We all suffer from occasional bouts of procrastination, especially when it comes to something that’s actually good for us. (Go figure).We don’t tend to procrastinate about that third glass of wine, or flopping in front of Netflix for the evening, but we do put off going for a bike ride, changing our diet, or yes, doing our yoga practice. There are still days (though they are becoming fewer and fewer) that I don’t do yoga. And, of course, there is always a great reason. So, this month, I thought I’d make a list of TEN REASONS NOT TO DO YOGA TODAY.
I’m sure many of you will recognize some of these and can add your own favourites to anything that you procrastinate about in your life!
1. I’M TOO TIRED. Yoga gives us energy and vitality. Also, it’s highly unlikely that we will feel less tired as the day goes on. Try it and see.
2. I’M TOO BUSY. I’LL DO IT LATER. Funny how that ‘later’ never seems to happen no matter how well-intentioned we are. Being busy means keeping our priorities straight. We are actually more efficient with the things we have to do when we spend time to do our practice because we feel better while we’re doing them!
3. I HAVE TO CLEAN THE HOUSE. This one’s a personal favourite. Obviously, the house cleaning police are going to ring the doorbell at any moment and demand an on-site inspection! Anyway, if you clean your house after a spot of yoga, you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm for it.
4. I DON’T HAVE A YOGA ROUTINE. Get one! There are several yoga teachers in the Deux-Sévres who, like me, would be happy to work with you to develop a personal daily practice.
5. I DON’T HAVE SPACE TO DO YOGA. So make one! You only need somewhere the size of your yoga mat. And, as the weather starts improving, consider doing your yoga outside. It is even more beneficial to do yoga in nature.
6. YOGA IS FOR SKINNY PEOPLE. This is one of the biggest misconceptions and is driven in large part by yoga types who emphasize a physical stereotype of the ‘ideal’ yoga practitioner. Actually many of the ancient yogis of India were quite tubby! And in any case, yoga helps to improve your digestion and regulate metabolism which will help to balance your body to keep the weight off.
7. I’M TOO OLD. I began teaching yoga at the age of 53. A yoga teacher recently died at the age of 101. She was teaching almost to the end. End of argument.
8. WHAT IF I HURT MYSELF? You are more likely to hurt yourself cleaning the stairs or leaning over the bathtub without preparing your body fist? Doing yoga under guidance will increase your body-awareness which will, in turn, protect you from injury as you go about your daily routine.
9. I’M NOT FLEXIBLE. No one is flexible at every part of their body. Yoga is not gymnastics. Flexibility is over-emphasized because of the images of extreme yoga postures that we see as examples of the ideal yoga students. Flexibility is just one part of the many benefits of yoga, which include improved strength, endurance, resilience, balance and body awareness.
10. I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF SOMEONE ELSE. Whether a spouse, kids, grand-kids, friend or animals, if you take care of yourself, you will be in such a better state of both mind and body to take care of someone else. Even 15 minutes will make a difference.
FEEL FREE TO ADD: It’s too hot, it’s too cold, my yoga pants are in the wash, and my dog ate my yoga mat!
In truth, we all need a break now and then, even from yoga. But there is a difference between a conscious break and an excuse. Because whatever your reason for not doing yoga today, it will stop making sense the moment you step onto your mat and you remember why you were there in the first place.