Every Body is a Yoga Body
I can’t do yoga, I’m way to stiff for that!
No way! I can barely tie my shoes.
I’d be too embarrassed to be the only one who didn’t know what they were doing.
I went to a class once and will never go back! I felt so self conscious – it was awful!
I walked into a class once and everyone turned and stared at me. I almost cried and it was the worst class ever.
I don’t know the names of any of the positions (is that what you call them?) and I’d get so lost and feel stupid.
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, many of us have had an experience, thought, or hesitation to join a class for similar reasons. But if you ask any yoga student, many started the same way and are grateful they pushed through and attended their first class. At Niantic Yoga, we don’t want you to suffer in any way, whether from your own self-talk or from a previous or preconceived experience of walking into a new class for the first time.
It’s important to us to know what the barriers are for people attending their first class. Our primary goal is to make sure that every single human that walks through our doors – or thinks about coming to a class – feels welcome. It does not matter one single bit where you’re from, how flexible you are, how skinny or curvy you are. How stiff, sore or callused your hands are. You are welcome here. Can’t touch your toes? No one cares. Tight muscles? Mine are too. Need a chair to lean on and get back up off the floor? Been there. Think you’re too old? Stop it. Age is a number, not a diagnosis. Shy, nervous or afraid of being judged? Rest assured, you’re the VIP and it’s our honor to include you in our classes.
One of the biggest hurdles for new students to get over is the desire to take a yoga class – be it your first class ever, or the first one in a long time. Once you’ve made up your mind, it’s our job – our duty – to make the rest as easy as possible.
We want to remove every excuse, every barrier, every hesitation. Let the red carpet roll folks, our doors are open. As you know, you’re the only one who can make up your mind to say yes. After that a natural momentum takes over and the next thing you know, you’re on your mat and smiling.
There is another barrier that we can’t overcome without your commitment. It’s the desire to live a more positive, grounded, flexible, fluid, energized life. If you have the desire, your body will respond over time. The effects of a regular yoga and meditation practice are tried and true. One class a week is a great place to start. Twice a week is a great middle ground. The ultimate goal is to practice some form of yoga every day. A 5-minute breathing practice, a 10-minute meditation, a 15-minute stretching sequence, a full 90-minute class; the options are endless.
Every body ha a yoga body is such an important phrase for us because – get this – it’s TRUE!
We breathe, therefore we can do yoga. Yoga is breathing.
We move, therefore we can do yoga. Yoga is moving.
We desire to be better, therefore we can do yoga. Yoga is fulfilling your desire to be better.
I took a class for Kris Montigny a few years ago – she’s the brilliant soul who founded Niantic Yoga in 2002 – and we were seated in a chair for the entire class, all 90-minutes of it. The class was focused on micro-movements and if I remember correctly it was all lower leg work. We worked through a series of breathing, meditation and other steps, starting with the right leg. After the sequence, we got up, walked around and witnessed the difference between the two sides. One loose, engaged, aware. One closed off, stiff and less responsive. The left-side work was all done with our eyes closed, visualizing the movements and not moving a muscle. Not one movement, simply envisioning it in our mind, our consciousness, in our very being. When we got up to walk it out and compare the two sides – the were the same. No joke, simply visualizing the movement, the release, the change – it was equally beneficial to the movement itself.
So to all the “I don’t have a yoga body” people, we challenge you. If you have the desire, you can do yoga. Yoga has hundreds of various styles and practices, within which we all have a place. At Niantic Yoga, all our teachers are trained in teaching all-levels classes. No excuses, we teach to your level, no matter where that level is.
You may not ever get into yoganidrasana, yoga sleeping pose, with your feet behind your ears, but there’s very few who are built for – and driven to – the extreme poses. The rest of us are built for poses that challenge our thoughts, our self-talk, our focus and attention. The poses that make us feel like we accomplished something good, the poses that allow us to soften, release, and surrender the stuff that no longer serves us. The poses that allow reprieve from the pain and stiffness, and the discovery that the more we practice the longer we remain pain-free, worry-free, and free from the anchors that keep dragging us down. So lighten up and join us for a class or two.
Don’t take our word for it, listen to the experts: