After dinner, with a bowl of caramel custard in hand, I settled down for a one-on-one doubt clearance session with her and tackled all her issues one at a time – clearing the path for her as we went forward.
I jotted down prejudices that keep people from beginning with the practice and all that they should actually know before starting. This post of mine, is dedicated to all those who haven’t yet tried it, owing to the below listed thoughts or beliefs.
Clearing the Mental Blocks
What they think: I don’t have time to do Yoga every day.
What they need to know: You don’t need to do it every day.
Join a Yoga class for three days a week and you’ll be done! If not possible, take lessons privately at home for thirty minutes a day, for as many days a week, as is comfortable for you. Talk to your friends, family, co-workers and people around you, about your intention to start practicing it and get surprised at the immense support and cooperation that you are offered.
What they think: I am too young/old to start Yoga.
What they need to know: In Yoga, it’s not your body, but your spine that determines your age.
Yes! Did you know that if you are 60 and have a flexible spine, then you are as good as a 20 year old to practice Yoga? And for the young lot, you have a flexible spine naturally, so why not go ahead and make use of it?
What they think: I am very stiff. Yoga is for the flexible ones.
What they need to know: It actually is for the stiff ones.
Yoga is ‘the’ thing to shoo away your stiffness and make your body flexible, giving you a perfect body and health as an added advantage. We all started with stiff bodies as none of us were Patanjali and worked up our way to a flexible body. So can you!
Look at Phyllis Sues here, our very own 95 year old yogini!
What they think: I am nervous and depressed/ I am overweight/underweight. I have a problem.
What they need to know: Yoga is the best for people with problems. People with problems are the best for it!
If you are suffering from a physical or a mental ailment then it is not a reason to stay away from Yoga, but a very strong reason to start doing it. Spot the problem and start the poses and see the problem getting solved on its own!
What they think: Yoga is a religious practice.
What they need to know: It has got nothing to do with religion.
It is not a religious ritual but a mix of philosophy, art and science. It is form of physical exercise which cannot have any connection to religion. Yes, it originated in India; but that doesn’t make it a religion.
What they think: I tried Yoga once, but could not achieve certain poses.
What they need to know: It is not about achieving poses.
It is not about winning or losing by getting into a pose. One can always start practicing a pose and can gradually get to performing it fully. Even if that sounds Greek to you, then modifications of poses exist, which promise equal benefits and are easier to perform. Also, Restorative Yoga can be taken up, which makes the use of props to helps you and makes it easier to achieve the desired pose.
What they think: Yoga can’t be performed during menstruation.
What they need to know: Only a handful of poses can’t be performed while you’re menstruating, not all poses on the whole.
Apart from that, it also depends on your physical condition and your doctor’s consent. If you feel ready for a class during your periods, then go ahead!
What they think: I will have to quit drinking/non-vegetarian food to start Yoga.
What they need to know: No class or instructor tells you that.
Consumption of alcohol or non-vegetarian food is purely a matter of personal choice. Moderation while doing the same is definitely good and you might not even need them once you get regularized in your practice. Surely, quitting them is not mandatory to start Yoga.
Apart from all these, you also need to know about the following before beginning Yoga:
- Always wear loose and comfortable clothing before starting to practice.
- There should be a gap of at least 2 hours between your last meal and a session.
- Get a Yoga mat and props (straps, blocks, pillows, blankets, chairs etc.) in place before you begin.
- Early morning hours are the best for practicing it.
- Don’t hold your breath during challenging poses. Always remember to breathe normally.
- Discuss and inform your instructor about your medical condition and health issues before you start.
Related Posts: Are You A Yogi Without Yoga? Definitely, You Are!!