“I’m Not Flexible Enough To Do Yoga….” by Jessica Webb
I have heard this so many times in my career, as has every other teacher I have met. When I hear someone say this, I have two reactions: First, I chuckle (I’ve tried to avoid the chuckle, I really have) and then say with patience and acceptance, “Why do you feel you have to be flexible to start yoga?” The answer is usually the same as well.
Something like, “I don’t know but I can’t even touch my toes!” And then they proceed to show me how far they are able to bend over.
It becomes quite a comical experience for both parties.
After the giggles and chuckles are over, I begin to explain what I am about to explain now.
Now this is very important, so please copy, paste, write it on your chalk board at school, on your mirror in your bedroom, set a reminder on your phone…..:
You don’t have to be flexible to start yoga.
(GASP) (WHISPER) (FAINT)
I know, I know. It’s a crazy notion. Actually, flexibility is an added bonus that increases with EACH class!
(GASP) (WHISPER) (FAINT)
Yoga brings you flexibility, it is not something that needs to be obtained beforehand.
Just as a gymnast does not go into their first class having the ability to do flips on a balance beam; strength and flexibility evolve through a regular practice of love, patience …. and a lot of props.
A beginners class or a beginner friendly class will take full use of props including blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets, sandbags, eye pillows and then of course there is the undeniable personal water bottle that will be kicked, moved, shoved and rolled throughout the whole class (water bottle not provided by teacher or studio).
With all of these glorious items, you WILL be able to touch your toes! Maybe not the first class, maybe not even your fifth class, but guess what’s happening? You’re willingness to let go. You’re willingness to change your mind about placing certain people and things in a certain box. Your walls begin to crumble, you start mixing worlds and WHOA! It feels good to let so much space in, huh?! Notice your breath even! Has it gotten deeper? Have you started listening to yourself more? Maybe to the beat of your heart?
You just needed a little help, some guidance, and maybe a lot of padding.
So don’t be timid about coming into a class for the first time because you have no flexibility, or you think you’re overweight, or you think you’re underweight, because you have knee issue, because you have a back issue, because you have a bad pedicure, or whatever! As teachers, we got you homey!
So, come on in! Grab a couple blocks, a blanket, a bolster, a mat….. make it 17 blankets and 5 bolsters (we’re gonna get crazy), a chicken, 2 bottles of water (one for kicking, one for drinking) and your surrender…. Ahhhhhh!
Jessica Webb teaches a Yoga Fundamentals Workshop every month – she leads you through a 2-hour in-depth look into the essential yoga poses that are included in every Yoga class. Each class has an emphasis on alignment, and Jessica will deconstruct poses from the ground up, or from the head down, for a better understanding of how to correctly and safely get in and out of a pose. Click here to sign up for this month’s workshop
About the Author: Jessica Webb
Jessica comes to wonderful Sonoma County all the way from Dallas, TX! Jessica’s yoga journey began in 2006 when she took her first class. After that class, Jessica knew that she wanted to be an instructor so 6 months later, she enrolled in a 200 hour hatha/vinyasa program. Following that Jessica taught kids, the elderly and a ton of private lessons. In 2012, Jessica decided to increase her knowledge by getting my 500 hours at the Dallas Yoga Center. During that training, the school introduced her to more types of yoga such as Ashtanga, Iyengar, therapeutic yoga, somatic yoga and sound healing yoga. Learning, experiencing and loving these types of yoga created her own personal style and my own teaching technique. Jessica’s teaching style is more vinyasa but with an emphasis on building a pose correctly to better understand and to avoid injuries.
It has always been Jessica’s dream to move to California here and be a yoga instructor so to be a part of such a highly reputable studio such as YogaOne.