Practicing yoga is extremely fulfilling, as well as inspiring, and the knowledge gained through the power of yoga is transformative. But, there is a lot of “yoga” happening that has very little to do with what yoga really is. Several myths about this ancient practice have long been misinterpreted and it’s time to debunk these top 8 yoga myths!
Yoga Myth #1: You Have to be Able to Touch Your Toes to Practice Yoga
As a teacher, this is the #1 excuse I hear from people who don’t practice yoga. Flexibility is in no way a pre-requisite!
Yoga is a journey, and if your journey begins with bending your knees in a standing forward fold, then that is perfectly fine. Keep practicing, keep breathing, and one day your hamstrings will surprise you!
Yoga Myth #2: Yoga is Just for Hippies
False! While you may have the occasional kava drinking, deodorant-less, free spirit next to you in class, yoga is for anyone and everyone. Whether you are an athlete looking to decompress your tense muscles, or a mother of 3 craving some stillness, yoga does not discriminate.
Yoga Myth #3: People are Good at Yoga
This is a tricky one. A person isn’t necessarily “good” at yoga. A person can, however, be strong, balanced, flexible, etc. Yoga isn’t just poses, it is a mixture of breath, focus, intention, movement, quality of the mind, and many other factors. So being “good at yoga” is not something physical that you can see, but rather a way in which someone carries their yoga with them on and off of their mat.’
Yoga Myth #4: No LuLu, No Yoga
Your yoga pants cost HOW much?! Wear what makes you feel best, whether that be brand new yoga attire, or your favorite t-shirt from high school.
Yoga Myth #5: Yogis Have to Go Vegan
Vegetarian, paleo, macrobiotic, fruitarian (yes, that’s a real thing), etc. Eat whatever makes you feel good after your yoga class. Your body is your home and you should maintain it in whatever way will keep you safe, healthy, and happy.
Yoga Myth #6: Yoga Class Has to be a Workout
It doesn’t! There are many different types of yoga. Some styles such as vinyasa or ashtanga will give you some killer triceps. However, there are also styles that include little to no movement, making it more of a workout for your mind rather than your body.
Yoga Myth #7: Your Yoga Teacher Can Do Every Pose in the Book
Sure, yoga teachers sometimes are more “advanced” practitioners, but that is the direct result of getting on their mats #everydamnday. The title of “Yoga Instructor” has somehow been widely recognized as a pretzel lady who can walk around with her leg behind her head, and that is (unfortunately) just not true. If that is what you are looking for, maybe check out Cirque du Soleil instead.
Yoga Myth #8: Yoga Improves Your Health
This is true! Yoga not only creates strength and flexibility in the physical body, but it also creates a sense of total awareness, promotes mental clarity, and aides in relaxation!