Wild Laurel

By Laurella Fox-Pitt

Why don’t you do Yoga?

1.   You think you can’t do yoga
Too stiff, too old, too highly strung, I have heard it all. It’s like saying you are too dirty to take a shower. If you feel like you can’t do yoga you probably need to start! If you’re feeling stiff and immobile it will reflect into all aspects of your life.  If your mind is racing you will carry this constant tension in to everything you do. Yoga opens your body, calms your mind and is a wonderful tool for coping with life’s madness.

2.  You have a pre-conceived Idea of Yoga
You think yoga is just easy stretching and have images of plant eating, grass sniffing, middle aged women floating about in your head that just keep you as far away from yoga as possible. But it can be hugely challenging mentally and physically for even the fittest of us. Give yourself a month or two to explore different kinds of yoga with different teachers. Many of my clients are amazed by how incredible they feel and how much they look forward to class.

3.  You Underestimate the Power of Yoga
No one can appreciate the power of Yoga until they’ve tried it. I know because I have lived it for 13 years and certainly didn’t start because I knew how amazing it was. I just wanted to stretch and not feel so stiff after a sparring session or long run.  But it’s much more than just a stretch and so much more comprehensive as a workout than you ever thought. It will change your life in more ways than you can imagine, infiltrating every aspect far beyond your yoga mat. After time you will understand why you dedicate so many precious hours to yoga.

4.  You’ve heard Doctors and Osteopaths say Yoga is bad.
Doctors have heard horror stories of people being injured through mal practise and people pushing too hard too soon.  But Yoga comes in many forms and can be tailor made to your needs and desires with each session. Yoga is often seen as farfetched and extreme. The western world is unfamiliar with this Indian practise so can feel threatened by it. But those people who think outside the box and have turned to yoga when their backs were bad and their bodies stiff and sore have had great results. Yoga mobilises you, mind and body, it increases your body awareness and allows you to rediscover your freedom of movement. Find the right yoga for you.

5.   You’d rather go for a run.
I hear this all the time. “Why waste my time doing boring yoga when I could be running and burning fat” But put simply you can’t replace yoga with a run. But I would go so far as to say you could replace your run with yoga! I love to run and it’s true that there is a certain degree of meditation in running but the stress on your body, cortisol and lactic acid build up can leave you exhausted, toxic and in worse shape than before you started. And it’s important to have something to counterbalance it. If you are an avid runner then you probably need yoga even more than most. Yoga and running are hugely complimentary to each other and you would be guaranteed to see improved results in your running and overall fitness, not to mention reducing your risk of injury by adding 1 or preferably 2 yoga sessions a week.

6.  You do Pilates instead of yoga
I am a big believer in Pilates, have practised it for years and use many of its principles in my Yoga teaching. Pilates is about the body and the mind, created by the athlete Joseph Pilates at the beginning of the 20th Century, it deals with structural issues relating to posture and primarily core strength.  Yoga is a philosophy dating back some 5000 years and brings in to account the mind, body and spirit, working deep into your subconscious by way of different postures, breathing and meditation. Pilates is a work out and great for strengthening and toning the body. Where Yoga is a life choice, an amazing vehicle to strengthen and tone the body but more importantly connect you to your soul, calm your mind and allow you to live peacefully and honestly in our mad, frenetic world.

7.  You’ve over thought every aspect.
We are taught to analyse and over think everything. You have already decided that yoga is boring and you will never be able to lie there and breath without falling asleep and snoring. You’ve decided it’s too hard and there must be easier options. You think chanting is for hippies and will make you giggle and when you roll up to sitting there is a high chance you will fart and the teacher will expel you from class. It is incredible the capacity we have to create resistant to things that might push our boundaries, when sometimes we just need to explore and have fun. Yoga enables you to let go, no judgement, no rules and no bench marks. It is a place of liberation, a practice for freeing the body and soul. You just need to go to class and let the yoga do the work.

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