6 Untruths About Yoga That You Should Know About
Want to know what myths have been surrounding yoga? Here are a few untruths you should note.
Yoga has been a popular form of exercise in recent years. Mostly, the hype surrounding it boasts good things. Celebrities, fitness enthusiasts, and even normal people like your friends and family can attest to the benefits that it has given them and how it has changed their lives. However, all this hype has also produced a few misconceptions about yoga. This can lead someone to get a little bit scared of trying it, change their motivations, or even practice it incorrectly. If you want to know what myths surrounding yoga are untrue, here are the most popular ones that you can debunk:
It Gives You Long and Lean Muscles
There is this very common belief that unlike heavy lifting and other types of exercises, yoga will not give you short and bulky muscles and instead give you long and lean ones. While it is true that yoga helps promote toned and lean muscles, it doesn’t guarantee this for everyone. The way your muscles are built and developed are according to your body type and your genetics. Everyone is built differently and the ideal body that you have for yourself might not be the right goal for you. Get to know your body and keep track of your progress like muscle tone, flexibility, strength, and weight loss instead of looking at another person’s body and basing your progress on that. Yoga will definitely give you some toned muscles, but remember to not be so upset if it doesn’t have the same effect on your muscles as it does to other people. The important thing is that you are physically fit and healthy in your own body.
You Have to Be Super Good At It to Do It
A lot of people are scared or even refuse to try yoga because they think that one has to be some kind of expert to practice it. It’s true that a lot of yogis can do amazing things with their bodies, but everyone has to start somewhere. If you’ve never tried yoga, you can’t expect to be an expert on your very first session. Don’t be discouraged if you think you are “bad” at yoga. In fact, there is no such thing as being “bad” at it. Just like any other workout, you have to work at it and practice. Even if you don’t get as good as those other yogis, it doesn’t mean that you’re bad at yoga. It’s not all about perfect poses and super flexibility, the important thing is that you practice regularly and improve yourself in your own way.
Only Women Do Yoga
Yoga is commonly thought of as a “woman’s” exercise by a lot of people, including both men and women. Wrong! In fact, a couple types of yoga like Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga yoga were developed by men and it was almost exclusively a men’s practice when it was first being practiced. Lots of men today can still benefit from practicing yoga. You may be surprised to know that a lot of famous athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB are introduced to and instructed to practice yoga to improve their skills further. Even police officers, veterans, firefighters and their employers are now discovering all the ways yoga can benefit them and their line of work. Surprised? Don’t be! Yoga is definitely also a men’s practice just as much as it is a woman’s.
Yoga Is Not an Intense Workout
Yoga consists of holding different poses for a certain amount of time. To the eye, this doesn’t really look like as intense of a workout as, say, running, sports, a bodybuilding workout, or a HIIT workout. Looks can definitely be deceiving, though! The relaxation qualities that yoga is famously known for also adds to this misconception. However, contrary to that belief, yoga is actually one of the most effective and intense workouts out there. This is because yoga needs a significant amount of strength, flexibility, stamina, and focus to practice. You might be surprised how much you will sweat and strain your muscles during your yoga session. Definitely expect to get a nice and intense workout when doing a yoga routine.
You Will Not Get Injured Doing Yoga
Again, because of yoga’s “still” poses, most people get an idea in their head that you can’t get injured doing yoga. Just like any other sport, activity, or workout, you need to do the motions properly to ensure that you won’t injure yourself. It’s important that you learn the proper technique so that you don’t pull any muscles or twist anything. Poses don’t have to be perfect, but the proper positions should be learned, at least initially, from a certified instructor.
Yoga is an extremely effective form of exercise, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the only form of exercise you should do. It is advised that you still pair your yoga with a regular workout routine at the gym or another form of sport or activity to experience the benefits of different forms of exercise. Yoga is effective at toning and building strength and flexibility; however, you still need to practice other movements than just doing poses on a mat. You should still find the time to get some cardio in regularly to get your heart rate up and build your stamina.
Yoga as a workout has so many beneficial qualities that improve your fitness and overall quality of life. However, the misconceptions surrounding it may lead people to get a little bit scared to try it out or lead them to practice it improperly. If you’ve been wanting to try yoga for awhile now, go ahead and do it! It’s one of the best choices you can make for your body and well-being. These debunked myths will hopefully help you out in knowing what to expect when you start practicing.