Yoga is for slim people only
Yoga is for everyone regardless of your race, body shape and age. We may have formed the perception that yoga is for slim people only because social media shows beautiful people doing a yoga posture. In fact, Yogis comes in all shapes and sizes! Some of the famous plus size yogis like Jessamyn Stanley and Dana Falsetti are teaching yoga and transformation to their clients. They are healthy and in fact proud of their body shape and have inspired many people globally. Who says you can’t yoga because of your size?
Yoga is for women only
When you walked into a yoga class, you tend to see that majority of the students are ladies and a very few men. This may be the norm that you see in yoga studios but this does not mean that Yoga is for women only! In fact when you trace back the roots, men from India develop yoga. Some of the famous yoga gurus are: Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, B K S Iyengar, K Pattabhi Jois, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many more. They brought Yoga to the Western countries and made it accessible to many globally.
Yoga in recent years has evolved a lot and more women are practicing as compared to men. Some of the misconceptions from men are: Yoga is too slow, Yoga does stretching only, I don’t perspire much in class. There are a variety of classes available to suit your preference of class. If you want a dynamic class, you can opt for Asthanga Yoga, Dynamic Yoga, hot yoga and even power yoga. These classes require a great amount of strength, core work and flexibility. You will sweat buckets in class if you desire a good workout.
Yoga is Religious
Many people believed that Yoga is a religion where people who practiced are either Hindus or Buddhist.
If you look into the roots of Yoga there is no mention of religions. It is a science to Self. Yoga seeks to help us understand our inner world through meditation, asanas (Yoga postures), breathing (pranayama), focused awareness, and good behavious and conduct. It is more of a spiritual journey than a religion.
Yoga is for the flexible people only
Many people have this perception that you need to be flexible to be in the class. Flexibility is not the only aspect. You need a combination of strength, core work and flexibility to reap the full benefit. Similar to strength, flexibility comes with practice. Many people started with stiff back and shoulders and tight hamstrings. Through regular practice, their posture improved a lot and they look young and radiant!
Asana (postures) is only one of the Eight limbs of yoga. We need not be doing a posture to be practicing yoga. The Eight limbs of Yoga include: Yama (5 moral retraints), Niyama (5 observances), Asana (postures), Pranayanma (Mindful breathing), Pratyahara (turning inwards), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (pure bliss).
So lets not be obsessed with asanas but also be more mindul of other 7 limbs of yoga to live well.
I am too old for Yoga
There is no age limit to do yoga. Why place a number to your age? Number does not tell you want your body can do or cannot do.
There are various practices that we can do for Yoga so lets not restrict ourselves to yoga postures only. Yoga classes can be customized accordingly to your age and your physical ability. For seniors, it will be very useful to practice suksma (minor) practices, relaxation asanas, pranayama and meditation. Useful practices can be customized for common ailments like arthritis, heart diseases, back pain, digestive disorder and insomnia. Let your teacher know what are your concerns and they can customize the class that suits you most.
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