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“I’m Not Flexible Enough” and Four Other Common Yoga Excuses

By Marcy Barbaro, Fitness Instructor & Certified Yoga Teacher at MyY Innisfil

Yoga & slow stretching elongates the muscles and opens the joints gradually.

When I approach a guy lifting weights about coming to a yoga class at MyY Innisfil, chances are he’ll answer, “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga.”

My standard response?

“That’s like saying you’re too dirty to take a shower!”

Think about it: Those with bulging hams and quads are the people who need yoga the most! The larger the muscles, the tighter the joints, and the smaller the range of motion. Slow stretching elongates the muscles and opens the joints gradually, allowing synovial fluid in to work its magic and allow for greater ease of movement.

Here are four more of the most common yoga excuses:

“I don’t have any yoga clothes.”

Although some brands have worked very hard to make you believe that certain clothes are required to practice yoga, this is simply not true.

Wear something snug that also allows you to move freely. Any kind of stretchy pants (other than jeans) or shorts that come to about mid-thigh, and a t-shirt or tank top will suffice. A long-sleeved shirt to slip on during Savasana is nice. No shoes required!

“I am too worried that I will pass gas in class.”

The truth is — it happens! It’s unrealistic to think that we can twist and fold our bodies, creating pressure on the abdomen, without some release. Eating light before class is a good strategy, but an experienced yoga teacher won’t acknowledge any little noises like this, and move past it.

“Yoga is against my religion.”

Yoga at the YMCA focuses on movement and breathing techniques that promote relaxation and wellness. Meditation may be a part of the yoga class, but this is never religious in nature. YMCA yoga allows people from all religions to feel welcome and comfortable.

“I don’t feel like I get a good workout in yoga.”

Chances are, you probably already do other activities that place demands on your body. Yoga is an opportunity to rejuvenate your body and restore balance. You may sweat in a yoga class while stretching and holding certain positions but ultimately the purpose of yoga is not self-improvement, it is self-acceptance. Think of it as a workout for your insides!

Learn more about the Innisfil YMCA programs schedules.

Marcy Barbaro is a Fitness Instructor and 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher at YMCA Simcoe-Muskoka in Innisfil, Ontario. She welcomes all beginners and inflexible people to her classes – everyday.

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