How to bring your loved ones into yoga world?

“I’m not flexible, I can’t do yoga”, “nah,I don’t think I can…..”;

These responses were always what I got when I invite family members and friends to join yoga together. Yoga is always a misconception of you need to be flexible or thin, or it’s connected with religion.

Yoga isn’t “too hard” or “too easy.”. Yoga isn’t a religion. Yoga is for everyone at every level, and yoga can fit into every lifestyle. If you’re open to trying the practice, you just might discover how inclusive and uplifting yoga can be.

What can we do to help our loved one to roll on their first mat and try? Here what’s in my mind: ~

  • Give them a picture of what will be happened from the start of class till end of the class. Tell them what’s the entire process; it could from a sign-in section / pranayama breathing exercise / who when how during the class, a simple studio etiquette brief. Let them have a clue beforehand so that they are not totally lost.
  • Help them not to shy away. You might want to share with them about suitable outfits, props and mat. Of course, most of the studio now did provide what are needed for practices. Most importantly, let them know no one is judging at them when they’re in studio practice. Why did I say that? This is because many yogis have been where you are and they relate to what you’re going through—regardless of what they look like now, and what they’re capable of on the mat now. Let them know yoga is so much about personal experience and development. Basically, what they need to ready are just themselves with water bottle and small towel =)
  • Choose the best fit first class for them. With the wide range of yoga class available out there, you can find some interesting class that may helpful to introduce yoga at their first class. You might also want to choose classes that might fit more into their personality. However, we still want them to have their own experience.
  • Share your story with them. Not only sharing how yoga has benefit your physical health, but also mental stability. Yoga helps calm our mind, de-stress and relax, relieves anxiety. Through yoga, you get to know yourself and building self-trust. You became self-conscious and mindful, you able to understand yourself with compassion and love, as well as toward others too. Mental health and self-awareness are issues need to deal by every individual to balance life and find sense of inner-peace.

We have to appreciate that everyone is different, and yoga is so much about personal development and understanding. At the end of the day, we can’t force people to do things they don’t want to do. We can however share our stories, gently present them with the opportunity to try, and let them experience it at their own time and in their own way. A small introduction might be a good starting point that will help ease them into the world of Yoga.

Ahimsa towards Yourself

Ahimsa towards yourself

Ahimsa, the first and foremost five Yama of Eight Limbs of Yoga. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word meaning of “non-violence”, or in another words it means “absence of injuries”. Ahimsa is not only non-violence in the physical sense, but with your words and thoughts as well. It’s the absence of violence in physical, mental and emotional form.

Many of us could say good words and show pleasant behavior to our families and friends, or even could show generous kindness to stranger. But we seem to forgot the most important “myself”. You may not identify some thought and mind actually harm yourself. 

It’s important to remind ourselves of ahimsa throughout our yoga practices, it is easy to just judge at ourselves for not being at a level of enough strength or flexibility and push ourselves too much further which beyond what our body can do thus hurting or injuring ourselves unconsciously. This is not saying that we shouldn’t push ourselves to get better, but we need to be made the process slow and steady for improvement. We have to be thoughtful to our physical body and only go a little bit beyond your ability day by day, one day you will get here. While we practicing on mat, celebrate every moment between you and yourself. Practicing ahimsa over and over again, eventually it will become natural part of us.

The more often you practice self-care and compassion, eventually you become ‘ahimsa’ naturally and effortlessly. Take a moment for yourself, sit comfortably and upright, close your eyes and place your palms together in heart center. Take a deep breath in, notice whatever within you now, maybe you can feel your pulse or even a fluctuated mind, but they’re all fine. Whisper to yourself “Thank you, you’re great.”