I often hear people say they're not flexible enough for yoga. And to me, that doesn't really make any sense. Saying you're not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you're too dirty to take a bath! Just as the bath will clean you up, the yoga will help to make you more flexible.
Here are my words of advice about what to do if you're "not flexible enough" for yoga:
Check your expectations at the door.
In yoga, we talk about practicing santosha, which is the idea of letting go of expectations and preconceived ideas about how things should be. A yoga class can be intimidating for a first timer, but this idea that we need to be able to wrap our bodies up like pretzels on the first go is setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, see if you can cultivate a sense of passive acceptance to what is happening in each moment. Don't worry about what happens in the middle of class or the end of class or even next week's class. Stay present and fully aware in each moment and you will reap the benefits tenfold.
Understand yoga as a personal practice.
Another yogic philosophy we talk about is svadhyaya (swah-dee-hya-ya), which means self-study. Even in a group setting, yoga is meant to be a personal practice. The yoga is about you. Not the teacher, not the student in the class with the most impressive handstand, not the glamorous studio, not the expensive yoga clothes. It's about you. It's about quieting your mind, and going inward to check in with yourself while simultaneously creating a meditation in motion with the yoga postures and your breath. Perhaps you find that no, you're not doing splits right off the bat, but it's about being honest with yourself in where you are physically and mentally, and noting that as your starting foundation, and moving on from there.
Remember, taking the first step is often the hardest. Have faith in yourself, let yourself feel a bit vulnerable, and keep an open mind- The benefits of yoga are worth it.
PPS- Some yoga tunes for your asana practice.