I'm not Flexible.
Is the number ONE reason why people don't try yoga. This is like telling yourself "I'm not going to the dentist because my teeth are not in great condition."
And my reply "Maybe that's why you might want to give it a go.'
In Western cultures, yoga is often associated with bendy 20 year old insta gymnasts. That's not yoga. Yoga is not about the shape of your pose but about the shape of your life. And yoga teaches us is how to breathe, move and connect to ourselves and the world around us in a different way.
Sure, I practice yoga for the physical benefits including increased strength and flexibility. When I first started, I could hardly walk. It took three months of a daily practice to be able to kneel down. Yoga is linked to numerous other health improvements such as anxiety reduction, alleviating headaches, relieving insomnia and regulating our brain biochemistry.
My brain is an amazing tool. It's helped me to experience so much in life. To learn, travel, create, teach and explore. But it's hard to switch off and I'm prone to overthinking, perfectionism and the need to continually be on the go. Without my daily yoga practice I'm detached from myself and the important things in the world around me.
The physical practice of yoga is a 3000+ years old tradition that has been honed and perfected systematically. It represents an holistic approach for human well-being.
Yoga reminds me to listen to my body and as Nietzsche once wrote "There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy." The human brain is why we have been able to build the incredible environment we live in. But it's our body that keep us alive, healthy, heals us and it's through our body that we find the quickest way to change our life. The power of our breath alone can help to centre our awareness in a heartbeat when our poor brain get easily overwhelmed?
As the saying goes "nothing changes, if nothing changes. If you keep doing what you've always done, you keep getting what you've always got and feeling the way you've always felt."
And so, next time your curious and maybe your body is asking you to try yoga, and that little voice of self-doubt whispers in your head "you are not flexible." Notice it. Accept it. And then tell it to get the hell out of there.