For men and women interested in health and fitness, yoga can provide a fun and healthy activity to combine with other healthy habits like gluten free energy bars, a regular sleep schedule, and better strategies for coping with stress. Millions of people have tried yoga, and millions more are curious about how this Eastern mediation and exercise practice can provide stress relief, enhanced flexibility, and better muscle tone, along with a variety of other health benefits. Unfortunately, there are also many misconceptions about yoga and who it can benefit. The following are the 10 most common myths about yoga and a little debunking to give folks interested in yoga some straight talk about how it can improve their health and well-being:
1. Yoga is not a real workout
Ask a yoga class after a vigorous session whether they feel they've had a workout. While yoga can often be less intense than other forms of exercises, there are variants of it that increase the heart rate and work muscles just as effectively as conventional exercise.
2. Yoga is a religion
While spirituality is a big component of yoga for many people, yoga itself is just a means of exercise and meditation. The precepts of yoga are compatible with just about any faith, and promote kindness and peace.
3. Only flexible people can do yoga
Yoga helps promote flexibility. For people who are a little stiff, yoga can help facilitate greater flexibility. While the more advanced levels of yoga do require quite a bit of flexibility, beginner exercises can help those of us who are less flexible develop this attribute.
4. Yoga is expensive
Compared to gym dues, at-home treadmills, and exercise gear, the investment you make in yoga can be quite small. All you need to do yoga is some comfortable clothes, a yoga mat, and a book or video instructing you on a few basic poses. Even yoga classes are highly affordable, and some community centers, churches, and other groups offer free yoga instruction.
5. Real men don't do yoga
Actually, men were the original inventors of yoga. Yoga was developed thousands of years ago by men in the East. Today, women do outnumber men in yoga classes, but, guys, is that necessarily a bad thing?
6. Yoga is a time-suck
A decent yoga session can take as little as 10 minutes. The great thing about yoga is that you can do it just about anytime, anywhere, making it very copacetic with modern lifestyles.
7. People with disabilities or chronic pain cannot practice yoga
Yoga can be quite beneficial to people with disabilities, or who suffer from arthritis or other chronic pain. It all depends on your specific circumstances and the program of yoga you undertake. Speak with a physician and your yoga instructor ahead of time to learn if yoga is right for you.
8. Yoga is for the young
Yoga practitioners come from all ages and walks of life. Many older people find yoga's low-impact nature and emphasis on peace and reflection helpful.
9. Yoga is for hippies
Blue collar workers, CEOs, and a wide variety of others have found peace, contentment, and fitness through yoga.
10. There is only one form of yoga
There are actually quite a few yoga methods. Vinyasa focuses on breath, power yoga helps build strength, hot yoga uses heat to facilitate development, and hatha yoga is a slower form of the discipline.
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