Yoga. Even the sleepiest towns are inundated. You’ve probably heard about it from the badly-designed flyer pinned to the bus stop. Apparently Ryan Giggs does it. And there’s these things called yoga pants which, seemingly, are overpriced Netflix-wear. Right? Well, yeah (and holy shit are they overpriced).

But I’m writing this today to dispel a couple’a myths about yoga. Because I’m nice like that. Ready?

1. Yoga’s just stretching.

I’m writing this wanting to let you know that it isn’t all organised stretching, but some classes are and they can suck. Firstly, it’s important that there’s an element of strength-building in yoga. If we’re just bendy-bendy without any support network (i.e. strength) we’d all be floating around dislocating our elbows reaching for the top-shelf liquor.

But yoga can also be seriously fun. Think handstands, Hendrix (in our classes at least) and some serious chill out time.

2. Yoga is for uber spiritual people

Some yoga classes are super spiritual, and, if that’s for you, then that’s okay. But other classes just aren’t, and the stereotype doesn’t do them justice.

Yoga classes can vary wildly from the highly spiritual to plain old movement and everything else in between. Some classes focus instead on building strength and working toward a goal pose, fostering community, or simply helping you feel better in a totally secular way. You can be as non-spiritual as you like. It’s all good.

3. Only old ladies do yoga

This one’s just plain old wrong. Ryan Giggs actually DOES do yoga, and he’s the oldest top-flight professional footballer in history (because of the yoga, duh). All different shapes and sizes of people can (and probably should) practice yoga. All different ethnicities, ages, lifestyles, and genders practice yoga. And weight lifters (it’s true. And if they’re not, they seriously should). It really is for everyone.

4. You have to be vegan to do yoga

This is one of the biggest stereotypes of yoga that frustrates me the most. Yogis literally can eat whatever the hell they like, as often as they like. Your diet doesn’t—and shouldn’t—impact your access to good yoga classes. There’s an idea that ahimsa—the yogic notion of non-harming—means you should steer clear of animal products to be a yogi, and that’s valid. But it’s also okay if you don’t, you can be a yogi, too.

Most of us here at TYR HQ make a conscious decision to eat animal products. And maybe you live off McDonald’s cheese burgers, or eat nothing but Pot Noodles? It really doesn’t matter. Vegan or not, you can be a yogi, too.

5. Yoga isn’t a workout

There’s no way this one is true. I’ve had just as much muscle soreness (if not more) from a yoga class than I have doing other movement activities, and yoga can be a wonderful complement to a movement lifestyle. Check out our library of classes and you’ll soon find sessions that’ll kick your ass (this one’s my current favourite). But we’ll mellow out at the end so you almost forget how knackered you were minutes before. That’s the trick.

The takeaway

The stereotypes of yoga are massive and all-pervading, but that doesn’t mean you have to fit into them in any way. Yoga truly is a wonderful, life changing practice and The Yoga Revolution’s mission is to remove the barriers to entry so more people feel comfortable taking up this kind of practice.

Come join our Inner Circle for free yoga, resources, and inspiration and see how we’re breaking the stereotype, one inclusive yoga class at a time.

Chloe - TYR Founder & Joyful Living Coach

POSTED: 16/05/2019

Chloe is a yoga teacher, mindfulness guide, and joyful living coach, and she thinks the meaning of life is probably to be as happy as possible.

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