An interesting short article from Harvard medical school about the spread of Yoga in the US and why many people still haven’t tried Yoga yet:
It is interesting to note that even though most people believe Yoga would be good for them- they don’t actually try it. The main reason given is that they believe Yoga to be “exclusive” – not open to all, just for the young and naturally supple. The media and certain Yoga studios can be to blame for this impression. Even though I’m a Yoga teacher I would be nervous about going to some exclusive Yoga studios where you’re greeted with Chai Lattes and everyone wearing matching Lycra outfits! Towels on the floor to collect your sweat- booming music- people with their eyes closed – doing “their own thing”….this is not Iyengar Yoga!
You are more likely to find Iyengar Yoga in your local church hall or community centre- low key Yoga for all shapes, all sizes, all abilities- no matching outfits required! However, you will be guaranteed of a safe class that is still intense. The intensity comes from concentration- using our intelligence to work in a healthy way.
I myself started Yoga as my hips were so stiff I couldn’t sit comfortably on the floor. If my first class had been a power- Yoga style one, then I may have gone home feeling I just couldn’t keep up. Luckily my first class was an Iyengar Yoga class.
As the article states: “Yoga has been shown to improve physical and mental health and overall quality of life in those who are new to yoga and are not typically physically active”.
So if you still haven’t tried Yoga yet my advice is to look for the Iyengar Yoga logo: