We have all heard them before – those myths and rumors around yoga that seem to be coming out of nowhere. They are just kind of there. If you’re an experienced yogi, they might make you chuckle. But worst case scenario, if you’re new to yoga or are thinking about where to start some of these myths might hold you back. We have gathered the 10 most common yoga myths. Ready to burst those bubbles?
#1 You have to be flexible to do yoga!
Uhm, no. That’s like saying you have to be clean to take a shower. Sure, you see all the bendy girls with their #yogagoals on your instagram, but please don’t let them scare you. Every body is different. Some are naturally more flexible than others. And when it comes to yoga, flexibility is not a requirement. It’s a byproduct. With time, you will build strength and flexibility, but you do not need these skills to reap the benefits of your yoga practice. No matter what kind of body you bring to the mat, you are welcome.
#2 Yoga is too hard!
Again, what you see other yogis do might feel intimidating. Why don’t they fall over more? And how they even bend that way… Any new kind of movement can feel scary. But the good news is, yoga is very patient. And it can be adjusted to any level! Take your time. And if you’re worried about all the other yogis staring at you as you’re struggling to find balance in your tree pose – don’t. Keep the focus on your own mat. Others will, too.
#3 Yoga is not a workout, it’s too easy!
This is the other end of the myth-spectrum. If you have taken a yoga class before, you know that nothing about it is easy. You’re confronted with yourself, your mind, your ego, your body. Of course it’s not the same as your other kinds of workouts, but you’re still moving. You’re spending time with your body. You’re listening to yourself and finding out what you’re capable of. Now that’s a workout. And if you’re still not convinced, the next point is for you.
#4 All yoga is the same!
Yoga is yoga, right? Think again! Yin, Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram… We’re not making these up, these are all different styles of yoga. Some take it slower, others are more intense, and they can all be adjusted to your individual level and intensity. Try out different classes and see what you like best.
#5 Yoga is just about stretching!
Sure, what you see is a lot of poses, called asanas. And while the movements are important, they are actually just a small portion of the philosophy, science and way of life that is yoga. If you dig a little deeper, you will soon find the 8 limbs of yoga, that include meditation, breathwork, ethical guidelines (like non-violence) and more. To unite them all, that is the real challenge.
#6 Yoga is only for women!
Absolutely not. Traditionally, yoga was actually practiced almost exclusively by men in ancient India. The soft, fluid movements might seem more feminine at first sight, but yoga does not discriminate. We can all benefit so grab the men in your life and introduce them to yoga. They will thank you (sooner or later).
#7 You need to feel peaceful to do yoga!
It’s a myth that yogis are always peaceful, quite the contrary! When you step on your yoga mat, you might (read: will) feel anxious, frustrated, annoyed, impatient – and that’s okay. With practice, you learn to allow all those feelings and actually feel them. It’s exactly what you need to feel in order to heal and grow. And (you guessed it) peace will come from that.
#8 You need fancy gear to do yoga!
Wherever you look, you see high-tech yoga mats, fancy yoga studios and yoga leggings in all the colors of the rainbow. If that helps you, wonderful. But don’t think it’s necessary. You can practice yoga anywhere from a studio or your living room (with or without yoga videos) to a lovely quiet spot in nature. Find some comfortable yoga wear and you’re good to go. Not sure what you need? We have a guide to help you find the best outfit for your practice.
What do YOU think? Did you believe any of these myths before starting your yoga practice? And what other bubbles are yet to burst? Share with us on social media using #myveryownyoga – we want to hear your stories!