Commentary by Jenny Swisher
I think most people have a major misconception about yoga, so let’s take a minute to clear things up. When I was first introduced to yoga over 5 years ago, I expected a room full of extra bendy people where men in sarongs smelled like Vegenaise and did handstands. I was completely out of my element walking into my first class, fully prepared for “Oms” and meditation and Cirque du Soleil style movements.
Instead, it was none of the above.
It was hard, don’t get me wrong. It was a challenge, and I love a good challenge.
Now, as I coach hundreds of people both in my studio and online, I have found that a large number of people hate yoga before they even try it. They have misconceptions about needing to be flexible and are scared to try since they can’t touch their toes. What I have also found, however, is that if they give it a try with an open mind and recognize the power of slowing down and doing their best, they’re doing it just perfectly.
You see, that’s it. Yoga isn’t being able to touch your toes or do a handstand… It’s about showing up. It’s about doing the thing that’s hard because the things that are hard are exactly what you need to do to grow. Funny, isn’t it? Yoga sounds a lot like life.
This conversation once happened in my studio:
Client: “I’m no yogi. I can’t even touch my toes.”
Instructor: “You don’t have to be able to touch your toes to be a yogi.”
Client: “No? Then what makes a yogi?”
Instructor: “Simply coming to your mat.”
What we bring onto our mat, we bring into our lives. If you’re not willing to give yoga a try, what does that say about you? Perhaps it’s saying that you’re not willing to show up or attempt something you’re not presently good at doing. My challenge to you this week is to step outside of your comfort zone by doing something that totally freaks you out. Try yoga. I assure you you’ll walk out of class feeling centered and balanced. And isn’t that what life’s about?