There is often the misconception that yoga is a women-only practice that requires flexibility and a green juice in hand. Although we see all the celebrities and Instagram influencers in their picture perfect down dog, we also see that yoga is being encouraged by top athletes, public schools, hospitals and even the U.S. military within the recent years as yoga is booming. The stigma that yoga holds is now breaking as we realize yoga isn’t for wussies. Together we are learning to love mindfulness and the benefits this ancient practice has to offer.
Yet, we are still intimidated to try it. The intimidation can come from many factors as it can be a challenge physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and energetically. We depreciate ourselves by making comments such as:
- “I’m not flexible enough”
- “I’m injuried”
- “I’ll look stupid”
- “Men don’t do yoga”
- “I can’t sit still”
- “Psh, I can’t touch my toes”
The list goes on…but this mentality can stray us away from the healing power yoga can offer to new students like Frank.
Meet Frank. As a full-time paramedic and passionate power lifter, he has learned one or two things about stress and the body.
“I started yoga to begin learning more about my body, to increase my flexibility, and to be more in touch with myself. While I like heated vinyasa, I enjoy coming to restorative. With my long hours of work as a paramedic and spending my off days powerlifting and beating up on my body, I get a lot out of holding deep stretches, and I enjoy how it gives me an opportunity to reflect on my past days of work and push through any difficulties that I may have had. The deep stretching in restorative gives me a moment to really feel my body, where I’m sore and where I can improve. I have already noticed a big difference in my connection I have with my body while in the gym. It just goes to show. Men do yoga, too.”
Everybody and every body can benefit from yoga. Yoga is meant to meet yourself exactly where you are in the present moment. That is why there are multiple styles, modifications and variations so you do what suits you best in the moment reguardless of your gender, injury history or flexibility and strength. Our hesitation to avoid yoga because of its stillness gives us the opportunity to really sit with our thoughts and dive into the roots of ourselves. That is why it is called a practice. We are constantly learning each time we step in further to evolving ourselves.