Attention all Yoga Haters

Hate yoga?Hate yoga?  Well you’re certainly not alone!  Some of my very best friends dare to tell me they hate it too… gasp!  How could they?  And right to my face?!!!  

If you know me, you know I can be a bit of a yoga pusher.   I believe it can cure basically any problem in your life. 

 Acne?  Yoga.

Marital problems? Yoga.

Underactive sex drive?  Yoga.

Bad hair?  Yoga.

Sick? Yoga.

Dying? Yoga.

You think I’m joking…

Well tonight I have to say that I actually got where you are coming from and I think I might just get how someone could possibly hate yoga.  You see tonight was my first yoga class in weeks… almost a month!  I broke my own rules and failed to maintain my practice during the most stressful time for me.  I was super busy getting ready for the holidays, with work, studying for my French course and proficiency test and finalizing my separation and purchase of my home.  Yeah SUPER STRESSFUL!!!  Then came the holidays and I over-indulged big time.   Let’s just say no sugar cookie was safe in my presence … nom nom nom 🍪 

So today was back to work, holidays over, better get my butt back into shape day… and I thought that yoga would feel great. 

I was wrong.

My body felt tight and tired and it felt like hard work. I guess the little bit of running and spinning I did on holidays tightened me up and boy were my hamstrings speaking to me as I forward folded!

Another by-product of having neglected my practice over the past weeks was a noticeable decline in my patience and emotional wellbeing. I recognized over this hiatus that I was unravelling … becoming less grounded and feeling more anxious and unsettled. I caught myself stressing over the future and overthinking…. all things that signal to me it’s time for me to get back on my mat… for everyone’s well-being!


Herw are some of the things I notice when I am away from yoga too long:

  • Tighter body – everything tightens up 
  • Headaches 
  • Stress and increased anxiety 
  • Less patience, irritable 
  • Feel lazier and more tired 
  • Crave sweets and increased appetite 
  • Sleep is interrupted
  • Breathing is affected – it is noticeably harder for me to take deep, calming breaths… breathing becomes more shallow or I hold my breath often 

So…. if you hate yoga, you probably cite one of these reasons (and do tell if I’m missing any here):

  • You are too inflexible for yoga 
  • Yoga is boring 
  • Yoga is a waste of time 
  • Yoga is not a good workout 
  • Yoga is too hard 
  • Yoga is too slow 
  • Yoga is too hot (hot yoga) and it smells bad 
  • Yoga gives me headaches 
  • Yoga tweaks my back
  • Yoga hurts 
  • Yoga isn’t good for my particular body/situation/conditions 

Let me counter these arguments and try to convince you to reconsider your stance… because on nights like tonight I think I have a taste of what many feel when they go to yoga and hate it.  My body felt inflexible, I couldn’t get deep breaths, my mind was wandering, and the class felt hard. And because I’ve been on the other side and know how I feel when I have a consistentl, regular practice… I know that I’m feeling this way because I need yoga… and so just like the parties who vows never to drink again, I vow to remember what this feels like and to get back to yoga class again tomorrow and the day after that… and I know it’s going to suck a little because it will feel like hard work but I also know that it’s soo worth it!

Here’s what I have to say to the haters:

  • You are too inflexible for yoga 

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, saying you’re too inflexible for yoga is like saying you’re too dirty to have a bath.  ‘Nuff said.

  • Yoga is boring 

There are so many different styles of yoga and teachers.. don’t give up on yoga without having seen the difference and trying some different classes – power yoga, yin yoga, aerial yoga, partner yoga, bikram, moksha, hot, vinyasa, restorative…  

Gentle yoga classes can be challenging for those of us who are type a, and used to be super busy and on the go… we become used to being in a state of chronic stress- fight or flight … it feels really uncomfortable to slow down and relax because we just aren’t used to it.  Our body and mind strives for homeostasis… it wants to keep the status quo… even when that  might be a state of hypertension and stress.   If you have difficulty shutting off your brain and settling in to sleep at night it’s kind of the same thing.  Your body doesn’t know how to relax anymore. Think of that as your work out and build your stamina. Train yourself to rest!   The best way to o that is to start where you are and work your way down… such as a power yoga class that will keep you busy and moving and will tire you out … then at the end you can build your endurance for savasana.

  • Yoga is a waste of time 

Similar to above, people want to maximize their free time to get in a good workout… choose a yoga that incorporates cardio, weights… a power yoga type class. I promise you it’s a great workout.  Or challenge your perspective here to acknowledge that for you a challenging workout is to build endurance for rest…. often when we are resistant to something it is exactly what we need.

  • Yoga is not a good workout

Yoga is actually a great workout!  Again try different styles and teachers and give power yoga a try.  Compliment your other workouts and training with yoga for balance

  • Yoga is too hard 

Yoga starts with breath. If you can breathe, you can do yoga.  Sometimes even breathing is hard! Start where you are … without judgement … just noticing your breath and your body and where it is in that moment and then approach the practice with curiosity and a witness stance – for example noting that your left hip is tighter than your right or that it’s easier to breathe deeply on days that you feel more calm as opposed to says that are stressful.  Often just by bringing awareness we start the process of change.  Tune in! 

  • Yoga is too slow 

Try power, vinyasa, aerial or partner yoga for a more upbeat and quicker paced practice.

  • Yoga is too hot (hot yoga) and it smells bad 

It is hot!  I remember the first time I went in a hot room… I thought it was way too hot and that I would hate it.  Now… I swear it gets me through the winters here in Canada.  I actually crave the heat! Go hydrated and take it easy until you get used to yoga and the hot practice. Headaches, nausea, and a metallic taste in your mouth can happen due to the detoxification as you sweat.  Sweating is one of the ways we get rid of toxins in our body and the heat really loosens up tight muscles.  If you can’t bear the thought of hot yoga then enjoy a regular temperature class. They are less stinky 😂

  • Yoga gives me headaches

Again this can happen due to low blood pressure, during your menstrual cycle or due to tight, impinged body parts and pain.  As you release the stress and tension from your body and strengthen and tone you will see that yoga actually reduces headaches and migraines.  It will regulate your hormones as well which helps for those with headaches during menstruation.

  • Yoga tweaks my back

Yoga is a wonderful way to strengthen, heal and prevent back injuries.  Strengthening your core muscles – an amazing product of yoga – is a great way to prevent back pain and injury.  Yoga has even been found to help people with sciatica, scoliosis and dowager’s hump. I would recommend working with someone privately who is knowledgeable about yoga for back pain to get you started. 

  • Yoga hurts 

Yoga should not cause you acute pain or injure you in any way.  For the most part it shouldn’t hurt. I will say that for people with chronic pain or arthritis or recovering from injury there may be some pain due to those conditions but the yoga should’ve done in a way that supports healing and is not going to worsen the condition. Again, work with a well trained yoga teacher or therapist if you suffer from pain. It is good for everyone to take a private session from time to time to check their form and alignment in yoga postures to ensure they are practicing safely and getting the most out of their yoga practice.

  • Yoga isn’t good for my particular body/situation/conditions 

Again, I will argue that yoga is good for everybody and EVERY BODY. I have worked with geriatric patients who had lost their mobility and were in wheel chairs or Geri-chairs. I have worked with a blind man. I have worked with a gentleman who was the ripe old age of 102!  People who are dying use yoga in their last days to support them (see Donna Karan’s Zen Yoga Institute).  Yoga is a gift for optimal physical, emotional and spiritual health.  You just have to find the practice that is right for you.

If you are a yoga hater please know that I’ve felt your pain… I truly get it.  I do hope that my post will have made you reconsider giving yoga another chance. I passionately advocate for yoga for optimal health and wellness.  Please don’t hesitate to get I. Touch with any questions or concerns or advice to help you possibly like or even love yoga! ❤

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