5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Yoga
The ancient practice of yoga has been around for hundreds of years, and over the past few decades, has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. While yoga may be a part of popular culture today and extremely common among practitioners of all types, there are still a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about yoga. In fact, here are five things that almost everyone tends to get wrong about yoga.
1. They Think It is the Same For Everyone
Yoga is a deeply personal experience, and most people who practice yoga have a very different relationship with this ancient form of exercise. Yoga is different for everyone and different poses are going to look unique on every person.
No one version of a pose is better than another. There are some people who keep their yoga practice very simple and others who prefer a challenge, but it is different for every person. If you allow yourself to ease your mind and body and to not overthink your posing, you will discover a practice that is prefect for you.
2. They Think It’s All About Doing Challenging Poses
There are so many people who think of yoga and think of over-the-top poses like headstands. There are poses in yoga but it is not all about the poses in the way most people think. Yoga is all about the mind-body connection and being able to find peace with your body, your mind and your spirit. The poses are just a tool to help facilitate that connection.
If you truly invest in what your instructor is teaching and what the class is about, you will get so much more out of yoga than learning to do cool poses—however that doesn’t mean that the poses you learn along the way can’t be impressive.
3. They Think You Need to Be Flexible
So many people are afraid to jump in and give yoga a try because they aren’t flexible. Are many people who practice yoga regularly flexible? Yes. Do you need to naturally be flexible to start? No.
Yoga is much more about breathing than flexibility. In fact, yoga isn’t about flexibility at all at its core, it is about learning to be present in you’re here and now. However, over time and with regular practice you may find your muscles start to loosen up and you start to gain more strength and flexibility that you never had before.
4. Yoga is a Religion
Yoga is not a religion. Plain and simple. It can be intellectual and it can pair with your current religious beliefs—or it may not. Many people who practice yoga regularly find that they become more spiritual because they learn to meditate and learn how to become more connected with their mind and spirit. These are all great side effects of yoga, but you don’t need to be religious in order to practice and you don’t need to renounce other faiths in order to practice yoga.
5. You Have to Change Everything About Your Life
One of the most beautiful things about yoga is that it is truly for everyone. Any person can practice yoga—you don’t have to be a hippie or a skinny white girl. There are no “rules” on who can or cannot practice. There is a misconception that in order to practice yoga, you have to change everything about your lifestyle and about who you are. You don’t have to be a health food nut, or suddenly give up alcohol and eat tofu. You can, but you don’t have to.
There are some that find that making healthier lifestyle choices enhances their yoga practice. There are others that get plenty of benefits by just doing yoga alone. There is no right or wrong way to do it, you just need to do what is right for you. That is how you practice yoga successfully.