I teach yoga for a living. I manage a yoga studio, I direct a yoga teacher-training course, and I write articles about yoga. Aside from thinking about yoga all day long, I sometimes dream about yoga. This means I am immersed in something that relates to yoga nearly 24 hours a day, on some level or another.
The fact that 15 million Americans practice yoga today doesn’t surprise me. What raises an eyebrow is that there are more than 300 million people living in this country. Do the math and you will learn that less than 5 percent of the population is practicing yoga.
To appease my curiosity, I did a little research. I called, emailed, or Facebooked friends and acquaintances that I knew didn’t do yoga and I asked them to give me their number one reason why not. The following is a short list of some of the answers people gave me.
“I can’t turn my mind off. I am too busy thinking about all the things I need to do. I can’t just sit there and stretch. I am just too distracted to get anything out of it.”
“I don’t look good in yoga pants.”
“I tried it once, but I couldn’t get the breathing part of it down. I felt like I was hyperventilating.”
“Yoga is too slow for me, I’d much rather do more aggressive exercises like what we do in my CrossFit class.”
“I am just not that spiritual.”
“I read about the benefits, but I think I’ll just stick with the treadmill.”
September is National Yoga Month, and it is the month to celebrate yoga and raise awareness about the myriad benefits of yoga. It is a great month for people who practice, as there are numerous yoga activities and events happening all over the place.
This month also benefits those who are interested in trying it for the first time, as free classes are offered in various studios nationwide. However, I think it’s worthy to point out that there are still far more than a majority of people who don’t, or won’t practice yoga at all. For whatever reason, despite the long list of health benefits, yoga doesn’t appeal to everyone.
In honor of National Yoga Month, if you don’t practice yoga, please let us know what might change your mind. Help us to understand why 95 percent of Americans are not making it a part of their lives.