I think it’s safe to say there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the yoga community and it often really puts people off trying out a class. Today’s post is all about debunking those myths you’ve been told and giving you the confidence to attend that class you’ve been putting off for so long. Trust me, you’re missing out on an amazing community, a wicked physical exercise and the opportunity to learn so much about a practice that has been taught for thousands and thousands of years. There must be a reason people are still participating today, right?!
“I’m too inflexible to go to yoga. I can’t even touch my toes!”
I hear this one all the time. Whenever I tell people I’m teaching classes they tell me how they have always been interested in yoga but they’re too inflexible and therefore unteachable. This cannot be further from the truth I promise. I am not a naturally bendy person nor could I touch the ground for a really long time when I started practicing yoga. You don’t have to be able to get into the splits or touch your toes to be a good yogi. As long as you are fully present, breathing and aware of your body when practicing you are an excellent yogi!
“Yoga is just for hippies”
Sure, there are a lot of hippies who go to yoga but thats not who it’s for. Yoga is for everyone! Yoga allows you to stretch your bodies in ways that it doesn’t usually get the opportunity to because we spend the majority of our day hunched over at a desk rather than standing up and moving around. Some people come to yoga just because it is completely different to what they usually do and it allows them to get out of their head and away from the daily to do list. Others come as a way to strengthen the body after recovering for an injury and the hippies might come because they love the physical practice of yoga but they are also fascinated by the philosophical and spiritual aspect of it too. The beauty of yoga is that you can take what you want from it.
Five years ago when I first attended yoga I used it as another way of working out my body alongside cardio and weight lifting. I was not interested in the spiritual element whatsoever, so I didn’t engage so much with the conversations on the philosophies and yoga stories. But having those elements included didn’t make my experience any less beneficial- I always left with the yogi high. Soon enough, the spiritual side started to resonate with me more and it is what eventually led me to start doing my teacher training and then qualify allowing me to share this practice with others. I always suggest people try a class and take from it only what they need and that way the practice becomes truly your own.
“To be a yogi you have to be super healthy, give up drinking and live a minimalist life.”
Well, I really hope this one isn’t true, because if it is I am a terrible terrible yogi. I enjoy drinking a good G&T on the weekend and eating unhealthy foods with friends and I have a minor obsession with good gym wear (it’s ok if I pretend it’s workwear right?!) However, it is through my regular yoga practice I have the ability to be more mindful and open to adapting my behaviours so that they better serve me in the future. I’m certainly not perfect – nor do I ever intend to be because what even is perfect anyway?- But I practice with an open and honest place and for now that is perfect for me.
I hope you enjoyed this article about some of the biggest misconceptions I have been faced with in my own yoga journey and I hope it settles your mind if you believed any of these misconceptions. You are perfect as you are and welcome into the yoga community when you’re ready. I promise we don’t bite!
Until next time,