Debunking 12 Yoga Myths
Yoga is a way of life practiced with discipline. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join or to unite. The practice of yoga brings self-consciousness with universal consciousness and establishes harmony between the mind, body, and soul. It is a holistic practice, if you do it properly, it improves your overall health and well-being.
Yoga helps you to discover your spirit. It is an art of bringing spirit, mind, and body in unison with the surrounding environment that defines the principle of yoga. It has a range of health benefits and uses for a balanced life.
Yoga is also beneficial for many chronic diseases and is often recommended by health professionals. By combining deep stretching with dynamic movement, yoga can help boost your overall mobility and enhance recovery time after vigorous fitness sessions. It works on your flexibility and strength. Yoga is a way of relaxation. Only thing is that you need to focus and pay attention to it.
It is said that doing yoga regularly contributes to weight loss, cures heart diseases, aids in dealing with depression and anxiety, and much more.
With yoga’s popularity worldwide, there are many misconceptions about yoga that stop people from stepping on a Yoga Mat. In this article, we will try to debunk the common yoga myths.
Myth 1. Flexibility is the key to performing yoga
You might often hear from people that you have to be flexible to perform yoga. But it is not true. You don’t need to practice difficult poses as a beginner, you can start with some simple asanas. It takes time to perform well. Real yoga is about mindful movement that makes you aware of your breathing when you perform yoga asanas. It is not necessary if you’re not able to touch your toe in the first step.
Yoga is about paying attention to your current breath underneath various yoga postures (Asanas).
From a philosophical standpoint, yoga has a more than 2000 year old history. It emphasizes on “how” rather than “what,” and it fosters a mindset of presence and self-acceptance.
Myth 2. Yoga is a religious practice
Yoga has its origins in ancient India, although it has nothing to do with any particular religion. Such misinformation often hurts its image because it is, in contrast, based on science and wellness.
Yoga aims to awaken the divinity within you rather than seek out external divinity forces. Hymns or mantras work on awakening your inner consciousness rather than calling out any deity.
Myth 3. Yoga is only for women
This is not true. Yoga can be practiced by anyone irrespective of gender, age, religion or caste. It is a stereotype coinciding with a myth. Yoga is beneficial to everyone who is interested in practicing wishfully. Men can also do yoga to get a range of health and wellness benefits if they are willing to change their percept
While yoga doesn’t directly add muscle growth, it may help to prevent wear and tear, and improve your health.
Myth 4. Senior citizens can not practice yoga
There is no such right age to start yoga. Older people can start yoga and excel in yoga practice. If you don’t have prior yoga experience, don’t hesitate to give it a try, particularly since it provides multiple health benefits to aging people.
Older folks can perform simple routines like breathing exercises. Slow flow or chair yoga is far better suited to elders than power yoga. Yoga can help people in balancing their day to day life by promoting relaxation and helping them deal with stress.
Myth 5. Pregnant women should not practice yoga
It is another myth. Yoga is a way to keep the mind and body relaxed. But the pregnant woman must perform yoga under the supervision of a yoga guru or instructor. Various yoga asanas are designed especially for pregnant women by keeping their needs in mind.
Myth 6. Yoga cannot be customized
It is totally a misconception. Yoga can be modified to keep in mind requirements of each
individual. There are various methods to choose from, you can decide according to your needs or requirements.
Myth 7. Yoga can be learnt easily without any supervision
If you browse the internet or go through a bookstore, you’ll find many different yoga books that claim to teach you yoga in 21 days and you get trapped or misled. This is the wrong way to learn yoga without any supervision or proper guidance.You should do research on your level before trusting the authenticity of your virtual tutor.
Myth 8. Yoga only consists of body posture
Obviously, a myth, yoga is comprehensive. It talks about asanas. Patanjali includes eight unique branches called the “Ashtanga Yoga” for shaping one’s personality. It holds the practice of certain norms like Pranayama (breathing techniques) and many more. But it doesn’t mean you follow externally imposed rules. It is all about finding your true self. So, start practicing with the body and then move towards its spiritual implications.
Myth 9. Yoga is time-consuming
You don’t need to spend a lot of time on it. Initially, it’s beneficial to spend 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes before bed. If you have adequate time you can exceed it. A combination of asanas, pranayama and meditation should be included in each yoga practice. When you get stressed, yoga is the most effective way to unwind.
Myth 10. Yoga changes your total lifestyle
Yoga definitely changes your lifestyle to some extent but not completely. You can do it moderately. It doesn’t mean you need to switch to vegan lifestyles, you can adapt to being a vegetarian, rather than eating meat or junk food. The changes develop gradually and they are not imposed, they are rather our intuitive manifestations.
A lifestyle change, however, requires dietary changes; it also needs a change in perspective, acts of kindness, moral behavior, and respect for all genders and religions.
Myth 11. Asthma patients should not practice yoga
It is also a myth. People with asthma should do yoga like pranayama and meditation. Breathing exercises of pranayama are especially beneficial for asthma patients as they provide necessary oxygen in sufficient quantities, which ultimately helps in reducing the severity of the disease. It also helps in decreasing medicinal intake. Hence yoga has the therapeutic benefit of curing an asthma patient.
Myth 12. Yoga is only associated with Hinduism
It’s not true. The root of Yoga belongs to Hinduism but it is not bound to a particular religion or caste. Yoga is a way of life and people from any religion or caste can perform yoga irrespective of race and gender.
We have tried to debunk some yoga myths to prove that anyone can practice yoga, regardless of age, flexibility, time restraints, location, religion, and gender. Now that you are aware of the immense benefits associated with yoga, why don’t you give it a try and explore the world within yourself.
We’re interested in learning your opinion on the situation. What yoga myth have you heard about the most?
For some people, yoga is simply a way of life. For others, yoga is a way to maintain their physical and mental wellness. While this age-old technique remains popular, there are more and more misconceptions about it.