Yoga is for everyone!
Do the difficult thing. Choose a narrower path. Look inside yourself.
One of the tools of Yoga, Svadyaya, or Self-Study, is an important part of the Yogic path to a more fulfilled life. Our Yoga practice offers us a chance to go inward and act as a witness to the mental and emotional processes that go inside. As Asanas stir up stagnant energy by moving our hips, shoulders, or spinal column, observe the mental states that arise. What thoughts and feelings manifest themselves when you are presented with a seemingly impossible challenge of, say, Lolasana, or the Pendant pose, that requires you to literally levitate off the ground? Do you hear your Ego, and what does it say?
Or when you are required to go deep into a hip-opening pose, and you encounter an intense resistance in your hips, what do you feel is happening in your emotional body? If nothing at the moment, then what about a couple of hours later? If and when you have an emotional release, can you be a compassionate witness to it?
In our Yoga practice we tend to gravitate towards a teacher or a
style of Yoga that is easier for us to do, choosing a path of least resistance. We have a special difficulty dealing with
a practice that offers emotional and mental challenges. We also
tend to gravitate towards a practice that speaks to our "niche" - poses
that are naturally easier for us to do anyway. Being "good" at
something is a major Ego boost, and naturally flexible people tend to go
to a Yoga class that emphasizes flexibility, whereas a stronger, but
maybe less flexible person would enjoy a practice that cultivates strength
more. What they need to do is switch places!
It takes a special kind of self-awareness and discipline to go to a
practice that challenges our deeply seeded psychic knots, a practice that creates a sense of not so much
physical, but mental and emotional discomfort. Things that give rise to
a sense of annoyance, thoughts like: "This is not for me (because it is too hard, or not hard enough)!" are
especially good indicators that what you are doing is precisely what you
need to be doing! You do not shift a status quo without resistance
from the Ego, and when you hear that little voice inside your head,
finding fault with the teacher, the studio, the student next to you, or
anything else - become a witness, watch it unfold, watch the resisting as it is happening to you, and you have a chance to make real progress
and to shift to a new level of awareness and understanding. By identifying that which holds us back from open acceptance of all the life's experiences, we can move past the resistance and be able to give ourselves fully to this experience, even if the experience is resistance, annoyance, and aversion. Next time you are catching yourself experiencing unpleasant things, ask "Isn't that interesting?" and see what unfolds.