"I Would Do Yoga, But I'm Not Flexible Enough"
How many times have you said this? Yep, me too.
Yes yoga can be a series of beautifully curated photos on Instagram, and seemingly impossible moves.. but it can be so much more than that to.
What it really comes down to is how you view yoga, and how you view your yoga practice. Reality is, yoga can be whatever you'd like it to be.
Want to do the splits and balance whilst holding your leg behind your head? Yes that's yoga (sometimes).
Want to simply relax and wind down from a stressful day? Yes that's yoga too.
Simply looking to become more mobile and move your body a bit each day? Yes that's yoga.
What I'm trying to say here, is that yoga can be whatever you want it to be. In the Sancti Yoga newsletter, this is exactly what I will share with you each month. Little tips and tricks to practice yoga your way.
What Even Is Yoga?
When you first type the words "what is yoga" into Google, you'll see thousands and thousands of definitions, meanings, origins of yoga on the internet.
Some define yoga directly from the origin of the word in Sanskrit* (an ancient language of India). From Sanskrit to English, yoga means yoke.. (nope it's not the dippy part of an egg!)
To Yoke means to unite, or to link and somehow join together. Which is why many people all over the world, define yoga as a union of some sort. You'll find countless articles and blogs out there, all referring to yoga meaning a union.
It's therefore very often referred to that yoga aims to join the mind, body and spirit*. I like that one. It seems to make sense to turn up to your mat not just as a form of exercise, but also to feel more connected within yourself.
If you really dig into the history of yoga, you’ll find that yoga stems from thousands and thousands of years ago. Ultimately, you’ll find many different “definitions” of yoga. Yoga really can mean different things to different people, and that’s perfectly fine!
I would love to go into depth about the history of yoga, but really that’d make this into some sort of dissertation rather than a blog.
So let’s leave that for another day!
My Bones Weren’t Made For This
You know what, sometimes they just aren’t. There’s a lot of yoga styles that focus on alignment, which can be great to feel each pose. However it’s really not essential, because guess what? Our bodies are ALL different This is why I try to steer away from strict alignment cues, and give various options so you can choose a version of each pose that works for you!
The more I learn about anatomy and the physical make up of your body, the more important I realise this is & that not all poses are accessible to everyone. So next time you’re forcing yourself into a movement or pose that just doesn’t feel quite right, listen to your body & allow yourself to adjust.
A lot of the time yes it can be flexibility. Far too often however, it can actually be the make up of your bone structure. Yep, so your bones really can stop you from getting into certain movements and poses.
It is totally normal for some people to love a certain pose and others to hate it because of how different our bodies are!
It’s YOUR Yoga Practice, Nobody Else’s
The reality is, yoga can be whatever you want it to be for you. It's your practice after all!
Whenever I teach yoga online, I always try to embody this sense into the class that it's your practice, to do however you like. All I'm here to do is guide you through each movement. Of course some poses will be difficult, and take time to "perfect", but that's part of the fun right?
This gives you something to work towards, a goal. Then when you finally get a pose, it feels like an achievement! But that doesn't mean that what you were doing before wasn't "right". It just means that your practice is progressing with time.
It can be so fun to track your progress, and one of my favourite sayings I hear all the time in yoga is "practice not perfection".
So the reality is. However "flexible" or not you are, it's impossible to be doing it wrong, because it's your practice and it's your journey.
But what do you have in common with everyone else? You keep turning up to your mat, you want to learn more & keep progressing whichever stage you're at.
It seems there's just something about yoga that becomes irresistible. Maybe it's the benefits we feel in our bodies, our minds, or a combination of both.
Whatever it is, it is amazing.