Don't Compete, Love Thy Yoga Neighbor

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What if I'm not as flexible as other people in my yoga class?

Don't Compete, Love Thy Yoga Neighbor

Yoga is not a competitive sport. The best way to a yoga pose is to focus on yourself and what you can do on any given day, and not whether your neighbor on the next mat can put his or her foot behind his or her head.

Some people can do certain yoga poses more easily but they find certain other poses more difficult for many reasons, including body shape and history of other activities. For example, if you have long arms and a long torso, but short legs, forward bends aren't difficult, but if you are a longtime distance runner with tight hips, a lotus position may not be something you can do anytime soon. If you are particularly tired, or sore from another workout, don't let that worry you or keep you from a yoga class. Often, yoga helps relieve the delayed-onset muscle soreness associated with other activities, especially an Iyengar or Bikram-style class.

What counts in each yoga pose is that you be honest with yourself and work in the pose to the best of your ability, without being intimidated or distracted by the person on the next mat.



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