As a beginner, it is only natural for you to have a ‘million and one’ questions about yoga. We all do when we start a new thing.
This post is going to try to answer possible questions that you might have by highlighting some of the frequently asked questions about yoga. This list will cover some of the questions that you might have and any other questions that you never thought of asking. You will then get answers that will not only satisfy your curiosity but also make you a better yogi. Without further ado, let’s look at these questions and answers;
Q: What is the age limit for practicing yoga?
A: Many people stay away from yoga because they think they are either too young or too old for yoga. The truth of the matter is anyone and everyone can practice yoga as long as they are old enough to stand and communicate. Mostly the age limit for yoga starts from 5 years up until the age where you can’t move your body because of old age and this is usually from 80 years onwards. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter if you are weak, strong, skinny, or overweight, you can practice yoga perfectly.
Furthermore, yoga classes are categorized into a different group of classes which makes people of different ages feel more comfortable. For instance, there are yoga classes for women only, men only, children only, and old people.
Q: Should you still do yoga when you are on your periods?
A: This question always causes a huge debate whenever it is brought up. There has never been a clear answer to this question. This is because there are several different schools of thought when it comes to yoga and periods. Some experts believe that women who are having their menses, should rest because their bodies need to cleanse and detoxify themselves and the last thing they need when doing that is stress that comes from a workout. Other experts believe it is okay for women to do yoga when having their menses because yoga postures do not cause lasting harm.
I think the middle ground between the two schools of thought works perfectly. Yes, there are no yoga poses that can cause you lasting harm but there are other poses that can either hurt you or interfere with your natural blood flow when you practice them when on your menses. So what you should do is to simply listen to your body, if you feel your body is strong enough for yoga then go right ahead and do it but go easy and avoid yoga poses that may cause you to harm like a full wheel, seated spinal twist, a breath of fire, handstand and shoulder stand pose. If your body doesn’t feel like doing yoga, then respect this and rest.
Q: How many times should I practice yoga to see some benefit?
A: The best thing that you can ever do in order to see some benefit from yoga is to get started in yoga. I know you may have expected me to tell you how many times per week you need to practice to see some results but
yoga doesn’t work that way. It is a journey that you need to take one step at a time for you to grow into a level where your body can enjoy the benefits of yoga.
That said, as a beginner in yoga, you will notice some benefits of yoga when you start regardless of whether you are doing it once, twice or thrice a week. As a newbie, you should first focus on getting used to yoga poses. After that, you should slowly start adding the number of times that you do yoga in a week. Once you get to that level, your body will then start to enjoy the numerous benefits of yoga.
So your goal should be to ease into an advanced point of yoga where you will enjoy constant benefit rather than think how many times you need to do yoga per week to benefit from it.
Q: Can yoga help me lose weight?
A: The answer is yes but not in the way that you think.
Yoga is a whole-body workout, which makes you work hard, sweat, and feel exhausted. That alone can help you lose some weight. But yoga also uses challenging physical exercises to tone your body and improve your health through heightened flexibility, relaxation, and body awareness which is another way that you can lose weight. Apart from those two, yoga also makes you get in touch with your body which helps you make healthier decisions about what you eat; a situation that also helps you to lose weight.
That said, yoga is not a good cardio workout; it is not an activity that burns a lot of calories. Hence, when you start practicing yoga, you will lose some weight but not too much.
Q: What is the difference between yoga and other conventional exercises?
A: Conventional exercise is any physical activity that cultivates, arouses, and strengthens the vital organs of your body, but yoga is simply a discipline that mainly focuses on integrating your physical, mental and spiritual fitness. In short, yoga is more than a physical body workout as it emphasizes on matching your breath with your movement, which provides you with spiritual and mental benefits.
Q: Can overweight people practice yoga?
A: Today’s society has painted a picture that depicts yoga as an activity that only involves slender and extremely fit people. This has created a misconception that overweight people cannot do yoga, which is not true because overweight people can do yoga perfectly. All you have to do if you are overweight is to look for a small class when looking for a yoga class. Why? You will need more assistance when doing yoga postures and the best way you can get that assistance is when attending a small class where the teacher can easily assist you as he/she has fewer people to focus on.
If you are overweight, you also need to be patient with yourself. Yes, yoga improves your flexibility but that doesn’t happen instantly. Thus, if you are unable to perform a pose don’t be disappointed, just opt-out, do what you can and with no time you will be able to do what you thought was impossible.
Q: Will yoga interfere with my religious beliefs?
A: Quite a number of people think that chanting Sanskrit slogans in a yoga class means you are shifting your faith to another religion; first of all, switching religions is not that easy and secondly, that’s totally false. There is no way yoga interferes with your religion. Many people have been practicing yoga for years and no one has ever come out and said a yoga teacher persuaded them to change their religious beliefs and I bet you will never come across such a case.
Yoga means union. What you do during yoga is uniting your soul, body, and mind. This does not lead you to a different religious path it only enhances your spiritual beliefs. Therefore, if you are a Christian it enhances your Christianity the same happens to Muslims, Hindus, and others. However, if you feel uncomfortable with the yoga chants it’s best for you to find a class that doesn’t have Sanskrit chants.
Will I get stares in class because I am new to yoga?
A: Yoga classes are not harsh to newbies as many people think. In fact, they are the opposite. A yoga class is normally very friendly. Yogis treat each other like family and so as a newbie, you get multiple helping hands rather than stares.