While yoga is more popular than ever before, there are still some common yoga myths that keep many away from the mat. So, let’s bust some of these misconceptions that might be stopping you from even trying yoga. Who knows, by the end of this blog post you might be ready to give it a try!
Myth #1 – You need to be flexible to do yoga!
Not at all! Each body has its unique characteristics, some are bendier, some stronger than others, larger or smaller. None of that really matters as when we practice yoga we start with what we have and slowly work on increasing flexibility, stamina, strength, and overall well-being. So stop worrying you’re not this or that – just give one class a try because you’re perfect just the way you are
Myth #2 – At yoga we don’t do strengthening exercises
You’ll often hear people say that yoga is a great way to stretch your body but you don’t really get a good workout. Well, this is just a myth as all of our classes incorporate asanas and exercises that build strength throughout the body… You’re welcome to join one of our Power Yoga or Agni Flow classes to experience a more dynamic and challenging approach.
Myth #3 – Yoga is only about physical exercise and a fancy body
While it is true that we challenge, strengthen and move our body during a yoga class, other more subtle parts of the practice are not visible to the eye of the observer. We control and observe our breath, bodies, and mind during practice. We develop a deep and meaningful relationship with ourselves so that we can reflect the same acceptance and compassion into our lives and our relationships with others.
Myth #4 – Yoga is too easy
Because some yoga classes are easy on the body it doesn’t mean they are not challenging for our mind, our breath, and our patience. Could you hold an asana for 3 minutes and say it was easy? How many times during these three minutes has your mind wandered off to some other place and you struggled to get it back to the moment? How many times have you lost the rhythm of your breath or maybe even noticed that you are not breathing? Yoga is a mindful movement practice that teaches us to be present at this moment with the body and the breath for that presentness is what quiets the mind.
Myth #5 – You’re good at yoga if you can bind yourself into a pretzel
Yoga is not about getting yourself into difficult asanas. While being able to do a headstand or full bridge pose might be a result of regular yoga practice, these asanas are not the goal nor are they required for you to reap the benefits of yoga. Yoga is not about what we do but how we do it! It is about tuning your mind, body, and breath to support your everyday life in the best possible way, for you to feel centered and authentic in how you live your life.
Myth #6 – Yoga is boring
A whole range of different types of yoga classes can be chosen to fit every character. Some are slow and steady, while others are full of jumps, balances, and inversions, and are dynamic and flowy. We even hang upside down on yoga swings in yoga trapeze classes and learn how to “fly”. You’re welcome to explore to figure out what you need and like, knowing that our body and needs change, thus our yoga practice can also change over periods of time to support what we need at that moment.
Myth #7 – Only women practice yoga
Yoga is for everyone and knows no gender. Though many years ago in India, yoga was only taught to men (some yoga styles like Ashtanga yoga were even taught to young soldiers to keep them healthy and limber), and today you might find a lot of women in a yoga classes everyone can practice yoga, and benefit from it in many different ways.
Myth #8 – Back off if you have back pain
You can’t practice yoga if you have a bad back is simply NOT TRUE! It’s quite the opposite!
There have been several studies that compare the effectiveness of yoga and the usual care for chronic or recurrent lower back pain. Results showed the group that practiced yoga had greater improvement in back function after 3, 6, and 12 months of practice than they did with conventional approaches.
If your back pain is sporadic and due to lack of movement (you work at a desk for example) or low muscle tone you can join any beginner’s yoga class. However, for those who suffered a back injury, there are specialized classes with a more therapeutic approach. In our studio, we run such classes under the name Yoga therapy for the spine.
Myth #9 – With yoga you’re in a constant state of ‘Zen’
Yoga teaches us to notice and accept the way we feel in the moment, it opens up space for our emotions to be experienced and released instead of bottled up and kept away.
If you feel down or stressed after a class maybe there is something in your life waiting for your attention, and your yoga practice just shone some light on it for you to take notice.
Myth #10 – You need to mirror what your teacher does
The asana is there for you to experience and work with your body and what it needs, not to force it into something someone else is doing. While alignment is important to keep your body safe, your perfect alignment will most often not match someone else’s. The most important part of the practice is for you to notice your own body and how it talks to you through sensations. When you listen to it your inner teacher and intuition will guide you through the asanas in the best possible way for your unique body. So don’t pay so much attention to what you see but rather to what you experience internally!
…And before you go!
Join us for a yoga class at our beautiful studio in Dubrovnik and find strength and depth in your practice! With our ABC yoga classes for beginners, you will start slowly and learn the building blocks of the practice. You still may be a little bit nervous before your first class. But hey! Aren’t those butterflies in the tummy a sign of falling in love with someone or something? And we are sure that the moment you try it you will fall in love with Yoga.
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Kralja Tomislava 7
20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia