Yoga has increased in popularity over the past few years, but there are still many people who are afraid or apprehensive to try it. This is often because of some misinformation they may have heard about the practice. Not everyone needs to love yoga, and if you try it and decide that it's not for you, that is entirely alright. However, you should be sure that you are making your decisions on facts, rather than on these common misconceptions about yoga.
Misconception: You need to be flexible to go yoga.
You've probably seen images or videos of people bending their bodies into amazingly contorted positions as they practice yoga. Pictures like this fuel the misassumption that you need to be really flexible to do yoga. Yes, yoga does promote flexibility, and if you practice for years, you will also become quite flexible. But you do not need to be flexible to start. There are plenty of beginner poses that even the most inflexible person can do. Enroll in a beginner's class, and you won't feel your lack of flexibility is a limitation.
Misconception: Yoga has to be a spiritual practice.
For some, yoga is a spiritual practice or a way of practicing their religion. It has connections to Buddhism and Daoism. But if you would rather not use yoga as a religious practice, that's perfectly okay. There are yoga classes that focus purely on the athleticism of yoga without mentioning anything spiritual or religious. You can also engage in yoga and meditation from a purely psychological standpoint and not one of any particular religion.
Misconception: You need specific clothing and a mat to do yoga.
Is a lack of equipment holding you back? Again, the perfectly curated Instagram posts made by popular yogis can make it seem like you can only do yoga in high-quality athletic apparel and on an expensive mat. While this equipment is nice to have, you can actually do yoga in whatever gym shorts and old t-shirt you have laying around, right on your living room floor. You don't even have to go to a studio, thanks to the availability of yoga videos online.
Misconception: Yoga leads to injuries.
Any sport or athletic practice can lead to injuries if you push yourself too hard and don't take the time to recover between workouts. This is no more true of yoga than of running, tennis, or baseball. Start slowly, and stick with practices suited to your skill level; you'll stay injury-free.