There's a large difference between the attitudes of people who practice yoga and people who "do yoga". I'm not trying to hate on anyone for their choice of practice (or lack thereof) but I find that I was once someone who would say I "do yoga" and I would mean just that. I did yoga. I didn't practice it.
Yoga does not mean you MUST have a spiritual practice, do fancy asanas or meditate everyday. And it also does not mean that you MUST be extremely flexible or be a vegan or have fancy yoga clothes.
The problem, I realised, is that there are people on both ends who are trying to dictate what yoga is or isn't and why their practice is superior to someone else's.
I don't believe in just trying to learn fancy poses so I can get a video or a photo. That's silly to me and at the end of the day, I feel like doing that alone means you miss out on all the amazing other parts of having a regular yoga practice.
One thing I've heard is that some people prefer to just do the fancy poses because "Yoga isn't for everyone" In the same way exercise and healthy eating isn't for everyone, right?
Anyone and everyone can start yoga. I would definitely encourage it regardless of what you do you in your life right now.
Find a studio with the form of yoga you're interested in learning, a teacher you like, a class you enjoy and make the time to go. Having a proper practice is so much for fulfilling and rewarding than just doing a few asanas here and there.
When i "did yoga" it was hard. I wanted to achieve certain asanas even when my body wasn't ready for it. Then i'd get upset if I couldn't do it, I'd be frustrated if I expected progress when there was none and I'd be so focused on learning a specific asana and forgetting all the ones I already knew how to do.
Here's an example of something I can accept now that previously, I would have been upset with. These are both photos of me attempting Ardha Chandra Chapasana (Sugar Cane Pose). In the photo on the left, I was tight, had leg doms, hadn't stretched, it felt almost impossible to lift my back leg even higher that it already was.
But after giving myself 10 minutes of stretching, (I stick to doing Elle Fit's Get Bendy to loosen up) the result I achieved was the photo on the right. Of course, the heat helped me get warm and loose as well, but stretching has it's benefits.
I know these things happen and I let myself take the time to get better at it and give my body what it needs. But in the past, I would have just been upset and tried to force myself to do better without stretching or letting myself warm up.
I'm not saying yoga is easy for me now, but it's definitely a lot more enjoyable and a lot less stressful. Holding some asanas, finding my balance and flexibility, letting time and gravity help, it's all things I understand and I don't rush anymore.
Now progress comes easier, faster, and I don't count my "success" by whether or not I can hold an asana or how long it took me to learn it.
When you learn to enjoy the process instead of learning a specific asana, you have a much better practice.
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