Lessons Learned When a Yoga Class is Way Too Hard

Last week I attended a Gentle class at The Yoga Room that was way too hard for me. Seriously. And it actually had nothing to do with the class or the teacher. She taught a beautiful and appropriate practice. It was me. I hadn’t attended a class in a couple of weeks, I was under stress, I hadn’t even made time for my person practice. I knew my body was tight, but I didn’t realize how tight until the class began.

It was excruciating, like nails on a chalkboard. My body resisted every pose. I thought back to my recent reflections on whether it’s ok to not listen to the teacher in a group class and how I had resolved that I should respect both the teacher and myself.

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But this particular class was so challenging for me that it went beyond my previous reasoning. Even the modifications that the teacher suggested (and that I myself teach) were not making the class accessible to me. Every pose was uncomfortable.

So what did I do? I went even more slowly. I took breaks. I breathed. I held poses that felt good and skipped the ones that didn’t.

And then after the class was done I realized how grateful I was for this class that was way too hard. It provided the time and space for some important lessons. On the surface: what to do when the yoga class you attend is way too hard. But on a deeper level: what do do when life circumstances are way too hard.

And really, the response is the same. Go slowly. Take breaks. Breathe. Be easy with yourself. Let go of what you think you’re “supposed” to do and be ok with doing what is right for you.

Treat yourself with love this week, sweet yogi.


XO, Zelinda

Can I Practice Yoga If...

I hope you're having a nice today. It's Friday, we're having beautiful (rainy) weather in central Texas. It's almost the weekend, time to rest, have some fun, and recharge our batteries. Yay! But I wanted to take a minute to talk to you about something that's been on my mind. So many people *think* they can't practice yoga. Are you one of these people? Or do you know one of these people?

I get emails, Facebook notes, Instagram notes, and questions from people I meet who are interested in yoga but they're not sure whether they can practice yoga. They ask "Can I practice yoga if..."

If I'm overweight/full-figured/plus-size If I'm out of shape If I'm not flexible If I'm pregnant If I have scoliosis If I'm old If I'm a man If I have a bad knee/elbow/shoulder/back/ankle/wrist/hip/pinky toe If I have osteoporosis/osteopenia If I have high blood pressure If I've had a knee replacement/hip replacement/spinal fusion If I've had heart bypass surgery If I've had brain surgery If I have fibromyalgia/lupus/rheumatoid arthritis/other pain condition If I have IBS/Crohn's/colitis/other digestive disorder If I've had a stroke If I have MS If I'm in treatment for cancer

And the answer is always YES!!!

EveryBody can practice yoga. EveryBody can benefit from yoga.

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The trick is, you need to find the right teacher and the right class. And that could possibly be a little bit challenging.

At The Yoga Room, we do offer physically challenging classes, like our CorePower, Vinyasa Flow, and Hatha II classes, for fit and able-bodied people.

But what sets us apart from other studios is that we specialize in gentle, accessible, therapeutic yoga classes for EveryBody else who is not perfectly fit and able-bodied.

We have Restorative, Gentle, and Hatha I classes, and we even have specialized classes for people who are recovering from a neurological issue or who are in treatment for, or recovering from, cancer.

So how do you go about finding the right class for you? You just need to ask. If you live in or around Round Rock and you'd like to come to The Yoga Room, just give us a call (512-318-2112) or send us an email. Tell us a little about yourself and we'll be happy to make some recommendations for you.

If you live away from the Round Rock area, just Google yoga studios in your area. If you live in a smaller city or town, just search for "Yoga (Your City Name)." If you live in a big city, you might have success with a more specific search (for example: "Gentle Yoga Los Angeles" or "Plus Size Yoga Seattle").

Call studios, tell them about yourself, and ask them if they offer yoga that is appropriate for you. If they don't, don't be discouraged. Ask them if they know anyone who specializes in what you're searching for. Call another place, and keep calling another place, until you find something that sounds like it might be a good fit for you.

When you do find a place that sounds like a good fit, ask them, "What is your process for new students?" (for reference, here's our FAQ for new students). Then go and try them out. Seriously, you must go. If you're nervous, take a few big inhales and long exhales. Give yourself a pep talk, and just go. Bring a friend if necessary.

If you go and you like the place, great! If you go and don't like the place, it's totally ok. Maybe you can try a class with another teacher at the same studio. Or maybe try a different studio. Keep trying until you find a place that feels right.

And if you don't find a place that feels right, consider moving to Round Rock because we'd be more than happy to work with you!

Yoga is an amazing, transformative practice. And it really is for EveryBody. If you need help finding the right class, please reach out. Ask your friends. Ask at the natural grocery store, the vitamin store, or the library. And if you still can't find what you're looking for, shoot me an email and I'll try to help.

Have a great weekend!

Zelinda 2013XO, Zelinda



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