• Sarah Smith

"I'm not flexible enough to do yoga" and other myths

There are many misconceptions about yoga, the idea that you have to be flexible being a key one of them. But as described in my blog post 'Is yoga for me?', yoga is for everyone! Let's explore some of the common myths:

I'm not flexible enough to do yoga

Flexibility is a by-product of a regular yoga practice, not a requirement! All yoga poses can be modified to suit your ability. I used to be quite flexible, but suffered a hamstring injury and in order to aid my recovery, was advised not to stretch my hamstrings. This means I need to modify many asanas to a 'less flexible' modification - my knees are bent deeply in forward folds, and even in my downward-facing dog.

I can't do yoga because I'm hyper-mobile

Firstly, well done for recognizing that yoga can be risky for the hyper-mobile, if (and that's a big IF) you or your teacher are unsure how to accommodate this. However, hyper-mobility can be a gift in yoga as, in order to avoid injury, you need to keep softness in your joints and ensure you are relying on your muscles to hold your asanas, not hanging out in your bones/joints. If you are hyper-mobile, I recommend you seek out a teacher who has knowledge and experience in working with hypermobility.

I'm not zen enough to do yoga

Neither am I! You will find there is a common theme now – there are no pre-requisites for yoga. Yoga will certainly help you balance your mental state, but the truth is we're all dealing with 'stuff' and we all have a human experience. You don't need to be zen to do yoga, but yoga might help you feel a little more balanced.

I'm not doing yoga because I'm not religious

Yoga is an ancient practice and stems from a spiritual root. However, in the 21st century, particularly in the west, yoga tends to be non-religious and non-dogmatic. You will find most classes in the west are in no way religious, although you can find classes that have a 'spiritual' side, without being religious, if that's your thing. On the other hand, if yoga means something in a religious context to you, then you can find ways to embrace that.

Do you have any other yoga myths or concerns you want busting? Drop me a message and I will do my best to answer / give you my view.

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