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If you think yoga is just a bunch of people in Lululemon performing gentle, relaxed poses, think again. Yoga is an intense exercise that‘s designed to ease your mind and whip your body into shape. And that’s just the start. New York City-based Taj Harris of Crunch Fitness has been teaching Vinyasa (or power yoga—a type of fast-moving yoga where class-goers perform poses at a rapid pace) for eight years and discussed some of the most common misconceptions about one of the most popular exercise methods today.

It’s not “Slow”
The most common misconception the average person has about yoga is that it’s slow. “People think because they see people holding poses that the class must be slow moving, which leads them to think that yoga won’t provide the ability to build strength and sweat,” Harris told Clutch in an email. “You can build up lots of heat, sweat and feel the burn in a 60-minute yoga class.“

It’s not just for Women
Think about your average yoga ad or magazine cover for a moment. Chances are the image that first comes to mind is a woman holding a pose. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, yoga was actually only practiced by men in the beginning. “It’s funny to see in 2014 you find more women attending classes then men,” says Harris. “Come on back guys. It’s very beneficial for everyone. Not just for flexibility purposes but strength, breath work and mental awareness. “

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  • omfg

    I didn’t know people still thought yoga was soft.

    The problem I have with it is I just want a 30 minute session when I do it at home, not always 60.