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Dispelling the top 3 myths of practicing yoga

timsamoff via Flikr

With all this talk about our upcoming open house, we wanted to take a step back and remind people of the benefits of yoga. This post is meant to dispel a few myths:

  1. I’m too inflexible to practice yoga. This may be the most common excuse not to try a yoga class, even though it’s completely false.  The number of people practicing yoga since 2008 has increased by 30 percent. (Which brings the total up to 20.4 million practitioners in the U.S.) Do you think all those people are naturally flexible? Probably not. But are those people practicing to become more flexible? Definitely.
  2. Yoga is against my religion. Just like everything else in the world has varying shades (from over-the-top serious to obnoxiously goofy), so does yoga. Looking back in history, yoga shares its Vedic roots with Hinduism and Buddhism, and it is true some people incorporate their yoga practices into their personal religious beliefs. It is also true that the majority of people participating in yoga classes today would say their practice is not related to their religious beliefs at all. The long and short of it is: If you want yoga to translate itself into part of your religion, you can. But if you don’t, nobody is going to be standing at the door requiring you to. The yoga studio is for everyone and it can turn into whatever you need it to be on any given day – whether that’s a temple or just an escape from a hectic day.
  3. Yoga is a sissy workout. Only people who have never tried yoga would say such a thing. Yoga provides a full-body workout that builds muscle, tones and helps slim down. In fact, you can burn anywhere between 100 and 475 calories per class, depending on the style of yoga. It doesn’t take massive dumbbells to build your cardiovascular system or muscles. Take the test: Try to hold your arms out to your side for a few minutes without lowering them. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

There are quite a few myths out there about yoga, but you can cross these three off your list of excuses for not trying a class – at least once. Who knows, you may just fall in love.

Your first yoga props

head stand by Neeta Lind via Flikr

One of the great things about yoga is that you can practice without any props or pieces of formal equipment. You aren’t required to use special socks or shoes. No weights, bands or balls are needed. Continue reading