too stiff to start yogaMany prospective students would like to try Yoga, but they are worried they are too stiff to start Yoga.

As an Iyengar Yoga teacher with over 20 years of experience, I have welcomed all sorts of people with all sorts of bodies to my Yoga classes and workshops.  Some have stiff bodies, some are bendy, but most are a mixture of the two.  It seems that there is a general assumption that bendy is best.   It has made me think about who I’d rather teach- a room full of bendy people or the average person with a stiff body?

At first glance, it may appear that bendy students seem to be able to do everything- but appearances can be deceiving.  In Iyengar yoga, we are looking for healthy action for the body, using our intelligence to judge this.  If we go for the extreme position using just our flexibility, the injury is inevitable.

Personally, I find it hard to persuade bendy people to restrict their desire to work in extreme ways.  I’d much rather have students with stiffness.  These are the students that struggle, mindfully, week by week.  These students make slow but steady improvement.   Sometimes it can be hard to teach the hypermobile when they themselves believe that extreme movement is the final aim of yoga.   As the saying goes… ‘it is hard to fill a vessel that is already full’…..We need to come to yoga classes as an empty vessel- ready and willing to listen and learn.  It is different from practising at home.  It really is a joy to see stiff students gradually improve, week by week, through careful instruction, so please don’t think that you are too stiff to start Yoga.

My Yoga classes in Worthing and Horsham start back in two weeks- stiff students are welcome!