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There are a lot of different opinions about Yoga. Some are based round some truths and others are just completely false. I want to cover the 5 main myths that I hear ALOT so it doesn’t put you off this amazing life changing practice that has helped so many people.
Yoga has literally changed lives, it’s helped people battle depression, become physically well and helped them feel more mobile and able to live a better life because of that.
I focus on flexibility a lot, why? Because it didn’t come easy to me and I had to work extremely hard (I still do) and even with my proof of you don’t have to be flexible to do yoga, I still hear these myths coming up all the time. So here we go…
Myths about yoga and flexibility
The first one is that you have to have a certain body type. Yes, Instagram and YouTube are filled with white, skinny and extremely flexible girls doing yoga. This doesn’t mean that if you do not class yourself as that, that you can’t practice.
I for one am in a smaller figure BUT I was extremely inflexible when I first started yoga and it’s amazing the stereotype that comes with it ‘oh you do yoga, show me the splits then’ (insert eyeroll here) . After years and years of practice my flexibility is improving but I still can’t do the splits, in fact I am a long way off but I can still help others with it and have.
You do not need to have a certain shape, colour, race or anything else that makes all humans different. Yoga is about your breath and your mind and we all have those.
The second myth I hear a lot if that you have to practice for years to see results.
Now, first of all, what do they mean by results? Yes physically your body may change, you may become more flexible (which by the way you can do in just 5 days, check out my challenge below), but yoga isn’t just about the physical state, it’s about your mindset and for some, after just 1 class it can drastically change their positivity and life.
Yoga does not have a time limit. You can see results in 5 minutes if that’s all you have. Even a little a day will gain you some major results, body and mind.
Myth 3 is that yoga is all about stretching. I have already said above how it is mind based as well and the fact is that when we focus on our body and breath through the physical movement, we shift energy and clear up pathways in the body. This can lead to clearer thinking, a better understanding of the body and we quiet our minds.
We focus so much on the breath and what poses we are in that we are pushing any other thought to the side and this is how the physical practice actually works the mindset. A great thing to note here is what goes on in your mind while you do the practice because usually what comes up in your practice, shows up in your life as well. Like trying to rush through it, are you always in a rush in your life? It’s great to notice.
The 4th myth is that yoga is a religion. Yoga came from the eastern world, so a lot of people who practice yoga have a different religion to someone from the western world. Just because a lot of people who do yoga are hindus does not mean that yoga comes from that religion.
Yoga is all about the mind and the body, yes we can talk about the hindu gods and sing some mantras that have the gods in them but that doesn’t mean that we are religious.
I for one am open to let anyone believe in what they believe. I will sing the mantras because they have a lovely meaning behind them, I will tell some of the yogic hindu stories because again they have a great mindset meaning behind them. It doesn’t mean that it is a religion. It means I am using others teachings in my own way to get my message across.
I will finish this one to say yoga is about YOU! It is not about anyone else or what anyone else thinks. You, your body and mind and how you act are all that it is focused on.
The 5th myth is that yoga will make you instantly calm
I love this one because when you say yoga to anyone, the first word they usually think of is calm. Now yes yoga can make you calmer however it’s not as simply as that.
Yoga helps you to understand your mind and body, you understand your bodies capabilities and you start working on it, to become more flexible, stronger and to loosen up. When you move the body physically, you shift energy now this is a whole other topic but it can bring up a lot of emotions.
Trauma is stored in the body and when we move our bodies, this energy shifts and it can surface. It can come out in ways like
- crying on the mat
- getting extremely angry
- feeling frustrated
- yawning and feeling exhausted
So although the aim is to release this emotion so that we can feel calm, we first have to go through a lot of self work to understand what we need and to release it. This can take minutes or even years depending on the trauma build up inside and every body is different.
This is one of the main reasons I focus on flexibility, to loosen up the body, to relieve tightness and let our energies flow. So, if you would like to work on your flexibility, come and join our FREE 5 day challenge to help you get closer to your toes and notice what comes up for you. Maybe you feel a little energy shift and can feel a little calmness as well as gaining flexibility and getting closer to your toes.