What is Real Yoga? The Top 10 Myths About Yoga | Real Yoga and Benefits

Top 10 Myths About Yoga | Real Yoga and Benefits

With “Yoga” flourishing all over the world and instead of being commercialized has started losing its indigenous nature, especially in western countries. So, I find it important to reinstate the meaning of “Real Yoga” to the world and bursting a few common myths related to it.

Here is a list of Top 10 myths around the world about Yoga:

1. Yoga is physical postures or a form exercise

The most common myth about Yoga is that it’s the bending of the body into certain postures or simply a form of exercise.

Yoga is physical postures or a form exercise. Top 10 Myths About Yoga | Real Yoga and Benefits
Image: Freepik

“Yogasanas” or which in today’s time is being called as “Yoga” is only a small physical aspect of the word “Yoga”, instead it has gained more popularity over the complete meaning of it.

The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which means to “unite” or “integrate”. Yoga in traditional terms means union of the individual self with the universe.

It’s a discipline for integrating the mind, body and spirit to work on the intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional facets of your life to attain self-realization.

In fact, “Yogasanas” is just a single sutra out of the traditional 195 sutras as written by Maharishi Patanjali during the classical period between the 3rd and 6th century B.C., which is today called “Yoga”.

2. You can learn yoga through online videos

The trend of learning Yoga through an illegitimate app or any other online course or by reading an unofficial book is devastating.

Yoga is a subtle process, which you must experience and learn only from legitimate sources and practitioners who have sufficient experience or have had a training under another a Guru.

Following the trends of book Yoga, beer Yoga, chair Yoga, etc., will only do you more harm than good because you will end up fiddling with the natural chemistry of the body and mind.

Peaceful People Meditating: Doing Yoga in Park
Image: Freepik

3. Yoga is related to Hindu religion

Some people conclude that doing Yoga or chanting the “OM” mantra would mean they are related to the Hindu religion. According to the founder of Isha Yoga, Sadhguru, what you call as religious identity—being Hindu–is actually only a geographical identity.

Also, the word OM is not a religious symbol but a high vibration sound for which you don’t have to believe in a philosophy or a religion. You should only utter it and feel its vibrations reverberate through different organs inside.

4. Yoga is for old people or saints as you have to drop the material life

Another myth, even in the Indian families is that to practice Yoga you will need to sacrifice what you have and go to the mountains to lead a life of a sage.  Some people believe that when their work-life is over, they can start doing Yoga as now there’s nothing left after retirement.

The truth is that Yoga is not a spiritual path, which you follow after a certain age. It is, in fact, a way of being spiritual in your everyday life. So, you don’t have to surrender or go to mountains for attaining enlightenment, it can be done while living a happy and healthy life, even when it means working 9-5 or chilling in a lounge with friends.

Certainly, Yoga doesn’t stop or pressurize you to stop living. Instead, it revives the energic being in you to lead the life in a better fashion.

Also, it is best to start doing yoga at an early age, presumably around 13-14 years as the mind and body are at a crucially developing stage, and your intelligence is hijacked by your hormones when you are this young.

However, when you start it after 60+ age, it will require extreme and painful efforts to reduce the physical and mental pain you might have accumulated throughout your life.

Mother and Daughter Doing Yoga – Beautiful Yoga Images
Image: Freepik

5. Yoga is only for girls

Possibly another most famous myth which has been going around is that Yoga is only done by ladies. So, I admit that Yoga is truly magic for pregnant and menstruating women but this concept of “Yoga only for girls” has brought on the table from a macho muscle-building culture where true strength is when males build muscles by hitting the gym.

What matter is if you want to lift any weight or not. Or else, is your body ready to lift an extra weight while trying advanced level Yoga. This is entirely your call with the guidance of your trainer. The gender shouldn’t even define a single meaning of real Yoga.

6. Yoga is too difficult

You are taught that doing Yoga is not an easy task. You would have to bend in certain animal or bird-like postures, but the truth is that anything attempted for the first time seems hard and perceived as fearful due to the comfortable boundaries created by the mind.

The bloggers around the world portray extreme Yoga poses of certain people with such perfection that you start to compare them with yourself. Then you think that Yoga is not for you; it is hard or simply not doable.

Natarajasana Or Lord of the dance pose
Image: Freepik

Actually, the finesse is only attainable when someone follows Yoga for years. And the Yogic people you might have encountered online have not gained that perfect balance within a day or fortnight.

The only thing is we do not know them up close, and thus, it’s easier for us to say that Yoga is only for them and not for us.

Moreover, Yoga is not only about physical balance. It’s a mix of our mind, soul, and body’s balance and working together in harmony. For achieving that complexity, you need to start to practice yoga without any mental boundaries.

7. Yoga is for those who have a fine and flexible body

The way we have seen other experienced Yogis around us compels us to fear and doubt our capability to perform Asanas at home or at Yoga studios. We start to think that only those who can already bend their body in different postures and shapes are eligible for performing Yoga exercises.

But’s that again a real myth that’s making Yoga struggle to reach out to masses. The reality of Yoga is when you start learning the postures, exercises, patterns, and different combination of Asanas, you will face difficulty.

The body might be sore for a day or two at max. But eventually, when your body gets familiarized with the Asanas, it relaxes and prepares in you in advance. Somehow, with time, you develop the flexibility to try out better, advanced, and longer patterns.

8. Yoga takes a lot of time

Again, you do not need to spend hours in nourishing your mind or body and soul. This myth is seemingly spread, gifting fear to those who are already wary about postures and want to make an excuse for their lethargic nature.

But real Yoga does not bind you to try it out for hours per day. Even if you are taking time out of your busy schedule to do breathing exercises or meditation for ten minutes max, that will create a better and positive impact on your brain and thinking process of your mind.

9. Yoga is pretty easy to follow

I wouldn’t really agree with this kind of a myth because Yoga can be different for each personality and person out there. Some Asanas are good for helping you sleep and release your stress, so they might be modern or fairly simple to do.

But, if you are aiming to nourish your whole existence as a human being, eventually, you will move onto the harder and complex formation of Yoga. For that, it will take dedicated practice from your end.

At times, you might fail and do not well with the new style of Asanas. So, you will need to keep calm and begin practicing again. In the end, Yoga isn’t easy for everyone and neither it is too hard.

All the Yoga practitioners need to know how much are they willing to push their comfort zones, and of course, it should be done under the supervision of a certified Yoga teacher.

10. Yoga will be better with expensive clothes and accessories

If you think this myth is true, then you must be getting scammed. I do not mean to scare you, but that’s what Yoga promotes. The real Yoga is about the comfort of the whole body.

Some Yoga students perform different Asanas wearing shorts, tank tops, and even Yoga pants, which are at times purchased on rent in the Yoga studio. In fact, many Yoga studios give mats on rent as per the sessions conducted for the students.

What is the Benefits of doing Yoga?

In the end, practicing yoga asanas daily has benefited many practitioners across the globe. These leading advantages, as reviewed by other Yoga-lovers, are:

  • Increasing flexibility
  • Increased confidence
  • Better sitting and standing postures
  • Better flow of blood
  • People feel good and want to love themselves
  • We build great muscle strength, and
  • Our energy levels are vitalized

Sufficed to say, Yoga is a lifestyle that everyone can follow for endless benefits. With time, it will make you feel about yourself and chances of having depression also tones down. Certainly, it has worked that way for me.

If you think, there’s something special about Yoga or if you have an unforgettable memory to share, do not hesitate to comment below. I am waiting for your responses because I want to know what is the real Yoga in your lives.