I have been teaching yoga for four amazing years and practicing for 14. I constantly talk to people about the health and wellness benefits of yoga. From these conversations, I would hear misconceptions about yoga that prevented many from practicing. Below are four common misconceptions that I have heard.
#1 – I have to be flexible to practice yoga.
If this were true, I could have never started practicing yoga! If you are inflexible, yoga is perfect for you as it lengthens and stretches your muscles. As your practice becomes more continuous, you will see your body gain more flexibility over time.
#2 – Yoga is only for thin, smaller-framed people.
Yoga is for every BODY. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching students with varying body shapes and sizes: shorter, taller, leaner, curvier, younger and older. The benefits of yoga can help anyone. However, if you are carrying more weight, yoga can help you feel more agile and energetic. Additionally, yoga may be a more comfortable form of exercise as you can move at your own pace.
#3 – Men don’t do yoga.
I think NBA all-star LeBron James, NFL player Torrey Smith and entertainment industry mogul Russell Simmons would disagree! Although in many yoga studios women may outnumber men, the benefits of yoga are not specific to one gender. Yoga is a practice for anyone who is seeking strength, agility, flexibility, improvements in overall health, as well as, mental and spiritual development.
#4 – I can’t do yoga while I am pregnant.
You most certainly can. Although every woman and every pregnancy is different, the general consensus is yoga is very beneficial for pregnancy. I just recently gave birth to my son and while I was pregnant I still practiced and taught yoga. With any wellness routine, you must consult with your doctor to get approval. There are several yoga studios that offer and specialize in pre-natal yoga. If you are new to yoga, I recommend you take these classes, as you are guaranteed to have an instructor who is highly experienced in teaching yoga to expectant moms.
Before you start practicing yoga or engaging in any exercise activity, do your research to make sure it is right for you. There are many yoga studios that offer free or discount classes to new students; take a few to experience the different types of yoga. And most importantly, find enjoyment in whatever you do. It really helps to take the “work” out of the workout!