If you are looking into incorporating yoga into your life but having second thoughts about it because it seems too one-dimensional, you are not alone.
For those who are not familiar with the practice, it is easy to paint a one-dimensional image of what it means to be a yoga practitioner.
For starters, yoga is not a one-size-fits-all group.
In other words, practitioners are not stripped of their identity and diversity once they put on their yoga leggings.
To give you peace of mind, we’ve identified some of the most common myths people have about yogis and the truth about them.
All yogis are vegans.
While some vocal vegans happen to be yogis as well, it does not always follow everyone who practices yoga also adapts the same lifestyle.
If truth be told, many people who do yoga still enjoys a big, luscious, and juicy burger every now and then and indulges in a big scoop of ice cream when the opportunity presents itself.
So, the next time you join a yoga event, don’t be surprised to find vendors selling pork belly noodle bowls and wood-fired pizzas next to the vegan, gluten-free falafel stands and juice bars.
All yogis are “energy” people.
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who practices yoga are woo-woo, tree-hugging hippies who only focus on balancing their chakras.
While yoga’s intangible benefits are what keeps people drawn to the practice, there are those who just enjoy the practice for what it is.
And that’s perfectly okay.
Rest assured, many yogis are planted firmly in the real world and would rather talk about and discuss current events as opposed to the color of your aura or the balancing of your chakra.
You’re not a yogi if you are not super serious about the practice.
There is no doubt yoga has evolved significantly over the years.
That means some yoga classes are no longer as austere and militant as it used to be (laughter yoga, anyone?).
While yoga variations like laughter yoga will lack the typical serenity expected from the practice, it can be downright hilarious and wholeheartedly joyful.
While unknown to most, many of the world’s highly-renowned and well-respected yoga teachers are not afraid to laugh at themselves or at some of the idiosyncrasies of the practice.
However, if meditative and highly peaceful and serene classes is your thing, you’ll have plenty of options at your disposal.
In the same manner, if you are looking for a yoga variation that is outside of what you are accustomed to or what you expect, you’d be happy to know you can easily find those nowadays too.
You have no business doing yoga if you are not good at it.
Let’s get one thing straight first and foremost—there’s no such thing as someone who sucks at yoga.
If you’re a newbie with the flexibility that’s almost next to none, it does not necessarily mean yoga is not a good fit for you.
True, you might not be able to hold the chair pose for far longer than you want to but it does not mean yoga is not for you.
Conversely, an individual who can hold a headstand for what seemed like eternity is actually no better than you.
In fact, you can bet they’ve encountered the same struggles, difficulties, and challenges you are experiencing right now right when they also first started.
The difference is they have already acquired and developed certain strengths and skillsets that you have yet to master or develop.
Other than that, they are no different than you are, both as a person and as a yoga practitioner.
With the yoga practice as the equalizer, it leaves no place for the “less than” or “better than” mindset.
Men can’t really do yoga.
Nothing can be farther from the truth!
If you trace back yoga’s humble roots, you’d probably be surprised to discover it was considered solely as an activity for men.
Only when it was introduced in the West did yoga become what it is today—a trendy and occasionally female activity.
Over the years, the NFL, MLB, and NBA has introduced yoga to their athletes because they believe it can help them become more balanced individuals and more effective performers.
Fields that are considered stressful like law enforcement and firefighting have also introduced yoga to their members as it has been known to help promote peace and clarity in a job that is highly stressful.
There’s actually an infinite number of examples to drive home this point.
But the bottom line is yoga is not exclusive for one gender alone.
Everyone who practices yoga is spiritual.
While some are enticed to practice yoga because of its spiritual element, there are also those who see is as nothing more than a physical practice.
And that is perfectly okay.
If you are not ready to embark on the spiritual aspect the practice has to offer just yet, it does not mean the practice is not for you.
The amazing thing about yoga is it will meet you where you are.
If you join a yoga class because of all the physical and mental health it offers, then there’s a yoga class just waiting for you.
While the spiritual aspect of the practice is just there for the taking, it is reassuring to know you don’t have to make it a part of your practice if it is something you are not really into.