We Clear Up
Some Misconceptions

Think yoga's solely about stretching, flexibility and meditation? Think again. Read on to get the truth behind some common misconceptions about the practice.

Couple doing yoga

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the practice of yoga. Here we help to separate fact from fiction, and hopefully in the process convince you to try this healthy mind-body workout.

Fiction: You have to be flexible for yoga

Most certainly not. As with any physical activity, you start from where you are and build from there. While practising yoga will certainly help you become more flexible and you'll be stretching your muscles, there's nothing to say you have to be flexible to start. Much of yoga, in fact, revolves around the breath work — it's not at all about being able to stretch your ankles behind your head.

Fiction: Yoga classes are expensive

While classes can ring in at about $20 per class in some studios, buying a number of classes at once will reduce the price per class a smidgen. Alternatively, practise with an app on your mobile phone, or with a DVD. There are many free options as well: Borrow a book from the library that outlines the proper poses, or search online for a free streaming video of a yoga workout.

Fact: You can lose weight doing yoga

Yoga isn't necessarily all about meditation. Depending on the type of yoga practice you choose, some are extremely physical. Ashtanga and vinyasa yoga are both very dynamic and require much athleticism. And consider Bikram yoga, where you practice in a heated room — adding yet another challenging element to the workout. Also, although you might consider the breath work of yoga easy, it is intense and requires much focus to master.

Fiction: Yoga is dull

If by dull, you mean slow, there is some truth to that. Some types of yoga do call for holding a pose for several minutes at a time — a restorative class, for example. And some people who have a hard time with this pace will find this type of yoga dull. But, as mentioned above, there are much more dynamic practices, such as vinyasa and ashtanga, in which one posture flows into the next — and some studios even have classes set to Top 40 music.

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Comments

Comments on "Yoga: Fact and fiction"

Shref July 01, 2012 | 9:23 PM

Your doctor is TOTALLY wrong, and I don't know who in hell would tell you to do that. It's wieldy known that the metabolism needs to stay fired up to lose weight. If you eat 4-5 smaller meals through the day, you will feel and lose actual fat, instead of the muscle and water loss that will come from a starvation diet. DON'T DO IT! Read The 5 Factor Diet by Harvey Pasternak for some sane advice. And do yoga moving strongly will do more than not eating ever will. Be fit and free! xoSadie

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