When I first started practicing yoga, I came to the mat for a workout. My mother, a fitness enthusiast, introduced me to Power Yoga and I was hooked in less than an hour. I had no idea that just moving my body in certain ways could be so challenging.
Within two years of that first experience, I completed a year-long Yoga Teacher Training program, quit my job as a managing editor at the Canadian Medical Association, and was driving around the city offering classes.
The physicality of the practice is what drew me to yoga initially, but the spiritual aspect is what’s kept me there for over a decade after I first started.
Three Myths About Yoga
1. You have to be flexible to “be good at it.”
Modern media representations have led people to believe that you need to be a dancer or a gymnast to be “good at” yoga. In fact, the opposite is true! The less flexible you are, the more you may benefit from practicing. Yoga requires a measure of strength, flexibility, and balance, and your starting point today is the place to begin.
2. It's just another form of exercise.
While yoga does provide a good stretch and strengthening session for your body, its benefits extend well beyond the physical. Deep breathing calms the nervous system, physical postures bring mental clarity and focus, and a period of final relaxation connects us to the deep inner peace that resides within us all.
3. Only women do yoga, and it’s too hard!
Millions of people around the world, men and women, children and seniors, practice this ancient healing art and science. There are as many styles of yoga as there are teachers offering it, and the level of intensity ranges from vigorous to restorative. Ultimately, if you can breathe, you can do yoga. How hard you work is entirely up to you!
Like any new endeavor, words cannot possibly capture the experience of an actual class. Let’s just say that it’s not a 5,000-year old “trend” for no reason!
This season, rather than adding to the clutter, consider clearing away the stuff you no longer need and investing in the gift of inner peace, outer grace, a Strong Body and a Calm Mind, through yoga.