While yoga can be quite the serious spiritual endeavor (the quest for self-realization being nothing to scoff at), there’s no denying the fact that a lot of what we do with our bodies on the mat looks a bit ridiculous—especially to those on the outside looking in. Imagine never having done yoga and then seeing a room full of Happy Baby Poses.... Pretty absurd, right?!
Every now and then, I highly suggest taking a few steps back. One of the pitfalls of being a yogi is that we’re constantly surrounded by (and, dare I say, comparing ourselves to) other yogis. All of a sudden, being able to do freakish things, like wrap your legs around your head, seems normal. It’s not. The majority of folks would love to be able to touch their toes, let alone hang out in the splits, and admire you for even having the courage to step onto the mat. Allow that realization to sink in.
Then stop taking your practice so seriously! Believe me, I know how easy it is to become frustrated and quick to judge yourself on the mat. I’m constantly telling my students to tell themselves "something nice” and reminding them that no one is a better, happier person because they can stand on their hands. That’s what yoga’s about after all; becoming a clearer, more compassionate, connected human being.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going after advanced poses; it creates tapas (heat), inspires commitment, and generates transformation. However, developing tunnel vision on those endeavors usually results in missing the bigger picture. The world at large couldn’t care less whether or not you can touch your toes to your head. Yoga practice is about so much more than the poses themselves. When all else fails, though, it’s healthy to take a step back and laugh at the absurdity of it all. Here are a few especially ridiculous poses, perfect for lightening the mood.