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10 Myths of Yoga Fractured – Last Myth Will Change the Way You Think

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10 Myths of Yoga Fractured – Last Myth Will Change the Way You Think

Yoga, a practice originated in India, is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means “to join.” Yoga unites mind, body, and spirit.

In 2014, June 21st was declared as the International Day of Yoga after getting approval from all 193 United Nations members.

Yoga gives importance to self-awareness. In today’s hectic scenario, people look out for external remedies. The teaching of yoga addresses the importance of inner strength. It not only improves the physical health and mental well-being of individuals, but it also prepares the same group in broadening their vision by building a sustainable and peaceful road map for the nation.

With the growing popularity of yoga, a number of myths are prevalent in the society. Let us fracture them to understand the essence of this 5000-year-old practice.

Here are 10 myths associated with yoga:

1. Your body must be flexible

How does it feel when you see your friends posting their handstands and single-arm balancing pictures on their social profiles? Though a mountain or picturesque beach background may spoil your mood and confidence, you must know it takes quality time to attain such balance.

Everyone comes with a different body shape. Most beginners back out because they fear what people will think about their body type. Their rigid bodies force them to accept their incapability.

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Beginners must start with light exercises. With time, the body allows different postures.

2. Yoga is only for young people

Yoga is one of the health practices where grandparents can reap the benefits along with their grandchildren. Jean Dawson, attended her first yoga class at 67. She recently enjoyed her 100th birthday this past February.

In an interview with Metro UK, Jean said, “I don’t know how I would be today if I hadn’t taken up Iyengar Yoga. It has given me good posture, balance, concentration, flexibility, and stamina,”

Jean also cured her slip disc problem. For those who consider age as a huge barrier, get ready to change this mindset. A few years back, Jean could do all the handstands. Period.

3. Yoga is too time-consuming when you have a busy schedule

Time is not an issue. Your willpower to include yoga in your daily schedule depends on whether you are choosing a “Waste” or “Utilize” mentality.

A person with the “Waste” mentality thinks about sacrificing their precious time with the yogic practice. Their short-sighted attitude drags them to the same unproductive regime. Meanwhile, a person with the “Utilize” mentality thinks about utilizing the time by incorporating this discipline in their daily routine. They suppress their inner resistance to reap the long-term benefits.

According to University of Illinois research, a 20-minute yogic session helped participants process informational quickly when compared to the participants who were told to walk or jog on a treadmill for 20 minutes instead.

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You don’t need to spend a lot of time. As you begin to get into the groove, you’ll find an inner desire to expand the practice.

4. I don’t want to change my lifestyle

Yoga doesn’t come with a “must” tagline. It is advisable to avoid junk food and adopt a vegan diet, but it doesn’t mean you “must” be vegan to follow yoga.

If you think you have to detach yourself from the material world to experience the joy of yoga, you are completely wrong. Yoga aims at improving your lifestyle. It might change the way you tackle your personal issues or how you frame opinions about others. The final decision to accept these changes remains in your hands.

5. I’ll follow my trainer religiously

There is no harm in following the guidelines provided by your instructor, but you must know your limitations.

Trainers look elegant while performing a pose. Students overstretch themselves to get the same charm.

As Rome wasn’t built in a single day, you can’t build a flexible body in a single day. When your body signals you to stop, respect it and get some rest. Don’t try to copy your trainer.

6. Yoga causes pain

Beginners feel pain during the initial stretch-outs. Don’t confuse this sweet pain with the pain caused by exertion.

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Sometimes, the problem is not the asana (yogic pose), but the people who are performing them. They experience pain because there is something wrong with the alignment of their body.

Some poses require hard work. Before quitting, discuss the issue with your mentor. They will help you in differentiating the pain type.

7. I already know it all from reading books 

Books can be a great source for understanding various goals and schools of yoga; however, practical skills always overshadow theoretical knowledge.

People unintentionally spread their bookish expertise with their friends and relatives. They are always eager to share their piece of advice. They try to pose as an expert by listing out different techniques for overcoming a particular pain. Before spreading your knowledge, become an example first.

When people start seeing positive changes in you, they will automatically seek your advice. Instead of quoting information by referencing the book title and author, share your personal experiences.

8. I already go to the gym, so why should I practice yoga?

Preferring one practice over another is difficult, but you can’t achieve the benefits of yoga by only going to the gym.

Yoga keeps a strict check on your emotions. It calms down your fickle mind. The practitioner attains the body-mind balance to help unfold the limitless potential of the human mind.

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By minimizing the mental stress, yoga also blocks the path of several diseases.

Most importantly, yoga brings more clarity by aligning thoughts with actions.

9. Hot Yoga will help in weight loss

Bikram yoga, popularly known as Hot Yoga, claims to burn 1000 calories in a single 90-minute session conducted in a room heated to around 104 degrees.

Dr. Brian L. Tracy, an exercises scientist at Colorado State University, conducted two experiments with his team to find the correlation between Hot Yoga and weight loss. Increasing heart rate and rise in core temperature gave results equivalent to calories burned during brisk walking. The big claims didn’t even stand in front of an average burn rate of 460 calories for men, and 330 calories for women.

Ideally, yoga is not designed for profuse sweating. If you want to lose weight, perform cardio exercises.

10. The best time to practice yoga is either morning or night

If you have attended yoga classes, you must have heard this kind of statement from your trainer. They are not wrong because the best time to practice yoga is in the morning before the breakfast or in the early evening, around sunset.

Then, why is this a myth?

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Real yoga goes beyond stretching and breathing exercises. In a yogic session, you train your body to attain a peace of mind; however, the true test comes when you apply that training in achieving work-life harmony.

You must practice the art of yoga for the whole day, be it in your workplace or at home.

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Yatin Khulbe

Positivity Advocate

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Last Updated on September 8, 2021

10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

“You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous

Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.

Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.

And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.

Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.

In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.

Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.

Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.

1. I don’t have enough time.

This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.

First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”. 

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Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?

A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.

Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.

2. I’m way too tired to workout.

Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.

If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.

You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.

If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.

3. But exercise is so boring!

You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?

So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.

The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.

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If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.

4. I have no motivation to workout.

If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.

What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit.  Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.

That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s  backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.

The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.

Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.

5. I have kids to look after.

One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.

Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.

If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.

You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.

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6. I don’t have anyone to train with.

What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.

Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.

By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.

7. I don’t feel very well.

After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.

At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.

If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.

8. The gym is too expensive or far.

If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.

The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite.  Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.

There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.

If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.

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9. I don’t know how to train properly.

If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.

However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.

People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.

10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.

This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.

The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.

Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.

Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.

Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)

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