Don’t let these 5 yoga myths stop you from working out

When it comes to excuses for not trying yoga. I’ve heard them all.

In my nine years of teaching and many more as a student, whenever a conversation comes up about my career or what I practice for a living, people’s eyes light up with wonder.

All of a sudden I’ve gone from girl next door to goddess. Dinner conversation is curious and people are eager to get the inside scoop on what goes in on in a yoga class.

As much as I love educating and inspiring through yoga – here’s a truth bomb:

Just because I practice yoga and drink green smoothies on a daily basis, it doesn’t make me enlightened.

What it does do, however, is make me more aware of my inner dialogue, able to cope with set backs more resiliently, feel fit and strong and make healthier diet and lifestyle choices all because I’m feeling more calm and connected after practicing.

But to receive all those benefits, we need to stop thinking about yoga as only for the spiritually elite practice.

Take it from this country girl who has two feet firmly planted in the mud of the apple orchard I grew up on, yoga is for everyone and whatever you do in life, yoga makes you better at it.

So here are five yoga excuses you can stop using

Myth #1. Yoga is a Religion.

Perhaps because it’s portrayed as such a ‘spiritual’ practice and commonly known to incorporate chanting and devotion, yoga is often seen as religious.

Yes, yoga is inspired by teachings, philosophies and mythology from Hinduism and Buddhism but it’s also very common to practice yoga and have no association with these religions.

It’s not dogmatic, nor does it exclude any religions. In its essence, yoga is about connection with all beings and word yoga actually means ‘yoga’ or ‘union’.

Myth #2. I can’t go to yoga because I’m not flexible enough.

This is like saying you don’t go to the doctor because you’re sick. We go to yoga to still the mind and create more space in the body. That’s it.

Myth #3. Yoga is for girls.

It’s true that generally 80-90% of the class will be female but when the dudes rock up to a yoga class they’re generally hooked and appreciate the side effects of being able to recover faster from their other athletic pursuits as well as be in an environment where it’s fully permitted to relax. And having worked with male athletes like the South Sydney Rabbitohs for three years as well as leading an all male yoga class at my studio in Paddington, males tend to be way more focused and present than females. Whilst women are picking lint off their pants, men are all ears and fully present.

Myth #4. All yogis are vegans.

I love this one. Veganism and vegetarianism seems to be so closely connected to yoga through marketing and stigmatism, but it certainly isn’t true for 90% of the yogis I hang out with.

Growing up in the country and being surrounded by well looked after livestock, I appreciate a beautiful steak every once in a while. I don’t eat a lot of meat as a vegetarian-skewed diet compliments my own constitution and yoga practice but I certainly don’t restrain from it if my body craves it.

Myth #5. I’m not going to get enough of a workout.

Sure, there are types of yoga like Yin, Restorative and Hatha that are more gentle and involve less movement but there are also other types, that we practice at Flow Athletic, that are more dynamic and can most certainly work up a sweat and carve out some tasty definition. When I first started practicing yoga, the one thing that happened quickly for me was more definition in the legs, arms and abs in particular.