The concept of “yoga” came to us from Indian culture and is an association of spiritual, physical and mental practices. Their goal is to control the human psyche and physiology by achieving an elevated spiritual state. Yoga itself has an ancient history. Figures in meditative or yogic poses were depicted already four thousand years ago. In the West for the first time interest in such practices appeared in the late XIX century.
Practiced it even in Russia. But after the 1917 revolution, yoga turned out to be an ideological ban. Only in the late 1980s yoga techniques were again popular. Today, speaking about this doctrine, we imagine multi-colored rugs, slender young people, who are bent in unthinkable poses. However, this is only a glossy picture that hinders the essence of ancient art, self-development and philosophy. People trust the myths about yoga, which we will consider below. Yoga is a truly Indian tradition.
This myth can be debunked by simple and verified facts. In the territory of the Americas, huge stone statues and carvings were found, which clearly depict classical elements of hatha yoga. And they appeared long before the arrival of Europeans. Especially such creations are famous for the south of Colombia. But India is far from here. Studying the myths and historical legends of different peoples, one can be sure that the teaching has long been spread in the territories of Egypt, the Middle East, Russia and Europe. It is even said that yoga is generally invented by the Slavs, and now we simply comprehend the practice forgotten by our ancestors. However, one should not dismiss India’s merit, where yoga is at least preserved, managed to crystallize its essence and formalize its systemic character.
In fact, yoga is a sect.
In order to understand what is at issue, let’s see what the sects really are. This religious organization opposes classical dogma. Sects are life-negative antisystems that create negative attitudes in a person. Yoga is not a religion, it can not be compared with sects. On the contrary, everyone who does yoga becomes more purposeful, positive, and 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 supplement himself, to feel more effectively in society, to be liberated.
Yoga is a religion.
Actually, this system is not religious at all, but spiritual, directed not at worship of some supreme being, but in self-improvement. Yoga is held by atheists, and Buddhists, and Muslims, and Christians. These exercises do not impose any religious views and do not require preferences. On the contrary, yoga makes the mind clear, helping a person to analyze his actions and desires, to reflect, to question the views imposed on him, to study reality. Many even believe that yoga is much closer to science than to 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 body of a person and his mind, help them grow spiritually and become harmonious with the world. Thanks to this ancient science, a person learns to go beyond his physical capabilities and social boundaries and find his true essence. The central figure in the teaching is the person himself, and not the deity.
To practice yoga, one must be a vegetarian.
In fact, yoga does not require anything from the practitioner and does not impose on him. There are only a few recommendations, including nutrition. They allow you to quickly achieve practical success, improve the effectiveness of classes. Yoga is negative about intoxicating and alcoholic substances. After all, they reduce awareness, blunt personal qualities, taking energy away from activity.A person becomes depressed and apathetic, which contradicts the very essence of yoga. And her studies lead a person to vigor or intelligence. Eating meat or plant foods here goes far to secondary plans. If a person decides to give up meat when practicing yoga, then it should be done not at the expense of volitional effort and because “it is so necessary”. You just need to listen to your body’s needs. And if you dig in the sources, you can find that the ancient sages did not advise to abuse vegetables, considering vegetarianism undesirable. In fact, the nutrition of a person engaged in yoga should be simply balanced, with all the necessary trace elements and vitamins. An important condition – shine moderation.
Yoga is a complex of stretch marks.
Many people imagine these exercises – constant stretching. In fact, good teachers immediately say that this is something more. Even the development of maximum flexibility was not the original purpose of yoga. Meanwhile, the desire to improve so your body generates acrobats, and not thinkers. Stretching ligaments are important, because they protect the joints from injury. But that’s why you need to know the measure. After all, an ultra-flexible person loses such protection. The maximum tension provokes tears. Although yoga is considered safe, often many instructors understand it wrong, starting to compete. As a result, the lack of knowledge leads to injuries. Yoga is a complex of exercises to strengthen and relax the body. The inclusion of stretch marks is justified, because this is the best way to relax the muscle. But the goal of the complex of exercises is not stretching itself, but relaxation of muscles and the subsequent work with breathing and attention.
Yogis are able to stop the heart, throw your legs behind your head and sleep on nails.
This is a very beautiful, but also funny myth about yoga. In fact, there is a share of logic in it. After all, yoga really helps to gain some control over the body better to understand it, to control it. However, in order to maximally learn to control yourself, it will take many years of exercise. But the demonstration of such results is not at all the goal of the classes, but something that is concomitant.
Yoga involves the alienation of a person from society.
On the contrary, yoga in every possible way does not welcome flight from problems or leaving from society. If the practice is correct, then the person will have quite 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 accident that most people practicing yoga are socially successful people, with happy families. Yoga delivers people happiness, helps to enjoy life, including through social activism.
Yoga is a gymnastics for the body.
No one denies the presence of physiological aspects in yoga. What awaits are asanas. That’s why many people think that yoga is really just Indian gymnastics. If someone tries to stand on his head or unscrew his body – he is a yogi! But in this case there is a deceit of the eyes. Asanas are an outward manifestation of the doctrine, and yet there are many more inner things that are hidden from the first sight. Flexible joints can have acrobats or dancers, thanks to their profession. They can easily accept any asana, only they do not become yogis. On the contrary, they are even harder to train – the body is already ready, and the consciousness is not. That is why competent exercises envisage not only external performance of asanas, but also that of a person inside at that moment.
Yoga accelerates metabolic processes in the body.
In fact, everything is exactly the opposite – the exercises not only do not accelerate the metabolism, and sometimes even slow down. Studies were conducted that showed that during yoga training, metabolism is reduced by 15%. This is due to the fact that the system is relaxing, which slows down the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.Other studies conducted in 2007 showed that those who engaged in the primary classes of yoga heart rhythm or not accelerated, or accelerated only by 15 beats per minute. In those who perform more advanced exercises, the rhythm was accelerated by only 30 strokes. But exactly the same increases the pulse, if you vacuum your apartment or walk with a dog.
Thanks to yoga you can lose weight.
The fact that the metabolism slows down does not say about the forthcoming fast weight gain. In general, losing weight is impossible without intensive burning of calories. And when practicing yoga, calories are consumed so minimally that it is difficult to take into account, as a way to lose weight. And the legendary lean and desiccated yogas, as they are represented in the pictures, have become so because of the long-term observance of the regime of limited nutrition. In 2005 and 2007, two independent studies were conducted that examined the rate of metabolism in practicing yoga. It turned out that in the classroom people burned only 2-3 calories per minute, or 105-145 calories per hour. People spend about the same 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 that yoga is just a tool. If you use it incorrectly, you can always break something. And yoga is fraught with a bunch of injuries and negative consequences. It turns out that risks, like dignity, far exceed the expectations of an ordinary person. Speaking of side effects, you can mention and back pain, and fractures of thin bones, Achilles damage, broken ribs, internal bleeding, up to a stroke. Some practitioners complained that Hatha Yoga exercises led to problems with the digestive system. So with yoga one should be careful. First of all, it is necessary to make the most smooth and slow transitions from one posture to another. Stroke can happen because of the turn of the tight neck and after the rotation of the head, when a person looks up. Danger is also a hot yoga, when classes are held in conditions of high humidity and air temperature.
To practice yoga, you must initially be flexible.
Drawing newcomers to trainings, instructors demonstrate the wonders of flexibility. Ordinary people this can give shock. However, people see that they do not even have such abilities, and therefore such a result will not be achieved. So it seems that yoga is not for them. In fact, flexibility is not the main thing. Classes are aimed at self-improvement and unity with God. Even the one who performs the simplest asanas can turn out to be a great philosopher who understood the essence of life. To penetrate 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 the chance to realize themselves in yoga, regardless of age, flexibility and health.
Yoga is not suitable for the elderly.
As already mentioned, yoga can be practiced at any age. This is much better than lying on the couch. Naturally, you must take precautions. A classic example is the great teacher Iyengar, who began to teach yoga to the Queen of Belgium. But Her Majesty at that time was already 84 years old. It is interesting that she certainly wanted to make a stand on her head. But such an exercise is not safe for young people either! And the queen was able to do it even at such a venerable age. So how can you say after this that yoga is only necessary for young people? In addition, the exercises teach not only asanas, but also meditation, concentration, mantras, mudras.
Success in yoga is possible only if you start practicing from the very childhood.
When a child attends 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 started to practice yoga or in old age, or taking into account injuries or physical defects, achieving success. Let us recall the aforementioned Belgian queen.
Thanks to yoga classes, people can look much younger than their years.
In fact, it’s an exaggeration to think like that. Any healthy and smart person will look younger, no matter what gymnastics he does. But this does not happen, that the guru of yoga in his eighty looked to be 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 engaged 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 is often not to blame. These people are united by a thirst for life, a favorite occupation. They just know how to enjoy everything around them. It is not for nothing that people say that people start to grow old when they lose their joy for life.
If you practice yoga, you can live up to a hundred years.
Actually, there are few such cases and it is not necessary to connect them directly with the lessons. Longevity usually becomes village residents, who did not hear about the newfangled yoga. And to live long in a noisy and dirty metropolis, you must be happy and passionate about something unusual.
Yoga allows you to achieve spiritual enlightenment over time.
In books on yoga, it is often written that a long and stubborn yoga practice helps achieve enlightenment. However, one should not ignore the state of the body. Any health practice, if taken seriously, will clear the brain. In practice, all known gurus, teachers and yogis continue to live with their weaknesses and shortcomings. Neither enlightenment, nor spiritual harmony they did not find. But if for a thousand-year history there are few people really gained a higher meaning, so what is the meaning of yoga in general? She does not give her youth and longevity, she does not disclose the secrets of life … You just have to treat yoga as an ancient and even slightly outdated gymnastics, and not look for panacea and secret knowledge in it. From yoga it is necessary to take the best, who said that the achievements of ancestors can not be useful? But from a lot you can and refuse, without wasting time waiting for the results.
Yoga is for women only.
Actually, not only women, but in general all people are looking for harmony and tranquility, they dream to live longer and happier. Yoga can give something to those who are interested in spiritual and physical development. And occupation it has no sexual affection, singling out only women or exclusively men. Many representatives of the strong half are engaged in yoga regularly, including athletes. These people realized for themselves that such exercises help them in life. In the center of yoga men come to study, both in classes for beginners, and on more advanced levels. Practice helps to get rid of the rigidity of the body, from the removal of pain in the back and neck, improve sleep and get rid of stress.
Given the modern rhythm of life, it is difficult to fully engage in yoga.
Few of us, having hard work, family responsibilities and social part of life, give three hours of asanas every day, two hours of pranayama, finding time for meditation. In fact, this is not necessary, because yoga is designed to help improve our lives. And many are trying to break down the way of life, to find in it a place for exercises. As a result, a kind of cult is born, in which people themselves believe, and tighten the surrounding. The practice of yoga involves fulfilling one’s duties in accordance with the level of development. For this, any form of activity is suitable. Immersion in practice and working with the body occupies an important place in human life, and many systems that are adapted to the rabid modern rhythm of life, our mentality and even our structure of the musculoskeletal system will help in this.There are practices based on yoga, which allow you to achieve maximum efficiency with minimal time.
Those who practice yoga become insane and inadequate.
Indeed, you can see that practitioners of yoga at some point begin to stand out in their environment. They become different. But this feature is not a form of negative behavior, just a person reveals his intellectual potential, behaves more steadily. He will not believe the advertising of chips and cola, for him, expensive things will not be a yardstick for prestige, and elite education will not mean spiritual perfection at all. But is this inadequacy or still the highest degree of adequacy?
Yoga can be taught by anyone. It seems that after a long training course you can teach yourself.
And anyway, there is enough theoretical knowledge from books, flexibility is not needed at all. In fact, this is not so. In order to become a yoga teacher, one must pass a special course, and practice should be several years, alternating with meditation and spiritual growth.
Yoga classes can not do without pain.
Do not equate yoga with pain. At the very beginning of the practice, when a person only encounters the fact of shortening of muscles and ligaments, as well as the poor mobility of the joints, it will be necessary for some time to really suffer pain. But the gradual entry into the rhythm of classes will translate the painful sensations into just unpleasant, and then the stretching in general will begin to deliver a specific pleasure. Something like this is experienced by a person who himself sits in front of a computer for a long time, and then begins to sigh sweetly. At this point, the body feels a kind of “muscle joy,” which appears because of the relaxation and stretching of previously strained and immobilized muscles. In yoga, there is a term such as “pain threshold”. He should not overstay. And one of the aspects of mastery is just to be constantly in the zone of inner comfort. It is equally important to feel your body to protect yourself from overloads and injuries. The correct technique for performing asanas is impossible without initial warm-up and warm-up of the muscles, correct entry and exit into the poses. A person learns to give his body time to adapt, dose the load. If the practice remains painful, then we must either look for the reasons for this, or another approach or change the methodology. It’s not Yoga, it’s the man who is to blame for this.
Yoga is very difficult to learn and master.
People learn foreign languages, and not just one. Is not it more difficult? Yoga can quickly become simple and understandable from something exotic and mysterious. For this it is necessary to understand its 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 becomes clear what is generally being said in class. Practical yoga works with the breath and the mind. Beginners are not required to know perfectly “Yoga Sutras” or “Bhagavad Gita.” And medical education for exact knowledge of its anatomy is not required. Just people learn to correctly and consciously use what they already have from birth. The mind and body are transformed into perfect tools, revealing new facets of life and opening up new possibilities.
Yoga is useful in pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a critical time. Physical exercises in this period have many contraindications. It is best to understand what the body is capable of yet based on previous practice experience that was before pregnancy. Otherwise, there is a great risk of harming yourself. To make yoga really useful during pregnancy, it is best to have a couple of years of experience and already mastered the techniques. It will be a mistake to start practicing yoga, going on maternity leave with the thoughts that finally there was free time. This approach will not only not be of use, but will also prove to be simply dangerous.
For pregnant women there is a special yoga.
It is sad to say, but pregnant women are the most profitable and most trusting category of consumers. Especially for them, a whole industry of services and goods was created. This is not surprising, because any woman seeks to make the most that it depends on it to preserve the health of the unborn child. The same yoga classes offered to pregnant women do not differ from classes in any other conditions of the body. It just makes a correction for the individual characteristics of the body and personal feelings. But does every instructor know what it is and what exactly does the woman feel during the exercises? In fact, such a yoga is not much different from the complex of therapeutic exercises, which offer women’s centers.
Yoga is very expensive.
First of all, the price of mats, yoga mats is frightening. However, the most expensive specimens are not the best. The form for yoga in general is chosen taking into account the convenience, the brand here does not play any role. Classes are better to choose in specialized yoga centers, where they will cost less than in a fitness club. Many in the course of time generally switch to independent home practices, which is generally free. Individual and group classes are considered by many, only as a first step. Yoga has a bad effect on sex life.
Actually, such exercises help to strengthen the pelvic muscles and teach them to better control them. This will increase the duration of orgasm and its acuity, and also give more pleasure to the partner. Yoga will remove stiffness of the body and unnecessary muscle tension. It is also known that for sex is important mood. The more often a person feels tired and frustrated, the less in his life will be sex and pleasure from him. Yoga will help to relax and relieve daily tension. Exercises will adjust both the body and the brain to receive sensual pleasure. It is believed that in a couple of months of regular classes the benefits of yoga will begin to positively affect the person’s intimate life.