Thursday December 28, 2017
By: Aia Faham
“Yogis are not those who never fail, but those who never quit”
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me one of the following misconceptions about yoga, I’d be a Millionaire.
– “Yoga is Boring.”
– “Yoga? Is it the thing that you do nothing while sitting still for long time? Oh, Sorry, I cannot.”
– “Yoga is for the flexi bendy people, that I am not one of.”
– “Okay, wait for me until I gain some flexibility, then I would start Yoga. Pinky Promise.”
– “Yoga? It is a Girly Thing. Real Men Do not do Yoga.”
Probably you have already thought about a hundred reasons not to do yoga. You may even have heard your friends agreeing with your excuses. But let me explain to you some facts that may refute your assumptions, and change your mind about the practice. We start doing yoga not because we are flexible, but because we want to be – in body and mind. In other words, yoga comes first then flexibility follows. Thus, flexibility is the result of yoga, not the other way around.
Yoga is not just one type. It includes various techniques and styles. Some types are active, dynamic, powerful and include lots of movements. Others are quiet, still, restorative and relaxing. This is why yoga is not meant to be ‘one size fits all,’ but rather a tool that can be tailored for each individual’s body, needs, mood, and preferences.
Though nowadays, yoga is somehow a female-dominated practice, back in ancient times, it was an all-male practice. Women were not allowed to practice yoga. It was not until Russian born Indra Devi, traveled to India and became the first female and western certified yoga instructor, in 1937, that western women were introduced to yoga. So, Yes Real Men do Yoga.
It is important to understand that yoga is not the practice of perfection. It is not an activity we engage in only when we have time, enough money, suitable circumstances or flexible bodies. It is a life long Journey that requires practice, patience, progress and persistence. The golden rule that can distinguish you from anybody else and can dramatically revolutionize your practice is “Persistence and Consistency.” That’s how I gained my stamina and endurance to achieve the level I am in today and become a yoga instructor.
Practicing wasn’t easy. But no matter how many times I fell, I got back up. I laughed every time I fell out of a posture. I make fun of myself, but I am also proud of every little success I achieve. If I had allowed myself to be discouraged because I was unable to do the advanced postures, you see in the pictures, I would have never started, celebrated myself or enjoyed the journey. It would have only led me to feel I was not good Enough, the worst thing anybody starting their yoga journey can do to themselves.
Start today at your own pace, no matter how inflexible your body is. It’s all what you have for now. In time, you will achieve outstanding results. You don’t need to buy any expensive yoga pants to look like yogis. Real yogis wear comfortable clothes to practice, even if it was their pajamas. The most important thing is to start practicing. However, if you choose not to practice yoga, at least stop using the excuses you’ve been telling everyone. Now you know that none of them is valid.
Aia Faham is a certified Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor, who travelled extensively around the World Searching for her calling in life, until Yoga found her. To learn more about Aia Faham and her yoga projects and retreats please visit her Facebook Page
All photos courtesy to Aia Faham
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