What’s NOT Yoga ?
by Ryan Pereira
Yoga has existed for as long as we can imagine. Though it has enormous benefits, we often tend to misunderstand Yoga and have certain perceptions and fears about the practice. Hence, here’s Jenil Dholakia who helps us understand what Yoga really is by telling us what it’s really NOT!
What YOGA is NOT
Yoga is a growing buzzword since recent years. So much misinterpretation of the word has happened that clarifying what is ‘not’ yoga was much needed. Here are a few myths busted.
Yoga is NOT only for flexible people
Probably one of the biggest reasons people stay away from the mat is thinking that their inability to touch their toes makes them inflexible for yoga. It’s easy to look at photos of yogis in crazy poses and assume that yoga is just for flexible people. In reality, if you aren’t super flexible, you are actually the perfect candidate to practice yoga! Flexibility comes with time and is just a fun side effect of a regular yoga practice.
Yoga is NOT an exercise
Although the practice of yoga postures is the most commonly known aspect of yoga, it is not the most important part. Apart from its obvious physical benefits, yoga is firstly a spiritual act with the aim of uniting the emotions, mind and body using breath. The physical asanas that we do arose from a need to be able to sit still and meditate for longer durations.
Yoga is NOT a competition
We live in a competitive world & end up being competitive in yoga as well. Yoga is not about looking just like the instructor, the person next to you, or pushing through a painful movement to achieve a ‘perfect’ pose. It is about developing a conscious connection with your body to explore movement both externally and internally. It is a practice — not a performance. No one is grading anyone.
Yoga is NOT a religion
This is one of the greatest yoga myths around the world. Yoga is not a religion nor is it religious in any way. Yoga may have has its roots in Hinduism, but you don’t have to be Hindu to practice yoga. Yoga is a science, an art, and a practice to connect us with our highest Self. Anyone can do yoga, anytime, regardless of whether you identify with a particular God, or not.
Yoga is NOT only for slim & fit bodies
Instagram, yoga magazines & many yoga blogs give out the perception that only skinny young people can practice yoga. But that’s far from truth. The beauty of the practice is that you can be of any ability level, any age, any body type, and yoga will always welcome you. There’s not a good type of body for yoga or a bad type of body for yoga, there are only bodies doing yoga.
Yoga is very welcoming. It is for everybody. It is just a movement of breath & body. So, get on the mat, approach Yoga without any perceptions & experience the benefits!
Stay tuned for much more on Yoga from Jenil Dholakia on Bombay Fitness Project.
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