By Jenny Park
In spite of the fact that Yoga schools are sprouting up and classes are offered everywhere from retirement homes to public schools, some people still feel intimidated by the practice. Maybe they tried practicing years ago and felt out of place, or they think they have to be thin and flexible and wear a certain kind of clothing.
No matter what the excuse, competent Yoga teachers have a solution to the problem. It’s time to dispel the myths and open the studios to all of us.
• It might conflict with my religious beliefs.
Yogic methodology is an ancient Indian philosophy, not a religion. You don’t have to join anything, and your practice need not change your belief system. It does, however, promote a moral, healthy lifestyle.
• It’s only for females.
Believe it or not, Yogic methodology was established by men and taught by them for centuries. More recently, however, it was endorsed by the entire team of the L .A. Lakers.
• You have to be flexible.
Yoga training improves balance and increases range-of-motion, but you don’t have to bend yourself into a pretzel to take a beginner’s class. Your flexibility will improve with practice, but you set your own limits.
• It’s for young people.
Yes, Yoga is for young people, but it’s also for middle-aged people and old people, too. Yogic practices vary, depending on the level of the class, the kind of Yoga, and the instructor. There is a class for everybody.
• It’s only for healthy people.
While some classes are strenuous, others are designed for specific needs, ranging from cancer patients to senior citizens. Even people who have injuries can practice. The key is finding a good Yoga instructor who is well-trained in human anatomy and knows how to adapt the practice to make it safe.
• It’s for vegetarians.
It is true that Yoga encourages a well-balanced lifestyle, but it does not require anyone to adhere to any specific diet.
• It’s for people who don’t work out at the gym.
On the contrary, many athletes practice Yogic techniques to develop core strength and flexibility.
• It’s too hard.
Some classes can consist of gentle stretches and restorative poses supported by props or chairs. Asanas are only too hard if you’re in the wrong class.
Finally, the main idea for everybody to keep in mind is that one’s practice consists of far more than poses. Its eight limbs embrace concepts dealing with everything from honesty to union with the divine, but the two most commonly used in studios today, in addition to poses, are pranayama, or controlled breathing, and meditation.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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