In our new Realtalk Fitness series, we're sharing the realities of being a fitness instructor today. We know it takes a lot of effort to create a lasting career with a steady following, and we want to shed light on what it’s really like.
As a science-minded yoga and movement coach, one of my biggest frustrations with the yoga and fitness world is the constant barrage of misinformation based on pseudoscience. Teachers will tell people what they want to hear and usually sell them a product that might not deliver on its promises.
I feel particularly defeated by the poor quality of yoga teacher trainings and the lack of biomechanically accurate information about the body. As Derek Beres says in his poignant Realtalk Fitness article, “Instead of turning to researchers for answers, magical thinking persists in the yoga vocabulary.”
It drives me crazy when I hear yoga teachers say things like, “Twists cleanse your organs,” “Being upside down increases brain activity,” “Doing shoulder stand is good for the thyroid,” or “Belly breathing is the most beneficial way to breathe.”
Although these instructors have good intentions, some of the statements I hear in a typical class are not only misleading but dangerous as well! Here are five of the most common myths that I hear in the yoga community and the truth behind them: