But I can't even touch my toes...

One of the most common things I hear as a yoga teacher is 'I wouldn't be any good at yoga, I can't even touch my toes'.  


So let me begin with a question for you to consider: Do people start running because they can already run a marathon?? I've lost count of how many long distance runners I know who began their running career barely able to run to the mailbox. Similarly most of the yogis you see in magazines, online or in class did not begin yoga because they were already flexible.

Many people think that yoga is only for the flexible bodied and reserved for people that can fold themselves into something resembling a pretzel, however most yogis did not begin their yogi life already able to do all the poses. To begin a yoga practice it genuinely does not matter if you're able to touch your toes or not.  I never practiced dance or gymnastics, instead opting for the outdoor games/exercises such as field hockey, tennis, rounders (think baseball with Englishness) and more recently running. Years of running around in the cold and not enough post exercise stretching left me with limited flexibility (trust me I was a loooong way away from touching my toes!). However I'm thankful that despite my lack of flexibility, I still began yoga practice. I would dread to think where I would be without yoga as it's gently streching me back out over time, reversing the effects of my younger years. There are still days that I can't touch my toes, modern day life (desk work / stress / driving will do that) but that's no reason for me not to practice, in fact, it's one of reasons that I should go to my mat. 

So why not join me on a journey to toe touching? Wherever you happen to be on the road, resist the temptation to compare where you are to others and remember to be kind to yourself. 

"Yoga is not about touching your toes, it's about what you learn on the way down."

~Judith Lasater