There is a lot of hype about yoga. Inevitably when reality collides against hype there is disappointment. This post is not to discourage you from yoga but help set realistic expectations. The hope is that yoga becomes an integral part of your life rather than something you give up in disappointment:
1. Yoga Is Slow
Those looking for a throbbing experience full of excitement on the yoga mat may be in for a disappointment. Yes yoga can be intense. But it is not about raising excitement levels. Instead it is about calming down. It is about bringing an island of calm to a life already overwhelmed with sensory overload and stress.
2. Not A Cure-All
Sometimes yoga fans get a bit carried away and make tall claims about its supposed curative powers. You are in for a disappointment if you take up yoga with the expectation that whatever’s ailing you is going to be cured shortly. Whatever curative powers yoga demonstrates happen in the long term. Do not try to use yoga as a primary source of treatment for things that need urgent attention and are progressing quickly.
3. Not About Calories
Yoga is about calmness and not about Calories. Whatever Calories you burn is only incidental. Let this not be your prime focus. With yoga you will more easily shed Stress than Calories. And when you shed Stress Calories will become irrelevant, as excess weight will dissolve automatically.
4. Will Not Make You Rich
You are in for a disappointment if you expect that taking up yoga as a profession is going to put you on the road to riches. Teaching yoga part-time can be a great way to supplement your income, but full-time yoga teachers do it in the spirit of providing service rather than making money.
5. Can Injure
When the yoga practice is done in the spirit of burning calories, or if the yoga practice becomes more about the external posture rather than the inner state, or if the practice is done improperly without a focus on the breath, injuries may result. A good yoga teacher is mandatory for a safe practice.
6. Yoga Postures Are Only Part Of Yoga
The practice of postures is only a part of yoga and it is a great starting point. You will see the benefits of yoga multiply if you incorporate all limbs of yoga into your life. This means that along with your yoga practice, you should do at least 10 minutes of breathing exercise that elongates your breath. You should also incorporate twenty minutes of meditation into your daily routine. When you do all these regularly you will find it easier to make life-style changes as suggested by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. When all limbs of yoga are practiced daily, you will find the full power of yoga unfolding in your life.