How to begin yoga as someone that is extremely rigid?

Hello All,

So a quick description of the situation.
I'm a 24 year old guy. I have been very physically active for almost my whole life up until about 22. During the past few years due to preoccupation of my time from work and university, I gained some weight, frequently stress out and lost some muscle mass. After getting back into gym training and cycling I managed to more or less return my previous figure, however I am now looking to improve myself. One of the things that i want to improve is my flexibility, as I have an extremely rigid body. I can barely get my fingers past my knees when bending down (I am 189cm (6ft3").
I decided that Yoga would be a good solution to my problems, as I can practice it at home and it will also help me when i'm stressing out. The problem is that even after downloading numerous applications and watching Youtube videos, I cannot even perform a simple beginners exercise such as sitting down with crossed legs and a straight back.
Does anyone have any suggestions and/or tips for me?

Thanks in advance,


This is where teacher comes into picture.

A right teacher will evaluate and assess your limitations and takes you gradually to advancement.

Hi friend,

I would definitely suggest trying to find a teacher with a similar build/height as you when searching on youtube. The structure of a taller man is far different than that of a petite woman. Not to say that a petite woman can't teach you, but seeing someone with your structure will help guide you in your personal practice. Taller people tend to have more difficulty with certain poses due to larger body structure so that's also something to know.

Lastly, start off small. Focus on doing smaller poses to increase circulation in the joints first. Soon you'll notice flexibility in your larger muscles like calves/hamstrings and eventually when trying to practice other poses like the forward bend. Consistency is the biggest factor with yoga.

Hope I was able to help!
Snowi : )

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Hi Alex, your story sounds kind of similar to mine, and I think you can overcome your challenges. I played a lot of sports growing up. After college, that slowed down because of work and life. As a male athlete, my flexibility was terrible but strength really good. At 24 years old, I started Bikram yoga. I've stuck with it and now mostly practice at home. I'm almost 37 and my body is so much more flexible and still strong. I attribute this to having consistently practiced over the years. Sure, I've gone weeks and even months at a time without practicing, but I've also gone months at a time practicing almost every day. Don't worry, I started noticing huge improvements within the first 6 months and definitely after.

Finally, in addition to practicing consistently, my other main advice is (1) to focus on doing the proper technique rather than going for depth (the depth will come so long as you do the proper technique) (2) be very observant of what you're body is doing and what teachers are saying.

Have fun!

Yoga can be difficult for the most rigid of people. If you are new to yoga, you may find yourself feeling frustrated as you try to get into the poses and hold them.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way! Yoga is a very personal practice and you can change your posture, breath and mind to make it work for you. Here are some tips on how to begin:

Do a little research: Look at some of the basic positions in yoga and try them out with a friend or teacher. Start with the ones that seem easiest for you and work your way up from there.

Practice with a friend: If possible, find a friend or teacher who has experience with these poses so that they can help guide you through them. This will also give you more confidence when trying these new things on your own later on!

Be kind to yourself: It's easy to feel discouraged when we are having trouble getting into positions or holding them for long periods of time. Remember that this is part of being human and it will get easier over time!