If you think you can’t do yoga, think again!

I know, it can be daunting taking up anything new, especially something physical like yoga. You might be worried that it will hurt (I’ll get to that later). You might be put off by all the images of slim bodies in lycra. You might think you can’t do yoga for a number of reasons. But you really should think again.

I came across this podcast on the BBC – yoga after paralysis. It’s an interview with an American woman who used to be a yoga teacher, who then suffered a bad back injury and is now “80% paralysed”. She has no control over her feet, which makes walking pretty difficult, nevermind standing yoga poses. Yet, she practices yoga. If she falls over she just gets back up.

There’s a very yogic life lesson right there about endurance and perseverance. Just keep going, keep trying. It can be frustrating and embarrassing but it will make you stronger, and yoga should make you stronger. Not just physically.

Yoga is an holistic form of exercise. To get the most out of it you need to put everything into it. When you can practice, practice to the best of your ability. If you find one pose too difficult, do another. If you’re tired, practice some restorative poses. There’s more to practice than just developing flexibility – in fact that’s just an outcome of practice.

At some point during a class or your own practice something might hurt. Maybe your hamstrings are tight. Maybe today isn’t the day you’ll master headstand. But by practicing you’ll build up the mental and physical strength you need to overcome these obstacles. Or you’ll learn to accept that there’s always going to be an obstacle, but it doesn’t have to get in the way all the time.

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