Yoga is more than postures

Yoga is more than postures

5 myths about Yoga:

Yoga is a workout.

  Yoga is a work-IN, not a work-OUT.

Yoga is a state of being. It is not necessarily something you do. 

When we reduce this 5,000 year old system to merely a physical practice to help us get in shape, or to get the elusive yoga butt (whatever the F that is), we are missing the entire point. 

Yoga is an inward practice to bring us into greater harmony with ourselves — body, mind, and heart. The physical aspect (asana = posture) is just one small piece.

I can go on. 

 

Practicing Yoga will make you calm and happy.

Sorry friend, but some real sh*t will likely come up to the surface the more we practice. 

Contrary to what your well-meaning yoga teacher may tell you at the end of class, life is not all rainbows and unicorns and love and light. (I am not one of those teachers, FYI.)

As we get started on the path and the deeper we explore our different layers and aspects of ourselves, much may be revealed.

And that’s the point — to remove the veils of illusion, to help us see more clearly. 

When we see more clearly, we can have greater ability to act and think with greater discernment. And that, my friend, can help us feel more calm and happy. 

 

  Yoga requires flexibility.

I don’t care if you can touch your toes.

What IS interesting to me — do you want to navigate life with a little more ease? 

Want to live with a little more mental and emotional dexterity when it hits the fan? 

While we can apply the many tools of Yoga to help us deal with life, being able to kick your foot over your head is not one of the prerequisites. 

Sure, the more you practice — the more you move your body — you might have greater range of motion, strength, and flexibility. But that’s a byproduct, not a requirement.

 

Yoga is for skinny, rich white women.

The Yoga Mass Industrial Complex would have us believe this 5,000 year old practice with origins in India is an elite club only open to a very specific demographic. 

I assure you, it is not. 

Capitalism and perfectionism and white supremacy have co-opted this ancient science.

When all we see are young, skinny white women bending into pretzel shapes on social media and yoga studio website photos and magazine covers, it’s hard to internalize what Yoga actually is, and who it’s for (hint: everyone.)

Yoga is a practice of liberation. Unless and until The Yoga Powers that Be (aka, major magazines, social media “influencers”, yoga studios, and yes, yoga teachers) start welcoming more folks into the circle, it’s hard to break this deeply ingrained stereotype. 

Practice and progress, not perfection.

 

Doing more advanced postures means you’re a more advanced student.

NOPE.

Yoga is not gymnastics. 

We often equate complicated acrobatics (aka yoga pretzel shapes) with ability, but there are so many reasons why this hierarchy is problematic: varying anatomical structures, physical or mental limitations, white supremacy (see above) … the list goes on. 

The most advanced Yoga students are the anchor in the hurricane.

The ones who stay grounded and maintain a steadiness of breath and evenness of mind when life happens off the mat. Because, friend, life.will.happen.

Kicking your foot over your head or touching your toes has nothing to do with how ‘advanced’ you are. (See all points above)

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