Saturday, March 29, 2014

Top 5 Myths about Yoga

Many people seem to have assumptions or excuses as to why yoga is not for them.  Yoga is for everyone, and after learning from the most amazing teachers, and teaching yoga around the globe with kids to grown adults, children with special needs, senior citizens, people with mental illness, and people who do not even speak the same language as me, I have seen first hand how powerful and beneficial yoga is for everyone.  Here are the top 5 myths people seem to have about yoga. 

1. You need to be flexible - Yoga will improve your flexibility, therefore if you are not flexible you should do it to gain the flexibility.  The physical flexibility comes when we are flexible with our mind, releasing our doubts, fears, judgements, expectations, and just be in the moment with a grateful heart.

2. Yoga is only for women - Yoga is for everyone to find balance, inner peace, and a healthy body.  The healing benefits for yoga are endless, therefore beneficial for everyone, regardless of gender, sex, size, age, etc.  The first yoga teacher was Shiva, and first student was Parvati.  Since then many men, soldiers, warriors would practice yoga to gain control of subtle body energy, and physical body strength. Along with this, some of the worlds most famous yoga teachers have been men.  No excuses guys, time to roll out your yoga mat.

With Sri Dharma Mittra
3. You need to be young - It is never to late and never to early to begin yoga.  For those of you who think you need to be young talk to my two favorite teachers Sri Dharma Mittra (74yrs old) & Tao Porchon Lynch (94 yrs old). These two teachers dispel the myth that you need to be young by shinning their energy and love for the practice in every moment.

With Tao Porchon Lynch

4. You just do poses - Yoga is an 8 Limb practice, the physical practice only allows you to be more receptive to all the other benefits.  The 8 Limbs of yoga allows the person to go through a transformation where the results are healing, compassion, and improved health of the mind and body.  Beyond the 8 Limbs there are many other forms of yoga including Karma Yoga (selfless service), Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of devotion), Jnana Yoga (yoga of wisdom).  Yoga is ultimately to unite the mind-body-spirit, to calm the mental chatter and find inner peace.

5. People will laugh at you - No one will laugh at you, if anything you will learn to laugh at yourself, laugh at life, and find joy again.  Even if you fart in yoga class, generally no one will care.  Only one time during Navasana or 'boat pose", a student let out a big fart, and I could not resist the urge to make the connection to a motor boat, which resulted in everyone "lifting the corners of their lips" (another favorite verbal cue of mine), and the tension, of OMG who did that? being released (no pun intended).

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