I know the title of this blog post is pretty weird. And while yoga training could be a really good thing for people to get involved with, along with their firearms training, that’s not exactly my point. You see, I’ve always been a silent observer of yoga, a curious spectator on the sidelines, wishing I could be that calm, that focused, and that flexible…and wondering if my body would ever allow itself to be crammed and contorted into those various poses. It looks like such a great skill and such a great activity to do alone or to enjoy with others. But, as many beginners would probably say right along with me, “I am just not very flexible.”

Of course, isn’t that the point of yoga training? To become more flexible? To work surely and steadily until your mind and body actually comply and cooperate, and you can not only get into but also hold those poses as you build strength, stability, and confidence? I can’t imagine that anyone starts out with yoga, automatically being able to master the feathered peacock or the handstand scorpion pose. Those challenging, advanced skills take practice. I’m really more along the lines of the corpse pose right now. But I realize that some time and dedication would put me on the right path.

Well, the whole thought hit me not too long ago that this same attitude is exactly what often keeps people from getting involved with firearms training. People really WANT to try shooting but will claim, “I just don’t have any experience.” But that’s why you get started…to gain that experience! No one starts out at 100 percent. It’s a process. And you can work surely and steadily until your mind and body actually comply and cooperate, and you can not only fire those shots but also get bullseyes as you build strength, stability, and confidence. You can believe me that beginners aren’t automatically drawing from a holster while moving and shooting and engaging multiple targets. But “I haven’t tried it,” or “I am not good at shooting” are not acceptable excuses. Those are the kinds of mental blocks that keep people from getting started in the first place.

Just like me with yoga.

I know that I am NOT very flexible. But I understand that giving yoga a try will help me change that. The good thing is: Yoga isn’t about being flexible; it’s about becoming flexible. And, similarly, firearms training isn’t about being a safe and proficient shooter; it’s about becoming a safe and proficient shooter.

So for all of those silent observers out there, don’t be intimidated to try out a class—whether yoga or firearms, I suppose! The yoga room and the shooting range should be judgment-free zones. And while you may not be able to perfect that headstand or get that zero-down score quite yet, we all need to start somewhere. As one of my all-time favorite Mark Twain quotes says, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”