Written by Danika Desforges-Bell, MSc. Ps. ed., 2017
In a previous post,What’s the Big Deal about Meditation, we explored the misconceptions of meditation and some of the benefits of a regular practice such as unplugging, living in the present moment and helping you cope with general stress. That being said, more and more clinicians and therapists (including myself) are encouraging clients to introduce yoga into their life. Some clients already practice yoga regularly while others are very hesitant to trying it and that’s usually due to the human race’s biggest fear: the unknown. What will happen? What if I embarrass myself? What if I can’t do the poses asked? I’m not flexible, yoga is not for me.
Well, let me address some of those fears, once and for all!
1- There’s no such thing as being “good at yoga”: That’s right, just because you can do a split or a headstand doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished the ultimate yogic goal. I’m often disappointed by yoga websites or general media representation of yoga because it often forgets to showcase yoga’s message: Get comfortable with the uncomfortable while respecting your own personal boundaries. Isn’t that a lesson we could all learn from? Yoga is more about the mind and the barriers we put up ourselves than making sure we can do a downward dog.
2- What if people judge me? : Yoga emphasizes acceptance and inner peace. Trust me, your biggest critic is yourself. Most people are there to work out their own demons and challenges… but, if you notice yourself judging others (“wow, she’s so good” “oh man, how does she do that?” “eesh, that doesn’t look right”) well you can guarantee that it’s a reflection of your own internal dialogue. How we see and think of others is often how we speak and judge ourself on a regular basis. Yoga is a place to practice empathy, compassion and acceptance… leaving judgment at the door.
3- What if I fall or ‘mess up’? : That’s the whole point. Yoga is a place to try things outside of your comfort zone and … fall! Learning to get back up, trying again and accepting our limits & boundaries is a very important lesson to integrate into our work and personal lives. In other words, yoga can help you break free from the chains of perfectionism and help you face your fears, all in a safe environment of compassion & understanding.
What are your thoughts and fears? Share your own experiences or reservations about Yoga, we’d love to hear from you!
Tomorrow, we will post Part 2 of this blog. We had the chance to interview Yoga Teacher Sonja Tessari to give you more insight into the benefits of yoga… have a good read!