If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, “I’d love to do yoga, but I’m not flexible enough” or skinny enough or young enough or crunchy enough or WHATEVER enough, I’d have a zillion dollars. While yoga is clearly becoming more mainstream again, I think there is still a huge misconception about what a yogi(ni) looks like. This misconception makes me want to answer the question “Who does yoga?”
To answer that, I only have to look at the mats in front of me while I teach. Amongst my students, you will find:
1. A kindergarten teacher who is about as sweet as maple syrup and spends all of her time leading the next generation through ABCs and 123s. She is young, recently engaged, and uses yoga as her “me” time.
2. A psychologist who is incredibly busy tending to the peace of mind of others (and teaching students to do the same,) and who uses yoga to treat herself to her own loving kindness.
3. A professional poker player who, in his early 20s, uses yoga to calm and center himself between hands so that he can earn enough money to finish his college degree.
4. A beautiful woman in the Senior Citizen age group who uses yoga to increase her flexibility and improve her balance as well as improve her Pickleball game.
5. A anesthesiologist who can do arm balances like you wouldn’t believe. He is dedicated, adventurous, and a delight to have in class.
6. Many college age students who use yoga to focus on class, lose weight, and open their minds.
7. A woman who is a mother, a dancer, an actor, and general Jill of All Trades who comes to yoga to chill the heck out and treat herself a little after treating the world so much.
8. A woman who is recovering from knee surgery who uses yoga as a form of physical therapy while she heals.
9. Other yoga teachers – YES, even teachers still need to take classes!
And, of course, many others. I have students who are overweight, under weight, Christian, Atheist, bendy and not so bendy. I have students who are looking for a spiritual experience and others who are just looking to work out. I have students who chant and students who stay silent and hold the space. I have students who want to flow and students who want to hold. I have students of every color, size, shape, race, religion, occupation, political and sexual affiliation, life time students of yoga and folks who, until last week, thought yoga was a dairy product. I have the whole word on their mats.
Yoga is for EVERYONE. I promise you… you are thin enough, flexible enough, open enough, crunchy enough. You are ENOUGH enough. Unroll a mat, open your mind, and let the world unfold.