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Well, many men still think yoga is just for the ladies - which is really backward! I think I have about 40% men in my classes now, so it’s changing. When I started it was more like 5% (me!). When I’m in a group of people and I mention I teach yoga, I am sure some guys find it strange, but I always find it fun to challenge the guys to some poses. Nine times out of ten they are sweating, falling, and out of breath just attempting a posture like the crow or peacock! This soon puts paid to the idea “yoga is for ladies”!

Ignorance also puts people off. Some people still think yoga is a cult that will make you give up sex, meat, swearing, etc! Yoga is a path, yes; it leads to purification, but only as quickly or as slowly as you walk the path. You may only ever want the physical benefits and that is fine. You may want to improve the lungs, again, fine. Yoga is not a bully; it will love the student unconditionally, and give the student all that the student requires.

Others think that starting yoga means you will change into a hippy of sorts! That you will hug trees every morning, change your “Nikes” to sandals, and eat muesli with soya milk instead of fried eggs and toast in the morning! Again, ignorance! It is in fact those who change too quickly into what they think a yogi should be like, that fall off the path quickest. It is those who steadfastly maintain their lifestyle and let yoga enter gradually and calmly that end up making the most ground in a subject like this.

People are also put off by a pre-conception that to do yoga, you must be good at yoga. Question: why would anyone who is already good at yoga need to do yoga?! Yoga is not like football, where you need to be able to play football, to join a team. Yoga is all about helping individuals who require something that yoga can offer. Be it peace, strength, longevity, flexibility, discipline…we don’t expect people with these qualities to need yoga teachers particularly!