Eight Reasons Not to Do Yoga

1)  You hate yoga.

Self-explanatory, right?  If you’re the person who’s tried yoga a few times and feel that it’s not for you, don’t force it.  There’s not something wrong with you if you hate yoga. Everyone has different preferences. With that being said, don’t knock it until you try it.  Yoga can cause so many positive changes in a person’s life, so it’s important to give it a real try if you think you’re interested.

2)  When you need to get real about balance.  

Yoga is all about balance, right?  So, if you’re only leaving your house to do yoga, or prioritizing it over seeing your family and friends, then that might be a problem.  Balance your life with all the parts that give it meaning. Yes, yoga can be a part of that, but it’s just one piece of the whole puzzle.  It’s also important to practice what you learn in yoga outside of your classes. For example, the simple act of being mindful to what’s going on in your body can be practiced throughout the day.  It’s hardly balance if the only time you are ever mindful is in your weekly yoga class.

3)  If it feels like an obligation.  

It can be a nightmare when you feel like you HAVE to do something, even if that something is yoga.  That’s actually a pattern of thinking that therapists refer to as a cognitive distortion, which is a negative thought that doesn’t reflect truth.  You don’t HAVE to do anything, and you don’t have to feel guilty when you skip a yoga class because you’re tired, or sick, or just don’t want to. That kind of rigid thinking is what yoga is supposed to be trying to challenge.  Be flexible in your body and your mind.

4)  Don’t use it to avoid your real problems.

Maybe you just had a fight with your significant other, or your boss upset you, or you’re going through a difficult time in your family.  Yoga is great for managing those stressors, but it also isn’t the only solution to taking care of personal crises. It’s important to talk to your partner, learn the assertiveness skills to stand up to your boss, and find a balance of problem-solving and acceptance in managing family conflict.  Sometimes, a person might need therapy to work on these types of personal issues. Remember yoga is a supplement to physical, mental, and spiritual health. It’s not the answer to everything, and it isn’t the same as going to therapy.

5)  You like other types of exercise better.  

Yoga isn’t for everyone!It is highly beneficial and can be a good skill for people to use in coping with their mental health issues, but it isn’t going to work for everyone.  You may like running, Zumba, kickboxing, or swimming. Most aerobic exercise is going to give you the same types of benefits as yoga will. Doing different kinds of exercise can also be fun!

6)  Yoga doesn’t equal wellness.  

There is a lot more to holistic wellness than just doing yoga.  I think true yoga preaches that holistic wellness is important, but are people truly understanding that message?  Yoga is more than a new weight loss trend, or a new fad exercise. Do your research and engage in yoga the way it was meant to be practiced.  And to have holistic wellness, focus on nurturing your relationships, eating well, moving, and resting.

7)  If you’re not practicing at the level that’s right for you.

Trust me, if you’re going straight into an intensive power yoga class, it can be overwhelming.  You want to feel challenged, but not push yourself too hard. Find the right difficulty level for you, the right kind of yoga, and the right instructor.  Just walking into a yoga class and expecting it to bring you all the benefits it promises is not feasible. Just like in therapy, it takes time to find the right fit.

8)  If you’re sore and need renewal, take a break.  

Listen to what your body needs.  Be mindful of what your body can take.  That means taking time to rest, and saying no to exercise when you need to.  Sometimes an hour long nap provides more personal benefits than an hour long yoga class.  You can also get a lot of injuries if you don’t pay attention to what your body is telling you.

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