The word Yoga evokes images of tranquil scenes, colorful Yoga Mats and slim people bending and curling their fit bodies into complicated positions to achieve inner peace and serenity amidst the bustle of everyday life.
However, the yogic practice cannot be squeezed into a singular definition. A lot of people think they know what Yoga is all about, but they see only the surface of this ancient meditative art. Yoga does not merely revolve around twisting one’s body into an intricate pretzel.
To understand the truth behind the practice, one must delve deeper and shed light on some Yoga Myths.
Yoga is just an exercise.
Yoga is not merely an exercise to make one’s body fit; this is one of the most widespread misconceptions. Beyond its obvious physical aspect, Yoga is first and foremost a spiritual act with the primary goal of uniting the body, mind, and emotions.
Yoga is an expensive activity.
Being primarily a spiritual exercise, genuine Yoga teachers who focus on the spiritual teachings of this art accept donations but do not charge fixed amounts for their services. Also, there are a lot of Yoga centers and studios nowadays that offer lessons that will not leave a hole in your pocket.
Compared to other activities, Yoga does not require a lot of gear and equipment. If you have a Yoga Mat, you can start practicing Yoga.
Yoga can be taught by anyone.
Just because a person can bend like a piece of licorice or perform Yoga Poses does not mean that it automatically gives him or her the right to teach Yoga. Training and practice for several years are necessary before one can call oneself a genuine Yoga teacher. The training must focus intensely on the spiritual growth and maturity of the person, so he or she will be able to teach Yoga in the way it was meant to be taught – as a union between the body, mind, and spirit – and not merely as an exercise.
Yoga will give its practitioner extremely sophisticated physical prowess.
While it is true that lifelong practice of Yoga may lead a person to achieve superior flexibility (such as very advanced yogi), this does not hold true for everyone. Yoga is not a miracle activity which would automatically bestow its students the gift of physical litheness. One must always remember that besides the most popular yogic positions and postures that we associate with the art of Yoga, its principal goal is to unite the body, mind, and spirit to achieve true personal and universal enlightenment.
Yoga Myths or mistaken beliefs can lead you away from what is true about Yoga. Seek the help of a certified Yoga instructor and practice regularly to have a deeper understanding of this five thousand year old activity.