How to Get Someone You Love to Try Yoga.

I like to think that my work teaching and writing about yoga is changing the world, one down dog at a time. But then I think it might be best to change those around us first, especially those we love.

In my case, my family really has no idea what-so-ever of what I do. For instance, there is the day my mother in law came to visit, and when I told her I had to go to work, she said, “You work?”

For years I tried to get her to do yoga. In fact, I showed her poses and gave her books on it. But then one day she said to me exuberantly, “I am doing Silver Sneakers at the gym, and it’s wonderful!”

 “You know that’s mostly yoga,” I said.

“Well if it is, then I like it.”

Then it became apparent that my husband also has very little idea of how I spend my days. This was an interesting conversation recently in the Marchildon household:

Husband:             “Have you heard of MC Yogi?”

Me:                       “Um. Yes” (As in, I’m not living under a rock.)

Husband:             “I think we should get you a name.”

Me:                       “Like what?”

Husband:             “Like, ‘Little Yogi.’ You can be a rapping yogi!”

Me:                       “Just so you know, I’m ‘The Yogi Muse.’ And I can’t sing.”

Husband:             “Oh. Never mind.”

And don’t even get me started on my kids, both athletic and so tight they haven’t been able to touch their toes since the day they were born. Every now and then a coach will suggest they practice yoga. You know, everyone says it works.

Why is it that we can share the joy of yoga with total strangers, but when it comes to the ones we love they are often the hardest to get onto the mat? I’ve had to come up with some interesting ways to get my family on the mat.

Here are some tips to get the ones you love into yoga:

Make an offer they can’t refuse.

For Valentine’s Day, I will take A) A trip to Paris, B) A horse, with a beautiful new house and barn, C) A new kitchen, D) A shared yoga class. You don’t have to be a genius to play this game.

Make an offer they can’t refuse, take 2.

“And if we take Shelley’s class, I will let you go in the front row. By the way, Shelley teaches in a bikini.”

If this is for your wife or girlfriend:

“We can take Justin’s class.” Need I say more?

 If this is for your kids:

“If you practice yoga, you will do better at FILL IN THE BLANK.”

 If that doesn’t work, then try:

“If you practice yoga, then I will give you two weeks’ of allowance and excuse you from all chores.” I actually did that once, and it backfired on me. The next time, my teenager demanded more money.

 You could always try the truth:

“If you practice yoga, you will feel better, you will probably find happiness, and your life will be transformed.” But if they don’t believe you, or even the book you wrote, then play something by MC Yogi.  That will get them every time.

 Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is the author of “Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga,” and “Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga.” She is a Columnist for Elephant Journal and Origin Magazine, and a contributor to Teachasana and My Yoga Online. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches Hatha Yoga in Denver, Co. You can take her classes on