National Yoga Awareness Month: 3 Things People Get Wrong About Yoga
Owning a yoga studio is such an interesting experience. I get to live the life of an entrepreneur while also getting to be creative and leading yoga classes. It’s always fun to be in a group of people and everyone is sharing their version of their “buttoned up” job, as I like to call them…you know they are the the suit wearing, office working, regional managing (maybe this is you too). It’s interesting, because when they ask me and I say “I own a yoga studio” I’m always met with “OH WOW THAT’S SO COOL” followed by three things…
These 3 things I always hear people always get wrong about yoga.
1. “Oh man, I’m totally not flexible at all, I can’t even touch my toes.” Just like you go to the gym to lift weights, you come to yoga to create flexibility and strength. Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility, increase range of motion. Yoga is a create way to create mindfulness in your flexibility practice so that if you aren’t flexible you are actually increasing flexibility in your muscles, not your joints or you actually stretch after your exercise and feel confident about knowing what you’re doing. We even encourage super flexible people to come to yoga to strengthen their muscles and use resistance in their stretching.
2) “I need to lose a little more weight before I come take YOUR class.” This is such a real feeling. The fitness world is full of fat-shaming and fat-phobia. There’s nothing like putting on tight pair of yoga pants and be un-happy in your body and then feel like you’re being stared at or watched while working out. Whether you want to lose 5 lbs or 35 lbs to show up to a yoga class, there is still a way to take class in the body you have AND feel GREAT doing it. What I love about YESyoga is all of our teachers have taught for 5 years or more, we know modifications, tricks, and tools to set you up for a yoga practice that works for your body. Here’s a big tip: if you feel shamed when you work out, whether it’s yoga or weightlifting or whatever, you need to find a new place ASAP!
3) “Yoga is just so boring.” I usually follow this question up with “what do you like to do for movement?” Yoga doesn't have to be boring, you probably haven’t found the right type of yoga or the right studio. It’s funny because it seems like people think yoga is only stretching, then come take a class, “it was way harder than I thought.” If you’re bored, you won’t be able to sit still, and then if you can’t sit still, you’ll be frustrated, then you're frustrated, and then you call yoga boring and never try it again. Most of the time, what people actually mean to say is they would rather run for 45 minutes and burn a large portion of calories, which is totally okay. We just suggest adding a weekly class here and there to keep the muscles lengthened, but it’s all about finding the right type of yoga and place that fits you!
The big bonus takeaway I like to remind everyone: yoga isn’t just movement. I always remind people that syncing your breath with any movement is super beneficial. Giving yourself stillness and working on your breath is incredibly beneficial, and living your life with values and purpose is also a part of yoga. The movement is just what people tend to always talk about. Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement are all part of the yoga equation!