By Faye Martins
As yogic practices have become a mainstream activity in today’s global society, it is becoming associated with a certain image. If you decide to become a yoga teacher, you may find yourself clearing up a lot of confusion. Many people have formed beliefs about yogic methodology that may or may not be entirely true. Some might think that yoga must involve young, lithe people contorting their bodies into pretzels while they chant. Others believe it’s too complicated or advanced for a beginner to even try. Those who teach yoga best know that these ideas are erroneous and founded only in ignorance.
It is Not for Beginners
The concept of stretching and relaxing in a quiet, calm environment is often perceived as a threat. Many people feel like they would be judged upon stepping into a yoga class for the first time. They feel like they aren’t knowledgeable enough to participate in a class. It’s not true. In fact, many classes are tailored to beginners, providing explanations and cues for each pose or breathing exercise. Whether a an instructor is a recent yoga teacher training graduate or a seasoned teacher with decades of experience, it is our mission to make beginners feel welcome in our classes.
You Must Be Flexible
Some people might shy away from yoga because they feel like they need to be flexible to do it. Asana practice definitely improves flexibility, but it is not a prerequisite for beginning your practice. You can do any of the poses whether you are flexible or not because the idea is to stretch to the extent that your body will let you, not to stretch as far as the instructor or as far as the person next to you. Additionally, the postures are only one part of the many parts of yogic methodology.
You Should Be Young and Healthy
Yogic practices are for all ages and types of people. Old and young alike will receive the benefits of a regular practice. People with chronic illness can benefit from yoga training by promoting the body to heal and releasing stress and anxiety. Even if you are middle-aged or older and have never tried, it’s not too late to start. Asana, meditation, pranayama and relaxation will benefit anybody at any time in their life.
You Shouldn’t Practice If You’re Injured
Asana can actually help an injured body heal. While there are certainly precautions that need to be taken when poses specifically affect an injured area, there is no reason to stop practicing when injured. In fact, there are gentle, therapeutic and restorative styles, which specifically address recovery from ailments, pain, and injuries.
It’s Only for Women
Perhaps the majority of the classes you’ve seen have been largely composed of women. If you look into the history of yoga, you’ll find that all of the first yogis were men. Yogic methodology does not discriminate against either sex. Men and women can both reap the benefits that meditation, asana, pranayama and relaxation provide.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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