Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Myth 1: Yoga is only for people who are flexible.
Most people hear, “yoga”, and instantly think of crazy complicated yoga postures, and thus, we often hear statements like, “Oh I'm not flexible, so I can't do yoga”. Did you know that Patanjali actually gave very little significance to the physical postures themselves? And NO, you do NOT have to be flexible to do the postures in the first place!
Yoga is more about a journey towards finding your true Self and connecting with it. This journey starts with the body and eventually leads you deeper into your mind too. The various postures in yoga are each a part of a flow to help open up your body & mind. So, it’s not about striking that picture-perfect pose but rather about being in tune with yourself, listening to your body, and doing the best that you can. The journey will continue.
Myth 2: Yogis are always peaceful.
Sure it may seem like all the yogis out there are forever calm and collected, but don’t forget that they’re just humans too. We all experience a wide range of emotions, and yogis are no different. It's just that yoga teaches us to exercise better control over our emotions by learning to accept them and respond from a calmer space.
So, while yoga definitely aids in processing our feelings and dealing with them better, it doesn’t remove them. Yoga helps us be aware of our thought patterns and emotions and also helps us in not getting too identified with them, but again, it's a process of the individual and we can't form general opinions.
Myth 3: Yoga is only for flexibility, not strengthening.
Yes, it's a myth that yoga is all about stretches and flexibility! In reality, yoga can be used as a very effective tool to build overall strength in the body. Lifting your own body weight in yoga is just as effective as lifting weights. While doing yoga based strengthening postures, you need to support yourself with your muscles which helps you build strength from the inside.
By holding the positions longer, doing more repetitions, and progressively doing advanced postures, you can shape your yoga practice to be more or less challenging just as you can with traditional bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges. Yoga is a more balanced way to do strength training as it tones the muscles all over your body in sync with each other.