Yoga has a traceable history of 5000 years, so why the sudden boom of popularity in these last couple of years? Well, it’s arguably a combination of both technology and the health and fitness community that builds on top of it. Fitness education and inspiration is no longer limited to just famous athletes sponsored by large sports brands. Yoga is definitely a prime example of that. On Instagram, you can find yogis posting photos of a yoga pose at a beautiful outdoor location anywhere around the world. Bendy yoga photos aside, yoga has been a voice; a movement of putting yourself first and loving yourself. It’s a practice that advocates mind and body awareness that can only be fostered when you start having intimate relationships with yourself.
Yoga has grown drastically over the past couple of years. However, widespread popularity in this spiritual and physical practice does not mean correct concepts are trending in the general public. Here are some incorrect misconceptions you should know before you step onto your mat!
Yoga is for flexible people
Yoga is for everyone. Many NBA players are long-time yogis! Yoga is a place of no judgment and no rules. Anyone can do yoga and everyone has something to get out of it. What is important is to keep an open mind, and let the experience guide you to what you need.
Yoga is for young women
Did you know, one of the main lineages for yoga was originally created for young teenage boys? Although many women practice yoga, a lot of renowned yoga instructors are actually men. Yoga is for all ages and genders.
Yoga is simply gentle stretching
There are many types of yoga. There are slower types that are more focused on stretching but many forms of yoga such as vinyasa flows are a lot more intense and physically demanding. Yoga can really help build strength and use particular muscles that you wouldn’t use very frequently otherwise. Explore the many different styles and find the one right for your body.
Yoga is religious
Yoga has been adopted into many religions including Buddhism and Hinduism but it is not a religion! Many yoga teachers and studios use Sanskrit verbiage and chanting as part of their practice which can feel foreign and unwelcoming for those that are not familiar. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry there are all types of teaching styles. Some are more focused on traditions passed down, some are completely not. Regardless of teaching styles, yoga is a safe space and your individual beliefs are always respected. If you come across a style that just isn’t for you, don’t let that deter you! Find a studio and style that you enjoy. How do you know? If you walk out feeling good- you know you’ve found the place for you.
Yoga is about self and unity. It is a chance for you to turn inward and tune the rest of the world out. You may be surprised what an hour with yourself can bring to your life! I encourage you to keep an open mind and heart in your journeys both on and off the mat. Namaste.