So, you love yoga, and you just know your friends and family would too, if only they’d give it a shot.
It’s human nature to want to share the things we’re passionate about with one another. This can be especially true when the thing we’re passionate about is something that has radically improved our lives. But sometimes our exuberance can actually be a turnoff, and we end up accomplishing the exact opposite of our desired outcome. Instead of welcoming people into the fold, we scare them away. In this article we’ll cover- How to Introduce Yoga to Your Friends and Family.
So what’s a yoga enthusiast to do? The first step is to take a step back, inhale deeply, and consider the perspective of your friends and family. Nobody likes to be forced or bullied into anything, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon all hope of introducing them to yoga and its life-changing abilities. Instead, consider a more laid-back, casual approach focused on each individual.
Consider the Individual
Does your sister have trouble sleeping at night? Maybe your husband is experiencing an all-time high level of stress at work right now. Perhaps your best friend has lived with the pain of fibromyalgia for years with little relief.
As you already know, these are all conditions that can be helped and managed with a consistent yoga practice. This is an opportunity for you to come alongside your loved ones with support. One way to approach them is to mention that you recently read an article that talked about yoga as a way to deal with their current affliction. You can even send them a copy of the article; you won’t have any trouble producing one, the benefits of yoga are well documented online.
If they are open to the idea—most people with chronic conditions or high levels of stress are usually willing to try anything—offer to go to a class with them. If that’s too much or they can’t afford a class or the time it takes to attend one, offer to come to their home and share some of your favorite YouTube channels with them.
Make It a Group Activity
One of the best things you can do for your family is to create space for time together. Studies show that children who grow up in a family that values active time together are more likely to continue healthy activity throughout their lives. The problem is, many families get stuck in a routine, and the activities become stale and predictable. The family walk becomes easy to blow off and the family bike ride a chore.
Mix it up. Adding yoga to your family repertoire is a great way to promote a different kind of movement than the cardio you usually participate in together. Keep in mind that if you want your family to jump on board, you have to make it fun. Thankfully, there are many videos and apps that promote having fun while you do yoga. Some of the best are the ones that are geared toward children. While kid-friendly, they still provide an effective workout for the grown-ups in the room.
Pitch It as a Way to Keep in Touch
One of the best things about the age we live in is our ability to connect over miles and even oceans. This is especially valuable because it is also easier to travel or even take up residence anywhere in the world, leaving friends and families scattered across the globe.
Thankfully, things like FaceTime and Skype exist.
But what if you could still workout and take a yoga class with your college roommate, even from thousands of miles away? BurnAlong is a start-up that allows you to do exactly that. With this app, you and your long-distance friends can log on to a local teacher’s yoga (or other exercises) class, and in addition to seeing your instructor on your screen, you’ll be able to see and interact with up to four other people as well. It’s basically a great way to encourage accountability among your favorite workout partners while also having fun together “in” class.
While the benefit of BurnAlong is that it allows you to workout with your friends from anywhere in the world, this ability is also its potential drawback unless you take steps to protect yourself. It turns out that some countries aren’t big fans of online privacy or even accessibility. Your personal information might be at risk, or you may find the site itself is censored. By taking a few steps to create a secure connection, you shouldn’t have any problem joining your friends for another great night of yoga.
The most important thing to remember is that if you want to encourage your friends and family members to join you in your love for yoga, you can’t be pushy or self-righteous. Consider the needs of your loved ones, and make it a fun bonding experience. Be casual, kind and, most of all, live what you preach.
As you continue your yoga practice and reap the many rewards, your friends and family will notice. If you’ve presented yourself as welcoming and haven’t been obnoxious, they just might ask you about it.
What about you? Have you converted your friends and family to the wonderful world of yoga? How did you do it?