Common Myths about Yoga
1. "I'm not flexible enough for yoga." - Being flexible is not a requirement to try yoga. You DO yoga to become more flexible, not the other way around. Practicing Yoga allows you to lengthen and strengthen your body, flexibility comes over time. It's not instant, but you can feel "results" within just a few classes.
2. "Yoga is only for people who are thin or fit." - Yoga is not about what you look like on the outside. It is about finding the strength to not judge yourself, or others. It's about accepting yourself where you are. Try a beginners class, and ease into it. Modifications and options are given to help find the right position for your body. Depending on your needs, yoga can help you reach a healthier weight, healthier lifestyle and to just accept yourself as you are.
3. "Yoga isn't for people in pain or with injuries." - These are actually reasons to practice yoga. Speaking with your teacher before class and letting them know your concerns and issues will allow your teacher to help with modifications and suggestions designed solely for you in your body. Yoga is healing and can help you in relieving your pain or recovering from certain injuries.
4."Yoga is a religion." - While Yoga is steeped in spirituality, it is unique in that it is promoting of kindness and compassion towards yourself and all others. Yoga is accepting of any and all religions or no religion at all. The spirituality of this practice is directly connected to you, your body and your mind. Helping you to connect or re-connect to the spirituality that is important to you and most importantly, helping you connect to your compassion and kindness.
5. "I don't like the chanting, so I won't do yoga." - Some yoga classes incorporate chanting and mantras throughout class, this is done as an enhancement. The vibrations in the sounds help to heal the body and focus the mind. There are methods behind the madness. While I LOVE chanting during classes, it is not for everyone and in the True Spirit of Kindness and Compassion, you should only do what you feel comfortable with. As with every yoga class, it is YOUR practice and yours alone. Don't want chanting, don't do it. Don't feel good in Downward Dog today, don't do it. Only you know your body and your needs, listen to them...without judgement!
While yoga might not be the practice for everyone, everyone can truly discover benefit from it. Try a class. Don't like the instructor, try another. Experiment and find the right style of yoga, in the right studio with the right instructor. It can truly be life changing!