Yoga is a journey of self-discovery and well-being, but but you wouldn't know it by what you see in the Western yoga room or social media. Today, we're debunking ten common yoga myths that might be more harmful than helpful. Let's dive into a safer, more authentic yoga practice together.
1. The Pain Myth
The age-old adage of "no pain, no gain" has no place in yoga. Actually it also has no place in your life. Yoga is about listening to your body and respecting its limits. Pushing through pain can lead to serious injuries. Just as important, if you push through pain in the yoga room hoping for good results, look at other facets of your life. You might be pushing your way through tasks, jobs, or relationships that do not serve you.
2. Cookie-Cutter Poses
Yoga isn't about achieving a perfect pose; it's about finding what works for your unique body. A pose that's beneficial for one person might be harmful to another. And don't worry if your pose looks nothing like what you see on social media. Inspiration is great but if you start comparing yourself and feeling negative about your practice, go on a social media diet.
3. Ignoring Pain Signals
Pain is your body's way of saying something is wrong. It does not mean that something is wrong with YOU and it's not a symptom of weakness. Disregarding these signals can cause long-term damage. Always practice mindfulness and heed your body's warnings.
4. Aesthetics Over Feelings
Yoga is more about how you feel than how you look. I know that is the opposite message that we receive from society. Focusing solely on aesthetics can disconnect you from the essential internal benefits of yoga. It will also disconnect you from you. Disassociating from our emotions leads to a multitude of emotional and relationship problems.
5. Competitive Yoga
Yoga is a personal practice, not a competitive sport. I chuckle when I see yoga challenges on social media. They're fun but understand that the agenda is for you to buy the products that are sponsoring the challenge and gain followers and likes. Avoid comparing your journey to others' to prevent injury and maintain the essence of yoga.
6. The Danger of Under Qualified Instructors
Practicing under an under qualified instructor can be risky. Ensure your teacher has adequate training, especially in anatomy and physiology. I'm not throwing shade on anyone. When I took my 200-hr yoga teacher training there was little training on anatomy, physiology and how this translated to the poses I was teaching in the flow. Unless your teacher is a physical therapist (or something similar) or has taken on hundreds of hours of anatomy studies and applied it to their teachings, there's a good chance they do not know body mechanics deeply. There I said what I said.
7. The Need for Rest
Rest and recovery are as vital as the practice itself. They prevent burnout and injury, ensuring your yoga journey is sustainable. People are shocked to know that I don't do active yoga every single day. By the way, teaching is not a yoga practice. I have two intense hot yoga sessions a week. The rest of the week is dedicated to meditation and conditioning.
8. Overdoing Advanced Poses
Advanced poses should be approached with respect. Balancing your practice with foundational poses is key to a healthy yoga routine. Also practicing advanced poses outside of the yoga room without proper warm up leads to unproductive habits and possible injuries.
9. Flexibility Fetish
While flexibility is a benefit of yoga, obsessing over it can lead to hypermobility and joint issues. Focus on a balanced practice. Remember when you contract a muscle you're stretching its opposite muscle group. Extra stretching is not necessary.
10. Spiritual Bypassing
Using yoga to avoid facing personal issues can be detrimental. Embrace yoga as a holistic practice that integrates your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When we use yoga or anything to escape our lives and its challenges, we run the risk of disassociating with what needs to to be reconciled. It never goes away. It just sits there waiting for a vulnerable moment.
In yoga, as in life, balance is key. By avoiding these common pitfalls, we can ensure our practice is not only safe but also enriching and authentic. Remember, yoga is your personal journey of self-discovery and wellness. Embrace it with love, patience, and respect for your body. When you have mastered these things, you'll have no option but to do the same with the outside world.
Thank you for reading "10 Common Yoga Myths Debunked". Want to delve deeper into authentic yoga practices? Join me at www.vikkysantana.com for more insights and guidance on your yoga journey.
All my love,
Hello, my name is Vikky, and I am thrilled to share my passion for yoga with you. I have been teaching yoga for over 13 years in South Florida, and my journey with this ancient practice started over 37 years ago. As a registered yoga teacher and 200 Yoga School with Yoga Alliance, I hold expertise in multiple disciplines of yoga, including yogic anatomy, 500-hour yoga teacher training, yogic philosophy, and meditation. My classes are a blend of dynamic movement, breathwork, and meditation, providing a holistic experience that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit. I believe yoga is for everyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or experience. My approach is welcoming and inclusive, creating a safe and nurturing environment for all my students to explore the many benefits of yoga. Through my teachings, I hope to inspire and empower students to connect with their inner selves, cultivate mindfulness, and lead healthier, happier lives. Join me in my classes to experience the transformative power of yoga firsthand. Join me at Evolution Yoga.