As a Yoga teacher, personal trainer and sports massage therapist, I’m often recommending yoga to help improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing. When I do, I’m provided with several justifications as to why people haven’t tried Yoga or wouldn’t be likely to give it a go. Now Yoga isn’t for everyone, but I wanted to share the top 5 misconceptions, and my responses to them, to help remove some of the your own barriers to trying yoga or other similar practices.
1. I’m not stretchy enough!
There’s a misconception that to do yoga you need to be flexible already. However, doing activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates etc., although not necessarily the specific aim of these practices, will help you to improve your flexibility.
2. Yoga is for women
This just isn’t true, the first Yoga gurus were all men and in India today there are still a large number of men practicing it. In the western world, men practicing Yoga is increasing, with sports people like Ryan Giggs and the New Zealand All Blacks raving about how yoga tones muscle, improves flexibility, increases endurance and above all improves mental focus, preparation and wind down after a game.
3. I’m not skinny enough
Unfortunately, like many popular fitness fads, the PR companies of yoga clothing and yoga offshoots like Hot Yoga focus on advertising skinny flexible women and flexible muscly men. But in reality, if you go to a class you will see a great mixture of shapes, sizes and ages. Yoga really is an inclusive practice.
4. I’m not very good at it
You can’t be rubbish at yoga. If you’re practicing yoga, you’re practicing yoga. It does not depend on how bendy you are. To practice yoga well, the important things are to focus on what you are doing and to practice the other 8 limbs of yoga to complete your practice.
5. I don’t want to fart
A common misconception that everyone in a yoga class is farting every 5 minutes! Having been a teacher for 4 years now, I have to say I haven’t heard one person fart (or smelt it!) so it can’t be that common. However, yoga does get you into positions that compress your stomach and bowls so if you are having trouble with your digestion then yoga is likely to help and release some of that trapped wind…
If that didn’t help alleviate your concerns, but would like to give yoga a go, then why not try doing 1:1 or private group sessions for you and your friends?
Founder of BirdSol Fitness | Nutrition | Adventure | Well-being