Dispelling Common Myths about Yoga

Myth: You have to be deeply religious to practice yoga.

Fact: Anyone can practice yoga. You do not have to be religious, nor is there any imposing prerequisite or lifestyle that you must adhere to. Because yoga does not have its roots in a Western tradition, some people find the spiritual component of yoga oddly exotic. If you already have a spiritual inclination or practice, yoga will enrich it.

Myth: You have to be flexible and already in good shape to practice yoga.

Fact: You do not have to be svelte or have the body of Madonna and the flexibility of a gymnast to reap the benefits that yoga has offered millions all over the world.

Myth: People who do yoga are vegetarians who go along with New Age philosophies and trends.

Fact: You do not have to be a vegetarian, swear off caffeine, or wear beads to try yoga. Yoga is “ageless” it is for everyone, of every age group and it is not a New Age invention or a religion.

Myth: People who practice yoga do it so they can become “enlightened.

Fact: Yoga is not a spiritual light bulb that lights up when you have a problem or need to chill out. It does, however, encourage people to self-introspection. There may be a subtle shift in your attitudes and habits after practicing yoga for a whil e. You might decide to start the day with a quiet walk or find it easy to stop smoking. You may feel the desire to change your diet or moderate your eating habits.

Looking for a yoga class at your YMCA? Call YMCA of the U.S.A.’s toll-free number for more information:(800) USA-YMCA [800-872-9622]

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