I hear this all the time. “I’d like to try yoga, but I’m not flexible.” or “I don’t think I’d be good at it.” or “I can’t even touch my toes!”. Yeah, yeah, we know. You can’t practice yoga unless you can become a yogi in a week. You’re right. Never mind.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but EVERYONE can practice yoga. That’s right, everyone. I’ll fill you in on a little secret: Those yogis and yoginis you see on television or Youtube who can put their legs behind their ears? Every single one of them has a background in gymnastics or dance. If they don’t, then it took them 10 years of daily practice to get there. Most of us have to work at it. One of my yoga teachers told me that she could barely reach her knees when she first started! And now she’s one of the best teachers in the Boston area!

Look, if you want to try yoga, do it. It WILL increase your flexibility, as long as you’re patient with yourself. You’ll see many other changes as well. Over time, you’ll feel stronger, calmer, and more clear-headed (I hope!). But you need to practice. You’ll never get anywhere with anything if you don’t practice.

And another thing. People who are of ill-health are perfect candidates for yoga. If you smoke, are overweight, eat poorly, or suffer from illnesses, practice yoga! You don’t have to wait until you quit smoking or lose weight. A favorite yoga teacher of mine says that you should not quit smoking if you take up yoga, but that practicing yoga might result in you quitting smoking because you feel so good. Not a bad deal, huh?

If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. If you’re too embarrassed to take a class at first, buy or rent a DVD. I won’t tell anyone. That’s how I started, and I’d be happy to recommend some to you. You have nothing to lose. Try this practice and see how you feel. Good luck and namaste.


p.s. In case you’re wondering, I did eventually quit smoking and have completely changed my diet to eating whole, natural foods and I avoid processed food as much as possible. Was it because of yoga? Could be!


Have you heard the old Carnegie Hall joke?

Rumor is that a pedestrian on Fifty-seventh Street, Manhattan, stopped Jascha Heifetz and inquired, “Could you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Yes,” said Heifetz. “Practice!”