So I always get asked by people "If I'm not flexible, can I still do/start Yoga?" and to answer that question simply, its like saying "you have to have your hair already styled to go to the salon" - Adell Bridges
And that makes so much sense to me! Often we don't start practicing new things if we aren't looking to achieve a particular goal. That applies here too, you don't have to be flexible to start Yoga, you just have to be Willing to start.
I was never very flexible to begin with, so I did find many poses difficult to practice, but the day that I could get into a full split I surprised myself! I had practiced Yoga on and off for about a year at that point and I knew a lot of people who could comfortably sit in a split but it was beyond my wildest dreams! I really didn't set a goal towards it, but with practice my body had learned to do it, and I can still remember the feeling, 4 years later!
Although, I can do a side split now, after almost 6 years of Yoga practice, I still can't do the middle split! But I can still enjoy variations of it. Yoga can always cater to your body and its limitations while allowing you to still reap benefits from the more toned down variations of poses. I kid you not, literally every asana I have tried, has a variation that will suit almost everyone, and if it doesn't there is another asana that will replace it!
Everyday of my practice is different, even with years of practicing I often find that I'm not able to perform an Asana as well as I did the previous day. The important thing to understand is, much like the fluctuations in our moods, there is variation in our physical body and its ability to perform a posture.
I hope you can understand better from this post that flexibility is certainly NOT a pre-requisite to do Yoga. For those of you who have always wanted to try but haven't because of your level of flexibility, give it a shot now!
Here are some easy variations for a split, all of them will give you a great stretch, so don't be shy to try them! Most days my body is unable to perform a full split, but these other versions still serve the purpose and they are easier on the thighs.
Hope you guys enjoyed this short post, I'm hoping to do some more posts like these to try and motivate some of you! Let me know if this was helpful.