Overcoming Common Barriers to Starting a Yoga Practice
This post addresses 3 common barriers to starting a yoga practice and offers tips to overcome those barriers.
Many people never start a yoga practice due to common barriers they believe are hard to overcome. This is unfortunate as the practice of yoga has the ability to transform a person and can be life changing. In today's post I will address some common barriers to a yoga practice. By the end of this post you will feel more confident in starting this journey.
Not Flexible Enough (#1 Reason)
This is by far the most common barrier to practicing yoga. Which is ironic because one of the biggest benefits of a yoga practice is increased flexibility. Yet it stops many people in their tracks. They never discover the power of yoga to help change their body's flexibility.
The practice of yoga is meant to meet you where you are in this moment with the body you have today. Even after a short practice many people find their flexibility has improved by the end of the class. In fact, flexibility is one of the first and most noticeable benefits of practicing yoga.
In order to overcome this barrier easily, there are a variety of modifications and variations to make poses more accessible at first until your body starts to loosen up. Remember the body can be stiff from years of inactivity, misuse, and our habitual patterns. It takes time and patience to coax the body open but it can be done and in less time than you may think.
Start slow and be patient with yourself.
Practice on a regular basis to increase flexibility quicker.
No Idea Where To Start/Too Complicated
A yoga practice can seem overwhelming to a new comer. With the many different styles and so many poses to remember on top of focusing on the breath. It can feel like learning a new language. In a way you are, learning a new way of being in your body. However, it does not have to be overwhelming or complicated.
The best idea is to start. When learning something new we all have to start somewhere. Yoga is no different. It can even be beneficial to try different styles, poses, and teachers to find what fits you best.
You can start in the privacy of your home with the many online options available. There are both free and paid options out there. Try some out. Let go of being a beginner and immerse yourself in the classes. You might be surprised how quickly you learn the various poses and even their names. With some repetition and regular practice you will soon find yourself getting into a down dog all on your own.
Try out various styles and teachers to find what fits you best.
Start at home with variety of free and paid options.
Have fun and learn to laugh when you fall out of a pose. (It happens to all of us.)
Don't Have the Time or Tools
Let's face facts, this is simply an avoidance issue. When we evaluate the way we spend our days, most of us realize we have the time available if something is important to us. There is no rule on how much time you need to dedicate to a yoga practice. Some spend an hour others 15 minutes. It's not the quantity of time it's all about the quality.
Spending just 10-15 minutes a day can make a difference in your body and mind. Most of us easily waste that much time on social media. There's your 15 minutes a day.
As for the tools needed for a yoga practice. You can practice without anything special by using items you may already have in your home. A large towel can be used in place of a mat. Large books or soup cans in place of yoga blocks and a belt instead of a yoga strap.
In my own practice I use a yoga mat, 2 blocks, a strap, and sometimes a pillow/blanket/towel. Be creative and think outside the box. Having a few items to assist in your practice can be helpful but is not necessary as there are ways to modify poses without props or tools.
Evaluate your day to see where you can set aside 15 minutes to take care of yourself.
Start with a mat and add tools/props as you go that you find helpful.
Be creative with making time and using things you have around the house.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"