“I’m not flexible, will I be able to do yoga?” The most common yoga question I ever heard. The answer is “Yes”, a BIG “Yes”. Of cause you are able to do yoga, yoga is for everyone.
A lot of people think they have to be flexible in order to do yoga, some people feel stressful and awkward in group classes where they can see very flexible people (advanced practitioner or naturally flexible). They feel shame when they are not able to touch their toes in forward bend. However, believe it or not, stiffness could be a blessing for our body to prevent us to over stretch ourselves.
After studying Yoga Anatomy, I understood more about body’s limitation of movement because of body proportion, bones, joints etc. I realized that neither being stiff or being flexible is perfect. Non-flexible people might found it very difficult to do various yoga poses while flexible people are easily over-stretch and lead to serious injury due to lack of body sensation.
In fact, stiffness is also a blessing on practicing self-acceptance. In a period of time I hated to go to yoga classes. Because I felt so upset whenever I see teachers or people who can easily make “perfect” yoga poses. I blamed myself and I forced myself to practice even I had injury in order to master those perfect poses. As a result, I never became “perfect” but ironically my injury became more serious.
I also realized I have never accepted who I am in the past. I always see perfection in others but being judgmental to myself. I see being stiff as a sin, I see imperfection of myself as a shame which is not true, totally wrong indeed.
I believe our number one priority in our life is to love ourselves. In order to spread our love to others we first have to love ourselves. To love ourselves fully we first need to accept ourselves unconditionally. Accepting your imperfections is a primary approach of self-acceptance. Let’s be imperfect and grow together on and off the mats! Have a nice day :)