What Yoga Is Not
As a yoga student and yoga teacher, I sometimes have people share their interest in yoga but explain they have yet to give it a go because they are not “this or that.” I try my best to counter these misconceptions and encourage the person to join me on the mat but I am not always successful. So, for all those folks out there with whom I have yet to have that dialogue, I offer you a few truths about what yoga is and what yoga is not:
Yoga is NOT limited to only the flexible, skinny, and young. The most common misconception I encounter is the belief that if someone isn’t already flexible, skinny, or below the age of 50, then they are blacklisted from the practice of yoga. While it’s true you will find many yogis who are flexible, skinny, or young, yoga is a practice for everyone. It is equally available to those who can bend backwards and those who can’t touch their toes. It is for those who are overweight, underweight and everywhere in between. It is a practice that looks at age only as a number—it is for both the young and the young at heart.
Yoga is NOT only for the Hippie, the Wanderer or the Spiritually Enlightened.
It is true that many beautiful yogi souls are peace lovin’ with wanderlust in their hearts, but there is no prerequisite that to step onto a mat you too must flash a peace sign and drive a VW. Yoga is for the wanderer and the type A planner, the hippie and the businessperson. It is for the soul who walks barefoot and the individual who appreciates fine shoes, and the person who loves both.
As for spiritually enlightened, let me set the record straight. You do not have to be a monk or a Jedi master to be a yogi. There is no prescribed belief system or religion to follow in order to practice yoga. This practice is yours to interpret in the way that speaks to you. For some of us it is a practice of our own belief system, and for others it is a great way to relieve stress and get a good stretch, and both are A-okay.
Guest contributor Lauren found yoga as an outlet to relieve stress from corporate life. Now a certified yoga teacher by Peachtree Yoga, she loves sharing yoga with others. She also enjoys early mornings, cooking without a recipe, and peanut M&M’s.
New to yoga? Check out our Tips for Beginners and then join us for yoga classes at Peachtree Yoga Center in Sandy Springs.