What If You're Not Flexible Enough To Do Yoga?
Updated: Aug 17
By far the most frequent comment I hear is: "I would LOVE to come to one of your classes, but I am not flexible at all!!!".
9 out of 10 conversations start like this. Usually followed by nervous laughter.
It shows 4 things:
There is confusion about what a yoga class is about.
People fear embarrassment, they think they might get judged.
People would rather not try yoga than be embarrassed, or feel uncomfortable.
People think you need to be flexible to start yoga.
"I'd love to try Yoga, but I am not flexible at all!"
Unwind's mantra from day 1 has been: We don't want to just teach you Yoga, we want you to fall in love with it!
And this is truly what I hope for my students, I want you to fall in love with yoga - as a way to ease the aches and pains in your physical body, and a way to ease the aches and pains in your mind.
To take a little time out from life and do something that's good for you.
And if you want to just stay on the mat and rest for an hour or an hour, then that in itself is yoga, too, and we will not discourage you.
But back to the issue of flexibility....
Yes, one of the physical aims is for yoga to help you get more flexible over time simply because it will help you feel better. Flexibility has many health benefits.
But no one needs to start off being flexible when they first come to us, or even when they come back after weeks of having a break.
The only thing you need to bring is the one body you have that day, and during the hour that you join us for a class. The teachers will work with you. So, the only person that needs to be flexible in the studio at any point in time is the teacher - and only in the sense that they need to be flexible enough to find kindness for each student's needs during class.
You are scared of not being flexible enough? Try our Beginners Course - learn the basics, savour the kindness, enjoy the calm & release of tension.
If you are a little bit (or a lot) scared to even try a yoga class, my tip is to come to our beginners course. Here we will:
Teach you a range of basic postures using common language, no Yoga jargon here.
Break down postures into simple steps, so you learn what it is and why it is good for your body, without overloading you with information on alignment and refinement - all this can and will happen later.
Show you where to put your feet, your hands, your elbows and shoulders, etc. by gently guiding you whilst you are in the pose. However, if you prefer not to be guided by touch, you can always tell us and get more verbal cues.
Reminding you to breathe without becoming obsessed about what the correct Yoga breathing is, this is for later.
Transition from one pose to the next in an uncomplicated way. We may just tell you to "sit down on the floor" (rather than float-hopping through your arms bent at 67.5 degree angles).
We will use some Sanskrit (the ancient yoga language) as it brings a certain ambience to a class that can help you relax more, but we will not throw parshvottonasanas at you, that is for later.
Most importantly, we will be kind to you. And help you to be kind to yourself. The amazing thing about yoga is that if you invite this kindness into your practice, if you listen to your body at all times and accept that one day you may feel a practice is easier for you than on other days, you WILL become more flexible, you WILL build strength, you WILL be able to start considering more advanced and then really advanced classes, if that is what you want.
The only rules are: No pressure, no judgement. No flexibility needed.
Come and join us for a class, or two, or join our next beginners class - the less flexible you are, the more welcome you are!
You may just find that we do not just teach Yoga, we will get you to love it!
Beginners Course Info can be found here.
Or do a 2 week trial for one of our regular classes here.
(Unwind Yoga Studio is located in Cookham, Maidenhead, in Berkshire)