Yoga is often misunderstood. Its benefits, however, are well known: increased flexibility and strength, improved balance and posture and stress relief to name a few. So is it right for you? Here are six yoga misconceptions.
- Yoga is only about deep breathing
There is a lot of strengthening--especially core strengthening--along with flexibility that comes from yoga. The balance in yoga isn’t about just finding peace, but strengthening core muscles. This improved strength and flexibility can benefit almost everyone and can be especially helpful for athletes.
- Yoga instructors are strange
People may think of yoga instructors and conjure up images of chanting and burning incense. However, the majority of yoga instructors today are just normal people who have chosen a healthy lifestyle.
- I’m not flexible enough to do yoga
Some people are reluctant to try yoga because they are not already flexible. But there are lots of modifications and varieties of yoga. An instructor can help you with modifications or provide props to do poses correctly. Find the type of yoga you like – there are many different types of classes out there.
- I can get hurt doing yoga
It’s important to do yoga poses correctly. One-on-one training with an instructor can be helpful when you first learn the yoga postures. Group settings can also be good, but let the instructor know you are new so they can spend extra time with you. Let an instructor know if you’ve had a recent injury or surgery. Listen to your body.
- Yoga is only for certain people
Yoga can be done by anyone at any age. Many yoga studios offer classes suited for beginners, seniors or athletes.
- Yoga is expensive
Yoga doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There is only a little equipment needed and you can often borrow or rent a yoga mat. You don’t need tight new expensive workout clothes – dress comfortably to feel confident. Grab a water bottle and you are good to go! Free or inexpensive yoga options are popping up everywhere from breweries to parks. Once you know the poses you can do yoga anywhere.
Lois Maple is a physical therapist with OrthoCarolina Winston.
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