It’s not only for athletes and it doesn't matter if you are not flexible.
You don’t have to be athletic, thin, flexible… you don’t have to be anything! There are no labels attached to yoga. Yoga is a great tool to help any individual reach any goal athletically or professionally. It is about taking time out of your day to focus on yourself and on your body no matter how athletic you are or are not.
It’s not a fashion show
You don’t need a $98 (before tax) pair of pants. You just don’t. I will suggest getting a pair of yoga pants that aren’t see-thru though. The point is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on yoga clothes. You can get yoga pants at Wal-Mart, Target, or even Goodwill.
Heck, check your local Facebook yard sale page! You can usually find what you need if you just get to looking. You don’t need to go to Lululemon or even Victoria’s Secret to purchase a tank top and a pair of yoga pants. Yoga isn’t about spending money and going broke so don’t make it that way! Nobody is judging you, and if they are, they don’t know what yoga is about. If you’re going to spend money on something get a good mat. That’s it. That’s all you need.
It’s not a religion
A common misunderstanding about yoga is that it is a religion. It’s not. Yoga is an exercise in which movements are aligned with the breath to improve health physically and mentally. Any other interpretations are from the mind of the individual practicing. In fact, the American College of Physicians now recommend yoga as a first-line therapy for acute and chronic back pain, and their recommendation is based on solid, dependable research.
It’s not only for hippies
Yoga has the reputation that it’s for hippies. It’s not! Yoga is actually really beneficial for the busiest corporate American out there. Yoga forces you to take time for yourself. Something everyone needs and especially those who are the busiest. Don’t let stereotypes keep you away from the mat.
Yoga is not boring.
If you have a busy mind you may have gone to a yoga class and thought you were in physical pain, not from the moves but from the fact you couldn’t stop thinking about your next assignment at work and the pile of laundry you have at home. We get that, completely! You may be surprised to learn there are different types of yoga and you can find one that fits you specifically!
For example, if you want to relax, try Hatha yoga. This is a slower more basic yoga class. If you want deep stretching that will put you in a meditative state try Yin yoga or Yoga Nidra. If you want a fast intense workout that doesn’t give you a minute to think of laundry then try Vinyasa or FLOW yoga.
But, whatever you do, try different kinds before you blow yoga off for good.
Yoga is becoming more and more relevant in America for flexibility, for back pain, and for general exercise. We encourage you to dip your toes in the yoga water and see what you think. It's highly effective for treating back pain and even the medical profession is starting to take note.
On a semi-related note, the American College of Physicians, in addition to yoga, also recommends chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture for acute and chronic back pain. A combination can be a powerful way of attacking lingering aches and pains.
Dr. Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM is a Fellowship-trained Neuromusculoskeletal specialist and chiropractor in Amarillo, TX. As an Amarillo chiropractor, Dr. Williams treats chronic pain, disc pain, low back pain, neck pain, whiplash injuries, and more. Dr. Williams is also the host of The Chiropractic Forward Podcast. Through the podcast, Dr. Williams teaches fellow chiropractors and advocates weekly for evidence-based, patient-centered practice through current and relevant research. If you have any questions for Dr. Williams, feel free to email at [email protected]