I stepped into my first yoga class only with the intention of conditioning my knee after an injury, thinking it is just a form exercise. After a year of regular practice, the benefits I reap are more than just physical. During my yoga teacher training, I also learn more about yoga itself.
Whenever I suggest yoga class to friends who complain of bodily strains and stresses, I hear various reasons for not attending one. Most of them are not true. These are some of the most common ones to dispel.
Yoga is just stretching.
Way more than that! Yoga is a physical, mental and also spiritual practice. The physical and mental aspects are practised in the form of poses and meditation. Yoga poses offer a wide range of movement which involve both stretching and strengthening too. The act of meditation aims to bring focus and stillness in our mind amidst the hustle and bustle of life.
Yoga is only for flexible people.
It is like saying Japanese class is not for me because I do not speak Japanese. You do not need to be flexible to do yoga but yoga will eventually help to increase flexibility.
Yoga is for women.
Yoga is actually started by men thousands of years ago. The health benefits of yoga is not only exclusive to the fairer sex but to all.
Yoga is only for the young and fit.
There is no one standard way to do Yoga. Yoga can be modified to cater to different people, based on their physical abilities. What is important is to be mindful and listen to our own body. Meet Eileen Ash 105 years old who did not start yoga until she was in her nineties. So, it is never too late to start.
In short, yoga is not just for the skinny, strong, young, fit. Yoga is for the willing. It is for all.
What other questions do you have about yoga? Feel free to drop your questions in the comment below.