Have you been thinking of trying yoga? What's holding you back? In some cases, people who want to try yoga put off actually taking a class because they've heard some of these common statements. But the thing is, these statements are all misconceptions — and this article will clear them up.
You have to be flexible to do yoga.
Yoga will make you more flexible, and flexibility is necessary to do many more advanced yoga positions. But you do not have to be flexible at all to start taking yoga classes. In fact, if you are not very flexible, that is a sign that you could really benefit from yoga. Enroll in a beginner class, and you should feel quite capable. The instructor will make suggestions for modifications you can make to the positions if you're not quite able to do them as advised.
Yoga is just for women.
There do seem to be more women than men who do yoga. But maybe that's just because so many people have heard this common misconception. Men can absolutely do yoga. They can benefit from the flexibility and strength training that yoga offers. Most yoga classes are open to all genders, but if you are a man who would be more comfortable working out only with other men, then you should search for men's yoga classes.
Yoga isn't a real workout.
Sometimes people assume yoga is more like the stretches you do before a workout than the actual workout. But that's not the case at all. Yoga does involve a lot of stretching, but the poses are also meant to build muscle tone and strength, and holding them also builds your endurance and challenges your heart. Just show up to one yoga class, and by the end, you'll be convinced it's a real workout.
Yoga is a religious practice.
Yoga can be a spiritual practice for some people. There are yoga classes that include elements of spirituality, in terms of helping practitioners feel more connected to themselves and to the universe. But yoga is not, in and of itself, a religious practice. And if you are uncomfortable with the spiritual aspect of yoga, there are many classes that do not incorporate this at all and simply present yoga as a good workout.
The next time you hear any of the misconceptions above, you can let them roll right off your shoulders. If you want to take a yoga class, take a yoga class. Don't let anything stop you!