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De-mythi-fying

I’m not flexible enough for yoga.

Yoga is to help you get more flexible. It’s not like soccer, baseball, football, gymnastics, dance, field hockey or curling – there’s no “you should try yoga – you’d be good at it.” There’s no “good at it.” There’s what yoga does for you. If you’re tight, it’ll make you more flexible. If you’re weak, it’ll make you stronger. If you’re mean, it’ll make you nicer. The entire practice of yoga is based on balance. The practice is meant to and does create balance in each individual. So your flexibility is just right for your yoga.

I’m not graceful enough to do yoga in front of people.

It’s not a performance. Yoga is a non-competitive practice where everyone in the room is rooting for you. And by the way, they’re not watching you – they’re trying to do the same pose as ungracefully as you.

Yoga is for girls.

It most certainly is not! We actually have quite a few men practicing with us. Want to be sure you're not the only guy in a class? Come to a class taught by a guy!

I have an impediment so I can’t do yoga.

Yoga, at its core, is an accessible practice. If you have a disability, injury, anxiety, depression or emotional disorder, yoga is accessible to you. You are welcome and requested to make changes to the practice according to your needs. Unfortunately, photos and posts of flexible yogis in pretzel poses can make us feel like this isn't for us. But it is. The first principle of yoga is ahimsa, non-harm. What does that have to do with pretzel poses? How could feeling bad that you can't do a pose work into a non-harming practice?

Please let your teacher and/or the front desk know if you'd like guidance in your practice. We're here to make the practice possible, not to whip you into some sort of shape.

Yoga is a religion.

Yoga is not a religion. It has ancient roots – more ancient than Christianity – and since we’re so used to those roots being religious, it’s easy to make the mistake. As a matter of fact, yoga was rejected by Hinduism according to foremost yoga teacher T.K.V. Desikachar (Yoga Journal). There is an ancient text The Yoga Sutras by the sage Patanjali which includes philosophies such as “do no harm to others.” But you are not required to follow or believe in any of the principles put forth in The Yoga Sutras.

An explanation from the article “Is Yoga a Religion?” by Paul Catalfo in Yoga Journal: Yoga has no singular creed, nor does it have any ritual by which adherents profess their faith or allegiance, such as baptism or confirmation. There are no religious obligations, such as attending weekly worship services, receiving sacraments, fasting on certain days, or performing a devotional pilgrimage. You are not required to believe in or attend or take part in anything.