Okay, so you have decided to start a healthy lifestyle because you want to have that perfectly toned body you always see on the runway, or on the cover of those high-end fashion magazines. Even though it’s the middle of the year, you have decided to start your own New Year’s resolution to go on a strict diet and enrol in a gym membership, and work out religiously – effective from tomorrow.
As the dawn of the new day begins, you lazily turn off the alarm that you set last night and decide to put off your New Year’s resolution, so you can get back to your deep slumber. Just like in any kind of work out, most people make up a lot of excuses just to avoid yoga. Though they may have booked a session with a yoga training teacher, they try to make excuses to justify themselves for not attending their yoga session. Below are the most common excuses people use just to avoid yoga.
1. Body Stiffness
Yoga enthusiasts and practitioners are widely characterised by their grace and flexibility. You are the type of person that can’t even reach their toe so you always think that because your body is so stiff, yoga is not for you. On the contrary though, yoga can help relieve muscle pain and stiffness. Beginners yoga classes offer a lot of easy poses that will improve your flexibility and remove the stiffness of your body. Some of the poses that you can use as a beginner are the bound angle pose, the seated pose, low lunge, child’s pose, bow pose and cobra pose. If you do these yoga routines daily, your flexibility and agility will increase.
2. Don’t have enough time for yoga
So you have a very hectic schedule which is totally filled from the moment your alarm clock buzzes off, until you doze off to sleep. Who has time for an hour of yoga every day when you can’t even have a decent breakfast because you do not want to get yourself caught in the middle of traffic, right? You do not need much time to practice yoga daily. In fact, you can use just 10-minutes of your time to do yoga every day. The rewards that you will get mentally and physically in this brief amount of time will be amazing. Some yoga poses that you can try in your 10-minute daily routine are child’s pose, cat/cow pose, downward dog pose, standing forward bend pose and triangle pose.
3. Overweight body
We often see skinny or toned people doing yoga exercises so it is often a misconception that overweight people are not capable of doing the exercises involved. A lot of beginners in this field feel intimidated and out of place. Being overweight does not mean that you can’t do yoga. Though there are certain yoga poses that you may find more challenging if you are carrying a lot of unwanted weight, there are a lot of yoga programs that are more suitable for those that have “round” body type. Discuss with your yoga instructor what poses are suitable for your body type.
4. Don’t have space at home to practice yoga
You may live in a small and crowded apartment where your living room, bedroom and kitchen are consolidated in one area. This may make you think that doing yoga at home is impossible. Well the good news is, unlike other type of exercises where you would need bulky machines or equipment, yoga does not take up much space in your home. You can just look for a perfect space even in the corner of your apartment where you can lay down your yoga mat and do those stretches and poses.
5. You want to lose weight, so it’s better to go to the gym
Most of the people who want to lose weight prefer the heavy and rigid workout activities offered in the gym. Aside from relaxation and rejuvenation which yoga is most popular for, it is also an effective way to lose weight. What’s great about yoga is that you don’t have to make too much effort, or use too much strength. You don’t have to lift heavy equipment to burn all those unwanted fats and calories. Through proper breathing techniques and poses, your body is working on its optimum level which in return speeds up your metabolism and burns those fats.
There is no doubt that yoga has a lot of benefits. Yoga does not only improve your physical body, it also enhances your spiritual and mental well-being. Those that have been devoted to yoga don’t only have a toned and healthy body, they can also handle stress and problems better.
It’s time to say goodbye to your excuses and say hello to yoga. How to start with your yoga routines?
- Make a decision to start – Before anything else, you have to embrace yoga and make a decision that it will be a part of your routine. Mark your calendar for the date that you want to get started.
- Pick a yoga type – Since there are a lot of types of yoga, selecting the one that does not suit your physical fitness state and personality may discourage you in the long run. Do your research first, before you enrol to a yoga class.
- Know what to bring – Yoga does not require much equipment. If you are enrolling to a yoga class, most yoga studios have yoga mats that you can rent. Just make sure you wear breathable and comfortable clothes.
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Author: Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).