Wisdom Debunking Five Stereotypes of Yoga and Yogis I’m always excited to spread the message that yoga is for everyone! Whatever your age, your gender, your intentions or your motivations, yoga is a practice that anybody can embrace and benefit from – both physically and mentally. By Wanderlust Journal There are several stereotypical ideas floating around about what it means to be a yoga lover, and these can often discourage people from getting involved! So, let’s look at five ideas that have been unfairly connected to yoga and yogis, and debunk the stereotypes! Yoga Is A Stretching Class For Girls “I’m not flexible enough for yoga!”, is an excuse you may have used in the past to brush off an invite to practice, but strength is what you’ll need to see a session through to the end. Being able to stretch won’t save you when you must call upon your own body strength to move through the asanas. Even staying in a simple Downward Dog for more than a few moments will get your muscles in motion – whether you’re a girl or not! Yoga Is For Hippies And Spiritual People You don’t need to have long hair, tattoos and believe in chakras to practice yoga. There are many yoga practices out there but most of them will not require any chanting nor any chakra visualization nor any prayer. Most yoga classes in studios today are focused on the physical aspect of yoga (aka Asanas) to give you a good sweat. It is then up to you to choose your yoga path, there are as many paths to take than there are yoga styles or teachers out there. All Yogis Are Lefties Not everyone who is into yoga votes on the left side of the political spectrum! Having an interest in yoga and spirituality doesn’t necessarily mean you should get a lifetime membership to the Green Party or pin a poster of Blair above your bed. Similarly, you don’t have to stop wearing suits and start hugging trees to be welcomed into the yoga world. Yoga teaches us to be who we are and to accept each other as we come. You Must Wear Mala Beads And Drink Green Juice The fashions and trends that are enjoyed by those who practice yoga aren’t essential to the practice itself! Sipping a bottle of something green may not be your cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. Many of the yogis that I know would opt for a cappuccino over a kale juice any day! Also, let’s face it – we all know that whatever you’re wearing to class isn’t going to magically make you a pro. All you need for that is dedication, so don’t worry too much about finding the time to go bead shopping. All Yogis Are Vegan Being a yogi and being a vegan does not have to go hand in hand! Many people who practice yoga also practice the idea of ahimsa, which essentially translates to living a life free from violence – but as with all things yogic this is open to interpretation and you should always do what feels right for you. You can absolutely love yoga and still love a burger too…or a cheese-loaded pizza – even that second serving of ice cream is never off limits!! — Sarah is a French yogini who has let go of her career in banking to dedicate herself fully to her passion for Yoga. She started practicing over a decade ago in New York City and Yoga has helped her grow stronger, more flexible and fearless on and off the mat. She has now over 900hs training from different lineages, specialised in Vinyasa Yoga, Acro Yoga, Hot Yoga, Meditation & Mindfulness. She was featured in different publications such as the Yoga Magazine and the Fiancial Times to share her expertise. Sarah believes that yoga’s main benefit is mental clarity. Her classes are positive, light-hearted, but challenging and empowering. Follow her on Instagram and her website.