Yoga Q+A: Do I Have to Be Flexible to Do Yoga?

One question is never enough, is it? When I wrote 27 Things to Know About Yoga, my goal was to answer all of the initial questions that folks ask about Yoga, but once you ask one question, your mind comes up with another … and another … and – you see where I’m going with this?

The thrill of living is that we always have more questions than answers, more curiosities than certainties, and more hope than fear.

When you get down to the core of it, I’m here to help you understand Yoga on a deeper level + help you apply all the ancient (and ever-evolving!) wisdom that Yoga offers to the modern life that you live … and what better way to do that than by answering YOUR questions?!

Welcome to Yoga Q+A, THE place to get straightforward answers to your Yoga quandaries and curiosities. You want to know + I’m here to help – it’s that simple.

So … what Yoga question am I diving into this time?

Yoga Q+A: Do I Have to Be Flexible to Do Yoga?

“Do I have to be flexible to do Yoga?” is one of the most persistent questions around, and while numerous people have answered it (all coming to the same conclusion), the myth that you need to be flexible to do Yoga still haunts us.

That’s right – needing to be flexible to do Yoga is a myth.

Do you have to be flexible to do Yoga?

NO! N.O. No no no no no. No.

You don’t need to be flexible to start practicing Yoga asana. You don’t need to be able to touch your toes. You don’t need to be able to sit with your legs folded. You don’t need to be able to lift your arms straight up above you.

Yoga requires flexibility like tea requires ice; you don’t need it to enjoy the benefits. [Click to Tweet + Share the Awesome!]

When I started practicing Yoga asana back in 2000, I was a naturally flexible person. In fact, that’s why I enjoyed Yoga so much at first – because I could do most of the poses easily. You might be thinking, “Wait, why are you telling us this? That’s the opposite of what this post is about!” With flexibility often comes confidence … too much confidence. It wasn’t long before I hurt myself while practicing – and not just once!

No matter where your body is in the realm of flexibility – or even if the left + right sides of your body have totally different flexibility – you can practice Yoga asana. Of course, if you want to get into the bigger realm of Yoga, you don’t even need to move around to practice (more on that in a future post!).

In fact, practicing Yoga asana can help you gain flexibility + movement in almost any area of your body. Every body is different + some people may never touch their toes because of the length of their hamstrings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t increase the health of the body you have. We can use our asana practice to help us harmonize flexibility with strength + balance with stability.

When you practice Yoga asana with an experienced teacher + pay attention to the physical sensations you feel as you practice (challenging your body to do things it doesn’t normally do, but easing off when pain is a possibility), you can begin to understand what all the Yoga hype is about.



Do you have a question (or two, or three) about ANY aspect of Yoga?

COMMENT below, share your thoughts, join the conversation, + I just might answer your questions in the next Yoga Q+A post! (or you can submit your question via email)

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