Curiosity is a dominant trait in everyone looking to go into a new venture, and yogis are no exception.
Social media has painted yoga as an art reserved for elitists. This stereotype has been ingrained into the minds of so many that when yoga is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is a skinny model sitting cross-legged on a mat doing the unending humming.
It’s normal to have questions, skepticism, and reservations when you want to try something you’re unacquainted with, especially when it comes to Union Street yoga.
Not to worry, in this article, we’ll be answering the top 6 FAQs of beginner yogis. Let’s get to it.
1. How is Yoga Different from Regular Meditation?
Yoga and meditation are related practices, but they have distinct differences. Firstly, yoga involves more physical activity than meditation. During yoga, the individual has to balance physical postures (asanas) and controlled breathing exercises (pranayama).
Meditation, on the other hand, is a mental practice that may or may not involve physical postures. The individual only has to sit or lie down in a comfortable position and practice focusing their mind through techniques such as mindfulness, concentration, or guided imagery.
2. Do I Have to Be Flexible to Do Yoga?
No, you do not have to be flexible to start practicing yoga. One of the misconceptions about yoga is that you need to be flexible to participate. The truth is that yoga is a practice that helps people improve their flexibility, balance, strength, and well-being over time. There are even yoga poses for expecting moms.
Just like regular exercise, there are different levels in yoga. Beginner poses will require way less flexibility than advanced poses.
Also, the more you practice, the more your body opens up. Your body will know when it’s time to move on to the next step.
3. Do I Have to Do Every Pose of Yoga?
No, you don’t. (Besides, there are hundreds of them; you’d probably get exhausted by the time you get to the fortieth pose.)
Yoga is a highly customizable practice. You’re only supposed to indulge in those that suit your needs, goals, preferences, abilities, or even physical condition. A good instructor can help you figure out the right ones for you.
Beginners are often advised to start gradually with basic steps before challenging themselves to take on more advanced poses.
4. Does Yoga Help with Weight Loss?
Yes, yoga can be beneficial to your weight-loss journey. However, it may not be as effective as vigorous forms of exercise. For starters, the simple poses in yoga cannot help you burn intense calories, even if you go at them for several hours a day.
What yoga can do is indirectly contribute to your weight loss by toning down the factors that promote it. Lack of physical exercise, stress eating, and an imbalanced metabolism are some of the factors that yoga deals with.
It’s always best to combine yoga with a balanced diet and other forms of exercise that align with your weight-loss program.
5. Do I Have to Keep Humming “Omm” All Through?
No, you do not have to keep humming “Om” throughout your entire yoga practice. Yoga spiritualists tell us that “Omm” is the sound of the universe, and by chanting it, we are aligning ourselves with nature and the world around us.
Some instructors usually ask the class to do the chants either at the beginning or end of the class. If you are uncomfortable or prefer not to chant “Om,” you have the freedom to choose.
The essence of yoga lies in the union of mind, body, and breath, and each person’s journey is unique. If humming does not work for you, there are several other aspects available for you to explore.
6. Which is Better: Yoga at Home or Yoga in the Studio?
The “better” option depends on what aligns with your preferences, lifestyle, and goals. Most individuals may prefer a blend of both, incorporating studio classes for guidance and community and practicing at home for convenience.
You should weigh your options and choose the approach that enhances your overall well-being while promising you a fulfilling yoga experience.