what are the myths and common misconceptions about practicing yoga

What Are The Myths And Common Misconceptions About Practicing Yoga?

The essence of yoga is to strengthen your sense of identity and refine your character by harmonising your body, mind, and spirit. There has been a meteoric rise in adherents and practitioners ever since it was brought to Western societies.

But like with any widely adopted method, misunderstandings and myths have arisen and are frequently accepted as fact. Some of them have probably been reported or read by you.

Here, we’ll share some inspiring facts about yoga while debunking some of the most widespread misconceptions about the practice.

Yoga: The Beginning

Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition with roots lasting at least five thousand years. Students engage in various spiritual disciplines, including philosophy, breathing, meditation, way of life, and physical activity. Some people think that its roots go back to the Stone Age.

Yoga’s popularity has increased since it was brought to the West in the late 1800s. So, why do we believe such nonsense about yoga, and where did this idea come from, to begin with? There are various explanations for their emergence, but at their core lie the same assumptions and generalisations that underpin the widespread misunderstanding of so many other cultural phenomena.

Never fear; we are here to dispel the most widespread yoga myths and misconceptions and provide accurate facts of modern yoga. 

what are the myths and common misconceptions about practicing yoga 1

Myths And Misconceptions About Yoga

Yoga Is Expensive

Many people assume incorrectly that yoga is a very costly pastime. Yoga may be practised at home, despite the rising popularity of pricy yoga facilities. Many instructional videos are available online to help you strike the appropriate poses. You only need some room and a budget yoga mat to get started.

It’s Only For Skinny People

The idea that yoga is only for those already thin is one of the most widespread and absurd myths about the practice. This misconception persists because virtually all depictions of yogis in the media—whether stock photos or promotional videos—show them as super-flexible, super-fit, and super-thin. 

However, even if you’re overweight, you can still practise yoga. The advantages are accessible to people of different sizes and levels of flexibility. Yoga is not so much about physical flexibility or muscle tone as it is about mental attitude.

There Are Yoga Poses That Are “Best”

Yoga is often misunderstood and seen as nothing more than a fitness fad. The idea that there are “better” and “worse” yoga positions is one of my most common misunderstandings. In yoga, there are no superiors or inferiors; rather, the emphasis is on developing one’s potential rather than trying to conform to some preconceived notion of how things are “supposed to look.” 

One of the most important principles of yoga is to work with one’s body rather than against it. When it comes to yoga, there is no “good” or “bad” method; rather, there is just what feels appropriate for you now. 

A Weak Workout Routine

People think of yoga as a relaxing hobby, but it’s also a fantastic method to get in shape and boost your strength, metabolism, and stamina. Contrary to popular belief, advanced yoga positions can be difficult to hold for long periods. There is a wide range of yoga practitioners, from novices to experts.

One common misunderstanding about yoga is that it’s either easy or too relaxing to be considered a workout. To begin, there are several kinds of yoga, some high-intensity workouts. In contrast, others are low-impact workouts that make you focus on muscles you don’t usually target but are nonetheless intense and effective.

Yoga Isn’t For First-Timers

There are many routines in yoga that even newcomers can enjoy, even though some yoga exercises are recommended for practitioners who have spent time perfecting this art form. 

The common misconception about yoga is that it’s just for people already physically fit and flexible. 

In reality, yoga routines and positions can be done by anyone, regardless of health or physical ability.  Yoga benefits everyone, from those who have never exercised to those who suffer from debilitating conditions like severe arthritis.

Each Yoga Session Is Spiritual

As someone who practises yoga regularly and was once guilty of this misconception, many people associate yoga with chanting and a more spiritual form of instruction than is appropriate. 

This could be significant in a given class, but the teacher might gloss over it entirely. There are numerous iterations; the key is to pick the one that works best for you. You should test out a few to find the one that suits you best. 

You can even ask teachers directly in private messages what they plan to cover in their lessons. They have probably thought about this before and know that some people are more interested in the spiritual side of things while others like the physical challenge.

It’s Constantly A Challenging Workout

The idea that yoga has to be an extreme workout is widespread. Several low-intensity varieties of yoga may be performed with little to no physical exertion, even while seated in a chair. 

Keep in mind that the most beneficial yoga routine is the one that is designed specifically for you. No matter a person’s physical condition, they should be able to practise yoga. The aim of any practice, whether vigorous or mild, should be to bring the body and mind into harmony and peace.

Yoga Requires Flexibility And Physical Fitness

The most widespread myth about yoga is that it’s only good for flexible, fit people. 

Yoga may help you reach your fitness and flexibility goals. Adopting a beginner’s mindset and permitting yourself to feel uncomfortable allows you to obtain a wealth of experience in activities like yoga.  Remember that yoga is a process; mastery comes with time and effort. Finding inner calm and equilibrium is equally important as increasing your range of motion or strengthening your muscles.

You Must Be Young To Practise Yoga

Ddoing yoga is good for people of all ages. We’ve seen folks in their 70s and 80s gracefully twisting into difficult yoga poses, and many of them have said that they practise yoga regularly because it keeps them strong and pain-free. If you put in the time and effort, you can do any posture and often do it better than someone younger than you. The goal of yoga isn’t to become more flexible or stronger; rather, it’s to discover that equilibrium inside you.

Every Yoga Is Slow

The common perception of yoga is that it is a slow-paced practice. However, this is only sometimes the case. While sessions aimed at newcomers typically progress slowly to demonstrate the fundamental moves, fast-paced classes are available for more experienced students. Vinyasa yoga, as opposed to slower styles like Hatha and Ashtanga, is your best bet if you’re searching for a “fast”-paced practice. Your heart rate increases throughout a vinyasa session as you “flow” from one yoga pose to the next.

You’ll Become Calmer And Happier Automatically

It’s a common belief that yoga would magically make you happier and more relaxed. First, yoga has been shown to improve mental and physical health, but don’t expect instant gratification. 

Like anything worthwhile, it requires effort to attain. Yoga helps most people cope with mental and emotional concerns, but the transformation is often slow and challenging. 

Yoga helps you become more in tune with yourself, more connected to others, and more deliberate in your actions. A more peaceful and joyful existence may be the result, but you may have to put in some time before seeing any changes.

Yoga Is Exclusive To Women

Some of my male customers believe that yoga is solely for females. Yoga is not just for women, even though they make up the majority of yoga students. Yoga has benefits for people of all genders and gender identities.

Every Form Of Yoga Is The Same

You’ll quickly learn that there are many yoga options if you immerse yourself in the yoga community. There is probably one, two, or more that most people prefer. The physical advantages of different styles of yoga depend on their intensity, target audience, gentleness, and other variables. No matter your style, you’ll emerge from class feeling refreshed and revitalised.

Take your time and explore a variety of yoga practises before committing to one, as there are advantages to each. These types of yoga are currently the most popular in the majority of studios:

Hatha: Most yoga newbies will benefit from beginning with a Hatha class. Students are given ample opportunity to move into and out of poses as the instructor directs the class leisurely.

Vinyasa: If you’re familiar with Hatha yoga, think of a Vinyasa session as a more vigorous variation. Students in this style of class move fluidly between poses in time with their breathing. Vinyasa lessons have the potential to be both enjoyable and physically difficult.

Ashtanga: One way to think of Ashtanga is as a more rigorous version of a Vinyasa flow. The same postures are covered in each session, with the difficulty of these postures increasing over time. Concentration on the posture, the breath, and the focal point of each pose’s gaze are all stressed. As a result, those who struggle with mental clutter would benefit greatly from practising Ashtanga, as it aids in mental decluttering.

Yin Yoga: Compared to standard procedure, this is a significant departure. It’s a slow and reassuring read. The goal here is to stretch out the connective tissue so that we may hold each pose for several minutes. Because of this, Yin yoga is beneficial for anyone looking to increase their range of motion and ease muscular tension.

Restorative Yoga: This style of yin yoga focuses more on relaxation. We employ yoga props such as bolsters, blankets, clocks, and eye cushions to enhance our practice. The goal of this practice is complete relaxation. Thus, we hold each pose for up to 20 minutes.

Yoga Facts In General

  • There are more women than men who do yoga.
  • More than a hundred distinct types of yoga are now being practised around the globe.
  • Your behaviour on the yoga mat reflects who you are in the real world.
  • Over 300 million people worldwide have been counted as yoga practitioners recently. 
  • Historically, the Swastika has been used in yoga. The word’s origin in Sanskrit suggests it refers to something conducive to happiness.
  • A “Yogi” is a yogi or yogini, a name used specifically for male practitioners. The term “yogini” is used to refer to a female yogi.
  • The 21st of June is recognised as World Yoga Day.
  • Yoga was officially recognised as a sport at the 2016 Summer Olympics, with competitors required to perform five postures and allowed to choose the other two. Flexibility, strength, timing, and respiration were all included in the evaluation. 
  • In 2015, a prison in Pune, Maharashtra, India, adopted yoga to help the inmates’ emotional and physical well-being. Inmate violence dropped dramatically over that period. They may also reduce their sentence if they score well on a yoga exam.
  • The first-ever International Yoga Day was celebrated on June 21, 2015, and to mark the occasion, commemorative stamps were issued by the Indian Postal Service. 
what are the myths and common misconceptions about practicing yoga 2

Facts About Yoga In History

  • Swami Vivekananda pioneered the dissemination of yoga to the West when he spoke at the Chicago Parliament of Religions in 1893. 
  • The original purpose of yoga was to heal the practitioner on all levels (physical, emotional, and mental).
  • Historically, only males have participated in Yoga classes. In 1937, females finally entered the workforce. When Eugenia Peterson-Labunskaya arrived in India, she made history by being the first woman to join an ashram.
  • In 1982, Angela Farmer created the first yoga mat.
  • In the eyes of yogis, one’s lifespan is measured in breaths, not years. This is why yoga strongly focuses on pranayama (breathwork).

Proof-Based Benefits Of Yoga

  • Yoga is a great way to strengthen your entire body.
  • Yoga is a great way to boost your confidence.
  • Yoga has been shown to reduce stress, leading to better sleep.
  • It helps people maintain a healthy weight over time by promoting mindful eating.
  • When used as a complementary therapy, it can help reduce symptoms of OCD, anxiety, and sadness.
  • Yoga in the workplace has been shown to alleviate back pain and boost efficiency.
  • Consistent effort can slow down the ageing process.


Yoga is an old Indian practice that goes back to the Stone Age. It has become more famous in the West since it was brought there in the late 1800s. It is an old practice that aims to improve a person’s sense of self and character by bringing the body, mind, and spirit into balance. But a lot of people think it’s expensive, only for thin people, or not a good way to work out. Yoga isn’t about how flexible or toned your muscles are. Instead, it’s about how you think and how you work with your body instead of against it.

There are different kinds of yoga, such as high-impact and low-impact moves, that work different muscles. Yoga isn’t just for people who have never done it before. There are many routines that anyone, regardless of health or physical ability, can enjoy. Each yoga lesson is spiritual, and there are many ways to do it so you can find the best one for you.

Yoga is not just about being flexible and fit, but it can also help you reach your health and flexibility goals. By thinking like a beginner and letting yourself feel uncomfortable, you can gain a lot of yoga experience. Mastery takes time and work, and it’s just as important to find inner calm and balance as it is to increase your range of motion or improve your muscles.

Yoga is good for people of all ages, and the point isn’t to get more flexible or powerful but to find inner balance. By busting these yoga myths and giving the real facts about modern yoga, people can enjoy the benefits of this ancient practice and improve their general health.

People often think of yoga as a slow practice, but it can be a better way to improve your mental and physical health. Experienced students often choose Vinyasa yoga, which is a fast-paced mix of Hatha and Ashtanga. Yoga has been shown to be good for both your mental and physical health, but you have to work for it. It helps people become more aware of themselves, more linked to others, and more careful about what they do.

Yoga is good for people of all genders and gender identities, so it’s not just for women. Over a hundred different kinds of yoga are done all over the world, and how you act on your yoga mat shows who you are in the real world. Over 300 million people around the world do yoga, and the Sanskrit word Swastika means something that makes people happy.

In 2015, a jail in Pune, India, used yoga to help the mental and physical health of its inmates. On June 21, 2015, the first International Yoga Day was held, and the Indian Postal Service made stamps to mark the event.

The original goal of yoga was to heal people on all levels, including their bodies, emotions, and minds. Up until recently, only men have taken yoga classes. Eugenia Peterson-Labunskaya was the first woman to join an ashram. This was in 1937 when women were finally allowed to work. Angela Farmer made the first yoga mat in the year 1982.

Yoga has been shown to strengthen the body, boost confidence, lower stress, help keep a healthy weight, reduce OCD, anxiety, and depression symptoms, and make people more productive at work. Putting in consistent work can slow down how fast you age.

Content Summary

Yoga aims to harmonise the body, mind, and spirit.

  • The practice of yoga has seen a meteoric rise in Western societies.
  • Yoga has roots going back at least five thousand years in India.
  • Some believe yoga’s origins trace back to the Stone Age.
  • The West embraced yoga in the late 1800s.
  • Many myths have arisen around yoga due to generalisations and assumptions.
  • Contrary to belief, practising yoga doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • The misconception exists that yoga is only for skinny individuals.
  • Yoga is more about mental attitude than physical flexibility.
  • In yoga, there are no “best” poses; it’s about individual potential.
  • Yoga can be as rigorous as high-intensity workouts or as gentle as low-impact exercises.
  • Yoga isn’t exclusive to experienced practitioners; beginners can also participate.
  • Not all yoga sessions are deeply spiritual; many focus on the physical challenge.
  • Yoga routines can range from challenging workouts to gentle seated sessions.
  • Flexibility isn’t a prerequisite for practising yoga.
  • Yoga benefits people of all ages, including those in their 70s and 80s.
  • Not all yoga practices are slow-paced; some are fast, like Vinyasa.
  • Practising yoga doesn’t guarantee instant calmness or happiness.
  • Yoga isn’t exclusive to women; it benefits all genders.
  • Various types of yoga exist, each offering different benefits.
  • Hatha yoga is a recommended starting point for beginners.
  • Vinyasa yoga involves fluid movements and can be physically challenging.
  • Ashtanga yoga requires consistency and can help clear mental clutter.
  • Yin yoga focuses on stretching connective tissues.
  • Restorative yoga emphasises complete relaxation using props.
  • More women than men practise yoga worldwide.
  • Over 300 million people globally are known to practise yoga.
  • The 21st of June is celebrated as World Yoga Day.
  • Yoga was featured as a sport in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • A prison in Pune adopted yoga to improve inmates’ well-being.
  • The first International Yoga Day was celebrated in 2015.
  • Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the West in 1893.
  • Originally, yoga aimed to provide holistic healing.
  • Historically, only men participated in yoga until 1937.
  • Angela Farmer invented the first yoga mat in 1982.
  • Yogis measure lifespan in breaths, emphasising the importance of pranayama.
  • Yoga can strengthen the entire body.
  • Practising yoga can enhance self-confidence.
  • Yoga can help reduce stress and promote better sleep.
  • Mindful eating, promoted by yoga, aids in weight management.
  • Yoga can alleviate symptoms of OCD, anxiety, and depression.
  • Implementing yoga in workplaces can reduce back pain.
  • Yoga boosts efficiency in professional settings.
  • Consistent yoga practice can slow the ageing process.
  • The Swastika, indicating well-being, has been historically used in yoga.
  • A “Yogi” is a male practitioner, while “Yogini” refers to females.
  • Yoga was introduced to the West around the late 1800s.
  • Swami Vivekananda played a pivotal role in popularising yoga in the West.
  • The historical purpose of yoga was holistic healing.
  • The practice of yoga has varied proof-based benefits, including improved physical and mental well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Yoga A Religion True Or False?

Although yoga is not a religion, it is connected to religion and stems historically from Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Buddhists and Hindus chant the sacred mantra ‘Om’ during meditation.

What Are The Beliefs Of Yoga?

The main philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body, and spirit are all and cannot be separated. Yet, there is a multitude of philosophical ideas that help explore the deeper dimensions of the body, mind, and spirit.

Does Yoga Believe In God?

Most people who practise yoga do not believe in a traditional god, but they may believe in something larger than themselves. Yoga is about union- connecting with yourself, others, and the universe. So for some people, believing in a god may be too limiting. Instead, they see the divine in everything around them.

What Do Yoga Poses Symbolize?

As a way of connecting to, revering and paying respect to deities, many yoga postures represent what the deity looks like and everything they stand for. As we practise posture, we focus on the energy and essence of the deity and look to embody their qualities.

Does Yoga Believe In The Law Of Karma?

Central to the philosophy of yoga is the universal spiritual concept of reaping what you sow: the law of Karma. Karma is the future consequences of one’s current intentions, thoughts, behaviours and actions.