Beginner Yoga, On Aging, Yoga for non-yoga people

When you begin

  
You may not be able to touch your toes. 

You may not be able to breathe in and out without coughing. 

You may be embarrassed. Worried you don’t look right. Your mind may be scattered. You might feel as if you have made a mistake. Like you don’t belong. 

Today in a beginner class there was a man who must have been anything between fifty and seventy years old. He was unable to turn his head left or right without extreme effort. He could not lie flat on his back. He was groaning with almost every pose. 

But, he did amazing! He stuck with it. 

Two things made yoga success for him: he told the teacher it was his first time ever and what his physical limitations were, AND he approached the class with a sense of humor. 

When you begin, it is tempting to blend in with a class. Put your mat as far from the instructor as possible. You might compare yourself to the other students. 

Don’t. Yoga is not a competition. It is not a group activity. It is for you, to improve mobility, to improve your mood, for your body and mind. Yoga is your experience, and a good teacher and sense of humor will result in success for your first or thousandth class. 

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