When you hear the word “yoga”, what do you think?
There are a TON of misconceptions when it comes to yoga. And though I am not a certified expert (like a yoga instructor), I’m here to clear up some preconceived ideas when it comes to practicing yoga.
When I started practicing 4 years ago, I didn’t understand the point of it. At that time, I was using the “Biggest Loser” Wii workouts and yoga was one of my scheduled exercises. I remember loosely throwing my arms in the air for a Warrior 1 pose and thinking to myself that this type of exercise seemed entirely pointless. After doing 4 yoga practices at home – I was finally starting to understand that it involved a lot of stretching, breathing and consistent flow.
Let’s start by clearing up any confusion. Ready?
5 Misconceptions About Yoga
- Only skinny people practice yoga. WRONG! First of all, how do you think they got so skinny in the first place? I have seen men and women of all shapes and sizes in yoga classes – and I applaud every one of them!
- Yoga is a weird way to convert your religious beliefs. I have been to many American yoga classes and have never experienced a teacher trying to convert or influence my religious beliefs. Yoga is, however, a means to put your mind and body at rest. It connects your breath with movements, enhances meditation, and clears your mind for relaxation. If you are interested in trying yoga, I would suggest researching the company or organization before attending a class.
- Yoga is a cult and everyone secretly judges you. Um, no! In fact, I have found yoga to be the complete opposite. Everyone is welcome. Some of the most friendly people you meet will be in a yoga class. I can promise you… there is no judging. But, if you do have a hard time practicing yoga in front of others, I know some instructors set up private sessions. Look into that, if you wish to try.
- Only freakishly flexible people practice yoga. Again… WRONG! I have found immense pain relief and seen progress with my physical condition by doing yoga. When I started practicing regularly last year, I couldn’t even touch my toes – seated or standing. Now, I have no problem reaching my toes. There are different levels of yoga – beginner, moderate and advanced. There are also many types of classes and I am comfortable doing gentle to moderate poses. It is highly recommended that you start at the beginner level and work your way up before trying advanced poses. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to do a back-bend (wheel) or touch my toes up to ears while standing, but I DO know that I’m improving every day. I am doing a lot more poses than I ever thought possible. So no… I am not freakishly flexible and neither is my yoga instructor. Hence why we call everything in yoga… a PRACTICE.
- Yoga classes are only for women. Also not true. I have seen a lot of men in classes, and even attended a class with my husband’s good friend (and his wife). There are a lot of studies showing that yoga is great for soldiers and veterans. I highly recommend this type of exercise for anyone!
I hope this helps clear up any misconceptions you may have about this exercise. Sometimes going to that first class is the hardest part. If you have a friend willing to try yoga, it may help relieve some anxieties.
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