Even before I was a yoga teacher, I heard countless excuses from family, friends, coworkers, strangers that “I can’t do yoga because I (fill in the blank).”
I heard it all back then, and now that I’m a yoga teacher, and a meme-maker, I hear it even more often.
Here is a list of the top five excuses people give when they say, “I can’t do yoga because I…” and some solutions to help them out. #lightenup
1. I am not flexible enough.
I’ve heard this more times than I can count when encouraging someone to practice yoga (especially males). People have this vision that it has to look like it does in a magazine or on Instagram, which is unfortunate. Yoga is for everybody! My general response these days to people who say they can’t do yoga is, can you breathe? They usually look at me strange here, and then I tell them we start with the breath and all the poses just come with time.
As long as you’re breathing with some intention behind it, you’re doing the yoga! Chances are you will gain some flexibility by practicing yoga poses too. Keep it simple and don’t overthink it.
2. I don’t have time.
You don’t have to practice for long periods of time to start. Start with a few simple breathing exercises and morning stretches. Five to ten minutes of breathing and morning yoga can really go a long way. Just start!
3. I have an old injury.
While this one can be tricky—and of course check with a medical professional first if it’s serious—maybe there is an opportunity to try some gentle stretches or simple breathing exercises. Oftentimes, yoga can help us overcome injuries when done correctly (back, shoulder, hip, etc.) I have seen some magic happen on the mat to my students when poses are performed appropriately, with the intention to heal the body.
On another note, yoga isn’t all about the poses. Yoga nidra is also an amazing practice and pretty much just requires you to lay down, get comfy, and be guided into bliss by the teacher’s voice. Almost like adult nap time. Who doesn’t want that in their life?
4. I can’t afford it.
There is tons of free content on YouTube to help get you started. You don’t even need a yoga mat to start. You can start by doing some chair yoga or bed yoga. There are also some yoga props and products that are fairly inexpensive and good quality out there on the market.
5. I don’t know where to start.
YouTube is a great choice for beginner yoga. Google is always a good option: “How to start a yoga practice.” Remember that weird aunt or cousin who you haven’t talked to in a while who used to be kind of like a hippy free spirit? She’s probably got some answers for you too.
Don’t overthink it and encourage your family, friends, and literally everyone to start a practice. If they have some resistance just send them this blog or a funny meme.
Keep it light, and just breathe!