Loving Balance Yoga

Common Misconceptions

Yoga is for the flexible and fit
If you feel you couldn't possibly do yoga, then yoga might be especially helpful for you.  Some people avoid yoga because they think they are not flexible enough. They think it is for the young, strong and athletic - and if you look at the pictures in magazines you could easily get that impression.   It's well known among yoga therapists that people with no experience in yoga often make quicker progress with health issues.  It is those who find yoga the most challenging, think they are terrible at it, and can't seem to quiet their minds who have the most to gain.

Yoga is only for those in good health
I have had the pleasure of teaching students with many different physical and emotional problems: older people, stiff people, people with years of chronic disease, people in pain or who are too depressed to get out of bed.  Yoga can be modified for everyones needs and abilities.

Yoga is a religion
Yoga is not a religion.   Although there is a spiritual side to yoga, you don't have to subscribe to any particular beliefs to benefit from it.  You can embrace and explore this spiritual side or choose to totally ignore it.  Meditation, which is very effective for a variety of problems, originated in yoga and remains an integral part.  However, if meditation seems too foreign to you, don't do it.  The same goes for chanting Om.  Yoga is happily practiced by Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, atheists and agnostics alike.

Yoga can cause serious injuries
In January of 2012,   New York Times Magazine published an article stating yoga may be bad for your health.  The article goes on to detail torn achilles tendons caused by downward facing dog pose, ripped hamstrings and even strokes suffered during upward bow.
Unfortunately, due to the recent popularity of yoga, there is an abundance of studios where teachers lack the training necessary to recognize when students are headed towards injury.  Never allow an instructor to push you into a pose that does not feel right for you.  Also, the misconception that the goal of yoga is to develop a hot body has caused many new students to push themselves beyond their capabilities.  Our yoga practice is like life.  Each circumstance in which we find ourselves is like a pose.  Some are hard to hold - others are pleasant.  It is how we hold the pose that determines whether or not we will suffer or grow, whether or not we will listen to the drama of the ego or the wisdom of the spirit.
By listening to our bodies and not comparing ourselves to anyone else we grow in our practice.  We are patient with ourselves and over time our body changes.   Always work with an experienced and  certified instructor.  They have been trained to recognize when modifications are required to avoid the common injuries (back, neck, hamstring, wrist, shoulder and knee)
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