True or False? Five Yoga Myths put under the Microscope

Our dear friend Tijana gave us the honor to write a guest article about yoga. But first, let her introduce herself.

My friend Bree (on the left) and myself on the right having a bit of fun during a day off of our YTT.

G’day I’m Tijana from the land down under. I found my love for yoga maybe 3 or 4 years ago and I’m hooked! I’m a firm believer of “your vibe attracts your tribe” and have the itchiest feet in the world. I do hope that this little read helps to encourage people to try and grow through their own practice, and through life itself.

As a teacher and student of yoga, I often see or hear people tell me that Yoga isn’t for them-  they can’t touch their toes or they think they are too old or just that its boring. In this article we will be breaking down those excuses and building a stronger and more fearless approach to yoga.

Myth #1: Yoga is for the flexible…

FALSE! Flexibility is not a necessity nor a requirement to participate in a class. Yoga is all about stability. Stability is the key for a more grounded and clearer practice. If we allow our mind to become stable our practice becomes stronger and the energy you are trying to cultivate is directed and used to help the body to cleanse and connect with the mind and breath.

Myth # 2: Yoga is meant to be a full body work out…

FALSE! Maybe to some people it might be or maybe to some people it’s all about getting as many likes as you can on Instagram whilst doing a pose such as mermaid down by the beach during sun rise or sunset. Yoga can mean many terms, however our aim is not to be able to twist our upper body one direction and the lower body the other. Our aim is to prepare the body (through a series of specific poses) and mind so that it can sit still without any distractions or movement and just be able to focus on whatever form of mediation you desire. Yoga is about listening to your body, moving with the breath and aligning with body so that when it comes to meditation it becomes an easy and grounding practice. Allowing us to take what we learn from our practice and continue to practice off the mat.

Myth #3: Yoga is for the young and healthy…

FALSE! FALSE! FALSE! There are so many articles these days on social media or papers that tell us about older men and women who are 80+ and are still teaching and practising. This is where the old saying “age is just a number” applies. There is no age limit or health restrictions in Yoga, all that teachers ask you to do in classes is to notify them of possible or reoccurring injuries, and also to respect the space of those around you. If you can come to a class with an open mind and allow yourself to just be present within yourself then you are doing Yoga right. There is Yoga for all types too, so I would suggest to go in to your nearest studio and ask around to find which style will suite your body best.

Myth #4: All yogis are Vegan or Vegetarian…

FALSE! You eat whatever you want. Not all yogis who practice run around gardens, picking flowers, chasing butterflies and eat organically grown vegetables (and if you are one of those people then that’s cool too!). There is no dietary requirements needed to be a yogi, a healthy lifestyle is better than an unhealthy and everything is good in moderation, however you won’t be needing to swap your Sunday roast with mash potatoes for a quinoa salad any time soon. 

Myth #5: Yoga isn’t for guys…

FALSE! Whether your male or female, Yoga is a tradition that can be practiced by all genders. Amazingly yoga is starting to become a lot more valuable to surfers and other athletes that are using the same muscles repeatedly. Yin becoming one of the more popular styles for men as it gives them a chance to surrender and allows them to practice in a safe space. If you are a male and are still scared to enter into a possible class 15+ ladies then maybe you could suggest to friends or family to see if they want to tag along- you know for safety in numbers.

So to sum it all up, when It comes to Yoga there are no boundaries or restriction’s. No age limits or dietary requirements. All you need is an open mind, respect for the people and teachers around you and a passion to explore something that has been passed through tradition.

Thank you so much Tijana for clearing those myths on yoga. Now grab your mats and give yoga a try.