Common Prejudices About Yoga Classes
Yoga has been known since the 2nd century BC. NS. Yoga entered the Western world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and gained great popularity in the 1980s as a system of physical exercise. Although in India, it includes not only physical exercise but also meditative and spiritual components.
Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices in Buddhism and Hinduism. Its whole aim is to control physiological and mental body functions. This all is done to achieve a higher mental and spiritual state.
In India, it is believed that the practice of yoga has a healing effect and that it helps a person to overcome various ailments. Back in 2016, UNESCO has seen an influence on different aspects of Indian society, majorly in education, medicine, arts, and health. In addition, Yoga is counted in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.
Since many people do not quite correctly understand what yoga is, we propose to consider a number of the most common misconceptions associated with this wonderful system of self-healing.
Table of Contents
- 1. Misconceptions about Yoga
- 2. Yoga can only be practiced by an “oriental person”
- 3. To practice yoga, you need to be a very prepared person
- 4. Yoga is a religion
- 5. Yoga is asceticism (a strict lifestyle with the rejection of life’s pleasures)
- 6. Yoga is mysticism
- 7. The main thing in yoga is the development of superpowers
- 8. Physical exercise in yoga is absolutely safe for health
Misconceptions about Yoga
Yoga can only be practiced by an “oriental person”
This is not true. Yoga cannot belong to any people or any territory. The division into West and East is mostly artificial. At the time of the emergence of yoga, there was no such division.
Of course, it is necessary to adjust the techniques depending on specific conditions and then Europeans, Africans, and residents of the Far North can do yoga, and with a reasonable approach, yoga classes will only bring benefits.
To practice yoga, you need to be a very prepared person
Such an opinion may be formed by a person who has seen in some books photographs of yogis in intricate poses, which, as it seems, no normal person can repeat.
But those who are depicted in these photographs did not start with these poses at all, but with easier and more accessible ones. In addition, for those who do not set themselves the goal of achieving any special results in Hatha Yoga, it is not at all necessary to perform difficult poses.
And in order to maintain a good level of health and to work on oneself, it is quite enough to practice two or three dozen poses. The implementation of which is quite accessible even for not too well-trained people.
Yoga is a religion
Yogis respect various religions and their representatives. Considerably, Yoga cannot be considered a religion. This is a cross between science and religion because yoga is characterized, on the one hand, not by blind faith. But by the desire to come to the proof of something through personal experience, and on the other hand, yoga does not deny such concepts as God, Soul, and Spirit. A person who practices yoga can be a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or a representative of any other religion.
Yoga is asceticism (a strict lifestyle with the rejection of life’s pleasures)
Of course, it is not! This opinion only spreads out of ignorance. In Christianity, in all ages, there were also many ascetics who mortified their flesh. But, nevertheless, no one equates asceticism and Christianity, while for some reason yogis are considered ascetics. Of course, there are ascetics among yogis as well, but in general yoga and asceticism are still different things.
Bhagavad-Gita says: “If a person eats too much or too little, sleeps too much or too little, it is impossible for him to become a yogi … material suffering while doing yoga.”
Yoga is mysticism
No, yoga is not mysticism, but rather a science (or, as already noted, a cross between science and religion). The concept of yoga as mystical teaching appeared due to the fact that for a long time yoga was closed teaching.
After all, yoga is a huge knowledge about the structure of the world, which gives great opportunities for managing people. If knowledge of this kind falls into the hands of people who are not ready to perceive it correctly, then this can cause great harm to other people. That is why yoga was not available to everyone. As for mysticism and occultism, then, in fact, the occult teachings are pieces of yoga taken separately. Almost all mystical and occult schools began with yoga. Another thing is that they did not always develop in the right direction.
The main thing in yoga is the development of superpowers
This is not true! Indeed, thanks to yoga, you can develop what is commonly called superpowers. It is possible, but is it necessary? After all, this will take a lot of time and energy, which can be used with much greater benefit.
There is an old legend about a student who wanted to learn how to walk on water. He spent a lot of time on this, almost his whole life, and in the end, he learned to walk on water. And then he came to a certain Teacher who lived nearby and said: “Teacher, let’s go to the river, I will show you what I have learned.” – “OK, let’s go”. They came to the river, and this student crossed the river from one bank to another, and then came back and asked: “Well, how?” – “How many years did you study this?” – asked the Teacher. “Twenty years,” the student replied with pride. “Wow,” said the Teacher, “look, I’ll do the same.” And, having called the boatman, crossed with him to the other side, and then returned back. “I’m sorry that you wasted so much time,” Master said in parting.
If a person develops harmoniously, then this kind of ability may appear. But here you need to remember one important point – you need to be able to manage these abilities.
Physical exercise in yoga is absolutely safe for health
Yoga is certainly not a sport, but some people who practice yoga can experience physical injuries similar to sports injuries. Head and shoulder stand, lotus and half-lotus positions, forward and backward bends, and handstands caused the most injuries.
Among the main reasons causing negative consequences, experts cite the “competitive spirit” of newcomers and insufficiently qualified instructors. As the demand for online yoga courses grows, many people often get certified as yoga tutors after training. There are several online learning platforms, like Easylore that connect the student with skilled and experienced tutors. Get in touch with the best one to get the benefits!