As popular as it is, there are still plenty of myths out there about yoga. From a perceived expectation of superhuman flexibility all the way to the rumor that it’s a religion, there are plenty of myths about yoga to dispel. Here is where we’d like to start…
Myth 1: You have to be super-flexible to do yoga.
Nopenopenope. You don’t have to be anything to do yoga, and a common thing you hear in a yoga class is along the lines of: this is your practice/do what’s comfortable for your body/just notice where you’re at with your practice.
Granted, yoga can help increase flexibility in many, but very few walk in the door flexible, and not everyone is going to be highly flexible in a given yoga class, even people who have practiced for a while. It happens. Flexibility isn’t everyone’s thing. At the end of the day, yoga combines and builds strength, balance and flexibility. Most of us start with one of those leading the way.
Myth 2: There’s only one type of yoga.
This one is often hidden behind the ol’ “tried it once and I don’t like the heated room/wearing all white/how slow it was/how chill it was” line. The truth is, there any many different types of yoga, and within each type, each studio has its own style and feel, and each teacher has their own style. Vinyasa is all about breath and movement working in tandem, power yoga is about strength and cardio, hatha yoga is gentle and slower, iyengar has a focus on alignment, ashtanga is about order and sequence, kundalini is about breath and both mental and physical challenge… and so on. The key is to find the style, studio and teacher that work for you and make you feel comfortable.
Myth 3: Yoga isn’t really a workout; it’s just stretching.
Try ashtanga or power yoga and see if you don’t get a booty whoopin.’
Myth 4: Yoga is a religion.
Yoga isn’t a religion. Some yoga classes might have spiritual elements, and yoga is largely built on the idea of being kind and compassionate to yourself and others. In fact, it’s accepting of all religions and paths.