Yoga has been around for centuries and has been lauded for its healing and transformational benefits. It has gained immense popularity in recent years, however, this ancient science has a lot of misconceptions attached to it. Whether you practice yoga regularly or have selectively stayed away from it, there is a lot of information about this practice that you may not be aware of. So, we reached out to Nishtha Bijlani, Yoga Expert and Wellness Counsellor, and asked her to clear the most common myths related to yoga. Scroll down to read what she had to say!
1. Myth: You Can Be Too Old To Do Yoga
Fact: It is never too late to start yoga. Age is no bar here. The only thing required is a willingness to learn. When you realise the need to prioritise your health and life, that’s the right time to begin. Yoga can be as gentle as it can be powerful. There is always something for everyone to take back. Be it for children, adults or the elderly, yoga is for all!
2. Myth: Yoga Is Only For Women
Fact: Yoga has nothing to do with gender. Anybody can do it. It is a practice that works on the human body and mind. It may, in fact, cater to hormonal issues specific to men and women, making it a great practice for everybody.
3. Myth: Yoga Can Provide Quick Fixes
Fact: The human tendency is to seek quick solutions for all problems. Ill health and diseases are not created overnight. They build up over months or years. Therefore, they cannot be fixed overnight. Disciplined and consistent practice is the only way to see a difference. It is always slow and gradual change that has a lasting impact. So beware, if someone offers a quick yoga remedy to a persistent health problem.
4. Myth: Any Fitness Instructor Can Teach Yoga
Fact: It is commonly believed that yoga is just ‘stretching’. And because of this idea, often, general fitness trainers who have no background in teaching yoga, offer to teach ‘stretches’ in the name of yoga. The two cannot be used interchangeably. Yoga is a practice to unite the body, mind and spirit. This is done through the physical practice of asana along with pranayama and meditation. Some yoga asanas definitely help to stretch tight muscles, but there is a lot more to it than just that!
5. Myth: Yoga Can’t Be Practiced During Pregnancy
Once your doctor has given you the go-ahead, yoga can surely be practised during pregnancy. Yogic practices such as asanas, pranayama and meditation can greatly benefit an expecting mother to help bring in a new life. Not only does it make the birthing and labour process smoother, but it also positively impacts the child. Most importantly, it helps pregnant women deal with all emotional fluctuations and stresses during that sensitive period.
6. Myth: Yoga Can Easily Be Learned From A Book Or Online
Fact: With all the content that’s freely available all around us, it gives us easy access to understanding yoga. But is this the best way to truly learn yoga? The simple answer is no. By relying only on these sources, the chances of injury are always high. Incomplete information is more dangerous than ignorance. What you see in videos or read in books, cannot be replaced by the teachings of an experienced teacher. It can surely introduce you to the subject, give you a peek into it. But the next step should be to seek guidance from an authentic teacher.
The age-old practice of yoga may have been misinterpreted time and again. After all, it’s has been passed on from generation to generation. But not all is lost in translation. Now that these myths have been busted, you can take up yoga with a clearer and more open outlook!
What would you like to know about yoga? Please share it with us in the comments below.
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