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Yoga Myth Busters


For a beginner, the idea of starting a yoga practice can be overwhelming. Sometimes the idea of the unknown can keep someone from jumping in and starting something new and exciting. Don’t let common myths about yoga stop you from experiencing all the benefits that yoga has to offer.

One of the most important things to remember about yoga is that it’s referred to as a practice. Being “good at yoga” is relative to the individual. Kristi Brownlow, an Exercise Specialist at ProMotion Fitness+, and a registered yoga teacher with over 200 hours of yoga teacher training, knows how difficult it can be to define yoga. “The practice of yoga, and its benefits, cannot be summed up into a single word. In addition, several misconceptions are frequently associated with yoga. These myths can deter individuals away from truly achieving their ‘bliss’ and reaping the many benefits of a consistent yoga practice.”

Yoga is a religion.

While yoga originated in India and many assume that it is associated with a religion, it is in fact not a religious practice. Many individuals practice yoga for the physical benefits, while others practice for the combination of physical and mental benefits. All of the physical asana (poses) are in the Sanskrit language and words such as “Namaste” are spoken during the practice, many can get the idea that it is a Hindu practice. Namaste does not come from a religious meaning, but rather “the light in me sees and honors the light inside of you”.

You must be a vegan to practice yoga.

Let’s start by defining vegan – a vegan is someone who doesn’t eat anything that comes from an animal. Sure, there are some yogi’s (an individual who has a consistent yoga practice) who are vegan, but there are certainly some vegans who do not practice yoga. There is no rule that you cannot eat meat in order to practice yoga. In fact, there are several very serious yogi’s out there that eat meat. Simply put, a yoga practice is not defined by dietary restrictions of any kind.

You have to be able to stand on your head, or put your leg behind your head, to practice yoga.

There are many yoga classes available to accommodate all levels of mobility. From floor-based classes to powerful vinyasa (fast paced; synchronizing breath to movement) there is definitely something for everyone. While there are powerful classes that include headstands and putting your leg behind your head, this is not a required pose in all yoga classes. In fact, the original asana (pose) were simply seated positions to meditate in; they were notheadstands.

Men do not do (or need) yoga.

Men are traditionally less flexible than women are, and if you walk into a yoga class you will most likely see a predominantly female crowd. While these are essentially facts, they are not reasons that men should not do yoga. Men benefit from yoga just as much, if not more, than women.

Yoga is only for those who are thin and fit.

No matter your physical fitness level, weight, or any other physical attribute, there is a yoga class for individuals of all ages, genders, and body types; making it possible for anyone to practice yoga.

A yoga class is often referred to as a judgment-free zone, meaning that your experience level, physical appearance, flexibility, etc. will not be the focus of anyone attending the class. It is not a competition; yoga is a personal practice that benefits each person differently. So don’t let these myths stop you from starting a yoga practice. ProMotionFitness+ offers a variety of yoga classes for every body type, gender, and age.

To register for the upcoming session of yoga classes, call 240-215-1470. Registration opens April 10th and classes begin the week of April 24th.