This summer more than 20 million Americans are getting ready for a little downward dog. What started out as 5,000 year old spiritual practice has now grown to an international sensation.
Just like Starbucks, studios are popping up on every corner and the obsession has no signs of slowing down any time soon. Business owners across America are hot for yoga. From designer clothing lines LuluLemon and Sweaty Betty to dozens of luxury retreats, stretching from California to New York, this year yoga is estimated to become a $30 billion business worldwide.
Exercise enthusiasts swear by the practice. In an interview on ABC's "Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis" Kay Kay Clivio, lead trainer at Pure Yoga, says the benefits are endless. "Yoga helps you manage stress in your daily life, breath better and increases focus on the job."
But for someone not familiar with yoga, the practice can be a little misleading. While Kay Kay Clivio was in studio, ABC asked her to clear up the myths surrounding this practice and give working moms five yoga moves to do in five minutes.
The Truth about Yoga 7 Myths Debunked
1. Yoga is a religion
False. "Yoga is a practice of unifying the mind and the body. It is a practice of Self-Study and developing a relationship with the most important person in your life… YOURSELF:) Yoga is a science- not a religion."
2. Yoga is easy
"If you think that yoga is easy then you are doing it all wrong. Even a basic yoga class should be challenging if you are approaching the class correctly. There are many different styles of yoga. Some are more mellow than others from a vinyasa yoga or ashtanga class, where you are moving more vigorously. Find a level that is right for you.
3. You have to be flexible to do yoga
Not exactly. In fact, people go to yoga to become more flexible. "Yoga builds flexibility as well as strength."
4. Yoga is just for women
This is perhaps the biggest myth of them all. The truth is quite the opposite. In yoga's early days in India, it started out as a male practice and very few females practiced. Today many famous men openly practice, such as Tom Brady, Adam Levine, Colin Farrell, David Beckham, Matthew McConaughey, Sting…
Says Clivio: "Most of my teachers and leaders in modern day yoga have been men- Bikram, Baron Baptiste, Pattabhi Jois… In my 6pm class at PURE West the room is often 1/3- 1/2 Men! It's fantastic."
5. Yoga is not for everybody
"Yoga is for everyone! It is a method of us to explore the potential of our bodies and create clarity of the mind. It teaches us to self care and plays an important part of development and growth as human beings."
6. Yoga Causes Injuries
False. "Yoga actually HEALS injuries. When it is practiced from a place of Non- Ego and you don't push too hard to fast it is magic on healing injuries."
7. Yoga is too time consuming
"I say five minutes is better than No Minutes! If you can't make it to a class commit to doing just five minutes… consistency is the key to building flexibility."
Here are 5 moves you can do in 5 minutes
For best results, each of these poses should be done for five to eight slow breaths. Before getting started Pure West's lead instructor, Kay Kay Clivio gave three tips to creating your space.
Yoga Move 1: Child's Pose
How to: From hands and knees
Big toes together, knees about mats width apart. Sit hips back onto heels, forehead to the floor or block. Straighten arms out in front of you. Press through all your fingers evenly. Take 5-8 slow, even breaths ( use the imagery of sipping the breath like water through a straw from tip of tailbone to top of head)
Benefits: This pose is a gentle way to begin to stretch the body and start your inward journey. It targets the low back, hips and shoulders.
Yoga Move 2: Cat/Cow
How to: From Table Top position.
Inhale cow, sink your spine down toward the floor pulling your chest forward and pelvis backward. Gaze up to sky.
Exhale cat, press the spine up toward the sky, round the entire spine line and angry cat. Gaze to belly
Benefits: This helps to supple the spine and lubricates the joints. Also teaches us to synchronize the breath and movement.
Yoga Move 3: Downward Facing Dog
How to: From table top, curl toes, lift hips up and back to an upside down V shape.
Press through every finger evenly. Lift the hips high away from the hands, stretching the sides of the body. Move your inner thighs back and your heels down. It feels great to alternate bending the knees a few breaths to work out any tension in the backs the hamstrings, calves knees and ankles.
Benefits: This pose is all purpose, it hits everything. Strengthens hamstrings, calves, low back, entire spine, shoulders, as well as a core strengthener, tones arms.
Yoga Move 4: Forward Bend with Shoulder Stretch
How to: Feet hip width apart.
Integrate all 10 of your fingers together down to the webbing. Here is a tip, use a hand towel to get your hand's closer together if your fingers can't touch.
Fold forward over bent legs so upper body is supported by your legs. Relax your head and begin to bring the arms up and over your head. Lift toes, balance weight evenly on all 3 corners of the feet as you gently straighten your legs to your range of motion.
Benefits: Increases mobility in shoulders with deep stretch. Light hamstring stretch
Yoga Move 5: Crescent Moon
How to: From standing position.
Toes and heels together to touch, strong legs. Inhale arms overhead, interlace fingers and release index finger (pistol grip). Arms as straight as possible. Slowly reach up to stretch the sides of body and to the right, press hips to left in the opposite direction. Body like it's between two panes of glass. Move in small increments every time you inhale lengthen, every time you exhale go down a little deeper
Benefits: Improves core body strength. Improves balance and concentration. Opens your hips and chest, while relaxing your lower back and helps build up strength in your legs. Improves oxygen, blood circulation and energizes the entire body.