“I want to try yoga, but I don’t think I’m flexible enough.” I hear people say some version of this all the time. So many people consider trying yoga, but have something holding them back. There are many misconceptions about yoga, but yoga is really something that anyone can do. Just like Jiu-Jitsu, yoga has levels. It can be simple and gentle, or intense and complex. You’re not going to be ready for black belt yoga right away. That’s why we always recommend starting with the basics, and then working your way up. In this post, I will address some of the common misconceptions about yoga, and show you why yoga can work for you too.
“You have to be more flexible.”
Many experienced yoga practitioners are flexible, but the reality is that they are probably flexible from years and years of practice and training their bodies. Most of them did not start out that way. Just as it takes time to become comfortable with the moves and positions in Jiu-Jitsu, it takes practice for your body to adapt to yoga. Nobody expects you to be ready for the yoga competition class right away. The main goal of yoga is not actually flexibility, it is to help the body relax and let go. Gained flexibility might be one positive side-effect of yoga, however, it is not necessary to be flexible to start.
When you flow through the poses, you don’t need to contort your body until it hurts. Just ease into the poses until you feel a nice stretch. Yoga is supposed to feel good, not painful. If you are feeling pain, you should dial back the intensity of your stretch. You don’t have to do the poses that feel too hard for you. As long as you are feeling a stretch and releasing tension in your body and mind, you are accomplishing the goal of yoga.
Yoga for BJJ even has a “Yoga for Rocks” program that gives special consideration to our less bendy friends and helps you gradually work up to more difficult poses. Just as you develop Jiu-Jitsu skill with practice, you will develop more flexibility with practice. And just like in Jiu-Jitsu, you can find your own yoga style. You don’t have to be a berimbolo expert to be good at Jiu-Jitsu, and if you never master the handstand or the full split, that’s perfectly fine too.
“Yoga is weird and spiritual.”
Some studios do put more of an emphasis on the spiritual side of yoga, and that’s definitely available to you if you’re looking for it. However, it is not necessary to be spiritual or to engage in any kind of spiritual practices in order to practice yoga. Just as different Jiu-Jitsu schools vary in their use of formality and traditions, yoga practices can also range from super traditional, to casual and informal. One of the things I love about Yoga for BJJ is that they approach yoga from a very pragmatic standpoint. All of the programs are organized to help you easily find what you specifically want to work on, and to help you reach your own personal goals.
Are you a yoga newbie? Try the “10 in 10 Beginner Program”. Are you trying to target a specific body part? There are programs designed specifically to stretch your hamstrings, back, neck, hips, etc. Are you working to heal an injury? There is a whole section of rehab programs with exercises designed to get your injured muscles functioning like normal. (I used these rehab programs to fix my ankle after it got caught in a nasty ankle lock.) Are you just looking for a way to unwind after a long, hard day? Try “Yoga for the Exhausted”.
The point is, there really is something for everyone, and the sessions are all focused on functionality. Sebastian does a great job of explaining the practical purposes of everything he does while he teaches, making it easy to understand, while keeping the mood light and poking fun at himself and the various poses. And he won’t make you bow to a picture of anyone.
“Yoga takes a lot of time.”
Jiu-Jitsu training can mean anything from a two-hour competition class to a twenty-minute drilling session. Yoga classes vary in a similar way. There are certainly yoga sessions that can take hours, but you can also benefit from a short ten-minute session if that’s what you have time for. Yoga for BJJ offers sessions of all different lengths. You can choose an hour-long session if you want, a shorter thirty minute class, or pick a nice ten-minute flow to fit into your day.
With Yoga for BJJ, you can practice yoga from the comfort of your own home, saving you the time and hassle of a commute, and allowing you to work at your own pace. Also, because the programs are all online, you can pause to take a break, or rewind if you want to go back to a pose you really liked. Sometimes I don’t even finish every session, I just do what I have time for. Sebastian will never find out… at least as far as I know.
“It’s only for girls.”
Are you a man who is interested in trying yoga, but concerned that it’s too girly for your masculine, testosterone-packed self? Never fear, check out our “Yoga for Men” program! Just kidding. Don’t be silly, it’s the twenty-first century. Jiu-Jitsu is not just for men, and yoga benefits men and women alike. Many of our programs are instructed by a man, and he’s super manly. Real men do yoga, it’s a fact. Check it out.
We all have to choose carefully what to spend our hard-earned money on, and perhaps yoga seems like it just won’t fit your budget. However, yoga may be more affordable than you think. Through Yoga for BJJ, you can access hours of classes at a fraction of the cost you would pay at a studio. For the price of a few Starbucks trips, you could receive high-level yoga instruction from the comfort of your home every day, and the benefits are more than worth the cost.
Think of Yoga for BJJ as an investment in your Jiu-Jitsu training. Think of it as an investment in yourself. If a monthly payment seems like a lot to you, you can also buy or rent videos from the site for as low as $1.00. You can even access some free content on the Yoga for BJJ website and on Instagram. Try it out and experience the benefits for yourself. There is no reason why cost should be an obstacle in the way of learning yoga.
In conclusion, yoga has something for everyone. It can fit every schedule and budget, age, and athletic ability. Anyone can do it, even you. If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to try our free trial and see for yourself.