9 Lame Excuses that Keep People away from Yoga.

Via Claudia Azula Altucher
on Dec 27, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

Have you ever heard someone tell you that they would like to start a yoga practice but: “fill in the blank”? Excuses seem to abound.

A friend of mine recently asked me about the common excuses I have heard and even though at first I didn’t want to think about it, I confess that eventually I found a certain almost evil pleasure in coming up with the list,  had so much fun I even made a video with extra excuses that are not even in it:

YouTube Preview Image

What is your excuse?

1.-I do not know the poses

When my uncle (who is now 60) was about to attend his first day of school he hid under the bed and cried because: “he did not know how to write or read”.  I found that cute, provided that we are six years old, of course.

2.-I do not want to take my shirt off

My husband seems to keep this one in high regard but there is no need to take anything off.  Most of the men in class keep a short and a t-shirt on, some get over heated and take the top off, but there is no code of conduct that determines weather one has to wear one. Husband update: he has started yoga and loves it.

3.-I am not flexible

The guru of Ashtanga, Pattabhi Jois,  said it all when he utter these words: “Body is not stiff, mind is stiff”.  You can hear it with an Indian accent, it sounds more profound.

4.-I do not want to chant

Fair enough, many classes start with one simple Aum at the beginning. Ashtanga yoga has a whole chant, but not all styles adhere to this.  Also noticing our feelings around things that make us uncomfortable is a great meditation. For example: can we remain equanimous? Who would have thought that through this we can get started with our work on the other branches of yoga?  Transcend the poses and reach higher.

5.-I want a real workout

I can understand this.  Some yoga classes are very slow, but not all of them are like that, there is a class for every level of intensity, flexibility and courage (if I dare say so).  Just playing the DVD of Mark Darby for example, the one with the primary series,  is work, a lot of work. Try it if you do not believe me, just the standing sequence is enough to get the blood, muscles and the breath going.

6.-I am not fit enough

Yeah, nothing to worry about, we are all very self conscios and nobody thinks they are fit enough anyway, so coming along is a show of camaraderie.

7.-I do not have the money

Yoga can be practiced at home with a dvd that costs no more than 20 dollars or so. Classes of course are a great way to get corrections and inspiration and, if possible, always recommended. NYC features the 10 dollar class, and there is a “yoga by donation” initiative in many major cities.  Online classes are popping up everywhere with fantastic deals, if you find a good place let me know.

8.-I have no time

There are short classes, especially in gyms.  You can also leave classes earlier, although teachers tend not to like that, but you can make an arrangement.  People in the yoga world understand, they are approachable.  If you do happen to leave a class early always remember to do savasana (corpse/relaxation pose) before re-entering normal paced life, your nervous system will thank you with extra years of life.

9- It will take years for me to do any of those impressive asanas
Maybe, maybe not.  There are a few really cool looking asanas that can be mastered rather quickly, for example: The whole Sun Salutation sequence or even the shoulder-stands. I know it “looks” difficult, but it is not, and pretty much every class includes an attempt, so you will build up fast and impress the yogi out of all your friends.

I do not have excuses myself anymore, I love my yoga practice, but here are 21 things I wish I knew before I started practicing Ashtanga.


About Claudia Azula Altucher

Claudia Azula Altucher has studied yoga for a long time. Her only focus these past eight years has been on Ashtanga through which she studied at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India (three study visits so far), and at Centered Yoga in Thailand (focus on practice, philosophy and pranayama). Currently she studies at Pure Yoga in NYC. She has taught yoga classes in both Spanish and English. She is also the Author of: 21 Things To Know Before Starting an Ashtanga Yoga Practice (you can get a free PDF at her blog). She writes daily at ClaudiaYoga.com And you can follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClaudiaYoga


27 Responses to “9 Lame Excuses that Keep People away from Yoga.”

  1. Love this, Claudia. I think you just created a new Yoga education genre with this video!

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

  2. Thank you Bob, honored to have created such a genre! :-)

  3. Well put monkeywithglasses… wow, that is quite a name! I like the way you talk to "Ego", yeah, nice one!

  4. yogaaddict says:

    I enjoyed this with my kids tonight. We dont usually share yoga so this was special. Thanks!

  5. grimmly says:

    Loved this Claudia, so your saying I WONT be subjected to group hugs? Well I may just go to class after all….. please say I'm ready, please, please, please…..

  6. arturo says:

    Dear Claudia, where is, "my back hurts"? i was one of those "don't want to take the shirt off" people, specially since all my life I had an innertube around the waist. But your list is classic.

  7. Thank you Arturo! "My back hurts" is a good one

  8. […] about starting a yoga practice but need a little bit of a sense of humor kick to get you started check out these lame excuses that keep people away from yoga. Claudia Azula Altucher has studied yoga for over ten years in the traditions of Iyegar, […]

  9. James says:

    Whats better. Weightlifting 3 times a week or yoga?

  10. YesuDas says:

    "You can hear it with an Indian accent, it sounds more profound." Love it! When I'm trying to decide whether some Christian aphorism or slogan is trite or profound, I substitute "Buddha" for "Jesus;" if it still sounds trite or saccharine, I conclude that it is; if it suddenly sounds deep, I regroup.

    This is a great list–thanks

  11. BenRiggs says:

    The video is amazing! I do not know what my deal is. I like yoga… When I have done it. But it is something I have a hard time sticking with. I like the effects on the way I feel. Any suggestions?

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kelli Harrington. Kelli Harrington said: Stop making excuses and get on the mat! http://lnk.ms/JS1hx […]

  13. […] then uses the example of writing a book to emphasize how people procrastinate with a million excuses. Waiting for something to happen in order to get busy, waiting for something or someone else to […]

  14. Patric says:

    Got this one last week: “I am too stressed to take yoga”.

    And my all-time favorite when a student wanted an extension on her expired class pass: “But you have to understand, I had to go on vacation”.

Leave a Reply