The 3 Biggest Yoga Myths You Cannot Ignore

What is Yoga? Is it about bending and twisting your body into impossible postures? Or is it about holding your breath and making funny noises and laughable expressions? Is it about closing your eyes and trying to control your thoughts? When it comes to this ancient practice, there are too many modern yoga myths to count; some misinformed, some funny, and some downright ridiculous and outrageous.

We believe that all who practice/preach yoga are collectively responsible to debunk these so called myths. So this blog is an initiative by us to start a conversation on this subject, and we would love to hear from you in the comments section below. While the list of myths is long, we’ve narrowed down to the three biggest yoga myths to help you understand exactly what yoga is (and what it’s not).

“There Are Too Many Asanas to Master”

Don’t be deceived by your Instagram feed. All those extreme asana reels and posters are only showing you the surface of yoga. The soul of yoga is beyond asanas.

In fact, even in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, asanas are only one of the 8 limbs in the Ashtanga Yoga system. Yes, there are 84 lakh asanas, out of which 84 vital ones are practiced by different schools in different sequences.

Asanas, asanas, countless asanas.

Does it mean you have to master them all? No! You just need to master ONE of them. If you can stay in one asana for two and a half hours without cribbing, cringing, fidgeting or moving, you have mastered that asana. And luckily, the most popular meditative asanas are also the easiest to attempt, such as Sukhasana, Ardhasiddhasana, Padmasana, and Vajrasana.

Some asanas that are easy to attempt and master

Pick any one of them and become aware of how the rest of your yoga practice is helping you master this one asana day by day. Let’s say you feel Ardhasiddhasana comes the most naturally to you and you want to master it. Now one asana could be helping you open your hips while another could be strengthening your lower spine. You will begin to sense how they’re building your path to mastery of Ardhasiddhasana. And this mastery only comes when your asana practice extends beyond the mat.

You can sit in Ardhasiddhasana while working on your laptop, eating lunch, or casually talking to your family on your bed. Eventually, you’ll start feeling grounded, peaceful and focused not just when you’re on the mat, but even when you’re doing any activity off the mat.

 “I’m Not Flexible Enough To Practice Yoga”

When the flexibility struggle goes too far.

This is one of those yoga myths that’s not just on your mind. It was on my mind as well when I started my journey with yoga. Pumping iron, doing pull-ups, breaking my monthly bench press records at the gym – now that was my comfort zone. Forget about nailing a perfect headstand. I couldn’t even pick up a pen if it fell on the ground without bending my knees and letting out a silly groan.

Today, I’m a certified classical hatha yoga teacher and a practitioner for over 5 years. Does it mean I can pull off every single posture in a picture perfect way? Absolutely not! Because if becoming a human noodle is all it took to be able to be a yogi, then no one except gymnasts would benefit from it. And perhaps I would’ve lost patience with it and gone back to my comfortable gym routine. I learned that yoga is about the flexibility of the body AND the mind.

Let’s say you’re an absolute beginner who signed up for a trial class with a friend at a local yoga studio. (You can even roll out your mat where you’re sitting and simply practice our 30-minute yoga flow for beginners if you want.)

A 30-minute beginner yoga flow that anyone can practice.

So you and your friend start practicing together. Now your friend who has a dancing background, can easily place her palms flat on the ground in a forward fold posture. You, on the other hand, are struggling to touch your fingers on the floor.

Is that a bad thing? Now this is where the magic happens, NO, it is not a bad thing. Let me explain why.

It’s still possible that you had a deeper, more blissful experience of the practice than your friend. Why? Because during the practice, your friend was cycling through her work concerns and vacation plans in her head. On the other hand, you were focused on every inhalation and exhalation in the practice.

A quote about yoga’s role in our life being far bigger than a picture perfect posture.

Yes, the benefits of your practice show up not just when you attain the perfect posture, but also how you approach it. It’s true that the less we use our body, the more rigid it becomes.

Whether you’re young or old, overweight or underweight, it’s the level of involvement you put into your practice that unlocks its benefits for you.

“I’m Not Ready for a Complete Lifestyle Shift”

Most of us roll our eyes just at the idea of waking up early for our yoga practice. And if we think about living up to the image of a yogi, it’s enough to make our eyes pop. Do you have to be a celibate vegetarian eating one simple meal a day and give up your material possessions to practice yoga? Guess what? That’s one of the biggest yoga myths of them all.

You don’t have to copy-paste the lifestyle of a sanyasi sitting in the Himalayas to practice yoga. When I started practicing yoga, I was eating 3 heavy grain meals a day, having processed food and occasionally even consuming stimulants and intoxicants. I didn’t even set out with the goal to moderate these habits.

However, the more consistent my practice became, the more sensitive my body became to what I was consuming. My focus and memory became much sharper. And I was now able to sense how certain foods like garlic and onion were interfering with these new benefits. Naturally, it was easier to drop my limiting habits once I realized what was at stake.

That’s the beauty of yoga. It can bring a lifestyle shift – a massive shift – but one that is based on your own experience. You become your own guide as you start becoming conscious of what positively or negatively affects your energy levels. There’s no need to follow a rule book blindly anymore.

What true yoga is all about.

Whether you’re an athlete, a businessman, a student, or a spiritual seeker, yoga meets you wherever you are in life. It provides whatever your needs are, giving you the necessary awareness to customize your lifestyle for maximum impact.

If you want to enhance your lifestyle through yoga, we invite you to join us for our upcoming Yoga Challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like