9 Myth about Yoga: Busted

International Yoga Day

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition, with the legacy of 5000 year old ritual that can be traced back to the Indus- Saraswati civilization. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, Yoga means to unite the mind and soul into a spiritual being.

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition, with the legacy of 5000 year old ritual that can be traced back to the Indus- Saraswati civilization. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, Yoga means to unite the mind and soul into a spiritual being.

Today, around two billion people practice yoga worldwide. As we approach the 3rd International Yoga Day, let’s understand the dynamics ‘Yoga’.

But just like its escalating popularity, the myths and stereotypes about this age-old tradition are also growing, in both real and the virtual world. So, it’s time to separate fact from fiction.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Myth 1: Yoga is an early morning activity

Yoga is about living your life in a certain way with a convincing amount of discipline to bring your mind and body into a perfect balance, which is not liable to work by the mechanism of time. Yoga is not something that you do morning-evening. It is a way of living, connecting your inner and outer consciousness to the spiritual being.

That means Yoga is not something to bind you with the constraint of time but to free you from the cycle of Clock. It teaches you to live less robotic life.

Myth 2: Yoga is for Hindus.

Yoga is Hindu just the way gravity is Christian. Just because the law of gravity was invented by Newton, who belong Christian culture, does it make gravity Christian? Yoga is a science. Anybody who is willing adopt and practice Yoga is most welcome to embrace it to make its own.

Myth 2: Yoga is only for women

It all started with Shiva “a man” the biggest and the only supreme Yogi in the whole universe. It was a man, Patanjali, who first practiced yoga thousands of years ago. Yoga is designed to work for every single cell of your body as opposed to the gym that targets only one muscle at a time, without improving mobility. Yoga has nothing to do with specific sex, their just stereotypes that define that yoga is for women and gym is for Men’s.

Myth 3: You have to be a human pretzel to do yoga

Although strength and flexibility are a prerequisite to much of the asana (pose) practice, there are modifications and props that can be used until that flexibility comes. This misconception arises mainly because of the common view that yoga is simply of the body, but it is a much larger process of breathing life into the human system through a holistic approach that works with the body and the mind. You do not need to be able to touch your toes to do yoga. Yoga helps you do that!

Myth 4: Pregnant women should refrain from practicing yoga

Yoga optimizes reproductive health and helps a woman’s body to deal with pregnancy and labor. Asanas can be tailored keeping in mind the condition of women. It is always advisable to check with a physician before taking on any form of yoga during pregnancy. It is safe to do Yoga during pregnancy if practiced carefully.

Myth 5: You will not benefit from short sessions

You will benefit greatly even from just a 10 minute session of Surya Namaskar on the mat each morning. The aim is to get better each day. Research has shown that just 20 minutes of yoga significantly increases brain function by improving focus, speeding up information processing, and improving memory.

Myth 6: Yoga is a complex phenomenon.

Whether it’s a new skill, job or a hobby, everything seems a little challenging initially. The same thing applies to yoga. It is difficult. But it’s not ‘hard’ and ‘difficult’ in the way that many potential practitioners assume. What yoga challenges, more than anything else, is the ego. It’s easy to step onto a yoga mat if your body easily welcomes advanced stretches and poses. Jumping into a fancy handstand in the middle of a class is a whole lot easier on the ego than, say, spending an hour meditating in child’s pose while everyone else around you is moving through an advanced flow.

Myth 7: Yoga is bad for injuries or chronic body aches

Studies have shown that carefully designed and specifically tailored yoga poses help reduce pain, for example, chronic low back pain, improve mobility, and other functions. Practicing yoga has other health benefits. By helping individuals slow down amidst the chaos in life, it reduces heart rate and blood pressure, improves lung function and also helps relieve anxiety and depression.

Myth 8: Yoga helps get the junk out of your body

Sweat helps keep the body cool and not eliminate waste from our bodies (that’s left to the kidneys, liver, and digestive tract). Because you eliminate water, salt, and electrolytes from your body when you sweat, it makes you feel lighter but does not reduce the junk in your body. The best way to rid your body of toxins is to put lesser of them in.

Myth 9: Yoga is just a hippie trend.

No, yoga is not about wearing rosary and hugging trees. It’s a form of exercise with various proven health benefits, including reduced stress, lower blood pressure, increased muscle strength and better memory and metabolism. Another similar misbelieve is that yoga is a type of religion. While there are certain components of Buddhism and Hinduism that are worked into present-day yoga practices, at its core, yoga is all about becoming self-aware and creating harmony between your body, mind and soul. It’s a practice that’s only end-goal is evermore practice.

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