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How to Turn a Yoga Skeptic Into a Yoga Lover

Happiness | Lifestyle

Your dad says yoga’s new age hooey. Your boyfriend insists it’s for chicks. Your best friend, well, she claims it’s not an intense work out (I know, I know, that one drives me crazy, too). Everyone has that somebody – a friend or spouse, maybe a parent – whom you know would benefit tremendously from a regular yoga practice, but try as you might, they refuse to set their hesitations aside and get on the mat. So, what to do? I recently had a major success converting my stubborn hubby into a yoga lover. Below are a few helpful tips that I learned from the experience:

Strike While The Iron Is Hot

Instead of incessant nagging or constantly lecturing your future yoga buddy about all the great benefits of yoga, wait for a time when he or she could really benefit from the practice. My hubby was going through a hard time with his parents and was having trouble letting go of his frustrations. I suggested that a trip to the yoga studio might help him clear his mind. After a few days had passed with no improvement, he mentioned he might be willing to give it a shot.

Make It Easy For Them

For your birthday this year, or any other holiday involving gift-giving, tell your convert-to-be that you don’t want any gifts. You just want them to accompany you to a yoga class. How easy is that? And from a gift standpoint, it’s pretty damn cheap. I’m sure there’s nothing that you need that badly anyway, so make their gift shopping a cinch!

Don’t Let Them Go Alone

Once your aspiring yogi is in agreement, don’t let them go it alone. A lot of yoga studios offer beginner basics classes, often at discounted rates for those new to the practice. Offer to go to a few sessions with them. They’ll be less intimidated than if they were to go alone and it’s always nice to see a friendly, knowing smile after a failed attempt at headstand. Plus, you’ll get a refresher on the basics to help refine your own practice!

Consistency Is Key

Make a schedule. Pick a reoccurring day and time that you take a class together. Call the night before to remind them and confirm. We all know that often when left to our own devices we can fall off the wagon, so make sure you’re there to keep them on it. Get them out the door and onto the mat!

Once you’ve got them going, we all know they’ll keep coming back for more, but remember that yoga can be especially challenging, both physically and mentally, for someone who’s just beginning. Let your friend know that everyone struggles with the learning curve, but with time and regular practice, they’ll grow stronger and more at ease. Eventually, they’ll enjoy it just as much as you and will be reaping the benefits of yoga that we’ve all come to enjoy!

Beyond the Yoga Mat is a weekly column by Megan Huylo focused on Food, Health, and Lifestyle topics geared towards yoga practitioners. Want to read about a certain topic? Feel free to email Megan here.

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