After practicing yoga for around 2 years, I got myself certified. That’s when I learnt that Yoga is the state of being and not doing.
It’s more than the bends and twists and inversions. It looks fancy, yet is the most basic level of psychological and physical health you need. A need more a than want.
Not getting into the intricacies of what actually the practice is, the common excuses I have come across are.
I will look awkward- you will, but no one is watching you. Most of the class will be spent with your eyes closed, as you observe your inner light.
I am not flexible– and hence you most definitely need to start. When people do the basic stretches and contractions, they realize that pain was normal for them. They had accepted the state of being in pain which was totally avoidable
It’s too slow for me or does not challenge me – There are many styles and Asanas which are Dynamic, but in this fast paced life, take a moment and SLOW down. Breath and relax. Don’t be scared to be with yourself.
More like boring– I agree, it tends to get boring once it stops challenging you. I went ahead and tried various styles once the beginner things in the class got too boring for me. However, for novices, I have experienced a simple Tadasana (Tress pose) or Dandasana (Staff Pose) can be challenging by engaging the right muscles.
I would rather sweat to feel I got a workout.- Most classes today crank up their air-conditioning, except hot yoga or Bikram yoga. While the philosophy says that you require your heart rate, breath, and posture to be still, relaxed and effectively not breaking a sweat. However, I believe, if you are sincerely listening to your instructor then you will be covered in sweat even with all the air-conditioning since we are not Zen like that.
I am a man and I like lifting weights – In the early time, it was mainly practiced and taught by men, yoga only makes you stronger emotionally. Try the asanas that challenge your strength. Experience lifting your own body weight. Poses such as Chaturanga Dandasana (4 limb staff pose), Bakasan (Crane pose), or even the downward facing dog will give the definition in your arms and chest that you were working so hard for.
I can’t understand the mental aspect– You don’t have to, it will come to you. We are not qualified to understand the mind and soul. That’s why we have the physical asanas which help us unify our body and mind to get closer to our soul.
“Your Birth is itself Yoga, Yoga is Yuj(to yoke) not just Asanas, it’s a way of Life”
(Yoga and Lifestyle Consultant)
I tried yoga and hated it- And please don’t force yourself to like it. I am positive you tried it with all your heart but it just did not work for you. The good news is that there are many other forms of workouts that you would enjoy, the key is to be self-aware in what you are doing. If you feel light and happy after pumping those weights if dance lets you loosen your muscles and gives the stretch you need, by all means, go ahead!
There is no need to start yoga because everyone is doing it. But for once if you felt like to try it, take up a couple of trial classes or see for a month, before you say I can’t – Yoga. !