Yoga is great stress reliever. It’s a calorie burner. And it’s a great opportunity for you to get in touch with your inner self. But … yoga can also be embarrassing. There are plenty of things that could potentially go wrong in class to give you momentary embarrassment, but in the long run aren’t a big deal. I have definitely my fair share of embarrassing yoga moments, but I’ve survived to tell the tales. Here are just a few awkward things that will probably happen to you at some point or another if you continue to practice yoga.
Your body makes noises
Burps, farts, tummy grumblings … they’ll all happen. And for the most part, they’ll happen when you least expect or want them to. Twisting poses will release air from one end or the other, and then by the end of class, your stomach is just about ready to eat a full meal. There’s a good and a bad to this. The good is that it will happen to everyone, so you don’t have to feel bad about it. The bad is that, even though you know it could (and probably will) happen, it still feels ultra-embarrassing in the moment.
Your flexibility will be challenged
Maybe you’re going to yoga classes to gain flexibility or maybe you’re not. Either way, if you’re consistent with it, your body will become accustomed to stretching, and your flexibility will improve. That’s great! The down side is that there are going to be times in which your body just simply doesn’t do what you want it to. There will be days that you can touch your toes without issue, and there will be days that bending over at all feels like a huge task. But by tomorrow, you’ll probably be back to touching your toes. It happens. That’s just a part of the yoga experience.
You’ll forget the flow
If you go to a vinyasa class, you’ll probably hear a teacher say something along the lines of, “Continue flowing at your own pace” or “Repeat that four more times.” When the teacher is calling out the poses, you know them. But as soon as you’re supposed to continue on your own, you forget. Maybe it’s just one pose, or maybe it’s the whole thing. Here’s the truth: It does not matter. If you do the “wrong” thing, don’t worry about it. Own it. If you have a good instructor and a lot of people are making the same mistake, they’ll begin to call the poses again to help get you back on track. If not, just keep moving. Some movement is better than no movement at all.
Chances are, at least one of these three things will happen to you at some point in your yoga journey. It’s highly likely that two – or even all three – will happen during the same practice. It might be embarrassing, but it is by no means a big deal. Don’t let the small things discourage you from enjoying the class. And for sure don’t let a little thing like farting during a session put you off from attending another class in the future.
Yogis are a pretty understanding and inclusive bunch. Since we’ve all experienced those embarrassing yoga moments at one point or another while practicing in groups, we’re used to it. Think of your mat and your studio as a safe space in which you can do something awkward without feeling embarrassed. Life – and your yoga practice – is so much easier from that point of view.