Saturday, 27 August 2016
As yoga keeps growing, so do the misconceptions about it. Here are few myths that may be getting between you and your yoga bliss.
The good news is that yoga has exploded in western world and more people than ever are dipping into the practice. The bad news is all the misinformation out there that can be at best confusing and at worst a big turnoff for some folks who would otherwise really love and benefit from the practice. Here are a few of them:
This is my all-time favorite myth and as a yoga teacher one that I hear often. Saying you are too stiff to do yoga is like saying you’re too sick to go to the doctor. Stiffness leads to lots of aches and pains. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I can promise that a healthy range of motion throughout the body will reduce your aches and pains today and down the road. Just keep your sense of humor handy.
Myth: You need a certain diet, body type, outfit…
Nope, not at all. Yoga is inclusive and can meet you where you are—there are no prerequisites. A byproduct of yoga may be better physical, mental health and well-being, but I assure you that it is not required to start. The best thing about yoga is that you can come as you are and let the practice tend to you in the most generous way.
Myth: Yoga is religious.
Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a philosophy. Do some people engage in yoga religiously? Yep, but there is no dogma or required belief system in yoga. The philosophy is meant to engage you in asking important questions, gaining insight, and making your own informed choices.
Yoga is an eight-fold path that actually requires a pretty disciplined effort. Relaxation and stress reduction is a wonderful byproduct of a focused practice whether that is asana (poses),pranayama (breath), or meditation.
Myth: Yoga is only for women.
When I first started teaching power yoga, it was about 20 percent men. These days most of my classes are even more men (not in all gyms). I love the guy who comes into his first class as a skeptic and leaves as a sweaty, blissed-out convert. Yoga creates flexibility, builds strength and refines your ability to focus. Don’t take my word for it look at all of the male superstar athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Ray Lewis, Victor Cruz and Kevin Love (just to name a few) touting its benefits.
Again the too-sick-to-go-the-doctor analogy applies, except maybe even more here. These days you can get very high-quality yoga online in formats that range from 15–90 minutes. You can do yoga in the comfort of your home with YouTube or sites like YogaGlo.com and Gaia.com. Add in the efficiency of getting to check off all of these boxes: fitness, stress relief, and skillful focus all in one session. Try just 20 minutes a day and observe the return on that investment. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.
I know lots of people who started practicing at 50 or over 60. It’s not only a great healthy choice but also provides community and positive social benefits that may surprise you. You are only as old as your thoughts—and yoga can positively affect those too, so get yourself into a class with a great teacher and have some fun.
Myth: I’m injured—I can’t do yoga.
Au contraire. Just look at me :) sometimes I can't even walk, but when on my mat, I do my best. Also, I have had many students, who come to yoga while they’re recuperating from an injury and displaced from their regular form of exercise. Those who first try yoga as a means of rehab, typically stick with it because it not only helps them heal but can also help prevent future injury.
Monday, 15 August 2016
Just now I saw one interesting course and I am going to do it :)
It is called The Lottery of Birth
Birth is a lottery. Where, when and to whom you are born and the society into which you are born will influence your life chances.
This is a description of the course - course will look at both the big picture of the ‘lottery of birth’ and the smaller, human stories. You will examine the inequalities of birth, particularly being born rich or poor and being born female or male.
You will also look at the lottery of birth as it relates to becoming a parent. You’ll consider how individual countries and global organisations are responding to demographic changes and predictions and how this plays out in the lives of individual women and men in different parts of the world.
You’ll use a variety of disciplines in the course such as demography, health studies, sociology, comparative social policy, history, political science and economics. This interdisciplinary nature brings different perspectives together to create fresh insights and provide a bridge for different ideas to feed into social and political change.
Towards the end of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to critically analyse an initiative of your choosing from your own country and review the analysis of a fellow learner.
I like the sound of it :)