This week I came across three people in my life who expressed their dislike for yoga. In two of the cases the individuals said that they hate moving so slowly.  In the third case, the person said that it makes her nauseous.

I have one client who did not want to be in my yoga class because she felt it was some sort of cult and that it would go against her religion.

There are a number of reasons why people dislike yoga. Perhaps you have a few reasons yourself.

One thing that yoga does is it forces us to slow down and face our limitations both emotional and physical. Many people hate being alone with their thoughts. In my classes, we hold the poses/stretches for 5 deep breaths usually. The challenge is learning to relax into the pose and accept what it is teaching you about your body and mind.  This can be hard for people to face.  If you are one of those people, I suggest that you still do the yoga and eventually the “feeling” components of the class will come into focus for you.  Until then, look at it as a just a great way to become strong and flexible. Ignore the ‘mumbo jumbo’ of the yogi at the front of the class, if what he or she is saying sounds hokey to you. 

My first experience with yoga was “Hot Yoga.”  I took a friend of mine. It was awful.  The room is very hot and we were doing extremely challenging poses in that heat for 90 minutes.  My friend threw up and passed out!  I hated the experience, especially since I had told the teacher that it was my first class and after telling me to go at my own pace, he chastised me anytime I came out of the pose to take a break!

I am happy to say that I did go to another yoga class and it was there that I found peace and relaxation.

My message today is there are many different styles of yoga and many interesting classes, so if you have had a bad experience in one, try another.

I am not a perfect yogi by any stretch of the imagination but I do my best to show people the benefits of regular yoga practice.

In my fitness classes I have been incorporating yoga postures for years during the stretching component but not using yoga terms.  Instead I have taught my clients that the low lunge picture above, also know as prayer twist, is both a stretch and a challenge at the same time.  So for those athletes who do not want to be caught doing yoga, I would speak about the balance challenge and for those wanting the stretch, I would focus on teaching them how the pose is helping to keep them flexible.

The key is simply to get moving.  Once people start to feel their bodies in ways that are unknown to them, the benefits start to unfold.  Now my clients actually ask me for more “yoga stretching .” 

Yesterday, after I had taught fitness for a few hours my body was not happy.  My right hip was in pain and it was radiating to my lower back.  I immediately went into my stretches from my physiotherapist, which also happen to be common yoga postures but because I was rushed, I was not getting any relief.  The relief came later after teaching my last class of the day, Gentle Yoga Stretch on the chair.

I felt so wonderful after the class.  My pain was gone completely and I thought to myself, I wish I could convince everyone I know to give yoga a try.

Find a friend and a go to a new yoga class this weekend.  You will laugh together and maybe in the process you will reap some benefits for your body and mind.

Have a great weekend everyone,