According to the Yoga Alliance, regular yoga practice can provide many benefits, including pain relief, greater strength, flexibility, and stress relief.
While almost every version of this ancient practice includes some strength, flexibility, breathwork, and breathing to improve mental and bodily well-being, there are many variations. Yoga can offer a variety of variations, from easy restorative practices to challenging workouts.
There are many options for yoga if you’re looking to learn more. Don’t let any of these myths about yoga keep you from trying it.
I’m not Flexible
Many yogis on social media can move their bodies in amazing ways. It’s easy to understand why people might believe yoga is for those with limited mobility. It’s time to do a reality check.
Samantha Clayton is a certified yoga instructor coach by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) and a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer based in Los Angeles. Each pose can be modified to suit your flexibility journey. “We all start somewhere.”
All levels of exercise can benefit from yoga (and the Stretching that comes with it). Although you might not be able to stretch as well as the Instagram yogis, you will find your flexibility improves over time. Clayton, the vice president of global sports performance and fitness at Herbalife Nutrition and a former Olympic runner, states that most people notice a difference within three to four weeks.
I have back pain
Good news! You don’t have to suffer from back pain. Samantha Parker is an exercise physiologist in the United States Air Force. She is also a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga instructor and a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga therapist. She can modify yoga practices to address various medical and health issues.
Parker says that glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the optic nerves of your eyes. This means that you will need to keep your head above your heart.
Parker suggests that you check with your doctor before starting yoga if you have any health issues.
Talk to the instructor about any moves that you are avoiding. You should be able to ask your instructor to modify certain poses to make this happen. Parker says that if your instructor is certified as a yoga therapist, they may be able to recommend modifications for certain health conditions.
I am concerned that the spiritual side might contradict my religious beliefs.
Yoga is often culturally associated with Hinduism or Buddhism, but it doesn’t require a set of religious beliefs. According to the Yoga Alliance, yoga can be done secularly.
Parker states that yoga does promote peace and purpose. Some people associate spirituality with yoga. If you aren’t interested in this, you can also find instructors and classes that focus on the physical aspects.
Yoga Is for Women
According to the 2016 Yoga in America Study, 72 per cent of yoga participants are women — but the health benefits of yoga can be enjoyed by anyone interested in fitness.
Clayton states that yoga helps improve joint mobility, range and stability, and core stability. Clayton says that these benefits can be beneficial for both men and women pursuing performance goals in various sports, including weight lifting, running, and many others. Yoga promotes good posture and muscular control and involves many smaller stabilizing muscles and tendons that might not receive the same stimulation and attention as other workouts.
Yoga is just glorified Stretching.
Although yoga involves a lot of Stretching, you are also gaining flexibility and mobility. Strengthening your body is another benefit of yoga. Clayton explains that Clayton recommends using your body weight to resist many of these movements. This can help build strength and endurance.
I don’t have much spare time for yoga.
Parker isn’t afraid, to tell the truth when she hears this story. She says, “You have time. You’re choosing to spend it on other things.”
She also said that there is no limit to how long you can do yoga. Depending on your reasons for practising yoga and the results you seek, longer sessions may offer greater benefits. However, even shorter sessions can improve mood, reduce stress and increase physical health. Parker suggests that you can do basic yoga at your desk to reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and relieve pain. You can also do Sun Salutations for five minutes each morning or night for the same results.
Yoga will get in the way of other types of training.
Experts say yoga complements any type of exercise because of its meditative, restorative, and strengthening qualities. Parker states that tight muscles can weaken you, and your muscles will be less flexible. This could lead to a decrease in your ability to use your full power potential. Yoga may help you perform better in other activities, such as strength training or aerobic exercise.
Yoga provides much-needed relaxation for muscles after other activities. Parker states that most yoga is meant to aid in energetic healing.
Parker states that the key to finding the right yoga practice is finding one that balances all the other activities you are doing. If strength training is your main focus, you should look for yoga that emphasizes flexibility and mobility. You might find a yoga practice that helps you build strength if you spend most of your time doing cardio. You might also consider a restorative practice if you follow a rigorous training program for upcoming races or events.