Yoga for the Sceptic

Here’s how to start a practice when you are feeling sceptical of its benefits - By Emma Mills

Reading time: 4 minutes

Yoga has been loved by a large majority of the population for many decades now, but not everyone has the ‘yoga bug’ and this could be why.

Yoga can portray a misconception about its practice, especially in an era where we have easy access to social media platforms and our google browsers are filled with pictures of extremely advanced, filtered yoga practitioners practising in front of jaw dropping snowy mountain scenery, its enough to make any beginner turn away and become sceptical about the world of yoga from then on.

But the truth is, anybody and I mean any body anywhere in the world, whatever your background can do yoga.

You don’t need to practice or master certain poses, you don’t need to buy an expensive mat, in fact you can literally lie down on your bed right before bed and practice some gentle stretches, breathing and winding down techniques (which will set you up for a brilliant nights sleep!) This is yoga.

Yoga begins with the breath, it is essentially an exercise based around recognising our breathing and adding in movement as we breath, simplicity can often be a good thing when it comes to creating your own yoga routine.

I’ve found that some people feel sceptical after trying a yoga class that perhaps was the wrong level, style or pace for them, or they may not have gelled with the teacher, there are many reasons we might not enjoy a class or find any benefit but there are lots of different classes to explore, find your starting level, how advanced at yoga you are, would you like to practice in person or online and do a little research into which style of yoga would suit you, sometimes we need to try a bit of everything before we find a style that suits us best.

Yoga takes patience and perseverance, you stick with it and you’ll be rewarded in body and mind.


Creating just a short daily routine can elevate your mood, reduce stress, reduce anxiety, improve sleep and amazingly a recent study this year (2023) revealed a reduction of depression symptoms in people who practised yoga as opposed to those who didn’t.

People with certain health conditions may avoid yoga all together believing yoga ‘isn’t for them’ in fear that the exercise poses too many risks to them, but yoga is so adaptable, for instance; someone with diabetes, glaucoma or heart disease should not do inversions or poses that require their head to be below the heart which can be taken into account and modified, all professional yoga teachers will know and understand the modifications that can be used to gain the most from your personal practice.

The element of time can easily put people off starting a yoga practice, life is busy, you can barely find a minute to sit down for lunch let alone roll your mat out, right?

Wrong, I have seen yoga apps now that boast of a 5minute practice, a good way to start the day and if this is all the time you have, take it, squeeze in that ‘me’ time and stick to it, everyday take time for your health and well-being, it is important.

The bottom line to anyone still feeling sceptical is this, yoga doesn’t have to be pricey, you don’t need to be doing headstands within the week and you certainly don’t have to stick to a style you don’t feel comfortable with, make your practice your own, whatever you need and whatever suits you best, your practice is unique to you!

Yoga is not about touching your toes, It is what you learn on the way down” – Jigar Gor

Emma Mills

Emma is a 200hr qualified yoga teacher, specialising in Hatha Yoga and breathwork, aside from this she has completed many CPD yoga courses and recently completed a 'flexibility workshop'.

She is currently teaching voluntarily online and being inclusive to every student is always at the forefront of her mind when setting up a class.

Using social media and the discovery of Instagram she has been able to reach out and share the joys of practicing yoga with many other likeminded people.