You love yoga. You love it so much much that you want others to know about it and maybe even try it for themselves. There is no problem with that as long as it's done in a respectful manner. Unfortunately, some yoga practitioners take things a little too far when talking with others about our beloved activity. One of the key tenets of yoga is being mindful, and it is something you should extend beyond the asanas to everything yoga-related.
Yoga is known for teaching self-discipline, and awareness of the body and mind. While experienced practitioners take note of this and often times extend these philosophies to all other aspects of their life, newbies tend to be focused on the mat, and so are not as mindful outside of class.
The main difference between yoga veterans and rookies, apart from skill level, is how they talk about yoga outside of class. Those who have been doing it for some time are already aware of how others feel about it, but those people new to yoga tend to be overly enthusiastic and want to share this passion with just about everyone they come across.
However, not everyone shares this enthusiasm with you, and not being mindful of others - and the situation you find yourself in - can see you turning your friends and family off yoga forever. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to talking about yoga outside of class.
Do - organically mention yoga in conversations about health and fitness. When your friends are talking about workout routines, you have a great opportunity to inform them of the benefits of yoga, and pique their interest.
Don’t - force yoga into conversations where it doesn’t belong. For example, if you happen to be talking with your partner about the struggles he or she is having at work, suggesting yoga as the answer is probably not the advice they are looking for.
Do - let others know when you are going to the yoga studio, and invite them to join. If they are bored or have some free time, maybe they’ll want to tag along.
Don’t - tell others they need to be doing yoga, and then trick or cajole them into coming with you.
Do - have facts and experiences ready if someone asks you for your thoughts on practicing yoga. If you share something about yoga with another person, you want it to be truthful and, if possible, backed up by facts.
Don’t - be a know-it-all or a liar. If you start telling people that yoga will make them taller or that it can cure cancer - and you don’t have the proof to back up your claims - they will immediately dismiss you, or at least be pretty upset with you when they do try yoga for themselves, and find out your claims were false. Don’t bombard others with what you know about yoga, either. It can be overwhelming and off-putting to others who have no idea what you’re talking about.
Do - be passionate when you talk about yoga, even if you have only started practicing recently. There is no need to hide your passion, as long as you are mindful of those who are not as enamoured with yoga as you are.
Don’t - be a yoga zealot. Remember when all those CrossFit people were menacingly telling people about the benefits of their activity? Not only was it annoying, but it made a lot of people skeptical of CrossFit. When you think of yoga you think of tranquility and peace, so why would you want to be overbearing when talking about it?
Practicing yoga extends far beyond the mat. We can help guide you on your journey, and provide you with the support and assistance necessary to excel both inside and outside the yoga studio. Contact us for more information.