We all have assumptions and misconceptions, actually we usually have a ton of both of those — about pretty much everything (or at least I know, I do). I could look out my window right now, see someone walking down the street and assume I knew were they were going and where they just came from — and guess what, I just did. When we don’t actually know about something, by first hand knowledge (of whatever type) we naturally assume. It’s just the way our brains naturally think, and most often the assumptions are about totally mindless or harmless things — like that person walking down the street. The world is pretty much built on assumptions (and you know what they say about assuming? now this is awkward) which often wash away when someone just sets us straight or we gain first hand knowledge.
Before I ever tried yoga, I had a bunch of assumptions. Misconceptions that turned into reasons why I didn’t think it was for me — I pretty much scared myself away from all my in head nay-saying. Then I tried it and I liked it (sounds like a yo-gabba-gabba song). Did I ever tell you I didn’t love yoga right off the bat? I liked it, but I didn’t love it and fully get it, till a bit later — probably worthy of another post. Once I tried it and liked it (sorry, had to say it again) I realized how wrong I was in all my assumptions, and then even later I realized how many other people have the same misconceptions that I once did. So I thought it would be fun to call myself out on all (ok, just some) my silliness, and maybe be the friend that can set you straight/give you first hand knowledge to kick the assumptions to the curb.
1. I’m Not Flexible Enough
And hey, guess what guys, I’m still not very flexible. Sure we all see those beautiful photos of people who are clearly naturally super flexible, but I swear that’s not what yoga looks like 90% of the time. That’s not what yoga looks like for me. It’s not about flexibility, at all – but practicing regularly can help you become a bit more flexible in time. And like anything in life, your yoga won’t look like anyone elses yoga because it’s yours; so flexible, sch-mexible.
2. It’s Too Cult-y
From the outside it can easily have this weird, culty vibe to it. But really what community doesn’t when you are looking from the outside. All it takes is finding your home, maybe testing studios or class types till you find a room that feels like it’s filled with your people. Ignore the cult-y feeling, it’s not like that and if it feels like that and you’re uncomfortable — try a different class.
3. Advanced Poses Equal Advanced Yoga
Nope, not at all. You don’t need to do any crazy advanced poses, headstands or arm balances to do yoga. Yoga is more than just the poses, being strong, prepared and ready to do advances poses are really great and you can get there in time if your practices grows there. I’m not a teacher, but to me advanced means knowing your body and your limits, which can change from day-to-day.
4. Yoga is All About The Poses
They are just a part of it, but your breath is where it’s at. Once you get that breathe, the poses are just so much sweeter — but this is where I might scare you off with a culty vibe, so for another post it will wait.
5. I Won’t Be Good At It
I wasn’t and many aren’t at first — like anything it takes time and practice. Yoga is a practice so it’s a constant pattern of growth and change — every day is different. Stick to yourself and don’t compare yourself to anyone else, you’ll start to notice little changes in yourself and practice and those changes will make you feel good. And as silly as it sounds, sometimes we just like to feel like we are good at something in order to stick with it. Also, no one is ever a beginner forever.
I lied, there are six:
6. It Will Be Boring
I didn’t think it would be a great workout, that it would be too slow and not physical enough. I tried a few styles and found one that fit all the criteria I needed. There are so many different styles of yoga, and most of them are far from boring, far from being slow and many are a total body workout — and that is on top of the mind work, nothing else I have ever tried is so all-encompassing.
There are a few assumptions I created in my mind grapes after falling hard for yoga, so I guess first hand knowledge doesn’t always clear those away? Anyways, let’s just quickly talk about those too, since we are pretty much on the topic.
Savasana Is The Easy Part
Laying still, no fidgeting or wiping sweat away, staying focused on your breathe and not letting your mind wander? It’s actually one of the hardest poses mentally. It ain’t no nap time.
If I Do One Pose Enough, I’ll Become A Pro
Yoga is all practice and like zero theory (unless you’re going through teacher training). Practicing every single day for your entire life won’t make you a pro,
Props Are For Beginners
No way jose, props are good for many things. Mostly to help you go deeper in a pose, help engage different muscles or to be kinder to your body. Actually using a prop when you need it or when it can help a posture, is probably the opposite of what a beginner would do.
No Pain, No Gain
OMG no, yoga should never ever hurt. Your muscles might hate you because they are working hard, your muscles might pull a bit because they are tight — but the poses should never hurt. If they do, get yourself out of that pose. Yoga is all gain, and no pain – that’s it, coining that one!
Did you have any misconceptions about yoga? Do you currently have any about yoga or anything else, that are holding you back from trying?
Read more about my love for yoga.