It’s that time of year or rather the NEW time of year when my yoga classes are flooded with people who have been sold on the idea that yoga is good for them. Most of them come because they think it’s going to be stretching galore. Hint, it’s not.
Yoga Will Change Your Life.
Someone has said that to them. And it can but first, you have to get through that thing I dread, the fucking learning curve. It doesn’t matter if it is a new phone, a new computer, or the friggin’ dishwasher.
Learning Curves Are Rough.
Last Saturday was the first class of the new year. Twenty-seven people showed up to Beginning Yoga. Half of those peeps were new to me or to yoga. I have taught yoga and fitness for the last thirteen years and I’ve been a gym rat my entire life.
Of the huge flock of resolutioners, only two percent, TWO PERCENT, are going to stick with the new routine. It takes sixty-six days, 66 fucking days, to build healthy habits. It takes two or three repetitions to build unhealthy ones.
I opened class with the same song and dance I usually do when I see new faces.
“This is Beginning Yoga. I do adjust your poses in this class. 99.9% of the time, I will pull you back from where you think a pose should be because you’ve seen it on the cover of a yoga magazine to remain nameless or because some celebrity has demonstrated the shittiest version of a pose on television. I will help you find YOUR healthy alignment. There is no such thing as ‘perfect pose’ and any instructor that forces you into what they are claiming is perfect should be punched in the face. Hard.
Yoga isn’t a competitive sport. Your yoga won’t look like my yoga. We have all arrived at this moment by various paths and we are all hauling our own baggage. Injuries, illness, inhibitions, and yes, that extra twenty pounds means your yoga is unique to you.
Someone said, “Yoga is amazing!” It is also tough. Yoga ain’t for sissies. You are going to learn to use your muscles in a way you haven’t before. Strength AND flexibility. The first few classes are going to suck eggs.”
I also added this: “Look left and right. Half of you won’t be here in February. But hey, it’s me, so half of you may not be back next week.”
Yes, I think everyone on the planet should do my brand of yoga and Pilates for the rest of their life. Core strength and healthy alignment will improve everything else you do.
People ask me weekly, “How many hours of yoga should I do per week?”
Three. Three hours of yoga, three flows a week to feel the full benefit of yoga. Most of my regulars can manage one. And you know what? That’s one more hour a week than if you didn’t do any.
I say give yoga three months to feel like you are getting your shit on the mat together. Give yoga six months to feel as though you are making a change in your body. It takes almost a year to have some sense of control on the mat.
If you absolutely hate me, I don’t take it personally. If you absolutely hate yoga, there is nothing wrong with you.