When it comes down to almost everything in life, myths and stereotypes tend to flare up due to a lack of knowledge and perceptions of what it appears to be. Yoga is no different. Many people put off trying yoga because of preconceived notions that have come about from rumours. We are looking into some of the most common myths and setting the record straight.
Most common myths
Yoga is only for women
Yoga is a practice which is enjoyed by men and women all over the world – and not just women as many individuals have been led to believe. In actual fact, yoga was first created as well as practised by men before it was restructured in the western world.
Personally, we are of the belief that gender misconception has been born out of women being seen as more flexible and, in addition, being more in tune with their inner self. This certainly plays a role in it all however is in fact not the case. Yoga was developed for all body types as well as fitness levels. This ancient discipline was created to allow individuals to discover the undiscovered within themselves.
Yes, it does sound a bit clichéd but it is the honest truth.
Is yoga a cult or religion?
Many believe that it is a religion – it is not. It is a way of life, a way of being. It’s about living in the present minute and living more consciously. It’s about being aware of not only yourself but the world around you.
It sounds intense, we know. But in order for you to fully utilise the benefits of yoga, you need to be dedicated to it. It’s not as simple as the occasional class at the gym – it’s a lot more than that.
There is a certain mindset shift that happens when you start practising yoga – you become more in tune with your body, your mind and your emotions – and when you are practising this regularly, you will be able to see and notice the changes taking place within yourself.
Yoga is a journey that never ends – there is always more to discover and more that you can set out to achieve, which is what makes it such great experience and lifestyle.
You need to be flexible
While being flexible is a benefit, you do not need to be flexible when starting out. As you go through your yoga journey, you will find yourself becoming more and more flexible. As you get to be familiar with your body, you will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses – and work on them. Don’t push yourself to do difficult poses until you are able to do so, it will do more harm than good.
As with everything that happens in life, practice makes perfect. So don’t be disheartened if you can’t perform a pose. Use the opportunity to work your way up to it.
Yoga is glorified stretching
This has got to be one of the most annoying myths to date. While yoga incorporates stretching, it is more than that. Each yoga pose is focused on a specific area of the body and as such works on strengthening the associated muscles. By holding poses for a period of time, you are working the muscles involved and strengthening your body in the process.
When combined with strength training, yoga can assist in muscle development and endurance. Keen on learning more and becoming a yoga instructor? If you are, then follow this link.