1.Yoga is not a religion. The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj”, which mean “to yoke, to unite”. As such, Yoga is the union of body, mind and spirit: it can be practiced at a physical, mental and/or spiritual level, independently from one’s religious beliefs.
2. You don’t need to be flexible to do Yoga. You gain flexibility by doing it.
3. An adult breathes 16 – 20 times in a minute; by practicing Yoga asanas (postures) and pranayam (yogic breathing techniques) your breath rate can be slowed down – which helps slow down the ageing process, as slower breathes mean less free radicals from the oxygens.
4. If you are a serious sports person, Yoga can help you improve the quality of your performance in the sport you practice, being it an effortless swing of the golf club, or the underwater breath for a scuba diver, or the energy management for a rock climber.
5. If you are a “gym guy” your body will particularly thank you for doing Yoga along with your gym routine. Yoga improves muscle coordination. Moreover the conscious use of the breath used in Yoga prevents the creation of lactic acid and increases the overall muscle quality.
6. Yoga has therapeutic values and can integrate medical treatments; however, it suits as well people in good health who want to keep fit, decrease the level of stress and live a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.
7.Yoga can help you lose weight as it works on your endocrine system by balancing your hormones and improving the quality of your digestion. Focusing on awareness, Yoga will also introduce you to mindful eating and therefore help improve your eating habits.
8. A good Yoga Teacher is a must, especially as you approach Yoga for the first time. At the same time, encourage your own self to practice at home, making Yoga a part of your daily routine.
9. Yoga is not about competition, neither with others nor with yourself. Do what you easily can, listen to your body and understand your current limits as well as your potential to progress in the practice safely and steadily.
10. And by the way, since I have been asked this a few times: homosexuality is not a disease; it does not need to be cured, so Yoga can’t “cure” it.
By Zubin Atré