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Nourishing Life: taming your yoga fear dragon

Post Published: 07 March 2011
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Category: Column, Nourishing Life, Thyroid Nutrition and Health, Uncategorized, Yoga Class for Your Thyroid
This post currently has 8 responses. Leave a comment

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!


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8 Responses to “Nourishing Life: taming your yoga fear dragon”

  1. Amanda says:

    Jen,
    Awesome article. Just recognizing that we all have a “Stanley” is a big step. Mine is generally called hipo [because I feel like a hypocrite when I make excuses because I don’t accept lame excuses from my kids]. My hurdle seems to be not just accepting that I make excuses, but giving myself permission to do things, like yoga, that are for me and for the betterment of me. But you are correct, sooooo correct when you say “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.” The more you do, the more you want!

    Yay Jen! Thank you

    Amanda

  2. AnnMarie says:

    Thank you once again Jen! Your words resinate with me, as well as those of friends who are loving the yoga lifestyle. It really helps a newbie like me to break down my own excuses and fear.Fear that has kept me frozen in the past of “cant do” for some time now. No More! My Fear Dragon: Analazia ( which to me is ann is lazy lol ) is well on her way to being slane! I am soooo all about the extreme of things. I have felt like if I do something its balls to the wall or nothing. That attitude in itself causes me more pain than its worth. I end up spending so much time beating myself up and not getting anywhere. I am working on that and I am really glad that I have these wonderful blogs and things I can read to help me keep focused and become the new me 🙂

    • JenniferSaunders says:

      Oh Ann…I am all too familiar with the all or nothing club. Would you bop me over the head if I told you yoga helps with that too?

  3. Erin says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome article! I’m naming my fear dragon as we speak!

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Jennifer;

    This is so awesome! Yoga is something I’m really passionate about. I’ve read so much about the practice of yoga. Admittedly, I’m afraid of really committing in a meaningful way. Why? Because I’m sphere (fat).

    Thanks to you, and your fabulous column, I’m feeling more confident every day, and pushing myself harder. I must tell you, you’re so right, yoga changes how I feel and think.

    You’re fabulous.

    Katie

    • JenniferSaunders says:

      Awe – thanks for your kind words Katie! I truly believe that yoga is for everyone. Yoga allows us to create lasting transformative change and reconnect with our true selves. It is a gift we give ourselves.

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