The concept of "yoga" came to us from Indian culture and is a combination of spiritual, physical and mental practices. In the West, interest in such practices first appeared at the end of the 19th century.
It was practiced even in Russia. People trust the myths about yoga, which we will consider below.
Yoga is a true Indian tradition. This myth can be debunked with simple and proven facts. Huge stone statues and carvings have been found throughout the Americas that clearly depict the classic elements of hatha yoga. And they appeared long before the arrival of Europeans here. The south of Colombia is especially famous for such creations. But India is far from here. Studying the myths and historical legends of different peoples, one can be convinced that the doctrine has long been widespread in Egypt, the Middle East, Russia and Europe. They even say that yoga was invented by the Slavs in general, and now we just comprehend the forgotten practice lost by our ancestors. However, one should not discard the merit of India, where yoga at least survived, managed to crystallize its essence and formalize its systemic character.
Actually yoga is a sect. In order to understand what this is about, let's see what sects really are. This religious organization is opposed to classical creeds. Sects are life-negative antisystems that create negative attitudes in a person. Yoga is not a religion, it cannot be compared with sects. On the contrary, everyone who practices yoga becomes more purposeful, positive, cheerful. After all, such techniques allow you to achieve inner freedom and a sense of unity with the world. Yoga is not engaged in opposing oneself to accepted norms, it simply helps a person to complement himself, to feel more effectively in society, to be liberated.
Yoga is a religion. In fact, this system is not at all religious, but spiritual, aimed not at worshiping some supreme being, but at self-improvement. Yoga is occupied by atheists, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. These exercises do not impose any religious beliefs and do not require preference. On the contrary, yoga makes the mind clear, helping a person analyze his actions and desires, reflect, question views imposed from the outside, and study reality. Many even believe that yoga is much closer to science than religion. After all, such a teaching was created by the rishis, the ancient sages. Through trial and error, research and observation, they learned the exercises that improve the human body and mind, help to grow spiritually and become harmonious with the world. Thanks to this ancient science, a person learns to go beyond their physical capabilities and social boundaries and find their true essence. The central figure in the teaching is the man himself, not the deity.
To practice yoga, you must be a vegetarian. In fact, yoga does not require anything from the practitioner and does not impose on him. There are only some recommendations related to nutrition. They allow you to quickly achieve practical success, increase the effectiveness of classes. Yoga has a negative attitude towards intoxicants and alcoholic substances. After all, they reduce awareness, dull personality traits, taking energy instead of activity. The person becomes depressed and apathetic, which is contrary to the very essence of yoga. And her studies lead a person to energy or intelligence. Eating meat or plant foods here recedes far into secondary plans. If a person, while practicing yoga, decides to give up meat, then this should be done not at the expense of volitional efforts and because "it is necessary." You just have to listen to the needs of your body. And if you delve into the primary sources, you can find that the ancient sages generally did not advise to overuse vegetables, considering vegetarianism undesirable. In fact, the nutrition of a person doing yoga should be simply balanced, with all the necessary trace elements and vitamins. An important condition is to shine with moderation.
Yoga is a complex of stretch marks. Many people think of these exercises as constant stretching. In fact, good teachers say right away that there is more to it. Even the development of maximum flexibility was not the original goal of yoga. Meanwhile, the desire to improve your body in this way gives rise to acrobats, not thinkers. Stretching the ligaments is important because they protect the joints from injury. But that's why you should know when to stop. After all, a super-flexible person loses such protection. The maximum tension provokes tears. Although yoga is considered safe, it is often misunderstood by many instructors when competing. As a result, lack of knowledge leads to injury. Yoga is a set of exercises to strengthen and relax the body. Including stretching is justified because it is the best way to relax a muscle. But the purpose of the set of exercises is not stretching in itself, but muscle relaxation and subsequent work with breathing and attention.
Yogis know how to stop the heart, throw their legs over their heads and sleep on nails. This is a very beautiful but also funny yoga myth. In fact, there is some logic in it. After all, yoga really helps to gain some control over the body to better understand and control it. However, it will take many years of exercise to learn to control yourself as much as possible. But demonstration of such results is not at all the purpose of the classes, but something accompanying.
Yoga involves the separation of a person from society. On the contrary, yoga in every possible way does not welcome escape from problems or withdrawal from society. If the practice is correct, then a person will have a lot of energy. It can and should be invested in any life affairs and projects, best of all in the development and realization of oneself. It is no coincidence that most people who practice yoga are socially successful people with happy families. Yoga gives people happiness, helps to enjoy life, including through social activity.
Yoga is body gymnastics. Nobody denies the presence of physiological aspects in yoga. What is in reality - asanas. That is why many people think that yoga is actually just Indian gymnastics. If someone tries to stand on his head or twist his body - he is a yogi! But in this case, there is a deception of the eyes. Asanas are an external manifestation of the teaching, but there are still many internal ones that are hidden from first sight. Flexible joints can be enjoyed by acrobats or dancers due to their profession. They can easily take any asana, only they do not become yogis. On the contrary, it is even more difficult to train them - the body is already ready, but the consciousness is not. That is why competent exercises involve not only the external performance of asanas, but also what a person has inside at this moment.
Yoga speeds up metabolic processes in the body. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite - exercise not only does not speed up metabolism, but sometimes even slows it down. There have been studies that have shown that during yoga training, the metabolism decreases by 15%. This is due to the fact that the system is relaxing, which also slows down the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Other studies conducted in 2007 showed that those who took part in elementary yoga classes either did not accelerate their heart rate, or only accelerated by 15 beats per minute. For those who perform more advanced exercises, the rhythm was accelerated by only 30 beats. But the pulse rises in exactly the same way if you vacuum the apartment or walk with the dog.
You can lose weight through yoga. The fact that the metabolism is slowing down does not at all mean the coming rapid weight gain. In general, losing weight is generally impossible without intense calorie burning. And when doing yoga, calories are consumed so minimal that it is difficult to take into account as a way to lose weight. And the legendary thin and withered yogis, as they are represented in the pictures, became so due to many years of adherence to a restricted diet. In 2005 and 2007, two independent studies were conducted that examined metabolic rate in yoga practitioners. It turned out that in class people burned only 2-3 calories per minute, or 105-145 calories per hour. People spend about the same amount of energy just walking around the store. And in a state of rest, the body generally burns 1-1.5 calories per minute.
Yoga is absolutely safe, even children can do it. In fact, experts say yoga is just a tool. If you use it incorrectly, you can always break something. So yoga is fraught with a bunch of injuries and negative consequences. It turns out that risks, like dignity, far exceed the expectations of the average person. Speaking of side effects, we can mention back pain, and thin bone fractures, Achilles injuries, broken ribs, internal bleeding, up to a stroke. Some practitioners complained that the hatha yoga exercises led to digestive problems. So you have to be careful with yoga. First of all, you need to make the transitions from one pose to another as smooth and slow as possible. Stroke can occur due to turning the tense neck and after rotating the head when the person looks up. Hot yoga is also dangerous when classes are held in conditions of high humidity and temperature.
To practice yoga, one must initially be flexible. By luring newcomers into training, instructors demonstrate the wonders of flexibility. This can shock ordinary people. However, people see that they do not even have such abilities, which means that they will not be able to achieve such a result. So it seems that yoga is not for them. In fact, flexibility is not important here. Classes are aimed at self-improvement and union with God. Even one who performs the simplest asanas can turn out to be a great philosopher who has understood the essence of life. To penetrate into the secrets of the universe, it is not necessary to tear your joints and ligaments. Flexibility will improve gradually as the body allows. And everyone has a chance to realize themselves in yoga, regardless of age, flexibility and health.
Yoga is not suitable for the elderly. As already mentioned, you can practice yoga at any age. It's much better than lounging on the couch. Naturally, precautions must be taken. A classic example is the great teacher Iyengar, who began teaching yoga to the Queen of Belgium. But Her Majesty at that time was already 84 years old. Interestingly, she certainly wanted to do a headstand. But this exercise is not safe for young people either! And the queen managed to do it even at such a respectable age. So how can you say after this that only young people need yoga? In addition, exercises teach not only asanas, but also meditation, concentration, mantras, mudras.
Success in yoga is possible only if you start to practice from childhood. When a child starts yoga at an early age, it is good. After all, he is already beginning to lay a powerful foundation for his healthy body and strong psyche. But in history there are many examples of how people began to practice yoga either in old age, or taking into account injuries or physical disabilities, achieving success. Let's remember the aforementioned Belgian queen.
Thanks to yoga classes, people can look much younger than their age. In fact, it is an exaggeration to think so. Any healthy and fit person will look younger, no matter what kind of gymnastics they do. But it does not happen that a yoga guru at eighty looks thirty. This is either a fairy tale or a unique exception that only emphasizes the rule. Few yogis look better than their peers who are not involved in such a program. And among us there are many who look younger than their age, which is due to the state of the arc. And yoga often has nothing to do with it. Such people are united by a thirst for life, doing what they love. They just know how to enjoy everything that surrounds them. It is not for nothing that they say that people begin to grow old when they lose their joy in life.
If you do yoga, you can live to be a hundred years old. In fact, such cases are few and should not be associated directly with classes. Long-livers are usually villagers who have not heard of the newfangled yoga. And to live a long time in a noisy and dirty metropolis, you have to be happy and passionate about something unusual.
Yoga allows you to achieve spiritual enlightenment over time. It is often written in yoga books that long and persistent yoga practice helps to achieve enlightenment. However, the state of the body cannot be ignored. Any wellness practice, if done seriously, will clear the brain. In practice, all famous gurus, teachers and yogis continue to live with their weaknesses and shortcomings. They did not find either enlightenment or spiritual harmony. But if over a thousand-year history few people have really acquired a higher meaning there, then what is the general meaning of yoga? She does not give youth and longevity, she does not reveal the secrets of life ... You just need to treat yoga as an ancient and even slightly outdated gymnastics, and not look for a panacea and secret knowledge in it. We must take the best from yoga, who said that the achievements of ancestors cannot be useful? But you can refuse a lot without wasting time waiting for the results.
Yoga is for women only. In fact, not only women, but in general all people are looking for harmony and tranquility, dream of living longer and happier. Yoga can provide something for those interested in spiritual and physical development. And this occupation has no sexual attachment, singling out only women or exclusively men. Many representatives of the strong half do yoga regularly, including athletes. These people realized for themselves that such exercises help them in life. Men come to the yoga center to practice, both in classes for beginners and at more advanced levels. The practice helps to get rid of body stiffness, relieve back and neck pain, improve sleep and get rid of stress.
Given the modern rhythm of life, it is difficult to fully practice yoga. Few of us, having hard work, family responsibilities and the social part of life, devote three hours of asanas, two hours of pranayama every day, finding time also for meditation. In fact, this is not necessary, because yoga is designed to help improve our lives. And many are trying to break their lifestyle in order to find a place for exercise in it. As a result, a kind of cult is generated, in which people both believe and drag others around.The practice of yoga provides for the fulfillment of their duties in accordance with the level of development. Any form of activity is suitable for this. Immersion in practice and work with the body takes an important place in a person's life, and many systems that are adapted specifically to the frantic modern rhythm of life, our mentality and even our structure of the musculoskeletal system will help in this. There are yoga-based practices that allow you to achieve maximum efficiency with a minimum of time.
Those who practice yoga become insane and inadequate. Indeed, you can see that yoga practitioners at a certain point start to stand out in their environment. They become not like everyone else. But this feature is not a form of negative behavior, it is just that a person reveals his intellectual potential and behaves more steadily. He will not believe the advertisements of chips and cola, for him expensive things will not be a measure of prestige, and an elite education will not mean spiritual perfection at all. But is this inadequacy or is it the highest degree of adequacy?
Anyone can teach yoga. It seems that after a long course of study you can teach yourself. Anyway, there is enough theoretical knowledge from books, flexibility is not needed at all. In fact, this is not the case. To become a yoga teacher, you need to take a special course, and the practice should be several years, interspersed with meditation and spiritual growth.
In yoga classes, you cannot do without pain. You shouldn't equate yoga and pain. At the very beginning of the practice, when a person is only faced with the fact of shortened muscles and ligaments, as well as poor joint mobility, for some time he will really have to endure pain. But gradual entry into the rhythm of classes will translate painful sensations into simply unpleasant ones, and then stretching in general will begin to give specific pleasure. Something like this is experienced by a person who sits in front of a computer for a long time, and then begins to stretch sweetly. At this moment, the body feels a kind of "muscle joy" that appears due to relaxation and stretching of previously tense and immobilized muscles. In yoga, there is such a term as "pain threshold". You should not cross it. And one of the aspects of mastery is to be constantly in the zone of inner comfort. It is equally important to feel your body in order to protect yourself from overload and injury. The correct technique for performing asanas is impossible without the initial warming up and warm-up of the muscles, the correct entry and exit into the poses. A person learns to give his body time to adapt, to dose the load. If the practice remains painful, then you need to either look for the reasons for this, or another approach, or change the methodology. This is not the fault of yoga, but the man himself.
Yoga is very difficult to learn and master. People learn foreign languages, and more than one. Isn't it more difficult? Yoga can quickly become simple and straightforward from something exotic and mysterious. To do this, you need to understand her language - asanas, methods of relaxation, concentration, attention and breathing. In total, you will have to learn about twenty of the most important concepts and terms, then it will become clear what is generally discussed in the classroom. Practical yoga works with breath and mind. Beginners are not required to know perfectly the Yoga Sutras or Bhagavad Gita. And medical education is not required for an accurate knowledge of one's anatomy. People simply learn to use correctly and consciously what they already have from birth. Mind and body are transformed into perfect instruments, revealing new facets of life and opening up new possibilities.
Yoga is good for pregnancy. Pregnancy is a responsible time. Exercise during this period has many contraindications. It is best to understand what the body is capable of, nevertheless, on the basis of previous practice experience, which was even before pregnancy. Otherwise, there is a great risk of harming yourself. In order for yoga to really be useful during pregnancy, it is best to have a couple of years of experience and already mastered techniques. It would be a mistake to start doing yoga, going on maternity leave with the thoughts that finally there is free time. Such an approach will not only be useless, but will also be simply dangerous.
There is a special yoga for pregnant women. It is sad to say, but pregnant women are the most profitable and most gullible category of consumers. A whole industry of services and goods has been created especially for them. This is not surprising, because any woman strives to do the maximum that depends on her to maintain the health of the unborn child. The same yoga classes that are offered to pregnant women are no different from classes in any other state of the body. An amendment is simply made for the individual characteristics of the organism and personal feelings. But does every instructor know what it is and what a woman specifically feels during exercises? In fact, such yoga is not much different from the complex of physiotherapy exercises offered by women's centers.
Yoga is very expensive. First of all, the price of rugs and yoga mats frightens. However, the most expensive specimens are not at all the best. The form for yoga is generally chosen taking into account convenience, the brand does not play any role here at all. It is better to choose classes in specialized yoga centers, where they will cost less than in a fitness club. Many, over time, generally switch to independent home practices, which are generally free. Individual and group lessons are seen by many as just the first step.
Yoga is bad for your sex life. In fact, such exercises help to strengthen the pelvic muscles and teach them to better control them. This will increase the duration and severity of the orgasm, as well as deliver more pleasure to the partner. Yoga will remove body stiffness and excess muscle tension. It is also known that mood is important for sex. The more often a person feels tired and upset, the less sex and pleasure in his life will be. Yoga will help you relax and relieve daily stress. Exercise will tune both the body and the brain for sensory pleasure. It is believed that after a couple of months of regular exercise, the benefits of yoga will begin to positively affect a person's intimate life.