New Year’s Yoga Resolution?

by Denise Druce | January 11th, 2012 | Fitness Expert

Here we are again, the gyms are full of folks with great intentions and new resolutions. In looking at the research, I learned that almost half of American adults make resolutions each new year. Among the top New Year’s resolutions are promises to lose weight and exercise, and this year, giving yoga a try made it to the top of several lists.

So what about you? Are you ready to give yoga a shot? I have spoken to a lot of new exercisers this week, and many of them say they would like to try yoga but…

Here are 8 reasons they gave me for not venturing into a yoga class, and my responses:

1. “I’m not flexible enough for yoga.” This is like saying you need to get your house clean before the cleaning lady shows up. One of the greatest benefits of yoga is the increase in flexibility. Look at it this way; the less flexible you are, the more you have to gain by trying yoga.
2. “I don’t have any of those fancy yoga clothes.” Come as you are, but it is helpful if you wear something that you can move in. Stretchy fabric is best, and consider something a little more form fitting. The last thing you need in your first yoga class is a loose T-shirt up around your neck in your first downward facing dog.
3. “I don’t want to be the only one in the room who doesn’t know what chaturanga means.” Every yogi had a first class. And I think you will be surprised at how many people in the room are just like you. They are all there to become more flexible, stronger, and less stressed. Yoga should not be about competition or comparisons. If you do find yourself in a class where these things are present, move on. Find a teacher and a community that honors the pure essence of yoga, which is very personal and safe and non-competitive.
4. “Yoga doesn’t burn enough calories.” True. But neither does getting a massage or practicing meditation. Yoga shouldn’t take the place of your cardiovascular and strength training workouts. Consider adding one yoga class a week to your regular workout plan. You will find that yoga enhances every other activity. Yoga is the perfect compliment to the pounding of running and the repetitive movement of cycling. It gives us balance and symmetry. And peace of mind.
5. “Yoga is too hard.” Ask around and find a teacher that gives lots of options for modifications. I’m a firm believer that the practitioner should be able to find ease in every pose. And that means something different for each person in the room. If your wrists are rebelling, come onto your elbows. If a pose hurts your knees, use props. Start with a gentle or restorative yoga class and work up to more strenuous forms of yoga.
6. “Yoga is too easy.” Yoga is what you make it. Ultimately it’s about finding balance in your own body and soul. Flexible people can work more on the strength aspects of yoga, and strong fit bodies can work on becoming more mobile and flexible.
7. “I don’t like feeling exposed in front of other people.” Practice on your own. There are many great DVDs on the market so you can practice in the privacy of your living room. Just make the commitment to yourself to set aside time each day for a few minutes. Two of my favorites are: Seane Corn’s Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners.
8. “I can’t relax enough to do yoga.” This is the number one indication that YOU need yoga in your life. Give yourself permission to slow down. Yoga is scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and stress, increase feelings of peace, joy, and self-awareness. More than any other activity, yoga helps us be in-the-moment. Present. There is no greater gift we can give to ourselves and those we love this year than the gift of living each moment, fully aware and fully present.

I hope you give yoga a try in 2012. And if you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Contact me at www.DeniseDruce.com.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.