“I’m Not Flexible!” You don’t need to be! Every yoga class has people at different levels of flexibility. Everyone has different figure and some are obviously more flexible than others. A regular yoga practice, over time can help you become more limber.
“I’m Likely to Fart in Class!” This is everyone’s greatest fear and sadly it never really goes away. The only is to ensure that you don’t practice on a full stomach, avoid gassy foods and go to a class with loud music.
“I’ll Look Stupid.” It’s almost impossible not to look ridiculous doing most of these poses, but the best part is that you will be in good company—an entire room filled with people in funny spandex outfits with their butts in the air and their tongues hanging out. And most likely, there will be people who look sillier than you. Remember too that yoga is a meditative practice that needs concentration. No one is looking at anyone else because they are focused on their own work.
“Everyone Else is better than me!” No they aren’t. The most sensible thing about yoga is that there are actually no levels. There are no colored belts and no grades. You go at your own pace and do the things you can. In each yoga class you will find beginners along with advanced yogis. Some people come once every week, some twice a day. Some might have been working on these poses for many years, so don’t compare yourself to them. You will get better with time and dedication. If you view yoga as a competition, with anyone, then you’re doing it wrong.
“I’m Just Not a Yoga Person.” Yoga’s beauty lies in the idea that it is for everyone. There is absolutely no stereotypical yogi. You must not be thin, attractive, Indian, flexible, vegan or anything else to practice yoga. It’s all inclusive.
“It’s Too Hard.”: Obviously it’s hard! You’re a novice. It takes quite some time to get better at something new. That’s why yoga is a “practice.” Avoiding tasks just because they are challenging is a sign of a weak will. Embrace the challenge. Celebrate the milestones and accomplishments along your journey. Take a couple of beginners classes if you’re only starting out so that you can go more slowly and gain knowledge of the foundations of yoga before you jump into trying the tougher poses and you will be much more confident as you progress.
“I’m going to Fall Down.”: The fear of falling is natural and it makes sense, so it’s hard to conquer. No one really wants to fall, particularly onto a hard floor in a room packed with strangers. Falling in yoga isn’t so bad though. But you’re not going to fall very far if you do fall and chances are, you’ll land on your mat.
“What if I Pass Out?” Yoga can be challenging and it can be exhausting. Ensure that you bring a lot of water and keep drinking it all through your practice. If you get dizzy or your heart beats too hard, get into child’s pose until you get better. Resting is actually a way of showing respect to our bodies and there is absolutely no shame in it.
“The Teacher won’t like me.” In yoga, there are no teacher’s pets and no students singled out for punishment. All students are equal. Yoga teachers are not drill sergeants. As a matter of fact, “teacher” isn’t even the perfect word for them. Yoga teachers are more like guides.
“I’m Afraid I’m Going to Cry in Class.” Some asanas, such as hip openers and heart openers, can crack open the parts of our psyches where we retain depressing, negative emotions and memories. Yoga emits toxins and bad karma from our bodies and at times this process of letting go can be spectacular and it can feel really strange.
Do not be afraid, yoga newbies. You’re going to be just fine.