Yoga has been around for so long that many are aware of the great positive health and fitness benefits it inspires. On the flip side, there are also lots of misconceptions about yoga, such as that it is only for flexible people, when yogis profess that the flexibility needed is often that of the mind. However, there are also some really interesting yoga facts which you might be interested to learn about.
What’s great about exploring yoga facts is that we are able to break down some myths about the practice:
- Yoga is popular – If you think that yoga was a trend years ago when it really did become popular around the world, then think again. Even in the last few years the numbers of yoga practitioners is rising rapidly. Many top athletes incorporate yoga stretches and poses into their training programs for the physical effects as well as the meditative and mind benefits. According to a Yoga Journal produced study, there are around 20.4 million Americans practicing yoga; that’s 8.7% of the population!
- Yoga is for all ages – Do you have a stereotype of someone who is middle-aged as the most likely yoga practitioner? Or do you think of it as a practice only suitable for the young and agile? Yoga is great for all ages and can be a wonderful practice as you age. The oldest yoga teacher in the world, according to the Guinness World Records is 93 year old French-Indian yoga Tao Porchon-Lynch who just last year released a book and DVD on yoga.
- Yoga is for everybody – While there are more women than men practicing yoga, it is not an exclusionary practice. With the right guidance, yoga can be helpful for those with limited mobility, as well as those who are suffering from back pain or are recovering from illness and injury. Of course, as with any exercise, you do need to check with a medical professional first. Did you know that there’s even yoga for dogs? Doga is aimed at yoga for dogs and their humans; creating true canine calm and human harmony!
- Yoga is about intuition – Chanting ‘Om’ in yoga or when practicing yoga and meditation at home is believed by many yogis to help open your third eye chakra, as it is the primordial sound of the Universe; an energy point in the body which is considered to be linked to intuition.
- Yoga is about connection – Yoga practice is about the body and the mind and encourages greater awareness of your inner self and your physical self. The culture of yoga springs from a form of spirituality. Did you know that the word ‘yoga’ comes from Sanskrit and means ‘to unite’?
Next month we’ll look at five more interesting yoga facts. In the meantime, learn more about yoga with some great yoga moves!