What to do when your loved ones aren’t yogis

When we are enthusiastic about something, we want to share that – that’s probably the case for all of us. When we’re really passionate about a topic, we hardly know what’s more fun: actually doing it or talking about it.

We enjoy the new things we learn; the new people we meet through the hobby and the insights we gain.

With yoga in particular, these often have a very deep impact. After practicing for a while, we feel the many benefits of a regular practice: we become stronger, more flexible, more relaxed, better able to deal with stress. And maybe we even change some of our lifestyle habits.

As yoga can improve your wellbeing so much, it’s only natural to want to share this. Because of course we want our loved ones to feel as good as we do, right? It can be difficult if those closest to you don’t share your interests.

So what can you do if you have different interests or even different lifestyles but are very close?

Mutual understanding

There should be a willingness to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, on both sides.

If a person is important to you, you usually also care about what interests them, what drives them, what they spend their time doing – even if these things don’t necessarily match your own. If the latter is the case, still make an effort to show interest, ask questions and initiate conversations. But also make sure that you are met with the same level of interest.

Find common ground

If both parties have really tried to talk about the other person’s topics and it’s just exhausting and annoying, then you need to find common ground.

What connected you in the past? If that foundation is no longer there, why not look for a new one? It could be fun to look for something you both like: evenings at the theater together, learning a new language or instrument together, joining a book club… the possibilities are endless! Perhaps an old or new commonality will bring you together again. 

Living by example instead of persuasion

It is not uncommon for yoga enthusiasts to want to convince those around them of their passion. Many find their way to yoga through ailments that are alleviated or even disappear through regular practice. It is therefore only natural to want to get friends and family on board, as we want them to also benefit from the positive aspects of yoga.

The fact is that everyone can benefit from yoga in one way or another, whether it’s by relieving back pain or reducing stress.

But it is also a fact that not everyone is aware of this or open to it.

If this is the case in your environment, you are more likely to push people away if you try to persuade them. However, you can try to inspire. Show your loved ones the positive effects yoga can have. Emphasize the impact of your practice when people talk to you about how relaxed you look, how healthy you are, etc.

Offering small insights

Unfortunately, many people still have prejudices against yoga. If you have people like this around you, it can of course be frustrating. Nevertheless, try not to dismiss these prejudices as “nonsense”. Explain in a friendly but firm manner that the respective assumption is wrong and offer to provide an insight into “real yoga”.

This can be done in many ways. Simply offer to have a conversation with the person about it, in which all questions to you are allowed. As a next step, you can offer to come to a class with them to see for themselves. If you teach yourself, you can also offer a private lesson.

People who are open-minded will be keen to set aside preconceptions and replace dangerous half-knowledge with genuine insights.

Set boundaries

Let’s hope it never comes to that, but you may come across people who hold on to prejudices and wrong views rather than being open to learning something new. In this case, you should ask yourself whether such narrow-minded people are good for you.

As a yogi or yogini, you are probably very tolerant and open-minded, so you probably don’t really get along with narrow-minded people. Make it clear to them that it offends you if they prefer to cling to false facts rather than talk to you about them. If you have someone in your life who can clear up your prejudices – like you – it’s so easy to broaden your horizons. If someone is not willing to do this, it speaks volumes about that person.

Have you experienced different interests among your friends and family? How did you deal with it? Share it with me in the comments!

2 thoughts on “What to do when your loved ones aren’t yogis

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