When I tell people I am a Yoga Therapist I get all sorts of questions about yoga. Many people think that it takes certain type of person to do yoga. I think it is every person with the exception of the person that doesn't want to try yoga.
My Top 5 Yoga Myths
There is a list of myths in people’s heads as to what yoga is and how it should be practiced. As noted in the picture above, the poses are really a small part of Yoga.
1) Yoga is a Religion:
This is perhaps the most common view of yoga. Yoga is considered part of Hindu religion, but yoga is not a religion.
It is a time tested science with the goal of revealing the true nature of reality. Yoga is a practice, it is a step by step process with the end goal of calming down the thought waves in our mind and thus prevent them from distorting the truth. It is about truly being in the Here and Now.
2. Yoga is a Form of Physical Exercise:
It is true that yoga is physical and yes you can sweat, however that yoga is a form of physical exercise is not entirely true.
In order to truly practice yoga, there are actually 8 parts to it. Look here--->
The poses, (asanas) are an important part of yoga, yoga as a whole is certainly more than just a series of postures and movements.
Yoga is essentially a spiritual science whose objective is to still the mind of thoughts, thrugh movement and breathing and being in the now.. When we can ourselves of that, truth of our true self, our higher power, which is hidden behind the waves of the mind can be clearly seen and embraced.
3. You Have to be Flexible to do Yoga:
Not so. That is like saying you won't eat becasue you are starving!
Same with Yoga. If you are not flexible, Yoga will improve your flexibility, along with your strength, balance and overall health, but in order to get more flexible you have to start somewhere.
Trust me, as cool as it might sound... the chances you waking up flexible is waay less than waking up with a frozen shoulder!
4. To Practice Yoga You Must be Vegetarian:
There is a notion floating around that in order to practice yoga you must not eat meat and be a vegetarian. This is not true. Although there are tremendous benefits to being vegetarian and this is being more and more validated by the mainstream medical community.
There is no requirement of vegetarianism in order to practice yoga. And if you invite me over for lobster dinner.....I'm in!
5. You Need to be Initiated by a Guru:
I have also come across this notion that many people believe you need to be initiated and have a guru in order to learn and practice yoga. This is not true. According to yoga, the true guru is within and although it would be to your benefit to learn yoga from an accomplished teacher, this is not a requirement.
So there you have my top 5 myths about yoga. Essentially, what these myths do is prevent people from taking up this wonderful tool that can help us on so many levels. So if you feel you will have to change faiths, find gurus, stop eating meat or are too inflexible to take up yoga practice, you might be pleasantly surprised that it is simply not true.
Don’t pass up the wonderful opportunity to learn and practice this amazing science, which can help you discover your true Divine self.