When has “one size fits all” on a product label ever really ring true to what it proclaims? We see it all the time on t-shirts, hats, socks. I’ve even seen it on gloves. But trust me, any t-shirt that is made to fit someone who is tall, broad and hefty, is not going to also fit someone who is short and petite. Not unless you shorten the length, take in the sides, cut off some of the sleeves, and re-shape the collar. But then that becomes “one size fits all, after some minor alterations”. A much more accurate statement, but doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. So, it’s a great marketing concept, but is anything really one size fits all? I just don’t buy it.
That is, until I went to a yoga class….and another…..and another….and another….
I discovered that yoga is more than just an exercise routine that’s geared towards people who are extra bendy, have superior strength, or just happen to come from a family of acrobats. It’s about you, and what you need to achieve peace, balance and health. Can’t touch your toes? No problem. Go as far as you can. In yoga, it’s the effort that counts. Got a sore back or tight shoulders from hovering over your keyboard all day? Yoga can help you stretch out the right muscles to bring you some much needed relief. Or perhaps you’ve had a hard day and need some quiet time. Yoga’s got you covered on that too. It’ll teach you how to slow things down and focus the mind. And it doesn’t matter that I might want to work on strengthening my legs, while the girl next to me needs to meditate, and the guy in the back row is itching to perfect his hand-stand. We will all get what we came for, because that’s how yoga works. A typical class will give attention to the mind (meditation), the body (strengthen and stretch through the poses), and the soul (igniting life thru the breath, and connecting spiritually). Best of all? You are even expected to just lay there and play dead for 10 minutes! Now you tell me, what other form of exercise encourages you to lie on your back, close your eyes, and do absolutely nothing?!
Sounds like one size fits all to me. But if you still need a little more convincing, let me put it this way:
Type ‘A’ Rat Racer – Your life is ‘go-go-go’, you don’t come with an off button, and you like it that way! Then you were born for Power or Ashtanga yoga. These classes are packed with energy, fast moving, and filled with complex poses. It’ll get your heart pumping, your glands sweating, and give you that extra kick in your step.
The Creative Artist – escape the confines of the world, and let your body and mind move freely in a Vinyasa Flow class. Here, you will synchronize your breath with each move you make, creating a smooth, artistic flow as you transition from one pose to another. Haven’t we all wanted to tap into the inner artist in us, and let our hair hang loose? Well, here’s your chance!
Give me some TLC – Your body has been through the ringer! You have aches and pains, maybe arthritis or carpal tunnel, you’re recovering from an injury, or you find your mind racing a mile a minute. Then treat yourself to some Restorative Yoga, where your world will practically come to a stand still – exactly what your body needs. The emphasis here is to achieve mental peace and deep relaxation, using yoga props to set your body in comfortable positions, helping it to restore the muscles and nervous system. You’ll feel like you just went to the spa.
Feeling hot, hot, hot! – Turn up the heat baby! If you like to really sweat your way to a lean form, and get deeper into your poses, then take your yoga practice into a heated room for some Hot Yoga. The heat will help your body get rid of unwanted toxins, elevate your heart rate so that you will work harder, and relax your muscles to give you more flexibility. These classes are perfect for anyone who likes a challenge. But be warned, it’s not for the faint at heart.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. But I think you get the idea that yoga is for everyone. Your needs are going to change as you experience life, so you will find yourself going to different classes, which is highly encouraged to help you live a healthy and balanced life.
So, ready for some yoga? See you in class!