Local osteopath and yoga teacher Lin Bridgeford puts us straight on the truth about Yoga -
MYTH: YOGA IS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE
Even if you are stiff as a board to start with, your flexibility will increase healthily over time with regular yoga practice. Yoga builds flexibility, strength and balance; generally men have more strength and women more flexibility to start with. The benefits of yoga are individual and not limited to people who can bend themselves in knots! I often see more dramatic improvement in posture, life energy, confidence and general wellbeing in those who start off stiff and persist over time.
2. Fit and thin
Some yoga classes are more active than others and may improve your fitness; and combined with healthier eating may help shed someunwanted fat, even that dangerous ‘visceral’ fat around the organs.
Yoga was started by men and practiced by them exclusively. Yoga in the west was more female dominated and is now much more popular with men in recent years.
Yoga will help keep you looking and feeling younger. Find a class that suits your abilities and tempo and start to build flexibility, strength and balance to keep you younger!
5. Vegetarians who don’t drink coffee or alcohol
Yoga is not a cult and does not require you to give up things that belong to your lifestyle and culture. You may find that you naturally make healthier choices as your body changes, though there is no need to become stiff in your life choices or follow a lifestyle unnatural to you.
6. Free from injuries or pain
Yoga can be therapeutic and healing for injuries and pain. Be sure your teacher is aware of conditions affecting you so they can modify postures to suit you and help your recovery and pain relief.
MYTH: YOGA IS
I believe there should be an element of fun and light heartedness in yoga.
8. Slow and boring
There are different styles of yoga, some gentle and slow, others dynamic and faster, though these can be made more accessible by starting with a gentle, slower approach and building up.
9. A religion
Yoga teaches us to accept ourselves where we are, work within our limits and be in the present moment; being kinder to ourselves can help us be kinder to others. These are life skills, not religion!
10. Not a workout
Dynamic classes like Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga can get your heart rate up and build fitness and strength; this may not be obvious in a beginner’s class that starts gently and slowly, leading you into better fitness.
11. Not for people who go to the gym already
There are many forms of exercise that help physical fitness; Yoga is unique as a therapeutic system that helps improve health, heal injuries and balance mental stress; improves flexibility and builds strength, protects your spine and joints, releases tension and relaxes your nervous system, boosts immune and digestive systems, helps you sleep better. Yoga is an excellent cross training to compliment other sports.
12. Time consuming and needs to be done for an hour every day
Any yoga is better than no yoga, even 5-10 minutes as a daily (almost!) routine will benefit your health, body and mind.
Lin Bridgeford DO KFRP MICAK MICRA FSCCO MSc
Registered Osteopath & Kinesiologist & Senior Yoga Teacher
Aether Bios Clinic Saltdean
T. 01273 309557
M. 07710 227038