Why I Don’t Teach Yoga to Athletes
Yoga is not just for yogis. It’s a lifestyle choice that requires discipline and commitment.
You don’t want to get bored with it because you’ll have to do something different every day. And if you’re going to practice yoga, then you need to take care of your body first before anything else!
So how does one go about teaching someone about yoga?
You could teach them all the basics like breathing exercises, pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation. That would be great if they already knew these things.
But what happens when you’re trying to introduce someone to yoga without having any experience yourself? What if you’ve never even been outside of your home town or city? How will you prepare them for the realities of practicing yoga in a class setting where everyone is different from each other?
The truth is, there are many misconceptions about yoga out there. Some of these myths include:
Yoga isn’t for everyone. It’s too hard to learn.
They don’t have time to practice regularly enough to reap its benefits. There aren’t enough classes available in their area. Most importantly, most people think that yoga is only good for women and children!
Now, it’s a good thing that you’ve landed on this article because all these myths are going to be dispelled once and for all. Let’s start with the first one…
Yoga Isn’t For Everyone, And That’s Okay!
I’m sure you’ve heard this before about many different things in life. Some people just don’t like playing team sports or even being outside at all.
If you’re one of those people, then you probably won’t like taking up yoga either.
Are we going to hate you for that?
Of course not! In fact, we would still encourage you to try other things such as martial arts or even team sports!
There’s always something out there for everyone, but it’s important to find the right one in the beginning so you don’t waste your time and money. There are plenty of other things to do in life.
So if you don’t like yoga, then don’t force it!
Let’s move on to Myth #2…
Everyone Has Time To Practice Yoga Regularly!
Are you kidding me right now?
First of all, I’m sure you know how beneficial yoga is. From improving your flexibility and balance, to relieving stress through breathing techniques and meditation, these are just some of the many benefits that everyone can enjoy.
We understand that most people are extremely busy these days, but do you think that means they don’t have time to practice?
If that’s your thought process, let me educate you on something and this is just my opinion. People don’t value their health as much as they should, and this is due to several reasons such as the fast pace of life, not enough money to afford the luxuries in life, and even just being plain lazy.
From my personal experiences in life, I’ve found that people who are lazy or unmotivated to do anything for themselves usually complain about everything. They like to make excuses as to why they aren’t getting what they want in life, and most of the time, it has to do something with the past.
It’s never their fault and they’ll go on and on about these things until you want to slap them in the face and tell them to shut the hell up.
This rant isn’t about the people who whine all the time, but it’s to show you that not everyone has the luxury of having enough time to practice yoga. Now I’m not saying that your life is perfect and you have all the free time in the world, but if you’re reading this right now, then it’s possible that you have more free time than you realize.
The point that I’m trying to make here is that you need to make time for yourself so you can enjoy the many benefits of yoga. Don’t even worry about how much time you have because you can always do something.
Even if it’s just a couple of minutes, you can still take a break and do a few poses or do some deep breathing exercises in your chair to relieve stress.
Just remember that you need to start small and work your way up. Don’t just jump into a 60-minute class and then expect to do that every day.
This is a practice that you have to work up to, but the good news is it can be fun and you can see improvements as time goes on.
Alright, let’s move on to Myth #3…
Yoga Is Just For Girls!
Ah yes, this myth couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Don’t believe me?
The best thing about yoga is it teaches you how to control your breathing. And when I say control, I mean really take in a deep breath and hold it for an extended period of time before exhaling.
Now I know what you’re thinking and no, this isn’t some crazy “outdoorsy” thing where you have to go hiking or anything like that. You can practice yoga at home by yourself or with a few friends if you have them.
Now if you decide to do this, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
Don’t Be Too Rigid – Yoga is more about breathing and remaining calm rather than focusing on the actual poses. If you find yourself getting frustrated because you can’t get into a certain position, then stop and focus on your breathing.
It’s better to do less but stick with it, rather than doing too much and giving up entirely as soon as you feel any pain or discomfort.
Watch Out For Pain – As I said before, yoga is meant to make you feel good. If you start feeling pain somewhere in your body when doing a certain pose, then stop and try to focus on that part of the body.
Massage it a little if you have to or just take a break before trying again later.
Get An Instructor – If you have the money to do so, I highly recommend that you find a good instructor to guide you along the way. This will help prevent you from getting frustrated and it’ll also allow you to learn different techniques that you may not have thought about trying before.
Alright, now it’s time for Myth #4…
Yoga Is All About Religion!
This is another big myth about yoga. Many people believe that in order to do yoga, you have to be deeply religious and worship some god or participate in strange chanting rituals.
I mean it doesn’t help that a lot of yoga instructors out there tend to lead their classes in a prayer of some sorts.
If you’re going to a public class however, this is something you’ll just have to deal with. But if you’re taking a private class, you can always ask your instructor to not include it.
In any case, just because you practice yoga does not mean that you have to be religious either. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to chant or worship anything at all.
Yoga is more of a exercise for your body and mind. It’s also a form of meditation.
A lot of the poses and stretching is said to relieve stress and help improve focus, which is why a lot of people take yoga to help them with their daily lives.
Believe it or not, some people even participate in competitive yoga. It’s not as weird as it sounds, although you might think so when you see some of the poses these people get into!
So there you have it, the truth about yoga and reasons why you should try it out for yourself if you haven’t already. If you’re still a little hesitant however, no problem.
Sources & references used in this article:
The benefits of yoga for athletes: The body by TV Ryba – International Journal of Athletic Therapy and …, 2006 – journals.humankinetics.com
Yoga for Athletes by R Cunningham – 2016 – books.google.com
Yoga for sports performance by S Hollingshead – IDEA Health & Fitness Source, 2002 – go.gale.com
Yoga for by M Solan – 2013 – sandyblaine.com
Qualitative evaluation of a high school yoga program: feasibility and perceived benefits by LA Conboy, JJ Noggle, JL Frey, RS Kudesia… – Explore, 2013 – Elsevier
Yoga as a Cardio Workout: Modern Perspectives for the Athletes by V Singh, N Joshi – academia.edu
Yoga for runners by B Baptiste, KF Mendola – Yoga Journal, 1999 – hstrial-ccarter756.homestead.com
Don’t Sweat It: Copyright Protection for Yoga… Are Exercise Routines Next by K Jesien – Cardozo Pub. L. Pol’y & Ethics J., 2006 – HeinOnline
Teaching Power Yoga for Sports by G Lawrence – 2018 – books.google.com