Now, I’m not trying to judge or call anyone out. I’m calling it laziness because that’s what it is. Laziness was what kept me from realizing my full yoga potential ten years ago. I was introduced to yoga my freshman year of college and I used the same lame excuses I hear a lot of friends and colleagues say today. “Ugh, I’m not flexible enough to do that”, “I don’t have upper body strength”, “I don’t have any balance”, “I can’t even touch my toes”, “It is too expensive.” I WAS THAT PERSON! I have believed every excuse you can think of. And I know we should live free of regrets, but this is something I actually do regret. I regret not getting started sooner and not giving it a chance. I regret making the decision to be lazy instead of getting over my excuses. I regret choosing my doubts instead of learning how to become stronger and better. I regret it because I have seen how much yoga has helped me….and it could have helped me sooner.
The truth is if you aren’t flexible enough to touch your toes, then you need yoga. If you aren’t strong enough to hold a plank, then you need yoga. If you can’t sit down with yourself and meditate for just 5 minutes, you really need yoga. If you can’t seem to fall asleep or get anything done during the day because of stress, anxiety, or over-thinking, you need yoga. If you are all of the above, then start right this second. Stop reading! Get to it.
The mental switch for me came when I started seeing pictures of women doing yoga in the comfort of their own home. For whatever reason it never occurred to me to start my practice at home, or to stretch at home, or even work on some of the poses at home. Youtube wasn’t around yet. Virtual fitness didn’t seem like the right fit because I thought I lacked self-discipline and knowledge. I thought I needed the accountability of someone else’s voice and eyes. I never imagined that yoga at home could provide me the benefit of going at my own pace. Who knew that just getting on my mat for 10 minutes a day would make all the difference in every aspect of my life. I thought the only way to practice yoga was in a yoga class, with other students, and an experienced teacher. While this is a great way to start and to continue a yoga practice, it isn’t the ONLY way.
What do you need to get started or to deepen your practice at home? A mat and mental presence. Mental presence and concentration are the solid foundation of yoga. Whatever it is you feel you are lacking, yoga can help you strengthen it. Dwelling on fear and insecurity is a recipe for failure. The main ingredient needed is a willingness to practice with presence of mind and body. Being present in your practice means experiencing the moment-to-moment changes in shape and dynamics in every part of the body. The minutes that you spend practicing will affect your whole body, not just the muscles you think are being stretched or strengthened. When you notice and feel the changes that yoga has on the whole body and mind, your practice will become more effective. This alone will motivate you to practice and to stay consistent, but before anything happens the WILL to want to get on the mat needs to be there.
You see, before starting my yoga practice at home, I didn’t have the will to dedicate time and energy into holding a stretch. At the time, I was too “busy” binge watching Gossip Girl to focus on my health. I didn’t have the patience to stretch for minutes on end. I didn’t have the tolerance to meditate. I didn’t have the composure to stay calm when faced with chaos or difficulties. I gave up on things and became moody often. I didn’t have the confidence to say, “If she can do it I can too.”
Although I have new sets of problems to deal with, at least I’ve left these excuses behind. I’ve waved goodbye to laziness, unrolled my mat, and committed to a lifestyle that works.
How about you? Are you looking to start a yoga journey but find yourself too scared or lazy to practice at home? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Send me a message and we can chat about how to get started today!