“But I can’t do yoga, I’m sooo inflexible!”
“I don’t know, isn’t it mostly for girls?”
“Yeah but stretching and poses won’t actually help me lose weight will it?”
Instead of answering these questions multiple times more, I’ve decided to write this article to debunk some myths about yoga.
Is yoga about flexibility? Sure. But it is also about strength, endurance, toning, and overall mental and physical wellbeing. Even if you were already a contortionist to begin with, there would still be a lot of things to learn and challenge yourself with – yoga does not start and stop with being flexible. Also, some people are just naturally more flexible than others! That is often not a clear indicator of skill – your bodies can be trained a lot more than you think!
Yoga encapsulates various styles and methods, meaning there is something for everyone. Whether you want faster-paced cardio workouts through Ashtanga Yoga, or to build your endurance and stamina through the slow burning Hatha Yoga, the various types and styles all offer something beneficial and mixing them up simultaneously tones, exercises and strengthens your body just like alternating your normal workouts.
Whether you are terrified, sceptical, or still unsure about starting your yoga journey, be assured that the tightness in your muscles, the restless, sleepless nights you have, and the stress of everyday work all have a common solution in yoga. For complete newcomers, here are just some basic tips to get you started!
- Take your shoes off! Trust me, your shoes are only going to hinder your movement, making it more difficult to maintain balance and connect with the earth.
- Wear something you are comfortable in, but not lose and baggy! Stressing about how your t-shirt is hanging over your head is not the nicest thought to have mid-pose.
- DO NOT compare yourself to anyone else in the class! You’re distracting yourself and taking away the benefits of clearing your mind and reducing stress that yoga is supposed to do. Also, you won’t be paying attention to how your body is handling the pose or whether something hurts/feels wrong.
- Always remember to do the cool-down sequence at the end even if you don’t feel tired at all. This is when your body releases its tension and your muscles adjust to the new stretches.
I hope this at least slightly piques your curiosity and convinces you to give yoga a try!