Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for both mind and body, and it has quickly made its way into popular culture. Serious yoga practice requires some lifestyle changes and the road to mastery is a difficult one. Even though it is a fulfilling experience that will lead to improved health and cognitive abilities, there are plenty of little struggles that yoga practitioners have to face on their journey.
1. They freeze in terror for a moment if they hear a cracking sound when twisting into Matsyendrasana
Ardha Matsyendrasana is difficult enough for most people, but once you master it you get a little overconfident and start pushing it. There’s a terrifying moment of silence when you are twisting your spine and hear a loud crack, only to discover that it didn’t come from you and breathing a sigh of relief. It makes you take things a bit more slowly next time.
2. They try not to get distracted by the hottie in the front row
Most people that go to yoga classes are fairly mature adults and we are all there to improve our physical and mental wellbeing. Yet, sometimes you fall victim to your primal urges and just can’t stop checking out that cute guy or girl as they bend and stretch in front of you.
3. They hope that their arms don’t give out during the handstand pose
Nothing feels quite as satisfying as getting a hang of a difficult pose for the first time. However, when doing a handstand in the middle of the room the first few times, you quickly end up begging your arms to hold on tight and not let your face slam into the floor.
4. They get frustrated when they just can’t settle down during meditation
When you’re a beginner it is difficult to sit down, calm your mind and focus during meditation, but even when you become somewhat advanced your mind can still turn against you. We all have bad days, and sometimes that inner voice and the sensation of discomfort can get the best of you. It’s then that you start feeling like a restless little child again.
5. They sometimes rip their yoga pants while bending over in Uttanasana
While you try to be prepared and shop for good yoga clothes, sometimes you get stuck with an old pair of pants or shorts that isn’t all that stretchy or has seen a lot of wear and tear – you bend over to touch your toes and they just rip. It happens and you can only laugh it off and start bringing an extra pair from then on.
6. They get embarrassed when they release a hearty belch after Uddiyana Bandha
Uddiyana Bandha is the only asana that really stretches out the diaphragm. This is normally a good thing, but sometimes all that stretching out can cause you to let out a long and loud burp that shakes the walls. It is a natural thing, but it doesn’t make it any less embarrassing.
7. They get weird looks from people when they do yoga in the park
Doing yoga out in nature really feels great as you get some sun on your skin and fresh air, but even early in the morning there are people running through the park or walking their dog, and the look on their face when they see you bending like a pretzel is truly priceless. It can be distracting at times, but you have to learn to live with it.
8. They try not to sweat all over their partner on a particularly hot day
It’s good to have someone to practice with and partner work can be great fun as well as beneficial, but you’ll often find yourself worrying about dripping sweat all over your partner and you end up making a few awkward pauses in the middle of the session, so you can grab your towel real quick.
9. They doze off while doing Upavistha Konasana and their legs cramp up
Most people will fall asleep during Savasana, but sometimes you’re just so tired that you can end up dozing off in the strangest of positions. After a short nap in Upavistha Konasana, your legs get cramped up and it feels like you will be stuck in that pose forever.
10. They feel like a clumsy kid when they slip on a wet yoga mat
Even though a lot of people associate yoga with relaxation, it can actually make you work up quite a sweat. Your feet get sweaty, the mat gets wet and before you know it you’ve slipped and fallen flat on the ground. Going to a few Judo classes to learn some breakfalls might be a good idea at this point.
11. They almost fall down when they stand up too quickly after a headstand
You get started, lift your legs up and manage to get your balance in check, standing upside down for several minutes before graciously lowering your legs back down. Then instead of waiting a while for your blood flow to adjust, you shoot up and get dizzy and wobbly. At least you’ll definitely remember to wait a while next time.
12. They get startled by random noises when they meditate
Meditation can bring you into a state of calmness and allow you to disengage from the mundane world for a while. However, being incredibly calm and focused means that a sudden loud noise will have you jumping off the floor like a startled cat.
13. They pray to the heavens that they don’t fart as they bend and twist
Things are rarely ideal in life and a lot of the times it’s all about making the best out of a bad situation. This is particularly true in those moments when you feel your stomach rumbling as you bend and twist your body. You can’t just stop dead in your tracks and leave the class, but you don’t want fart in front of everyone either.
14. They stand next to a person who has put a ton of deodorant on, but is not fooling anyone
You will get sweaty in class and some people just have stronger body odor than others, but the worst offenders are the ones who try to mask it by spraying a ton of deodorant on, thus creating an unholy and potent mixture that fills up the entire room – and you’re left standing right at the source.
15. They try to do pranayama with a stuffy nose
Even if you take excellent care of your health you’ll sometimes have a stuffy nose that makes it hard to breathe. Trying to do breathing exercises in this condition will end in disaster, but you go ahead and try it anyway. It’s loud and it sounds weird, but hey, you’re there to practice and nothing will stand in your way.
I’m sure that there are many more little gems like these that other yoga people will think off, and they are just a necessary part of improving, small distractions that we can look back on and laugh.