga at all costs. I took the time to talk to some non-yogis to investigate some of the major concerns keeping them from the mat. What I discovered was that Time, a lack of understanding, and fear of embarrassment topped the list of concerns.
1. “ I Don’t have enough time”
A common complaint, most American’s are used to being able to hit the gym for 30 minutes and be done for the day. Yes, there are 90 minute Yoga classes, but you will find that many studios have moved towards the 60 minute yoga class format. In a hour long class the time breaks down like this: 10-15 minute warm-up, 25-30 minutes of activity, and 5-10 minute cool down, 10 minute relaxation pose. The truth is that you are only really working-out for 30 minutes, the rest of the time is warm up and cool down – an essential part to staying injury free. As humans we make time for anything we really want to do, sometimes staying up late just to catch up on a particular show that we missed. If we want to make time for Yoga, we can, we just need to prioritize our health, well being, and peace of mind. Think about it, what do you make time for?
2. “I am afraid of being embarrassed in front of class”
This is an understandable concern. Yoga is about empowerment, learning our bodies, looking within so we can work with ourselves. Of course the first time you go to a Yoga class you won’t know the poses. The movements will feel foreign in your body and it you may even feel awkward. There is always the temptation of looking at the other students during class. The danger in looking around the room is that what may look like ‘basic’ movements in the bodies of your classmates may feel extremely challenging in your body. ITS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT NONE OF THE OTHER STUDENTS ARE LOOKING AT YOUR FORM. The only person that is looking at you is the Yoga instructor because they need to keep you safe. Unlike a dance class or martial arts class, Yoga is free from any moments where individuals get up and do something in front of the class. The only time the instructor is likely to speak to you directly would be to keep you safe, and would likely be in a whisper tone. Rest assured that you are safe from any danger of being “embarrassed in front of the class”.
3. “The language and moves are overwhelming”
Learning new things can be overwhelming, especially if they take you outside of your comfort zone. Learning Yoga is like learning a new language because you are learning both a new movement vocabulary, English names for the poses, and possibly Sanskrit names of the poses. Learning a new language takes time. Think about your native language, as a baby it took you time to learn the words and context to speak meaningful sentences. Let yourself learn it in pieces. The common problem with new Yogis is that they want to run before they can walk. You may want to already know the basics and be moving on to more advanced postures by week two; however, you must be patient with you body, mind and self. Better to take your time and really learn it, rather than to rush and get injured.
Don’t take my word for it! Get out there and see for yourself! The right teacher, at the right studio, just once a week can make a huge difference in your mental, emotional, and physical health. A little adventure never hurt anyone….until next month. Hit that mat and Nama-SLAY!