When the conversation comes to yoga in any way with anyone who has never tried to do yoga, this is the common statement that s(he) cannot do yoga because s(he) is not bendy or not flexible enough to touch his/her toes or s(he) is “too” skinny or “too” big or “too” old or not a calm person at all etc. When I come across to these kinds of judgments of the people about themselves, I just ask them one question: Can you smile?
Because, when you smile from heart, you do yoga already anyway. As soon as I ask this question they smile spontaneously. I love to see this relaxed feeling on their faces and this makes me really happy as I think it is the beginning of guiding them to the right direction for going further. I believe, smiling from heart with shining eyes is the most challenging and most beautiful posture (asana) you can ever achieve and once you are there, you can definitely stay on a mat longer for the best reunification of your mind, body & soul.
I always emphasise that yoga is not about being a pretzel on a mat but it is certainly more than this. When you truly start to practice yoga on the mat, it slowly becomes a 24/7 practice off the mat too; towards yourself and others, towards the nature itself and towards your beliefs and emotions… First, you learn how to transfer the basic conceptions of yoga into your daily life and then gradually you gain the ability to apply the more complex fundamentals of yoga to tougher situations of life.
No matter if you can go to handstand easily or not, the place where you are is always the right place you should consider to be for a while. You are still good enough to get the benefits of yoga as an aid in your daily routine as long as you carry on. You are not behind or ahead than anyone else who’s doing yoga in your neighbourhood. Because every experience is unique and different than others. They cannot be compared or judged. Every little effort in terms of this great ancient practice is rewarded regardless how intensive it is. Just close your eyes and listen to your mind, body and soul. As long as you take your own journey with a consistent practice physically and philosophically, you will learn to deal with the everyday situations calmly, strongly and maybe wisely no matter how hard the circumstances are.
Therefore yoga is for every gender, for every age, for every ability and for every body-shape. Because we all have the potential of putting the right amount of effort towards finding the bliss. We are just so busy or not fully focused on to see this. I love yoga because it can be customised very easily for our own individual needs and according to our true nature. Under the guidance of yogic philosophy, our mind will get bendier but maybe not our spine yet; our soul will have more freedom but maybe not our shoulder blades yet. Does it really matter? With regular practice, we can touch our toes one day. However, what matters most is; what are our aims and dreams in life? Who we are when we work towards our dreams? How we go there? How we think? How we act? and What/How we say?
Wouldn't be an amazing experience to discover your own limits to see how far you could go to feel good, to feel content, to feel calmer and in peace? Oh, you may be surprised how deeply yogic experiences can change your life once you truly involved in stretching and strengthening your body, your mind and your heart to find the balance & harmony on the mat and off the mat.
Then, think! What stops you to breathe well, flow well and connect well today?
With Peace, Love & Joy