7 clichés about yoga

Published on : 1 June 2022
Yoga cliché

Even if the practice of yoga is more and more widespread, (two million practitioners in France and more than thirty in the USA), it is a pity to hear people use big prejudices to justify their non-interest or to slow down their desire to practice it. We are going to wring the neck of the seven most common clichés about the practice of yoga…

Let’s summarize

  1. You have to be flexible to do yoga.
  2. Yoga is for girls, not for guys.
  3. Yoga is not a real sport.
  4. I am too old for that.
  5. Yoga is for slim people.
  6. You have to be vegan to do yoga.
  7. You must be crazy and be part of a cult.

Cliché n°1:

You have to be flexible to do yoga…

No, Yoga is not only for contortionists !!

Many people do not allow themselves to start practicing yoga because they are as stiff as a stick, they can’t even touch their feet, etc. Do you recognize yourself? Well, yoga is just the thing for you! And yes, yoga makes you more flexible when you practice it. Flexibility is not a condition of access but a positive consequence of the practice. Especially since flexibility is not only physical, it is also in the head. So stop comparing yourself to the pictures you can see on social network because few people are as flexible by nature! To get there, there are years of work behind!

It is by practicing regularly that you will progress and gain in flexibility. Moreover, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, if you are not very flexible at the beginning you may be better at postures that require strength, balance, or concentration 😉

Cliché n°2:

Yoga is for girls, not for guys…

Unfortunately, men still believe (wrongly) that yoga is a kind of soft gymnastics reserved for girls who don’t want to take up a real sport!

And yet, at its origin in India, Yoga was created by men for men. And yes, gentlemen!

Yoga is also very beneficial for male practitioners of all ages in many ways. Men often suffer from stress and are under pressure. Yoga eliminates this stress and helps you live a happier and more joyful life!

It is also a complementary practice to very intense sports practices. It helps to improve the overall physical condition and to strengthen, stretch and soften your deep muscles.

Cliché n°3:

Yoga is not a real sport…

“Yoga is not a sport”, “Yoga is soft, it’s boring” or “it’s for people who don’t want to do a REAL sport”. Usually, people who have this kind of prejudice find themselves a little silly after their first class when there are still a few sweat marks on their t-shirt. It is true that yoga is not only a sport in the strict sense of the word, like fitness or cross-fit for example, because it is a well-being practice that works on all levels: physical, mental and spiritual. But depending on the type of yoga you practice, it can be very physical and even demanding! There are many types of yoga today, some more traditional, more relaxing, calmer and others more physical, more dynamic! It’s up to you to find what best suits your needs. Some Yoga is actually practiced sitting or lying down, with a good part of relaxation … But one thing is sure, if you are looking to sweat and build up your muscles, you will find what you are looking for in yoga!

Cliché n°4:

I am too old for that…

There is no age to start yoga! On the contrary, older people will benefit even more from it in terms of improving and preserving their health and their body! This video proves that you can still be in shape even at 98 years old (she does some postures that I can’t even do myself…). So it’s not a question of age or flexibility, but a question of practice!

Besides, science has proven that regular practice of yoga can slow down our biological clock and help us live longer! 🙂 It’s not only a question of physical condition, but also of breathing. Indeed, the breathing techniques (pranayama) performed during a yoga class would help us preserve our energy and live longer … Moreover, according to yogi masters, putting your head upside down and performing inversion postures would stop the effects of time for a moment …

Cliché n°5:

Yoga is for slim people…

Again, yoga is a bit like the MacDonald’s “Come as you are”! On a more serious note, we’ve had students ask us if they can still do yoga because they are overweight. So we wanted to set the record straight on this subject: Yoga does not require any physical or bodily requirements!

At the same time, it’s hard not to fall into this cliché when you see all the photos that circulate on Yoga … Some try to take the opposite and prove that Yoga is not only for size 36! This is the case of Jessamyn, who describes herself as “enthusiastic yogi and fat woman” on her Instagram account. She shows that you can practice yoga while being overweight and becomes a role model for her 279,000 followers! Go take a tour of mynameisjessamyn.

Cliché n°6:

You have to be vegan to do yoga…

No, you don’t have to eat seeds and be vegan to do yoga! Of course, regular yoga practice can lead to the desire to eat healthier, but nobody will ask you to turn into a rabbit! Some people feel the need to do so and others don’t. Again, it’s up to you to live your practice as you wish.

For example, we like to eat healthy as regularly as possible (for a better health above all) and to pay attention to the quality and the origin of certain foods… For our part, we are flexitarians, which means that from time to time we love to have an aperitif with cold cuts, cheese and a glass of wine to finish the day!

Cliché n°7:

You must be crazy and be part of a cult…

There are people who are totally resistant and have a vision of yoga … how to say … a little off the mark and think that yoga is a sectarian movement for enlightened people.

It is true that Yoga is a practice which opens to spirituality but which has nothing to do with a sect or a religion! One can be of any religion and practice Yoga! On the other hand, spirituality will be more or less present according to the courses and the teachers. Some classes will be very traditional, with mantra chants (sacred chants) for example, and others much more focused on the “sporty” side. But there are crazy people everywhere and you have to be careful with some dishonest teachers or “gurus” who take advantage of your weaknesses and divert the philosophy of yoga in their own way to get rich… Ask around and listen to your feelings, it is still rare!

Although it originated in India, yoga is universal. Yoga is neither a religion nor a doctrine. This discipline is accessible to all regardless of personal beliefs and ideologies. It is above all a way of personal evolution.

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