If you can breathe, you can do yoga…

I love yoga, it’s a love affair I’ve had for years.  I loved yoga before I moved to Ottawa, before I was married all those years ago, before I became a mother, not so many years ago.  If you think of the Coca-Cola jingle, yet modify the words “I’d like to teach the world to do yoga”, that is sincerely how I feel.

Yet, I have a confession.  I didn’t always tell people I’m a yoga instructor, and I used to avoid attending classes at my home studio, or anywhere teachers knew me.  Because when I would fall out of tree pose, I would feel like a failure. No one, especially me, likes failing.

Cartoon Tree Pose - Pixabay

*not actually me in tree pose (I have longer hair)

Then one day something great happened.  Did I perfect tree pose? No.  I learned that yoga is a practice; there is no failing.  I know I had often heard it called a practice, I called it a practice myself, but I never really got it.  There is no end goal, no winning, it’s just always practicing.  You cannot fail at yoga, you can just practice.

You may have noticed in recent years many people have begun practicing yoga.  Celebrities like Wayne Gretzky, Rachel McAdams, Jose Bautista, even Ottawa’s most famous first couple are yogis.

Yoga has become trendy.  It went from being some counterculture, strange looking exercise practiced in the back room of the one health food store in town to a multi-billion dollar business.  It is everywhere, in magazines, in fashion, in gyms, in schools, community centres, on Parliament Hill.  However, for many, it remains intimidating.  For all the advertising, promoting, quotes of acceptance, there’s still the misconception that if you can’t touch your nose to your knees you can’t “do yoga”.  I’m going to say it again; if you can breathe you can do yoga.  You just need to try.

I once heard someone say the most difficult thing about yoga is getting to a class.  This can be hard, maybe even a little scary.  But we forget; we are a courageous folk.  We do things everyday like drive, work, socialize, take public transit, marry, stay single, parent, and even survive winter in Ottawa that take way more courage than yoga.  And, truly, there is a class for everyone.  There is yoga for seniors, babies, fuller figures, athletes, beginners, advanced, golfers; there is gentle yoga and power yoga, slow flow and vinyasa flow and more.  Your shape, your size, gender, experience do not matter.  Your reason for going doesn’t even matter.

I recently read an article about the 77 benefits of yoga.  Seventy Seven!   Even more awesome; whatever your reason for practicing is, you get all the other benefits thrown in like a great Boxing Day sale.  There’s a rumour that the Ottawa Senators practice yoga; I’m pretty sure they don’t do it for the post yoga glow, but it happens anyway.

The best part about yoga class is you don’t even need to know what to do; you just need to show up.  There will be a teacher, to lead you where to go, what to do, what not to do and if needed, what to think. I’m going to let you in on a yoga teacher secret, we’re a bit like your dog. We don’t care what you wear, how you look, if you’re a beginner or a seasoned yogi, we’re just happy you showed up.  And trust me, you will be too.

Happy Dog - Pixabay

*just happy you’re here!

18 Responses to “If you can breathe, you can do yoga…”

  1. Adrianne says:

    Hi Car

    Wonderful words that I can relate to. I’ve been searching for something physical to do for a few years now, and I’ve started doing yoga at White Pine Yoga Studio and loving every breath I take there. Right now I attend four classes and am trying to get the courage to try hot yoga, maybe next week.

    Great reading your inspiring blog, keep up the good work.

    Namaste – Adrianne

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Hi Adrianne,

      Thank you so much for the warm kind words. I am thrilled that you have found yoga. I hope to get to White Pine next time I am in Pembroke.


  2. J2daROC says:

    One of my favorite times ever was when I pushed myself to try a session of couples yoga with my lovely, beautiful, wonderful wife.

    I was nervous beforehand, not really having done yoga before, but what you say about it being for everyone certainly is true. Not only because of the yoga itself, but moreover it was the people!

    Even though I didn’t know a thing about it, and was worried I’d embarrass (or drop) my wife, everyone made me feel welcome and secure enough to enjoy it thoroughly, even though my warrior pose was lacking in warriorness.

    This post is full of that same vibe for sure! Keep it up!

  3. Nathalie says:

    I started reading you Cara and then couldn’t stop because you made me laugh out loud a few times. You’ve inspired me to keep trying…life is so busy, it is hard to find the time but the variety of classes and flexibility in schedules will definitely make it easier in the future.

    Look forward to reading more.


    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks Nathalie, I am really glad you enjoyed it. I remember how much you loved Mom and Baby yoga with your boys. I hope you find the time to get back there for yourself.


  4. Cera says:

    Ever need a lending hand or gentle push to help you finish something off or to achieve an important goal? Well I can tell you that Cara-Lynn puts her money where her mouth is 🙂 Having been given the pleasure and the honor of studying beneath her briefly as an aspiring teacher, Cara generously, selflessly and enthusiastically supported my own yoga teacher journey. No competition,no selfishness, just someone that you could tell really wanted to spread yoga around the world. Cara has an open heart and open arms and I can think of no one better to be writing this wonderful blog! So happy you are doing this!

  5. Julie Shreenan says:

    Great read! As I sit amongst a roomful of bustling hockey players, waiting for our last game of the tournament, I can’t help but think I need some yoga in my life :). I look forward to reading more and perhaps engaging in my first yoga session. I am inspired (must have something to do with the well written blog!)


    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks for the great comment Julie. Hope you stay warm today in the midst of the bustle.


  6. Tiffany says:

    A great reminder about why Yoga is for everyone… I keep thinking I need to bring the practice of yoga to my students in grade 1. You’ve inspired me to try it again. I’m going to share your line … They can breathe lets get them doing yoga.

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      That’s great Tiffany, I’m sure they would love it. One of my favorite teachers Roberta just taught a JK class at Beyond Yoga, they were next door to us and while it definitely was a different energy (and perhaps noise level) to an adult class the children certainly loved it. Thanks for the comment. It was wonderful.

  7. Kate Phelan says:

    Cara-Lynne, you are a down to Earth girl with an inspirational attitude. Love the blog and will continue to follow as I muster up the courage to make my own attempt at breathing a little deeper through yoga. Proud of you friend!

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Kate, what a wonderful thing to say, I really appreciate it. I am sure you take many deep breaths teaching elementary school, the world is a much more yogic place because of teachers. Namaste, Cara-Lynne

  8. Melody says:

    Great post!
    Speaking from experience, you’re the best yoga teacher! ?
    Keep writing, looking forward to reading.

  9. Marie says:

    Hi Cara,

    You said it so well. I have been an aerobics instructor, a runner, worked out in a gym and never once thought that yoga would be my thing. I had just finished cancer treatments and was going through a divorce and decided to try yoga. After my first class (a very hot yoga class) I was in love! That was over ten years ago and I am still in love with yoga! feel the best I have ever felt and hope to be doing yoga forever!

    • Cara-Lynne Auld says:

      Thanks Marie, what a great endorsement for yoga. And, that is the awesome thing about yoga, we really can do it forever! Namaste, Cara-Lynne

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