Dear Carrie,

How do you convince someone that yoga could help them in a tough life situation when they think yoga is mumbo-jumbo for girls?! I’m thinking specifically of my dad, who has cancer and is going through chemo. While I don’t think I’ll ever get him to do any asanas, I know that pranayama, visualisation and meditation would help him enormously. Do you have any tips or suggestions for introducing pranayama and meditation to someone who is resisting them? Meryl

Hi Meryl,

This is a great question that I know many others will benefit from, as it’s something so many yogis experience when attempting to convince family members to practice yoga, knowing how much they will benefit! Firstly, everyone has their own truth so if a family member is completely against the idea of practicing yoga, sometimes the ‘higher road’ to take is to not push your views. You can, however, be an example of how great you feel from your own yoga practice and hopefully this will lead to them asking you for guidance about how to introduce yoga into their own lives. If it feels appropriate, you can try to barter with them. Say to your Dad, “Give me 20 minutes every day for one week and in return I will do something for you. Then if you’re not feeling great after one week of yoga practice, we’ll let it go.”

Let your Dad know you are only trying to love and assist him in his time of need, not to dominate or assume you know best. Be vulnerable and let him know you feel helpless in this situation with his cancer and this is the one area where you feel you can provide some practical support that could really assist him to heal. If he is open, adapt the practices to suit his personality. Use terms to describe some of the pranayama and meditation techniques that make sense to him, rather than using traditional or spiritual terminology. Wishing you and your Dad much support and love at this time!

Carrie-Anned Fields graced the cover a few months ago

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