Yoga has increased in popularity significantly over the last 15 years and is continuously growing worldwide. Even though there is a strong following across the globe, many people are new to the concept yoga. Often, when a concept or practice is new to people, there are myths associated with the unknown. There are common myths about yoga, which keep people away from the practice.
MYTH #1 Yoga is Expensive – Yoga can appear expensive. With all the latest trends and hot new gear, keeping up with the yogi Joneses can tally up the costs. However, there are lots of unconventional outlets that can keep yoga fun and cost effective. Beyond yoga being a personal practice that you can perform at home without any special equipment, choosing a few quality yoga items like a durable mat and well made clothing, can help inprove your focus and enjoyment of a yoga practice. Find studios that are offering donation based classes or community classes. Yoga apps and online courses are another great option. These options allow you to receive the benefits of being in a class environment for a cost-effective rate.
MYTH #2 You have to be Flexible to Practice Yoga – Strength, agility, balance, and flexibility will improve in time with the regular practice of yoga. Most asanas require some flexibility and strength, however, there are always modifications for poses or quality props that can assist in a posture until that flexibility comes. Depending on each person’s health and fitness level, not all people have the same flexibility or will have as much movements as they may expect or prefer. However, yoga is not about flexibility or expectations. With consistent, gentle practice flexibility and strength will come.
MYTH #3 Yoga isn’t a Good Workout – There are many high impact workouts in the world of fitness, which are effecitve of providing effective results for physical health and wellness. People who have not experienced yoga yet may consider it effortless with little to no result at all. Depending on the style of practice, it can be specifically intense for both the beginners and advanced practitioners because the practice is asking for overall strength of body. There are many different types of yoga, if you have a well rounded, regular practice you will get a great workout that targets both strength and cardio, even in still postures.
MYTH #4 Yoga is Only for Women – There is a growth of male yoga instructors and students in each class. It is common to see men in hot power classes or bikram. It is common for professional athletes to go to these classes every week to balance their high impact lifestyle and improve their performance. Corporate environments have in-house classes to relieve stress and to be given a chance to move around and step away from the desk. Both men and women are attending these classes and the benefits are equal for both.
MYTH #5 Yoga is only for Vegans or Vegetarians – While some yogis choose a plant based diet, it is not a requirement to practice yoga. And not “all” yoga practitioners have any particular diet. Yoga isn’t about what you eat, Yoga is about personal health and putting your best foot forward. This also means practicing non-judgement.
There are a few of the most common myths about yoga, but stepping out into the unknown could be a great way of investigating those false beliefs and creating new ones for yourself. Not all yogis are skinny, flexible, rich, female, or vegan. Without having to experience something personally, everything would only be an assumption. If you choose to practice yoga, do so with an open heart and for your own journey.