Misconceptions about Yoga


How many times you heard this “Yoga is only for young, thin and flexible bodies…, Yoga is expensive, time-consuming exercise…, Yoga is not for a person like me…”

Many times, misconceptions hold you back from trying new practices, techniques, methods or technology. There are many misunderstandings regarding yoga, which is spread by media, or people, which halts you from ripping the abundant benefits which yoga provides. Let us look at some of the popular misconceptions and create a fresh mindset about this ancient health practice:

Yoga for the flexible, and thin body:

Practicing yoga will help increase your flexibility and leave you feeling better than ever! Anyone can do yoga. Flexibility is NOT a requirement. Yoga meets you where you are at right now. Unfortunately, the media has led people to believe that only skinny people practice yoga. This is not true! Virtually anyone can practice yoga. If you have some extra weight, you might find that yoga helps you to feel more limber, more energetic and more vital. Vigorous forms of yoga like Ashtanga will even help you lose weight. However, that is not the point weight loss is just a side effect of the practice. Plus, yoga helps you to be more mindful; that can help energize and motivate you to do the stuff you have to in order to be healthy.

Yoga for young people:

You are never too old. The older you are, the more you can benefit! Do not let yourself believe that aging equals deterioration. If you work at it, you can remain healthy and mostly ache-free throughout your entire life.

Yoga for healthy people:

Yoga helps increase mobility and circulation to stiff and painful joints. Studies have also shown that practicing yoga stimulates a long lasting natural anti-inflammatory response. Additionally, yoga helps to strengthen the supporting muscles around the joints for better function and stability. Yoga can be practiced by even people who are sick and bed-ridden.

Yoga conflicts with my religion.

Yoga is not a religion; yoga is a system of techniques that can be used for a number of goals, from simply managing stress better, learning to relax, increasing strength, improving posture, increasing limberness, all the way to becoming more self-aware and acquiring the deepest knowledge of one’s own Self.

The practice of yoga will not interfere with any religion. In fact, yoga is suitable for those of every faith or even for those with none. It has no creed or fixed set of beliefs, nor is there a prescribed godlike figure to be worshipped in a particular manner. The common belief that Yoga derives from Hinduism is a misconception. Yoga actually predates Hinduism by many centuries. The techniques of Yoga have been adopted by Hinduism as well as by other world religions. The cultivation of awareness from yoga practice will only help you go deeper into your own spiritual practices. Yoga is not about outer worship; it’s about inner exploration.

Yoga needs a lot of time to practice

Doing yoga for 60 minutes, will leave you refreshed and ready for whatever comes your way. You get strength training, mental training, stretching, breath work, and relaxation all put together in a short time. With yoga practice, you learn to engage in the world from a calmer place. This inner calm allows you to make better decisions, make fewer mistakes, think more objectively, and get more done with less effort.

Yoga classes are too expensive

If you look at the benefits you get by engaging in yoga, you will find that it is not really expensive. Attending yoga classes on a regular basis is a wise investment for a healthier, happier, and brighter future.

Yoga is only for women

You will be surprised to know that originally only men practiced yoga. Some people think that yoga is not challenging, not aerobic, not rigorous, not macho, or not athletic. Well, it depends upon the class you take and your level. Yes, there are gentle classes that are more about stretching, but yoga can also be quite rigorous. Ashtanga yoga is both aerobic and strength inducing, and higher-level postures require great strength and co-ordination.

Yoga can be injurious

Most yoga injuries occur when you try to force your bodies to achieve poses that you are not ready for. Yoga does not promote competition or perfection. Respect and listen to your body and do what you feel comfortable with.

Yoga is a low impact exercise

Some people may think that yoga is not challenging and ranks low as a cardiovascular workout. However, depending on the yoga class that you attend, it can be quite rigorous. For instance, Power Yoga is aerobic in nature and strength inducing. Executing postures in an Ashtanga Yoga class requires co-ordination and flexibility, while high levels of endurance are required in a Vinyasa class.

Yoga is just not my thing

Before you make this statement, have you ever even tried it? If not, give it a chance before making this claim. If the answer is yes, consider what it was about the class or instructor that you did not enjoy.

Be cautious, don’t let one bad experience ruin what could be such a blessing in your daily life! Many people are intimidated to practice yoga because they think they aren’t good enough or are discouraged that they don’t look like the cover of a yoga magazine in each pose.