Misconceptions about yoga are myths, stereotypes that have developed in Western culture due to different interpretations of the very essence of yoga.
Yoga is a discipline of the mind and body. Thanks to regular practice, you can become more energetic, healthy, relaxed and stress-resistant. Some people already after the first training sessions feel more harmonious; they notice how the strength of the spirit grows stronger, the efficiency increases.
But since yoga is not a traditional physical activity, but a phenomenon that came from another culture, many false attitudes have formed around this discipline.
The misconception about yoga No. 1: “Yoga is boring”
In the age of deep materialism and consumerism, it is very difficult to find an adequate system of self-development on your way, which would offer not only care for the beauty and health of the body, but also work with a restless mind and uncontrollable emotions. At the same time, such an integrated approach is necessary for the development of mindfulness.
If you have tried yoga and you were visited by the idea that this is not “your” thing, then maybe it’s just not your style, and there are a lot of yoga styles to try. It also makes sense to attend several classes in several different places. Compare approaches and your feelings after it. After all, there are many directions of yoga, different in dynamics and structure. You just need to find something that suits you at this stage of life.
Misconception about yoga # 2: “Yoga is a female activity”
“Real men go to the gym, and don’t do stretching,” many men think. But, as it was already written at the very beginning, yoga is not a sport. It gives something more than any other physical exercise.
The goal of yoga is to work deeply with thinking and feelings. The ability to be in the moment and interact with the body on a conscious level, understanding what and why I am doing now. Development of attention, concentration, inner peace, stress resistance.
Now every successful businessman, no matter how clearly he delegates his duties, faces a high level of stress and information load. Yoga is one of the basic tools that helps to clear the mind of unnecessary information and highlight the main and significant events from the entire flow of events and focus on them.
So yoga is useful for everyone — both women and men. Moreover, yoga was originally created by men and was intended only for men.
Yoga misconception # 3: “Yoga is too easy”
The practice of yoga involves a lot of deep muscles that are not used in any sport. In addition, during one training, both static and dynamics are implied; which requires strength and endurance. And in fact, it often happens that it is very difficult for outwardly “pumped” people to keep most of the yoga asanas.
Yoga misconception #4: “Yoga is too difficult”
This misconceptions about yoga is formed by an abundance of beautiful pictures on the Internet, where people demonstrate complex asanas. But yoga is not a competition. There are no winners or losers in it. Those who have poorly developed flexibility and stretching, yoga is needed most of all.
A person, when he goes to the dentist, does not do it because he has healthy teeth. He does not reason: “How can I go to the dentist? After all, all the patients there have beautiful healthy teeth, and I have sick ones.” It’s the same with yoga — it’s for everyone.
As one famous yoga teacher B. K. S. Iyengar said: “Someone needs yoga to tie their own shoelaces at the age of 80, and someone needs it to comprehend the mystery of life.” Therefore, you need to practice yoga in your own, individual mode, do not try to adapt to the group and be like someone else.
Misconception about yoga # 5: “Yoga is for hermits, it will not work in a megalopolis”
One could agree with this — it’s cool to practice seeing off the sun on the seashore, or meeting the dawn high in the mountains, or in an ashram. But, again, people who live in such places may need yoga the least. They are already calm and unhurried.
As for us, residents of large cities, we need practices like air that bring us back to ourselves, help us calm down and slow down. Thus, the place is not so important as your inner determination and attitude to practice.
Yoga misconception # 6: “Yoga is expensive”
The founders of yoga would be surprised to see how its idea has been distorted in the modern world: a super-ascetic, non-materialistic practice has been turned into an object of commodity-money relations… People are really ready to visit yoga centers and pay a lot of money for a subscription and a designer yoga suit. Therefore, as they say, “demand gives rise to supply.”
In reality, you can do yoga in the cheapest comfortable T-shirt and tights. For those who are ready to study yoga on their own, there is a lot of literature and video lessons. However, if you are a novice practitioner, it may make sense to take a few lessons from a professional instructor who will help you avoid unpleasant consequences.
Yoga misconception # 7: “Yoga is a sect” or “Yoga is a religion”
Such misconceptions about yoga sound quite strange in modern realities.
The information has become so accessible that it is enough just to read the literature on yoga, watch videos, look through articles, as it becomes clear that yoga has more to do with modern scientific disciplines (medical, philosophical, psychological and others) than with archaic and supernatural concepts.
Study literature, communicate with teachers, listen to your inner voice.
Don’t let stereotypes hinder your development.