The answer is no. I promise.
You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga.
In fact, it’s better if you aren’t.
But before we go any further, let’s clarify what you mean by flexibility.
Q: Do you have to be physically flexible to practice the poses?
A: No. If you continue to practice over time your flexibility will increase.
Q: Do you need to have a flexible relationship with your schedule and the concept of time?
A: Not really. After you practice for a while you’ll become better at prioritization, time management, waiting and sudden changes to the plan.
Q: Do you need to be flexible with people?
A: Nope. You might not like your teacher too much or the student on the mat next to you. Don’t worry. Over time, you’ll improve all your relationships, from romantic to work, from casual to neighbor, from friend to family, etc.
Q: Do you need to be anything in particular to practice yoga?
A: Yes. You need to be willing. You need to be open to trying something new. Maybe you’re desperate. Or maybe it’s just curiosity. Or something in between. Either way, you need to have some type of will to get you on the mat.
That’s the only flexibility you need. The flexibility to try something new.
If you bend over backwards for those around you, be it loved ones, clients, kids, whomever, I would reassess your own flexibility self-diagnosis.
If you bend forward and let others walk all over you, you’re probably more flexible than you think.
No one ever said flexibility is always a good thing.
So first, be honest with yourself. Understand where you are flexible in your life and where the lines are rigid.
Now here’s where I come in (but I can’t do it without you)! It’s my job to figure out your need/reason/purpose/goal.
What needs to happen for you to start/continue/maintain a yoga practice? What do you need?
Do you feel uncomfortable because you don’t know what you’re doing? Do you think it’s a cult? Do you just not understand how yoga could possibly help you? Are you tired of the latest trend in self-help? Do you not want to do the work? Are you put off by physical activity? Does stretching bore you? What is it?
Do you not have a teacher near you? Are you indifferent to the styles and teachers in your area? Maybe you can’t figure out how to sustain a practice over time? Do you travel too much? Is time just not on your side? Are you too busy? Is it money?
Please, let me know so I can help you.
You just have to be willing to try. That’s all. The rest will take care of itself.
Please let me know what keeps you from practicing yoga in the comments below.