I have been trying to get one of my good friends to take a Yoga class. She is always complaining she hates going to the gym, and how being slumped at her computer desk all day has ruined her posture. I have been telling her that Yoga may be the answer for her, but in reply, my friend INSISTS she would not be good at Yoga because she isn't flexible enough.
After battling her back and forth by telling her that is the exact reason why she SHOULD try Yoga, she was still shying away from my suggestions. So, I decided to ask my Facebook and Twitter friends what they would tell someone when they say they aren't flexible enough for yoga.
I received so many responses from my question that I decided to share them in my blog. Perhaps they will help others who have the same excuse for not trying yoga. Oh, and after my friend read all these great responses and suggestions, she DID finally decide to try yoga for the first time...and wouldn't you know, she LOVED it! She hasn't been to another class since then, but hopefully the seed has been planted hehehe.
What Do You Say to Someone Who Says,
"I Am Not Flexible Enough for Yoga"?
That's why you do yoga
Yoga isn't about how bendy you can be. It's about being conscious of your body and self awareness!
I think I'd say what one of my wise teachers told me, that 'Its not about touching your toes, but about what you learn about yourself on the way down.' :)
I am in the same boat, because sadly I am about as flexible as firewood. :( Tell the person to start out by taking a couple one on one or privates for the personal attention. After two or three privates with a good teacher, they'll have given you the tools to START loosening up. Once you start to see things happening you can gain your own momentum from there. I hope that makes sense.
That if you can have intercourse you are flexible enough for yoga? grin~
Yoga can help you become flexible as well as build strength, stamina and stability.
That's like saying that you can't go grocery shopping because you don't have anything in your cupboards. Flexibility is a product of yoga, not a prerequisite.
It's your mind that's not flexible
I say: Then you're expecting too much! Change your expectation, and then you're literally flexible!
When people say this or "Well i would do yoga but i need more than a stretch session to exercise", I die a little inside. I am working on an article entitled "The myth of Flexibility & Yoga" for my blog right now!!
I get this sooo much! I always say that yoga isn't about putting your foot behind your head. It's ultimately about awareness. It's a path to learning patience, discipline, happiness.. It's the way it makes you feel. It's a way of life! (Then they look around uncomfortably and think I'm crazy, but regardless, it leaves them wondering!)
That is like saying your teeth are too dirty to be brushed.".....no i don't really say that. I would love to tell them that they are just chicken or that they probably have a ton of excuses for doing things that are good for them. And aren't they tired of their same old excuse- it is so boring to hear about why they cant take care of themselves but these days I just listen and move on to the person who really wants to do yoga-newcomer or experienced. I would much rather share my passion for yoga with someone who is ready for it.
Saying "Oh, I can't do yoga, I'm not flexible" is like saying "Oh, I can't have that glass of water, I'm thirsty" or "My hair is too long, I can't get a haircut" or "I'm hungry, I better not eat"....I could go on and on but I think ya'll get the point.
I say that it is those of us who are the least flexible that benefit the most. I find that it's those parts of the body that are the least open that hold the most information, all the stuff that inquiry minds want to know.
It's flexibility of mind, not body
...you don't have to be flexible, you just can't be uptight!
Probably the same thing I tell them when I hear "I'm too old for martial arts".
Yoga is not about how much of a bendy you are, instead it's about being conscience of your own body's capabilities and limitations. Like you said Anna, "you just can't be uptight"! I love it!!!!!
It's like saying "I cant eat I'm too hungry"
That's why you have breath.
I tell students it's a benefit of yoga, not a requirement.
Yoga class is not a place to show off how flexible you are, it is a place to GAIN flexibility.
I would humbly correct them that They are always flexible for "yoga" its just that their Bodies needs some time to perform some of the "Asnas"!....
-Yoga Guru Ravisanan
That's exactly why they should do yoga
I tell 'em no such thing... and not a competition
Begin them with some pranayama...
That ANYONE can find a starting point, even those with physical limits - that Yoga is about progress rather than perfection.
I would tell them to use their strength to overcome that limitation. Most people who aren't flexible are strong and vice versa.
I swear every studio that has a FAQs page says "The 'not flexible' person is the ideal candidate for it." So how bout that?