This month, I celebrate my 10 year anniversary in the yoga and fitness industry. That’s a whole decade of helping people lose weight, live without pain and become healthier and happier. It’s also a whole decade of making mistakes and learning new things. And trust me, I’ve learned A LOT over the past 10 years. Below you can read about the top 10 myths of yoga. These were all things that I made the mistake of thinking before I started yoga.
1. You have to be flexible to do yoga
I HATE when I hear this. You do yoga so you can gain flexibility. Do you think every person who walks into a yoga class is magically flexible????? Some people are, but I can tell you when I started that I was so tight I was about 6 inches from my toes. After 6 months of yoga I could touch my toes! Yoga is for everyone. And if you’re inflexible, then you DEFINITELY need yoga.
2. You have to chant
Some yoga teachers will chant and some won’t. The decision to chant is completely up to you. If you don’t want to chant or be anywhere near chanting, then find a new yoga teacher who doesn’t chant.
3. Yoga is a religion
Yoga is a religion in the east. But in America, yoga is NOT a religion. Some yoga classes are very physically based, and some will focus on your mental and emotional well-being. I’ve participated in thousands of classes with hundreds of teachers, and I’ve never had a teacher even mention the word religion. Your practice is your practice. And if one teacher makes you feel uncomfortable, then find a new teacher.
4. Yogis sit around and sing kum-by-yah all day.
HAHAHA!! So I really believed this for a long time!!! If you believe this, then just go to a class. Just one class. And if the class sits around and sings kum-by-yah for an hour, send me a video and I’ll mail you $100 check.
5. Yogi’s don’t have the same problems that I do.
Yogi’s face exactly same problems as you. Yoga doesn’t eliminate your problems, it gives you the tools to help deal with them. Yogi’s know breathing skills to help calm our emotions. We know physical postures to help ease our back pain. And we know meditative techniques to help calm our crazy minds and lives. Yoga is a full program for living, not just 1 hour of the day.
6. Men can’t do yoga.
Men see HUGE benefits from doing yoga. But men do have wider shoulders and more narrow hips than women, which means some postures will be more challenging for men. I encourage every man (and woman) to try yoga and find an educated teacher who understands some of these key anatomical differences. The best advice I give men- sit on a bolster during the seated poses. It’s seriously life changing.
7. Yoga is only for people who are fit and thin.
Yoga is for everyBODY. Whether you are simply at the beginning of your fitness journey or recovering form an injury, yoga is for everyone. Don’t believe me? Hop on Instagram and check out: @diannebondyyoga or #whatayogilookslike
8. Yoga is not for people with chronic injuries.
Yoga helps people in chronic pain. Trust me, I live with it. If you’re in chronic pain, some yoga poses may do more harm than good. So it’s important to find an educated yoga teacher who’s willing to modify poses for you. Or better yet, take some private lessons so you can learn how to modify poses and feel your best.
9. I tried yoga once and I didn’t like it.
Anything new takes some time to get used to. I always suggest that people try 3 yoga classes within 2 weeks before really deciding if they like yoga or not. There’s also a lot of different factors that go into a class. Perhaps you didn’t like the style of yoga that was offered. Or maybe you didn’t like the teacher. There’s lots of different options for you to try. Don’t give up just because one class didn’t resonate with you.
10. All yogis are vegan.
While I have mad respect for all vegans everywhere, I have not made the decision to go vegan. I still enjoy a good cheeseburger and ice cream cone every now and then. And guess what, there’s a lot of yogis out there who feel the same as me. Try a yoga class, I promise you won’t have to give up your favorite burger.