Survey Finds Common Yoga Misconceptions

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What prevents people from jumping on the yoga bandwagon? According to a new survey conducted by Yoga Alliance, several misconceptions could be what's keeping non-yogis from trying their first class.

Below is an excerpt from the press release:

The research sought feedback from people who have never stepped foot in
a studio as well as those who have made yoga an essential part of their
lives. It found that, despite growing "buzz," there are many Americans
who know little about yoga or, worse, have incorrect assumptions which
inhibit them from participation. The three most common misperceptions
are that yoga:

  • Is religion-based. 57% of those who do not currently practice yoga believe that it requires mantras or chanting related to a form of worship.
  • Requires flexibility in order to practice.
     Nearly 3 in 5 Americans - 59% of respondents - who do not practice
    yoga think that it requires a person to be in at least "decent" shape.
    In truth, however, anyone - of any size, shape or physical state - can
  • Is not reallyexercise. Half of men who have never practiced yoga believe it "isn't a workout." In contrast, 73% of people who do practice believe it is just as effective as running, swimming or weight lifting."

That confirms my suspicions about why some people are simply not interested in yoga. I think it's a shame that misinformation about the practice has led so many to shun something that so many have found beneficial. It makes me wonder, what are we, as a community, doing wrong? What can we do to help people understand more clearly what yoga is really all about?