“Yoga is so slow”, “Yoga is dull and boring” – I’ve heard this both from my dear friends and random acquaintances so many times I can’t even count. But it still surprises me.
Yoga in a nutshell
The original idea of yoga is to enhance and balance the bond between mind and body, connect with our inner self, find harmony with the world around us. It provides a better perception of the world and our place in it.
Having a profound experience like this is anything but boring.
Not convinced yet? Good. Because I’ve decided to have a closer look at three most common reasons why people refuse to give yoga another try:
Not at all what I was expecting.
Yoga has long become a mainstream activity. So many new types of yoga emerge so fast that it’s hard to keep up. And it’s not a bad thing that this ancient practice is trending, attracting many new followers around the world. No matter what form it takes, it still is beneficial for mind and body. But in order to appeal to everybody, yoga had to adapt. So, for some types of yoga its original purpose and meaning was lost along the way.
When it comes to new yoga types people get super creative. For example, now you can stumble upon a Beer yoga, a Horse yoga, a Goat yoga, a Laughter yoga, a Fitness yoga and what not. So, when yoga beginners have certain expectations and then come across such novelty practices, they are unlikely to get the right idea.
Yoga is not nearly intense enough to help me lose weight.
A real trick is not to treat yoga just as another physical workout with a bunch of sets that you need to follow mechanically. Yoga can hardly be regarded as training as such. It’s not about the precision and coordination of movement. Posture practice, balance, breathing control and flexibility are just small parts of a bigger picture.
Those who are used to intense gym classes may find yoga too slow and less engaging than let’s say a good old TRX class. When we want to get impressive results really fast, high cardio with extreme sweating seems like the best way to go.
But check out this amazing chain of events: extreme weight change more often than not is caused by hormonal imbalances or psychological conditions which in their turn are caused by stress. Yoga has a calming effect on our entire nervous system, decreasing stress levels.
And regular yoga practice (key word being ‘regular’) has a long-lasting effect on your physical and mental well-being bringing along patience, stress-relief, balance, flexibility, increased energy levels and improved sleep.
To top it off, yoga is a chance to find a deeper sense of self, sort through emotions and be in harmony with ourselves and the world around us.
I want to take my mind off things and now I need to think about the deep stuff?
Some people think that because of its philosophical component yoga is very complex and too thought-provoking. On the contrary, yoga teaches us to stop brooding over the past and the future and focus on the ‘right now’ to become more aware of the body and mind. When we zoom in on the present moment, we learn to let go of the problems from our past and quit worrying so much about the future.
The secret to getting there is breathing. It helps calm the mind embracing the present moment. By staying connected to our breath we provide focus for the mind and learn to see things more clearly.
Not to mention that yoga is not a mere practice, but rather the way of life. The philosophy behind yoga invites you to be kinder, more open, sincere and more present in life.
It’s not wrong to focus only on the physical side of yoga, of course, as long as it brings you joy and benefits health and well-being. There is a chance, however, that learning more about it will make your practice more versatile and enjoyable.