Believe it or not, yoga isn’t just for hippies. Let’s kick that myth into touch straight away and celebrate yoga for what it really is.
People have been practising yoga for thousands of years but there are still misconceptions about what it is, who can do it, and why it’s such an effective form of exercise for the mind and body.
Who better to set the record straight than Kirsty Hogarth from The Life Centre at The Great Northern?
It’s the biggest yoga studio in Greater Manchester with over 50 yoga and meditation classes every week.
If you’re new to yoga then The Life Centre’s beginners’ courses are perfect, while the centre also runs specialist pre- and postnatal classes, yoga for anxiety and regular hot yoga sessions.
And if you’re really looking to throw yourself into it, The Life Centre offers unlimited classes for 21 days (consecutive) for £30 so newbies can try a range of classes and teacher styles and find the perfect match for them.
The Life Centre is also running a competition to give away a 10 class pass worth £90 to one lucky winner. To find out more about the competition and to enter, click here.
So without further ado, here are the big myths (and busts) that surround this ancient practice according to yogi master Kirsty.
Myth #1 You have to be flexible to do yoga
No. You really don’t. Practising yoga will help you become a little more flexible, but it’s not just for people who can already touch their toes. It’s ‘yoga practice’, not ‘yoga perfection’ and there are so many different style of yoga from therapeutic through to more powerful styles like Jivamukti. There really is something for everyone.
Myth #2 Yoga isn’t for men
This is something we hear quite often but couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga helps us to be better balanced people, both mentally and physically. If you can relate to feeling stressed, firey and restless (all masculine yang qualities) then a gentle style of yoga (such as yin yoga) can help balance you out so you feel more grounded and relaxed and can take this in to your everyday life. Plus, it’s a great supporting practice if you play a lot of sports as it increases your range of motion and helps prevent injuries. And don’t forget that United legend Ryan Giggs became a yogi midway through his illustrious career, and famously launched his own yoga DVD.
Myth #3 I do other sports so don’t need to practise yoga
Like with the ‘it’s not for men’ myth, we hear this a lot and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga is a great supplementary activity that will help condition you for other sports. Aside from helping you achieve mental balance, yoga strengthens your muscles, improves fitness and increases flexibility. If you needed any further persuasion, Sue Hodgkinson, who runs regular hot yoga classes at The Life Centre, is one of the yoga teachers of choice for Manchester’s Premier League football teams.
Myth #4 Yoga is just about pretzel postures (or what happens on the mat)
People can be put off by what can look like difficult postures to achieve, but the physical aspect of yoga is only part of it. Yoga is about achieving mental equilibrium. The best way to think about practising yoga is as an investment in you. The time you spend on the mat brings positive change and rewards into your every day life.
And finally, an excuse busted.
I tried it before and didn’t like it
Saying that is basically the same as saying: “I tried a carrot, didn’t like it, so I don’t like veg”. There are so many different types of yoga, and you can do it at different times of the day. With so much choice, persevere until you find the session and teacher that’s right for you. You won’t regret it.
For more information about The Life Centre, or to book a class, click here.