21st June has been celebrated as International Yoga Day since last few years. Though Yoga has been popular all over the world for decades, there have been many misconceptions about yoga which are widespread among the people.
Misconception 1: Yoga is a religious practice
Yoga was an invention of Hindus but that does not mean non Hindus and atheists will be endorsing Hindud faith if they practice yoga. It is just an excellent form of physical and mental exercise and NOT a religious practice. It has got nothing to do with faith. You do not become a Christian if you follow the Gregorian calendar or you do not become a Muslim if you listen to Sufi music.
Misconception 2: All Yoga Poses Are For Everyone
Certain Yoga Asanas (postures) and Pranayamas (Breathing exercise) are prohibited for minors, pregnant women, menstruating women or people suffering from certain medical conditions like heart ailments etc. In these situations it can be fatal to practice wrong postures.
Misconception 3: Yoga Is All About Contortion
Yoga is a system that contains various postures and breathing exercises. Some of these are pretty simple while some are very complicated. You do not need to be super flexible or a contortionist to be able to reap benefit from yoga.
Misconception 4: All The Asanas And Pranayamas Can Be learnt By Watching Videos/Pictures
You cannot just learn the postures by watching videos without instructions. Listen to the instructions in the videos carefully. For advanced postures it is always advisable to interact with a teacher
Misconception 5: Everything That Is Flooded In The Market As Yoga Is Genuine
Western Countries in particular have been subjected to a lot of fake yoga gurus and fake Yoga practices. Do your research properly before grabbing anything that is offered to you as yoga.