By: Farida Abou El Dahab – Certified Yoga Teacher, Athlete & Writer

Photography: Youssef Tayeh

Farida Abou El Dahab | Photo by: Youssef Tayeh

There’s no such thing as generalization when it comes to yoga. What works for me, might not work for you. However, people tend to create stereotypes and labels that aren’t necessarily true.
It’s not always very easy to describe what yoga is so it might make sense to explain what it is not. Here are some of the common misconceptions.

1- Yoga is for flexible people
This is by far; the most common excuse people come up with.
One of the main benefits of yoga is improving overall flexibility of your body and lengthening the muscles. We practice to become more flexible. Not the other way round.

2- Yoga is girly and easy
Most men think so, until they try different types of yoga.
There’s everything, from gentle restorative stretches to challenging butt-kicking flows. If you think yoga is too easy, try Ashtanga.

3- Yoga is just sitting cross-legged
It does include a lot of sitting but this is not all that yoga is about.
A big part of it is doing your physical practice on a regular basis.
Which requires a lot of hard work, patience and commitment.

4- Yoga is a religion
As I mentioned earlier yoga could be anything you want it to be but it doesn’t impose anything on you.
It’s true that some of its teaching are originally from Buddhism and Hinduism but that doesn’t mean you need to convert to any of those religions to practice yoga.
On the contrary, yoga is all about acceptance and non-judgement so it’s suitable for all religions.

5- Yoga people are all vegetarians or vegans
Just like you don’t need to do yoga to be vegan, you don’t need to be vegan to do yoga.
I mean, it does promote non-violence towards all living beings but as I mentioned earlier, no judgement, no labelling and no generalization.

You can connect with Farida on Instagram @farida_aboueldahab
Or give her classes a try every Sunday at 8pm (mixed) and every Tuesday at 10:30am (ladies only) at Tamarin Center, Kafr Abdo.