An open letter to all those who think yoga “is not for them”
Aren't we all looking for something? Isn't everything that we do driven by an idea or a place we would like to attain?
I first came into this journey of yoga and self-discovery with the aim to reach a state of absolute bliss, happiness and stillness. Whenever I felt sad or depressed, I was told to do yoga because it will immediately make me feel better. But actually it didn't, it made me feel down and emotionally drained most of the time. But for some reason I kept on coming back to the practice because a big part of me trusted it.
There is a misconception that yoga is always good for you but this is not necessarily true. Yoga actually could bring out a lot of emotions especially when practicing asanas like backbends and heart openers as well as practices of pranayama (breathing exercises) and even meditation. These kinds of practices allow emotions that we have long suppressed to come out. And what happens when they do? We freak out and start thinking “Oh yoga is not for me!.” In life we always tend to avoid the things we need the most.
We all want an easy happy life free from any kind of pain or suffering. But reality is far from that and there is no life without struggles. We forget that it’s through those very struggles that we grow and become a better version of ourselves. Actually when these emotions come out, that means yoga is working and you are healing. At the end of the day, isn’t this why you came to yoga in the first place?
So what is yoga? This is probably one of the most difficult questions I am usually asked because really yoga could be everything. Yoga is open ended, it has no end point and completely unique to each and everyone. Yoga is you and you are yoga; you learn about yourself, it is flexible and always changing depending on internal and external factors. I can’t tell you what your yoga means. As my beautiful teacher Bex always says "I don’t know what yoga means to you and what could bring you to the mat, you would need to discover that on your own." But I can surely tell you what yoga is NOT.
Yoga is not just a physical practice, it is also a way of thinking and a way of life.
Yoga is not about certain positions and how the body looks but rather how it feels.
Yoga it is not about separation, judgment, competition and resistance to change, it is about union, acceptance and embracing all what is.
If you are still not convinced that yoga is for you, I invite you to give it another chance with a different yoga style or even a different teacher. Yoga is not confined to only one style thankfully there are many for all kinds of people. Finding the right teacher is also crucial and finding a teacher that you resonate with is not easy!
The beginning of this journey is the most difficult especially when you don’t have access to the right tools nor the emotional support from family and friends. I admit I’m amongst the lucky ones who have a yogi mother who supported me in every step of the way. I know many of you don’t have that and probably have the exact opposite: people who are against this practice trying to put you down every single time. I feel you and I am here to support you! I am very happy to help anyone in any way I can. Please feel free to reach out at any time.