Being a yoga teacher, I have come to realise there are a lot of assumptions going around about what yoga is and what it isn't.
Here are 5 recurring myths that I keep hearing when yoga comes up in a conversation… and why they're unfounded:
1. "You can't do yoga if you're not flexible":
This is simply untrue. A yoga class is not a flexibility contest. It doesn't matter whether or not you can touch your toes, and more importantly, it doesn't matter whether the person on the mat next to you can or can't! The teacher isn't keeping a tab and no one gets brownie points for doing complex poses.
2. "Yoga is a religion":
3. "Yoga isn't exercise":
Define 'exercise'! If your view of exercise is restricted to being in the gym lifting weights, then that's right, yoga is not that. Yoga is however a great way to build strength and flexibility as well as nurture healthy joints and a healthy mind.
4. "Yoga is for girls":
There is no bouncer at the door of a yoga class refusing entry to men! I rest my case.
5. "Yoga words are just too confusing":
Because yoga comes from very old Indian traditions, a lot of its terminology is inherited from a language called Sanskrit. If you're not fluent in Sanskrit or if you're new to yoga, words like Pranayama, asana, ujjayi or chaturanga might get lost in translation. Not to worry, the teacher is there to explain anything you're not sure on!