Yoga Schmoga!

I have found there are roughly three types of people.  Those who practice Yoga and LOVE it, those who are curious about Yoga, and those who want to stay as far away from it as possible.  There are lots of questions and stereotypes regarding Yoga.  If you don’t love Yoga, I feel you may be misinformed or misguided.  
I have gathered some of the most common questions regarding Yoga and hopefully they can help clarify some of the misconceptions regarding Yoga.  
Of course, “different strokes for different folks”.  But, I strongly feel that Yoga is for everyone and everyone can do Yoga.  Please let us know if we can answer any of your Yoga questions.     
  • What is all this hype about Yoga?  
You really have to just try it for yourself.  The first few Yoga classes I attended, I swear that I was HIGH when I left.  It is really quite difficult to put into words.  It was almost as if everything was amplified for me, colors were brighter, sounds were crisper and everything seemed to be at peace.  Physically, I felt more open, and my body craved more of this Yoga stuff.   
  • What is the difference between “this” Yoga and “that” Yoga?
There are several “styles” or “brands” of Yoga out there.  Most of which claiming to be “the one and only” or “the best”.  There also seems to be a multitude of “Fathers” of Yoga and it’s hard to trace exactly Who’s Your Yoga Daddy.  I think in this instance it is okay to not know who the “Father” is, but just embrace the  several mentors we have to learn from.  Again, different strokes for different folks.  
It may take some time to find that particular style/brand that works best for you. 
  • Is Yoga an exercise program or is it a religion? 
Neither or both.  It is whatever you want to get out of it.   
  • Why do they call it a practice?
As a noun, practice is defined as, “the customary, habitual, or expected procedure of something.”  As a verb, practice is defined as, “to perform or to carry out.”
Once you begin a Yoga practice, you will always be practicing.  You never actually “get there” to some destination.   You may finally be able to get into a particular posture, or your mind may quiet down a bit more, but you are always a work in progress.
  • Will Yoga make me a Vegan-Tree-Hugging-Hippy?
No.  I love steak, make-up, beer, camping, wine, chocolate, and I also love Yoga.  
Many people who love Yoga also love all the wonderful things that life has to offer, even though they may not all be the best for you.  
Yoga is for everyone, and everyone can do Yoga.   
  • Why do they say Yoga creates a spiritual or emotional experience?
I really don’t know if I am the best person to answer this, but I will do my best.  Yoga is literally translated as a “union”.  Think about being separated from  someone you love dearly and you don’t know if you will be reunited.  You are finally reunited, and it is a wonderful experience full of many emotions.  Through Yoga you are able to create a union, of mind, body & spirit.  Sometimes this reunion can bring up emotions.  As for the spiritual experience, that is something very personal and unique for everyone.  I have had a spiritual experiences in nature, eating delicious food, and spending time with loved ones.  For some people, they find a spiritual peace in their Yoga practice.
Also, Yoga helps to build consciousness or awareness.  Experiencing a heightened level of awareness, some people translate that as having a spiritual experience.  Being more aware helps you to notice the things, people or behaviors that may not be truly serving you, and as you naturally build this awareness through Yoga, those things/people/behaviors will fade.       
  • Why should I practice Yoga?
Do your homework.  There is endless physical and mental health benefits.  
I started because I am vain and wanted a hot yoga body, and heard that Yoga is the fountain of youth.  I found out, it is much more than that.  
Again, different strokes for different folks.  It is what you want to get out of it.  
  • When should I practice Yoga?
A little bit everyday if you can.  I recommend attending an actual Yoga class at least once a week.  
  • Where should I practice Yoga?
A little bit everyday in your home/office/yard/park if you can.  I also recommend finding a Yoga studio that fits your style that you can go and practice at least once a week.  Nothing beats having an instructor guide you.    
  • How do I practice Yoga?
If you can breathe, you can do Yoga.  Attend a class, read a book, rent a dvd or download a podcast, and repeat.