Yoga has certainly grown in popularity over the last decade, but even though there are millions of people taking up this age-old tradition, many are deterred by common misconceptions. I firmly believe yoga is for everyone and I think it’s high time that fact was separated from fiction.
Yoga is only for flexible people
One of the biggest fears many people have is that they’re simply not flexible enough. It’s understandable but simply not true. You may look through Instagram stories, Pinterest boards or YouTube videos to discover complex poses that require a great deal of strength and flexibility, however, the fact is you can practice yoga without having those skills or attributes. You’ll still receive all the wonderful mind and body benefits of yoga too, so whether you’re tall, short, thick or thin, yoga can be adapted for you and the right teacher will show you how to reap the rewards.
It’s just a hippie trend
Okay so this one makes me laugh. There have been many TV shows that reference hippie tutors, and of course there’s the viral YouTube video of “The Inappropriate Yoga Guy”, which has accumulated more than 2 million views and around half the amount of likes as dislikes. Some elements to this myth may be true, for example yoga does inspire self-awareness, love and a greater connection with the world. That said, you really do not have to worry about being a vegan nomad who doesn’t use commercially made deodorant to become a yogi!
Yoga is just for women
Myself and many other male yoga instructors are living proof that yoga is not a ‘girl thing’. The balance of yoga has certainly shifted in recent years, but for most of its history, yoga was practiced almost exclusively by men. We’re now entering a period that is very much a sweet spot, where classes include a mix of men and women. The fact is the benefits are the same whether you’re a man or a women, so if you’re seeking peace, joy and improved health, yoga is right for you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
There is no difference between yoga and stretching
If you visit any yoga class run by a professional instructor, you’ll immediately see that yoga is very different to stretching. Sure, many styles of yoga combine static stretching with dynamic, moving stretches, however, there are many differences between the two.
- Yoga can be a strength practice.
- Brings a feeling of slow and calm.
- Allows you to feel connected to others, as well as yourself, life and the wider world.
- Builds muscle strength.
- Improve balance.
- Helps to detox.
- Improves lung capacity.
- Enhances focus.
Yoga classes are slow and boring
Practicing any art or skill can be boring if you do not have the right teacher to offer correct guidance in a style that appeals to your interests, and yoga is no different. As discussed, yoga lessons can be calming, relaxing and peaceful at times, however, it all depends on the teacher and what you define as boring. I always recommend my students try different classes so they can discover their own style and enjoy yoga lessons that are more suited to their interests and objectives.