Nourishing Life: taming your yoga fear dragon
I’ve noticed something over the past few months. It creeps its way into most conversations about yoga. It comes out in our verbal and non-verbal communication. It is fear. Not just any fear – it is yoga fear. And it is a big dragon that most people who are interested, but not sure, about yoga lug around with them like a ball and chain. So, in honour of our month long celebration of all things yoga here on Nourishing Life, I’ve decided that we need to tame our yoga fear dragon.
Before I school you in all things yoga fear dragon taming related, I want you to name your dragon. Oh come on – just go with it. Take a moment. If you had to name your fear around yoga what would you call it? My yoga fear dragon is named Stanley.
Please say hello everyone.
Stanley and I used to have an ongoing debate about all the reasons I could not do yoga. Could not start yoga. Could not do yoga. I’m here to tell you ladies – Stanley fucked with the wrong girl. I tamed Stanley. He is not a mostly, but not always, very quiet. Stanley is well behaved and minds his manners.
How I tamed my yoga fear dragon (aka Stanley)
You are too ____________ for yoga (insert body issue of choice)
Here is a secret – everyone has body issues. They cross age and size. It doesn’t matter what size you are or how old you are. Your mind (aka Stanley) will tell you all the reasons related to your body you cannot do yoga. “I’m too fat!” “I’m too old!” “I’m too stiff!” Here is the thing with yoga – it meets you where you are. Can’t get up and down off the floor? No problem – you can still do yoga. Think you have too many rolls to bend over? Nope. Nada. You can do as much as your body allows. That is yoga. Yoga is about so much more than flexibility. It is about creating awareness. It is about connected with breath. Yoga is the journey inwards towards yourself. Yoga is for all of us. Body issues? Join the club. NOT a reason not to try yoga. Next.
I am too busy. I don’t have time to indulge in yoga.
Join the club. Next.
I smoke. I eat junk food. I drink. And if I do yoga I have to change all that.
No. No. And no. Yoga has a natural way of working itself (in a good way) into our mind, body and spirit that allows us to want to change some behaviors for the better. But you do not have to wait until you create change to start yoga. Start now. There is no later. Some of your habits may change. Some may not. Its all up to you. And anyone who tells you you *need* to do X, Y and Z to be a yogi – well they can pound sand. Frankly, I find unsolicited lifestyle advice rather un-yogi like. Next.
My kids will bother me. I can’t do yoga with them around.
Make it a family affair. Role model what self-care looks like. Next.
I cannot afford yoga.
Do it at home. Check out some books and DVDs from your public library. There are other options besides going to a studio. We’ll talk about this more soon. Promise.
Sometimes with these yoga fear dragons you need to be firm and cut to the chase. I’m not trying to diminish your fears around yoga. They are real. I get it. I was there too. Somedays I go back there. But I NEVER EVER regret getting on my mat. EVER.
I promise you that the feeling you get at the end of a practice is worth the risk it took you to get on your mat. All of the reasons why you can’t do yoga? That’s just fear talking. Fear can be a bitch – trust me, I know.
You are stronger and more capable than you know. You can do yoga. Yoga is for every body.
So our yoga fear dragon? Say bye bye. You won’t be seeing him much anymore.
See ya Stanley!