Have you ever heard any of these cues or statements about yoga and how it can benefit you? If so, you may be hearing a few yoga myths that permeate the yoga world. Keep reading to find out 4 yoga myths and the reasons why these are myths and not truths.
Yoga Myth #1: Your Heels Should Touch the Ground in Downward Dog
Big NO here – if they do, great. If they don’t, also great. Your heels getting to the ground in downdog depends on a few different things:
- Calf and hamstring flexibility
- Shoulder flexibility
- The length of your achilles tendon – some people are born with long achilles tendons – these people can most likely get their heels down. Some people are born with shorter achilles tendons – these people probably won’t ever be able to get their heels down. This is an anatomical difference that can’t be changed (tendons should not be stretched). Here’s an image of where your Achilles is, so you can better understand how it impacts your downdog:
The most important thing here? Listen to your body and don’t push past your end range of motion just cause your neighbor is. Put a blanket or pillow under your heels if you really want to know what it feels like to get your heels down in downdog – and voila! Your heels are down.
Want to learn more about downward facing dog? Check out my YouTube video about how to do it:
Yoga Myth #2: Relax Your Glutes (Butt Muscles) in Bridge Pose and Other Backbends
Without getting super bogged down in biomechanics and anatomy – your butt muscle is IN CHARGE of helping you backbend. Your backbends will get so much better if you use your butt muscles – I promise. Not to mention any kind of low back crunchy feeling you might have that is so common with backbends will likely decrease. Don’t believe me? Just give it a try and then drop me a comment and tell me if you noticed a difference.
Yoga Myth #3: Will Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?
This can be a sensitive subject with some mixed answers on whether or not yoga has affected someone’s weight loss. The short answer on this is that it wasn’t the yoga – it was either:
- The added amount of physical activity because you were doing absolutely nothing before
- You also started to eat less than you had been eating before and it coincided with when you started yoga.
The only way to lose weight is to eat in a calorie deficit = Calories In < Calories Out.
However, there is a way you can use yoga to aid in your weight loss journey. If. youwant to learn more about calorie counting, check out Jordan Syatt’s YouTube Channel. To read more about how you can use yoga to lose weight, check out my other blog post where I cover this in my more detail:
Yoga Myth #4: You Can’t Get Injured Doing Yoga
WOAHHH is this wrong. I’m not quite sure where this thinking stems from, but it’s something people are always very surprised by when I mention that some of my injuries have come from my yoga practice. If I had to guess, I think it’s because doctors often tell their patients to do yoga and people get misled into thinking that means they can’t hurt themselves.
Anytime you move your body, you can get injured.
This is why it’s important to be in a class or one-on-one setting when you’re learning yoga – especially if you’re coming to yoga because a doctor has told you it will help you with pain you might be having. If you fall into this category, please please take advantage of my free 30 min. 1-1 zoom yoga sessions that I offer to first time students. This is how you should be starting a yoga practice or coming to yoga with an injury. A group class or YouTube might be cheaper, but it’s not always the best way for your body. In this case, since you’re reading this, it’s neither cheaper nor the best way cause my first zoom private session is always free! Head over here to the link below to sign up:
Here are some questions for you – drop me a comment with your answers:
- Do you have any yoga myths you think belong on this list?
- Not sure about a cue you heard in class?
- Anything unclear?