When many people hear the word “yoga,” their thoughts turn to visions of people sitting cross-legged and chanting “Om.” Or, they picture a group of impossibly fit people contorting themselves into pretzel-like position after pretzel-like position.
There’s much more to yoga than these two scenarios. Wonder what other myths exist about this popular form of fitness? We’ve got the skinny on three that come up over and over again.
Myth 1: Yoga is only for fit, thin, bendy people.
Speaking of the skinny, many people mistakenly believe that yoga is just for hot moms in yoga pants. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reality is that anyone can do yoga and gain multiple health benefits in the process. And while some advanced yoga classes are for people who are further along in their practices, beginner yoga is all-inclusive, meaning people of all genders (man-buns strictly optional), body types, and abilities are welcomed and encouraged to participate. So no matter what your level of fitness, yoga is all about looking inward — not about looking at the super-flexible supermodel one yoga mat over. (This also means she won’t be looking at you.)
An added benefit? You may begin your yoga practice without a thin, bendy body, but doing yoga may put you on the route to getting one. Why? Because while you may never be ready for a career as a contortionist, the more you do yoga, the more lithe and nimble you’ll become as you develop a healthier range of motion. This will come in handy both in and out of the yoga studio.
Nor is yoga just for the able-bodied. In fact, whether you are simply at the beginning of your fitness journey or recovering from an injury, yoga is truly for everyone.
(Another form of exercise that’s terrific regardless of your fitness levels or as injury recovery? Swimming. Sign Up for an Aquatic Session at Brick Bodies today.)
Plus, many newbie yogis swear that yoga makes them feel so great that they naturally turned to healthier habits, although becoming a vegetarian and giving up your Friday afternoon glass of wine are by no means a prerequisite.
Myth 2: Yoga has limited physical benefits.
Think yoga’s effects are limited to just the mental and the spiritual? Think again. Yoga has been scientifically linked with a huge number of positive fitness outcomes, including fat burning and muscle toning. So while you will leave class feeling more relaxed and stress-free (thank you, Savasana!), you’ll also walk out feeling stronger. But you don’t have to take our word for it; even after a beginner yoga class, you’ll be feeling the burn the next day.
With elite athletes including everyone from Shaquille O’Neal to LeBron James among its fans, who are we to write off yoga’s transformative potential?
As a side note, while we mentioned the spiritual benefits of yoga above, yoga is actually secular — meaning it’s not attached to a particular religious belief system of dogma. Rather, it’s a philosophy which encourages you to take from it what you will — nothing more and nothing less.
Myth 3: Yoga is less effective than other forms of fitness.
These are busy days. It makes sense that you are looking for the most effective, efficient forms of exercise which can be packed into the 30 or 45 minutes you have. Next time you think your only option is to hop on the treadmill or elliptical, think yoga instead. Even just 20 minutes of yoga a day can help you look and feel better.
Now isn’t it time you put these common yoga misconceptions to the test for yourself? Taking a yoga class can help you dispel these myths and immediately start reaping the brain and body boosting benefits of yoga. Sign up for a trial pass today to check out Brick Body’s exciting lineup of yoga classes.