Yoga: Prioritize your experience over thoughts

In the past fifteen years of watching people practice yoga, I have also spent the same number of years watching people not do yoga.  I observe various barriers to people starting a potentially life-saving practice.  One of the biggest ones is the thought, “I will not be good at it.”

I find this thought very interesting.

Who or what is it that cares if you are “good at” an activity that nourishes you, feeds your energy, and improves just about every aspect of your life?

Another way to think about this: Do you ever care if you will be “good at” drinking water?  “Good at” brushing your teeth?  “Good at” taking a walk down the coast of Lake Michigan?

No, of course not.  You do them because they bring you relief or joy, or even just a quenching of thirst!

I vividly remember a thought I had a few months into my practice.  By that time, having practiced almost every day for 8-10 weeks, my blood sugar swings were normalized, 90% of my body hatred was gone, and my emotional and stress-based eating had nearly stopped.  

But at the same time, I was a bit confused.  I thought, “I am used to getting better at things when I practice.  But I am just not getting good at this class!”  It made me chuckle a little.  

But the best thing about it was that I really didn’t care whether I was “good at” it or not.  

Because I just FELT so much better when I practiced.  The physical, mental, and emotional experience of feeling good overrode any of those thoughts or judgements about skill, appearance, or comparison.

So, if you have ever entertained taking up a yoga practice, please understand that none of the thoughts about it really matter.  The experience of a regular practice will speak for itself.


Ann Chrapkiewicz, M.A., is the founder, owner, and director of Bikram Yoga Capital Area an independent yoga school in East Lansing. Contact her at


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