Yoga Myths Dispelled: Five Things Yoga is Not

When it comes to improving emotional and physical health AND increasing self awareness, yoga does it all! Research demonstrates many benefits. Still, there are many common misconceptions that prevent people from trying it:

  • I’m not flexible.
  • I’m too old.
  • I’m embarrassed to try a class.
  • I will never, ever wear spandex.
  • Yoga is too woo-woo for me; it seems like a weird religion.

You are not alone if you find yourself thinking these things! I help people address these same concerns in my classes every week. I am here to tell you: you can absolutely do yoga. But first, we have to define what yoga really is—and it’s easiest to do that by briefly defining what it is NOT.


Five Things Yoga is NOT:

1.       Yoga is not reserved for people more flexible than you.

  • The poses are just one part of an eight-limbed wellness system, and they can be modified to be done lying down or from a chair.
  • We start from where you are at and grow from there. The only flexibility needed for beginners is an open mind!

2.       Yoga is not about naming all the poses you can’t do.

  • Yoga is strength-based, meaning that when we do poses, we start with what you can do, and safely build from that.
  • Yoga poses can be adapted using props--such as blankets and pillows—to help support you.

3.       Yoga is not reserved for spandex-clad fitness freaks who are younger than you.

  • Yoga is used in hospitals to help people of all ages recover from injuries and chronic illness.
  • Yoga helps people with emotional traumas to feel safe again.

4.       Yoga is not a religion.

  • When yoga was first brought to the United States, it was presented as a total wellness program that supports the individual’s spiritual and emotional health within any and every religion.
  • Yoga is a discipline that supports every type of mindfulness program including meditation.

5.       Yoga is not a competition.

  • The people in class are on the same team. They’re on the same physical journey as you – and are probably filled with stories about where they started from! They had a first class, too.
  • Yoga is about you! Recall that we start with where you are at and build from there.

Try Yoga Today!

Introducing yoga to first-time students (and people who think they can’t do it) is one of the most rewarding things I do as a teacher. Why? Because across the board, they are amazed by how much better they feel, and how much they CAN do, even after the first class. It’s rewarding for me because I see how rewarding it is for them. This has nothing to do with how they performed any one pose. Yoga lesson #1 is about mindset: it’s the experiential shift from I CAN’T into I CAN.

YOU can feel that same sense of reward and empowerment. Check out this 20 minute chair yoga practice from my YouTube Channel, below! There are great beginner Yoga videos posted regularly, so if you enjoy this one, please subscribe!

Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re “not flexible”.

The only flexibility you really need is in the mind—it’s the willingness to try! 


Jodi Rose Gonzales ATR, NCC, RYT200. Jodi Rose is an artist, art therapist, author, yogi and coach whose mission is to empower people to achieve lasting personal change and breakthrough professional results. Using a unique evidence-based program informed by art therapy, positive psychology, neuroscience and yoga, Jodi shows her clients how to achieve peak performance, peace of mind, enhanced clarity, and improved creativity and focus. Jodi offers live and virtual presentations, group workshops, and retreat intensives. Follow Jodi Rose on Facebook Instagram or Linked In. For more information email or visit

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