Kristin McGee: Top 5 Misconceptions About Yoga
5 I Don’t Have the Time
The slightest amount of yoga can benefit everyone. I often say, “A downward dog a day keeps the doctor away”. Yes, some classes can be an hour to 90 minutes in length; but you can also find quick 10-15 minute practices (I have apps and yoga DVDs that run from 10 to 50 minutes in length so you can choose what you have time for). You can also do yoga stretches at your desk, in your bed or when you have an extra few minutes at the beginning or end of your day. Once you start making a bit of time for yoga, you’ll find you love it so much that you’ll end up making more time to fit in a few longer practices. Yoga helps you stay focused, which will actually give you more time in the long run since you will be more efficient.
4 I’m Going to Look Like a Fool
Yoga is a personal practice and every person in class is so concentrated on what they are doing, no one is paying attention to you. Yogis are the most welcoming people in the world and they embrace everyone. Your practice is your own. You will never look like a fool if you’re putting in your best effort to pay attention to your breathing and the cues from the teacher. If you’re super shy or embarrassed, stay in the back of the room and follow the people in front of you, or invest in a few private classes if you can afford them to feel more comfortable with the poses.
3 It’s Only for Girls
My classes are filled with plenty of men as well as women. As a matter of fact, yoga originated in India by men. It wasn’t until yoga came stateside that women were the main practitioners. It may be 70% women 30% men in classes often; but I’ve also taught classes where the men outnumbered the women.
2 I Have to Be Flexible
I have to laugh when people tell me “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.” It’s like saying “I can’t strength train, I’m not strong.” One of the goals of yoga is to gain flexibility and you have to start somewhere. I highly recommend everyone who is inflexible to start practicing now!
1 It’s a Lot of Sitting Around Contemplating Your Navel
Not true! Most yoga (especially practiced in the US) involves actively holding and flowing through various postures using your own body weight. Yoga is much harder than most people expect. I see clients for the first time and they are sore all over the next day. Yoga works your entire body from head to toe. There are also meditative type classes; but even restorative yoga and meditation require a lot of strength, stamina and concentration to perform.