Myths & Misconceptions

A Guide to Some of the Misinformation About Yoga

While yoga has roots dating as far back as 3000 BCE, this ancient practice has evolved immensely (even in the last century alone) to bring us yoga as we know it today. But even with yoga becoming more widespread throughout the world for both fitness and spiritual growth, there are many myths, misconceptions and misinterpretations of what it means to practice to yoga. While the term “yoga” cannot be easily defined, those that are interested in learning about yoga should know a few basic things regarding the practice and culture surrounding it.

Myths, Minconceptions & Misinterpretations

Yoga is a religion

While yoga is practiced in some religions, yoga itself is not a religion and does not need to be practiced for any religious purpose. Modern day yoga especially is rarely rooted in religious practice.

Yoga comes from Hinduism

While yoga was may have been developed by those that practiced Hinduism, practicing yoga does not mean you are performing a “religious practice.” Lacrosse is a sport that has its roots with Native Americans going as far back as 1100 AD for which they performed many rituals; however, playing lacrosse is not equated to performing ancient Native American rituals. This same concept applies to yoga as well.

You have to be flexible to do yoga

This one has always been a bit strange, as yoga increases flexibility. A majority of yoga is stretching the muscles, making them more flexible and toned .Getting into a pose will likely be difficult at first and may not resemble what you are attempting, but as you become more experienced you will be able to enter and perform each pose with increased ease.

Yoga is for women/Men don’t do yoga

Obviously, we don’t need to linger on this one too much. Clearly this is not the case, as yoga was first developed and practiced by men. Also, more and more men are teaching and practicing yoga today. Diamond Dallas Page, former pro-wrestler and actor, is known for creating books and workout videos on yoga. By following Diamond Dallas’ training program, another man was even able to regain the ability to walk.

Yoga is expensive

While yoga classes can be quite pricey, practicing yoga is completely free. In fact, you don’t even need to get a mat in order to do yoga at home, as long as you have a comfortable place to practice. While it’s nice to have an instructor when first starting out, you should be able to find free classes for beginners at many schools, institutions and gyms. Also, step-by-step guides, photos and videos are great ways to get started on beginner poses; just be sure not to do anything outside of your range of ability, as you could injure yourself.