F*CK YOGA MARKETING! Alt Yoga is debunking myths and we want you to know, we are different.
I know this is long, but I promise you'll want to take the time to read this.
See that nerd above? That's me in a cosplay at comic con. Further proving the point of this blog. But before I get into it, let me just share something about how Alt Yoga differs from mainstream yoga or "traditional yoga". My purpose and mission with Alt Yoga has been to bring a unique style of yoga to as many people as possible, so I can show everyone how yoga can be fun, it can be different, and it can be what you need it to be. Here’s where I think we continue to have a hang up, and I, as well as my crew of awesome teachers, want to help break through these BS stereotypes so we can help reduce the intimidation and false thoughts that come forward when you think of ”Yoga”.
So what's the hang up?
Let’s talk about yoga clothes. More people wear yoga clothes and don’t even do yoga. Listen, I love me some yoga pants. I get them in my Stitch Fix. If I have an expensive pair, it’s because I bought it on Black Friday and saved a butt ton of money. But do you NEED yoga clothes? The answer is NO YOU DONT! You don't need to come dressed to the 9s in yoga clothes. You can wear baggy clothes…you can wear the clothes you paint in… you can wear your normal workout clothes if you workout. This is all you need to know: In yoga classes, you’ll usually do poses where you fold forward or have your head pointing down. If you have a baggy shirt, your shirt may fall down. SO, just know that you may have to tuck your shirt in the front when you do those types of poses. No big deal! Same if you were to wear running shorts. You may lift your leg in a pose, so maybe wear longer shorts unless you have the shorts with the built in underwear to keep your goodies covered.
Let’s talk yoga mats, blocks, etc. Do you need this stuff? NO! You don’t need a yoga mat to do yoga. You don’t need an expensive yoga mat, blocks, straps, blankets, etc. I have all that stuff at the studio for you. You might find that once you start doing yoga, you do want to get some of these products. Cool! But yoga blocks in a studio are some books you have at home. A yoga bolster are a couple of pillows you have on the couch. A yoga blanket is a throw blanket or towel. A yoga strap? You can use a towel, sweat shirt, or belt. You don’t need to fall into the marketing scheme that goes with yoga. This stuff isn’t needed.
Something we hear often when talking to people about yoga is, “I can’t do that, I’m not flexible.” PLEASE READ THIS PART: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE TO DO YOGA! Can you improve your flexibility with yoga? Of course you can! Do we as instructors expect you to be this flexible person who can go into a pretzel or fold your body so you can fit into your travel suitcase? NO! Absolutely not. In addition to Alt Yoga, I co-own Alternative Wellness Therapies, which is a mental health private practice. Tight muscles can be a response from daily stress (both physical and mental), stored trauma (ever heard of The Body Keeps Score?), not moving your body enough, etc. You can get some mobility back by doing yoga, yes, but it is not a requirement to do yoga. We are all born different and some people are flexible while others are not. Some of us have injuries we live with so we can’t do certain poses. Whatever the case may be, you don’t need to be flexible to do yoga. You don’t even have to do every pose we call out in yoga. Alt Yoga teachers aren’t saying to themselves “Why isn’t this person doing the pose…” NO! You have a choice, you have a say, and you know your body better than we do.
When you Google yoga, sadly there are tons of pictures with fit, skinny women doing yoga and contorting their bodies. If you google pictures of men doing yoga, you may never want to try yoga again if you think that is what we are going to require of you. This misrepresentation is causing us to miss so many people who could benefit from yoga. Yoga is an evidenced-based practice to help treat and improve so many things. Whether it’s your mental health, sleep, physical ailments, injuries, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and more. Yoga is not THE answer, but it CAN be an answer.
Alt Yoga is offering your first class for FREE because I want you to be able to try it for yourself. Come as you are, in whatever clothes you want, with no yoga equipment. You can even position yourself all the way to the back of the room if you want. It’s okay! This is an intimidation free zone and I want you to try it so you can feel how great it is.
Alt Yoga is located at 9950 N Alpine Rd. Suite 103 in Machesney Park, IL 61115. Alt Yoga is located inside of my other business, Alternative Wellness Therapies, and there is a large space for our classes. It is seconds away from Target on 173. Alt Yoga is easy to get to and has lots of parking.
So here’s the takeaway: Flexibility is not needed. Fancy yoga clothes are not needed. A yoga mat is not needed. You don’t have to know a thing about yoga before you come. Yoga isn’t just for skinny, fit women. Don’t be intimidated with how the media has portrayed yoga. Alt Yoga will continue it’s mission to debunk that crap and show everyone that yoga can be what you need it to be and so much more.
-Marissa Owner/Founder of Alt Yoga