Most yoga students think of their practice as something that helps them face their fears, while this is mostly true I have to admit that there have been times when the practice has given me a fright, as well! In honor of Halloween next week, I thought I'd share with you five scary things about yoga.
1. Injuries. In theory, there shouldn't be many injuries from practicing yoga. Yoga is supposed to be therapeutic and help us heal our injuries, right? The reality is, when we practice the same patterns over and over with incorrect alignment (Chaturanga-Down Dog-Up Dog, anyone?), we put ourselves at risk for injuries. That's pretty scary stuff! So it's important to work with a qualified teacher who can spot incorrect alignment and help you correct it early on.
2. Too Much Emphasis on Perfection. Sometimes I'm so worried about alignment and doing things perfectly on my yoga mat, I get caught up in trying to reach perfection in other areas of my life, too. This is not a recipe for success. Of course, as much as yoga has sometimes fed my Type A personality, it has helped me learn to do as much as I can and let the rest go!
3. Revealing Spandex, Athlete's Foot, Plantar Warts, and Body Odor. I'm just saying ... When you are in close quarters sweating with other yoga students sometimes you get to know them a little better than you really want to. But that's a risk I'm willing to take to reap all the benefits of this practice!
4. Being Too Dependent on Teachers. I love my teachers SO much. They're wise. They're giving. I feel comfortable asking them questions about life, not just yoga. As much as I rely on my teachers, I sometimes worry that I respect their opinions so much that I forget to take a step back to find my own truth (which is ironic since that's kind of the whole point of the practice!).
5. Fear of Falling, Looking Silly, or Chanting Out of Tune. We all know no one else is paying much attention to us during yoga class, but sometimes even the most experienced yoga students can't help but look around the room and wonder if our neighbor saw our graceful face plant or knew it was us who Om'd a little bit too long.
Is there anything about yoga that scares you?