Yoga has become more popular as of late, and most people have a good idea of what yoga is all about as well as its benefits (increased flexibility, decreased stress, etc.)— still, there are a few common misconceptions when people think of yoga. Often times you will hear someone say that they always have wanted to try yoga, but (insert excuse here). Many of these reasons for not trying yoga revolve around some kind of misconception. So now is no better time than any to bust the most common myths when it comes to yoga. So here we go: Debunking the top three yoga myths and reasons for not giving yoga a try.
YOGA MYTH #1: All Yoga is the Same
At first glance it may seem like yoga is yoga is yoga, but take a few classes and you’ll realize that there are many different ways of practicing yoga being offered. Styles such as Hatha, Flow and Restorative are a few that are in our class rotation. Each week we explore a different style to change up the routine but also to allow students to find what style feels good to their body.
A Hatha style class will focus on creating balance within a pose. Typically, in a Hatha yoga class we will work in different poses that will prepare us for a peak pose at the end of the class. A Flow style class is exactly as it sounds. We will link poses together using our breath. Hatha yoga classes are more static and a flow class moves from pose to pose in sync with your breathing. There is more movement in a flow class. Restorative yoga is a series a just a few poses, at most 4 and all of the work is done on the floor. Restorative yoga poses are held for longer periods of time while the student is supported with pillows and/or blocks. This type of yoga is used to stretch deeply, unwind and relax. One style or all of them could be right for you. The way to find out is to take a few classes and let your body decide.
YOGA MYTH #2: Yoga is ONLY for the Super Flexible
Although from the looks of it yoga is only for those with the ability to fold themselves into a taco, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga is meant to help you become more comfortable, gain strength, and increase range of motion in the body you have. The benefits are the same regardless of how far you can get into a pose. Besides, you aren’t strong before you started strength training and you can’t run a marathon without training—does that mean you aren’t going to lift weights or go for a run… ever?
Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you’re uncomfortable with your inflexibility, you always have the option to use props, such as a block or a strap to modify the pose. The use of props will allow you to modify the poses to compensate for tight hips, shoulders, and hamstrings. Many styles of yoga emphasize function over form, that means that the shape of the yoga poses are modified to meet the needs of the student. Each time you come to class you work with the body you brought that day. It is a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect. With a regular practice and some patience, you should notice the benefits of yoga sooner than you’d think.
YOGA MYTH #3: Yoga is for the Spiritual
Not true. Yoga is for anyone and everyone. The great thing about your practice is that you can take it as far as you want to go. You may just like the physical aspect of yoga combined with the breathing and leave it at that. You may become a monk. The point is, yoga doesn’t care. The more people stretching, breathing, and moving their bodies the better! All are welcome.
You can continue with the same lifestyle you have now and practice yoga. However, yoga has a way of working itself into your life off the mat. Yoga increases the awareness you have of your body—the way you feel. By practicing yoga, you will start to notice what makes you feel your best and when you’re not feeling quite your best. Without forcing yourself, you simply start making decisions that help you both in mind and body.
I would love to see you in one of our yoga classes. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call me at 712-256-1800.