For the longest time I have wanted to be a “yoga person”.
You might be wondering, what do you mean by be a “yoga person”?
You know, the person that turns up in their super stylish yoga clothing, flows effortlessly into every pose, and they leave with that “post yoga glow”. They may even do Insta-posts with fancy poses, and with all the right hashtags. They tend to think that yoga is the best thing since sliced bread (even though they are probably all paleo and gluten free, but you get my point!). They will tell you it changed their life; they feel strong, confident and at ease since taking on a regular practice.
Sounds a little stereotypical – but we can all probably think of someone that fits this description 🙂
And to be fair, I have earnestly tried to get into yoga. I’ve tried different yoga classes, bought at home programmes and even went to Lululemon to find some stylish yoga outfits in the hope that it might inspire me into action.
But it never sits with me. I always feel uncomfortable in the classes. My body hurts and my muscles feel tight – so much so, that just thinking of going to a class can make my body tight. Most of the time I just end up in child’s pose because it’s the only thing that doesn’t hurt my body, and even that can sometimes feel a little tight. Let’s forget any fancy poses, planks or extended time in downward dog.
But earlier this week, I decided that I was going to give it a chance, a true chance. It was going to go twice a week, for 3 months. It seemed like a reasonable and achievable goal. I was amped. This was going to be the start of a brand new me.
Then I went to the first class and it was honestly awful.
My whole body felt awful for those 45 minutes, no matter what I did (which didn’t surprise me considering I hadn’t been to yoga for over 6 months). I stayed for the whole class and told myself it was going to get better, I just had to get through a few classes. But then come today, I was meant to go to my second yoga class, and I literally couldn’t think of anything worse.
I started to explore why and realised exactly why I resist yoga so much.
Because my body is at the point where years of desk sitting, stress and general lack of flexibility and mobility work means that even basic sun salutations feel awful. I realised that it’s like trying to sprint when your body can barely walk. That might sound extreme, but that’s how it feels to my body.
Based on this, I realise that I still want to maybe try yoga one day, but for now my body just isn’t at that stage. The best that I can go do is basic stretching and foam rolling. Sounds basic, but that ACTUALLY sounds like something I want to do because I know it will feel good. It might even make me want to do yoga.
I was trying to get into yoga because I thought that by doing yoga I would be more flexible, more at ease with my body. I thought I would feel inspired, with all the zen and togetherness in the world.
But I don’t think that what yoga is meant to be about, and I’m almost positive its not about forcing your body to do things that doesn’t serve it or cause it discomfort. This isn’t to say that I’ll never do yoga. It’s just for now I have to focus on feeling better and go from there. And I’m quite okay with that.
And with that, I’m off to foam roll and stretch.
I couldn’t think of anything better.