Why You Need Yoga

Yoga doesn’t have enough fitness clout. Over the years, I’ve heard many say ‘no thanks’ to yoga before they’ve even tried it. All sorts of yoga myths are spun — I’m not flexible enough, meditation is not for me, where’s the cardio? They couldn’t be more wrong.

In this thoughtful Huffington Post article, Lauren Cahn debunks the yoga bunk. Cahn is an active yogi, and from the pics of her in pose, she’s quite accomplished. Here’s my take on what she has to say:

  • You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga: Cahn points out a lack of flexibility not only implies existing muscular strength (necessary for yoga), it is beneficial to the beginner to prevent over-stretching/injury. Everything in moderation, right? Yoga will increase your flexibility the perfect way — slowly over time.
  • Where’s the cardio?: Trust me, it’s there. Many forms of yoga provide cardiovascular challenge. Cahn suggests trying Vinyasa, Flow, Power Yoga or Ashtanga.
  • My monkey mind is incapable of meditating: Yoga will chase those monkeys away. It’s essentially calming as you’re forced to focus on the pose at hand. Do enough yoga and you might keep those monkeys away in the real world, it’s that powerful.
  • Spirituality is not my thing: There’s no rule that says you must meditate at the end of a yoga class. You won’t be bopped on the head if you don’t say namaste either. A woman fell asleep near my mat a few weeks ago. Close your eyes, nap, rest, whatever. Leave early for the treadmill, but don’t let meditation or spirituality frighten you away.

The older I get, the more I seek yoga. A recent injury has sidelined me from running, so I’m regularly Bodyflowing myself instead. I just wish I had to elbow my way in.

Has your life been enhanced or improved by yoga? Tell us about it below in the comment section.