When I decided that I wanted to start my own Yoga program, it wasn't just because I wanted to teach more. It was because I wanted to create a space and program that I could infuse with my own thoughts and values about practising Yoga. I feel like my manifesto for the Your Best Yoga program touches on each of the values that I hope to bring to the program and I want to spend some time "breaking down" each line of it for better understanding. Today I am starting with the first and perhaps most important piece - Yoga is for Everyone.
When I started teaching in 2012 I found that often when I would tell people that I taught Yoga, or invited them to a class, they would respond with a version of “Yoga is too hard for me, I can’t do it”. Certainly, if you see photos of Yogi’s doing extraordinary poses and think that is what you are in for when you enter your first Yoga class, the fear and intimidation factor is understandable (something I addressed in this blog post). This is truly why I created the Your Best Yoga Program. This program has only one expectation of the participants – simply do YOUR best. Everyone has different levels of ability, flexibility, and fitness, and EVERYONE* can do yoga and reap the benefits! Benefits that can include: improved strength, flexibility, mobility, stress and pain reduction, as well as emotional and mental health.
Lets try something...
Stand up, bring your feet hip distance apart, with your toes pointing straight ahead. Stand tall, shoulders back and down away from your ears, arms rest by your sides. Take 5 deep breaths, standing tall, right where you are.
Congratulations - you've just done Yoga! I'm betting almost everyone can manage that short practice (Note: I understand there are people who are unable to stand and assure you that there are amazing modified chair practices out there as well :))
Yoga is NOT just for one gender, body shape, fitness level, age, weight etc. It is for everyone and everyone can do Yoga in some form or another. Let me prove it to you... ;)
If this is your year to try Yoga and you live in Winnipeg, I hope to see you in the Your Best Yoga Beginner or Flow classes this year! If you're thinking about the Beginner class - don't wait - register by January 6th!
*Anyone with health concerns or injuries should always check with a medical professional before beginning any new physical activity.