There are so many misconceptions about Yoga that prevents people from having a go at it. I’m about to debunk some of the most common myths related to Yoga that will you on the matt ASAP, and have you loving it too.
1. You have to be in good shape to practice yoga
Not true! Yoga is not solely for the super stretchy or super skinny. The practice welcomes all shapes and sizes and in fact encourages all levels of fitness to have a go at getting on the matt. It’s true that a fitness junkie may find yoga easier than others, but it is definitely not off limits for everyone else. The best part about yoga is that it is your own personal journey that you work on at your own pace – and the more you do it, the easier it will become.
2. Yoga is only for women
Although women typically tend to practice yoga, men are also welcome to join in the stretchy fun. At Y42, we don’t see yoga labelled as gender specific, because the whole point of yoga is to find yourself and connect with your higher self; that mental connection applies to both men and women.
3. Yoga requires lots of time out of my day
This doesn’t have to be the case. We encourage you to dedicate a section of any spare time you may have in your day. Whether that’s an hour, 30 minutes or even 10 minutes, taking a small amount of time to focus on you and your wellbeing is enough. If you have time to follow your yoga practice with a 10-minute meditation it’s a great routine to get into, but if your schedule is tightly packed then one or the other will suffice.
4. Yoga is just physical
This one is a big no. Yoga has countless physical benefits, but the mind-body connection that yoga promotes is extremely underrated. Quoted from a previous blog, “through breathing techniques, exercise and meditation, yoga is a practice that aims to build the connection between physical, mental, social, and spiritual development; by building this connection, you become self-aware.”
See ‘can yoga change your life? Lead a life of happiness and bliss’ for an in-depth explanation.
5. Yoga is an easy option
We’d all like this to be true, but unfortunately Yoga isn’t as easy-peasy as it might look. Don’t let this discourage you though! All yoga stretches and positions are easily modifiable to suit your level of fitness; if you struggle with ‘cobra’ try ‘baby
cobra’! Nothing is set in stone and you have so many options to make Yoga your own.
6. Yoga is just stretching
It might seem this way, but yoga isn’t just stretching; it’s also how you stretch. Yoga is practiced to increase awareness in the mind, so when we stretch we aren’t thinking about what to cook for dinner or when to do the grocery shopping, we are being mindful with our actions and staying present in the moment. Alongside this, we are also controlling and focusing on our breathing – another way of being mindful.
7. When attending yoga classes, I need fancy equipment
Absolutely not… all you need to bring is you! (And probably a yoga matt!) Traditional yoga only requires you and your focused mind – any fancy equipment you might see in videos etc. is all extra and optional. Any extra equipment you may need for the class will most likely be provided to you so you don’t have to splash the cash on anything else.
8. Yoga is a religion
Yoga’s roots are in Hinduism, but it’s certainly not solely a Hindu practice. It is open to everyone from all backgrounds and regardless of spiritual preference. You are welcome to incorporate the spiritual aspect into your routine (i.e including meditation) or if you’re looking for the non-spiritual benefits then feel free to simply enjoy the flow of the movements if it provides you with what you need.