What’s up there in your ‘Top 5 Reasons Why I Can’t Do Yoga’?
Get a nasty rash from lycra? Incense makes you cough? Ears bleed at the first hint of an out of tune ‘om’?
I’m not going to go on a big rant about how the most important thing anyone should find the time for is keeping themselves mentally, physically and emotionally healthy. I’m also not going to remind you how if your life is that busy, and if that many people are relying on you to do stuff, then surely it’s even more important that you take care of yourself?
I won’t do that because I know you know that already.
But what I am going to do is make it harder for you to find excuses as to why you can’t get on a mat for just ten minutes a day.
Excuse Annihilator #1: Your bed does not control you.
Get up ten minutes earlier and do it before you do anything else in your day. (Apart from putting on appropriate clothes. Trust me – however much your partner loves you NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOU NAKED IN A DOWNWARD FACING DOG.) Leaving it ‘til later in the day won’t work because something else will always happen. Worse case scenario – you do have that elusive ten minutes later in the day so you can do it all again. Bonus!
Excuse Annihilator #2: Some things in life are tough when you start. Suck it up and do it anyway.
Guess what? Doing new stuff for the first time is hard. Shocker, eh? Trouble is, when we’re grown-ups we forget what it’s like to be so excited about something we work and work and work at it ‘til we can do it. Riding a bike, learning to rollerskate, memorising Bananarama’s whole routine to ‘Robert DeNiro’s Waiting’ – whatever it was we worked for it. Nothing has changed, apart from our attitude (and hopefully music taste).
Excuse Annihilator #3: Change isn’t comfortable.
For most of us, when we start out, yoga is most definitely a predominantly physical practice. You’re going to be using bits of your body that probably haven’t been asked to do very much for a fairly long time. But the more uncomfortable you are, the more your body and mind fights back, and the more you find yourself hating every moment, the more you need this practice in your life.
Excuse Annihilator #4: What your doctor said 2/5/8 years ago may not stand now.
If you’ve had an injury or illness your doctor might have told you, at one point in your life, that yoga might not be the best thing for you at that time. Or maybe you read it somewhere. Or maybe your hairdresser’s cousin had the same thing…or was it an aneurism….but it was something similar…and she did yoga and it made it much worse. Whatever the scenario, that was then, and this is now. Of course, if you’re going to start any type of new physical activity you should check with you doctor first. But stop assuming that the condition you were in then is still the same now. And don’t believe everything your read or your hairdresser (unless they’re talking about hair…and actually not even then if they say you’d look good with an undercut.) Go. Ask. Check.
Excuse Annihilator #5: It can cost you almost nothing.
Personally, I would recommend that you get yourself a yoga mat because they’re designed to try and stop you doing yourself an injury a la Bambi on Ice. If you shop around you can get really cheap ones from places like Sports Direct (I’m talking under £15. Still can’t afford it? Stop buying posh coffee every day on your way to work and you’ll have it covered in around a week.) Then get on youtube. There are so many totally free-of-charge (and good) yoga videos out there. Yes, learning with a teacher in the same room/country/continent as you is the ideal, but if it’s doing this or doing nothing – you know which one you should do.
Have I missed any? I’d love to know if there are others I’ve not thought of. Send them my way and I’ll annihilate them for you. You’re welcome.