Although considered as one of the most traditional practices of ancient India, the popularity of yoga has reached to such a place now where millions of people practice this form worldwide. However, with that being said, with evolution with time, it has been observed that there have been various misconceptions associated with yoga.
Generally, various myths about yoga can be heard which can leave you completely dumbfounded. We are sure that you also have heard some these misconceptions and chances are high that you also believed that these are true. If you are also someone who has some preconceived notions regarding yoga, then the time has come to bust some of the most common myths about yoga and put the rumours to the bed.
What is yoga?
According to the proper definition, yoga is a group of spiritual, mental and physical disciplines and practices that have been said to have originated in ancient India. It is considered as an art and science of healthy living.
The word yoga has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means to unite, join or to yoke. Yoga helps in bringing the perfect harmony between the mind and body. The physical levels of yoga comprise of postures or ‘asanas’ which helps in keeping the body healthy and the mental techniques comprise of meditations and breathing exercises which help to discipline the mind and calm our senses.
Myths about yoga
Yoga is considered as a popular form of treatment which helps in alleviating various ailments of the body and focuses on maintaining the perfect balance among different ‘chakras’ of the system. However, according to a recent study, it has been seen that the misconceptions circulating around yoga have prevented many yogis to reach the zen level of yoga and also has averted people to step into a yoga mat, to begin with.
So the most common yoga myths that need to be busted are:
1.Myth: Performing yoga means converting into a different religion
One of the biggest myths about yoga is that practising yoga can lead to conversion into Hinduism. We agree that yoga is considered as a spiritual practice and it includes chants and mantras that are prevalent in the Hindu culture but we have to understand that these chants and mantras help you to bring focus and clarity of mind and in no way related to converting you to a different religion. If you are uncomfortable in chanting the mantras, it is completely fine to skip the portion and only practice the asanas and the yoga postures.
2.Myth: Yoga is not a workout
Just because yoga does not involve high-intensity exercises, jumping around or different pieces of equipment and consists of only stretching and different yoga postures, it will be quite foolish to consider that yoga is not a workout regime.
Yoga is an extremely therapeutic and functional form of exercise where different yoga posture focuses on different muscle groups of the body and is very effective in treating different chronic ailments of the body and helps in enhancing the stamina and endurance. Regular practising of yoga helps you in increasing flexibility, maintain the normal balance of the body and also prevent the risk of injuries in the long run.
3.Myth: Yoga comprises of only body postures and is best suited for women but not men
Before bursting this myth bubble, let us give you an important fact. Did you know the first practitioners and preachers of yoga were men? It is true that yoga is predominantly practised by women because it provides abundant health benefits for their body but according to the recent study, after knowing the substantial benefits provided by yoga to its practitioners, more men have slowly gravitated towards this exercise form. And if you think that yoga comprises only postures then rethink again.
Yoga is considered as a union of the body, mind and spirit. Not only yoga helps in increasing static strength and flexibility but it also helps you to achieve mindfulness, a sense of calm and complete balance. Yoga provides a complete cleansing of your system. And to achieve all the unique benefits of yoga, you do not have to be a woman, it is open for one and all.
4.Myth- Yoga should not be done by pregnant women and neither by women on periods
Reality: It is a popular myth about yoga that women while menstruating should not be allowed to do yoga because of the different asanas in the regime like performing different inverted postures, it can cause backflow of the menstruated blood. Well, this is absolutely wrong. Through years of studies and research, there has been no connection found between retrograde flow and yoga postures. And on the other hand, for pregnant women, it is absolutely safe to practice yoga during pregnancy but it should be with caution and under the watch of a skilled yogi. There are also special prenatal yoga poses that can be a great help for the new moms to be as they are specially for the conditions and requirements of pregnant women.
There are various misconceptions regarding yoga and mentioned above are some of the most common ones, however, mentioned below are some other myths regarding yoga that should be busted too
- You need to be flexible to do yoga and it is only for thin and young people
- All yogas are same
- Yoga is so easy that it can be done by anyone even without the help of any trained yogi.
- The more the difficult pose, the greater is the effectiveness.
Benefits of performing yoga
Now that we have cleared some of the most common myths about yoga out of the way, we should now tell you about the amazing benefits of performing yoga regularly
- It has been reported that yoga recharges the body with cosmic energy and helps you to attain perfect equilibrium and harmony.
- Removes negative toxins out of the body, promotes self-healing and increases awareness.
- Reduces stress and anxiety and increases memory, focus and concentration.
- Yoga acts as an effective aid in weight loss and enhances the immune system of the body.
- Increases muscle strength and reduces the risk of getting any injury.
We hope that we have been able to clear off the air around the popular misconceptions regarding yoga. Yoga is not a lifestyle, it is merely a path towards a healthy body and a peaceful mind and we are pretty sure inculcating yoga in your daily routine will provide bountiful benefits for you.
However, with all that being said, make sure to practice yoga under a skilled yogi who will provide you with all the necessary information and guidance.