4 Common Misconceptions About Yoga

If you’re a go-getter in the studio, it’s likely you’ve scrolled past yoga classes thinking your time would be better spent elsewhere to get a solid sweat in. You’re not alone! As a former athlete, I often neglected lower-impact workouts in order to focus on getting stronger and staying in tip-top shape. However, low-impact workouts like yoga are some of the most important cross-training methods our bodies need. We’re here to debunk common misconceptions and shed light on the amazing benefits you’ll get from taking yoga classes on a regular basis.

1. “It’s too easy.”

I can empathize with this particular misconception, as I used to feel the same way! However, if you take the time to think about every movement you make, it becomes increasingly more difficult. This mind-body connection helps you build muscle awareness, which is helpful in preventing injuries in higher-impact workouts. Yoga helps build strong bodies from the inside out, which means you’ll learn to control your core and balance, which is essential for being successful in other forms of workouts.

2. “It’s really just for meditation.”

While yoga does help you tap into your mental awareness, it’s not focused solely on meditation. Instead, it urges you to be mentally present during every movement your body makes, making it easier to understand more complicated exercises in other workouts. Building stronger mental presence during exercise is the key to pushing past your current limits; there’s a reason it has a reputation for helping build a strong foundation! In your next or first class, remember to keep yourself focused on your breath to tap deeper into your movements.

3. “You won’t build muscle.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth! Yoga focuses on building strength in a low-impact environment. While you won’t be completing heavy or explosive lifts, you will be using your stabilizing muscles, which build the foundation you need to jump higher and lift heavier in other workouts. When your smaller muscle groups get stronger, you’ll notice incredible gains in other physical aspects of your life: better posture, coordination and fewer injuries!

4. “You need to be really flexible for it to be effective.”

If we all gave up on workouts because of a certain failure, we’d never discover exactly how strong and confident we can truly be. Yoga is meant to help relax and lengthen the muscles in the body, which is exactly what building flexibility is all about. If you aren’t the most flexible person on the planet, yoga can change that. Start small in your movements, and follow your breath in order to get the deepest stretch possible. Failure is a part of getting stronger, and the more you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the more goals you’ll accomplish!

 

Mandy Gragg is a New York City-based certified personal trainer/group fitness instructor and an active fashion and beauty blogger.