We’ve all heard about yoga’s calming and strengthening benefits for body and mind. As most yoga-lovers will tell you, it changes lives. There’s nothing more empowering, relaxing or strengthening than yoga. However, while yogis are quick to tell you about the many heart-opening benefits of their practice, Lululemon Athletica ambassador Marissa Frew lets us in a few of the secrets yogis aren’t so ready to admit to.

Overuse of the word ‘namaste’

This beautiful Sanskrit greeting holds so much reverential value. Along with the gesture of pressing both hands together and a slight bow, it holds the deeper meaning of “I bow to the divine in you”. As lovely as this is, some words begin to lose their value when overused. Cherish this word and stick to using ‘namaste’ on the yoga mat. A simple “hey, how’s it going?” will suffice elsewhere.

Competition is rife

While we’re busy finding balance and calm, competitiveness can take over. It’s hard not to feel a bit jealous when you witness someone hold a headstand for several minutes and float back down to the mat with ease. The mind goes, “Damn girl, you should be able to do that.” And, just like that, the true essence of the yoga journey is lost in competition. Oops!

Frustrated inner dialogue

Most yogis will actually admit to this because they believe that frustration is a natural emotion that will rise to the surface during a practice. What they don’t do is go into much detail about what sparks their frustrations. For example, the creaky floorboards, “Grrrr, why won’t the studio get that fixed?”; loud breathing, “Surely that person doesn’t need to breathe so loudly in a lie-back position”; or seated meditation, “Why does my leg always go numb? Does anyone else’s leg go numb? I think it might be dead. Yep it’s dead.”

Passing wind mid-session

It happens. We ignore and we move on, but it happens!

Becoming the ‘all-knowing’ philosopher

Come on now, yogis. We can’t shy away from this one. When your world becomes about so much yoga that suddenly you feel a connection to something a little, well, ‘divine’ – tragically you then start speaking like you have all the answers. There’s nothing that scratches at one’s patience more than a softly spoken, meditative-toned 22 year old regurgitating the philosophies of life.

Curse the instructor

No one is immune to this one. We know the instructor’s intentions are in the right place, but when they get all up in our personal space, it’s natural to want to start a literal clearing. Then, they do the same while correcting others and take FOREVER. Here comes that frustrated inner dialogue, “You’ve forgotten the rest of us – and it hurts to hold this long!”

We call ourselves ‘yogis’

There’s something tainted about giving yourself such a label, almost like calling yourself a guru.

Faking happy and manufacturing zen

You’ve had a really bad day. One thing after the next is going wrong and instead of acknowledging the bad day for what it is, you adopt a glazed-over expression of indifference. What’s worse are the over-expressed levels of ‘happy’, because isn’t that what a yogi is supposed to be? Newsflash: no one is that happy and that zen all the time.

Strike a pose

Whether it happens in the privacy of your home, out in public or used as a party trick, the random pose happens! (And it always seems to make its way to Instagram…) Good on those who are proud of their achievements, but no matter which way you look at it, pose posting is 20% justified and 80% vanity. How very ‘yogi’ indeed.

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