How to Get Someone You Love to Try Yoga.

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Feb 11, 2013
get elephant's newsletter

avoid procrastinate practice lonely yoga mat

I like to think that teaching and writing about yoga is changing the world, one down dog at a time. But then I think it might be best to change those around us first, especially those we love.

In my case, my family really has no idea what-so-ever of what I do. For instance, there is the day my mother in law came to visit, and when I told her I had to go to work, she said, “You work?”

For years I tried to get her to do yoga. In fact, I showed her poses and gave her books on it. But then one day she said to me exuberantly, “I am doing Silver Sneakers at the gym, and it’s wonderful!”

“You know that’s mostly yoga,” I said.

“Well if it is, then I like it.”

It is also apparent that my husband has very little idea of how I spend my days. This was a recent conversation in the Marchildon household:

Husband:             “Have you heard of MC Yogi?”

Me:                       “Um. Yes” (As in, I’m not living under a rock.)

Husband:             “I think we should get you a name.”

Me:                       “Like what?”

Husband:             “Like, ‘Little Yogi.’ You can be a rapping yogi!”

Me:                       “Just so you know, I’m ‘The Yogi Muse.’ And I can’t sing.”

Husband:             “Oh. Never mind.”

The Yogi Muse
The Yogi Muse

And don’t even get me started on my kids, both athletic and so tight they haven’t been able to touch their toes since the day they were born. Every now and then a coach will suggest they practice yoga. You know, everyone says it works.

Why is it that we can share the joy of yoga with total strangers, but when it comes to the ones we love they are often the hardest to get onto the mat? I’ve had to come up with some interesting ways to get my family on the mat.

Here are some tips to get the ones you love into yoga:

Make an offer they can’t refuse.

For Valentine’s Day, I will take A) A trip to Paris, B) A horse, with a beautiful new house and barn, C) A new kitchen, D) A shared yoga class. You don’t have to be a genius to play this game.

Make an offer they can’t refuse, take 2.

“And if we take Shelley’s class, I will let you go in the front row. By the way, Shelley teaches in a bikini.”

 If this is for your wife or girlfriend:

“We can go to Outlaw Yoga and take Justin’s class.” Need I say more?

The Outlaw Yogi
The Outlaw Yogi

 If this is for your kids:

“If you practice yoga, you will do better at Fill in the Blank.”

 If that doesn’t work, then try:

“If you practice yoga, then I will give you two weeks’ of allowance and excuse you from all chores.” I actually did that once, but it backfired on me. The next time, my teenager demanded more money.

You could always try the truth:

“If you practice yoga, you will feel better, you will probably find happiness, and your life will be transformed.” But if they don’t believe you, or even the book you wrote, then play something by MC Yogi.  That will get them every time.


Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

Ed: Kate Bartolotta




About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at And you can take her classes on


5 Responses to “How to Get Someone You Love to Try Yoga.”

  1. I'm really working my restorative yoga angle as a gateway yoga experience for some of my less-than-phsycially-active friends – "Come lay down and take a guided half-nap while I say nice things to you about how amazing you are. I'll even cover you up with a blanket and give you a shoulder rub." That's an offer that's hard to refuse!

  2. OleManJake says:

    Any suggestions for getting co-workers involved?

  3. Casey says:

    It was like every paragraph I was thinking, "OMazing…I go through the same thing, especially part about the kids." I teach yoga to kids and you would think my kiddos would be the perfect yogis and my son is so stiff. He has to stretch. It is crazy how it works. Myhusband is stiff and refuses to do yoga, BUT he tells his son to do it. Funny. Thank you for sharing. I am defiantly going to try the chores/allowance idea with the kids. I am glad that I am not the only yogi with family thinks like this. ha ha


  4. Brooke says:

    LOL This I cute…and so true. I have tried pretty hard to get my family and friends into yoga and it is just not working, they call it a "fad." Psht.

  5. Gitte says:

    Love it 🙂
    I have tried to get my husbond to do yoga with me at home with the promise of being nude. It worked 😉