When you think "Yoga", do you think bendy, waif-like creatures (who we are convinced have not a bone in their bodies)? Do you think flower-child, long-haired type with sinewy muscle and tanned skin? I hate to break it to you: those images don't tell the whole story.
What about the moms with jelly smeared on their cheek and hair permanently out of place, perpetually certain she's forgotten something important? Yoga is for you.
What about the businessman who wears shined shoes, pinstripe suits, and sits behind desks all day? Yoga is for you.
The teenager who's days are filled with school and activities and studies and friends and... or the teenager who hasn't figured any of it out and is finding him(her)self and overwhelmed by the choices out there s/he is expected to make? Yoga is for you.
What about the chronically ill, chronically pained who have used up their energy faking a smile and barely managing to push through each day? Yoga is for you.
Yoga is for those of us who have a whole lot more stiffness than flexibility. Yoga is for those of us with extra pounds. Those of us weary and exhausted who can't imagine spending time on a treadmill. Most importantly, Yoga is for those of us who are too hard on ourselves, those who judge and critique and assess our every shortcoming. Yoga is for all of us. Every last one.
"Why?" you ask. "Why would I start something I surely won't be able to do?" You're having difficulty ridding yourself of those images, hm?
Because you can do it. That's the beauty of Yoga. Yoga meets us where we are. Yoga isn't about the backbend that looks like a perfect "C" shape. Yoga isn't about how high your leg can rise while balancing on the other. Yoga isn't about the handstands, the headstands, the contortionist poses.
Yoga doesn't care if you can do them now. Heck, Yoga doesn't care if you can ever do those poses Yoga just cares if you come as you are.
When joints are cranky and irritable, Yoga will sit with them quietly, gently, easing them to a place where they begin to feel a little less so. When muscles are weak and shaky, Yoga holds on for us. When our minds are bouncing and tripping on all sorts of nonsense, Yoga whispers for them to scatter and hush.
"Come as you are." Yoga breathes.