Yoga Loves All

Towards the end of my Saturday morning practice at my dear friend Ursula’s yoga studio, Inner Power Yoga, I had a magical thought light up my mind.  As we rotated with breath in ardha matsyendrasana, I had a vantage point of a sea of practitioners who had been all around and behind me during the entire 90 minute flow.  A beautiful flood of faces and ages both male and female, all of different heights, weights and yoga experience levels made me beam with the feeling that YOGA really LOVES ALL.

When non-yogis find out I teach yoga, I often hear from them “I can’t do yoga.  I can’t even touch my toes.”  Of course, I always respond by saying “That’s exactly why you should try it.”  The truth is everyone can do yoga and those that say “I can’t” are probably the ones who need it the most.  Little do they know, the negative mindset is what they need to tackle more than the stretch to reach the toes.  Reaching the toes is just a small prize one receives after they discover the shift of living from “I can’t” to “I can do it” or even “I can try”.

Anyway, as my drishti (gaze) in ardha matsyendrasana slowly shifted the deeper I rotated in the posture I realized how inclusive and supportive yoga is for everyone.  At that moment in the room, all I could appreciate is how content everyone appeared as they experienced the posture that was right for them in the moment.  Some sat tall and proud, some binded while others modified.  What got us to that point of all being in the same shape on a rainy Saturday morning is that we simply showed up to practice.

Showing up is the first step, and everyone can show up unless they’re paralyzed with the “I can’t” syndrome.  Yoga is practice.  It isn’t about touching your toes or wrapping your foot behind your head.  The trick really is that you just show up as you are and work from there.  Through practice you slowly learn patience and respect for yourself.  You start to reveal all that you CAN DO and not what you think you can’t do.  And the more often you hit the mat, the phrase “I can’t” is slowly eliminated from your vocabulary in all areas of your life.  You begin to love yourself for exactly who you are.  You start to move and act gracefully in all situations you encounter.  Best of all, you start to see anything is possible if you embrace it and give it a try.

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