From social media, to magazines, TV ads, and more, it seems that those who practice yoga are portrayed as people who are permanently at ease, always consumed in love, peace and happiness, and practically floating on air. In reality, this is just unrealistic.
I can speak to this misconception first hand. Recently, I had an anxiety attack, and me being a yoga instructor, people were surprised and maybe even a little confused to learn that anxiety is something that I still have to manage. To that I say, just because one practices yoga, does not mean that person will be in a complete state of bliss for the rest of their life. Sure, yoga can change how you think and can create a shift in your life, and yes, the practice has been proven to be beneficial for ones physical and mental health, but yoga is not a magical wand that you can wave and will miraculously erase all of your problems.
I think because of the way yoga is portrayed in the media people sometimes forget yoga instructors and practitioners are still just regular people, who, more often than not, were drawn to the practice because of certain issues or circumstances that they were and may still be trying to work through.
Yoga has brought me a long way. I found the practice when I was at a low point and when anxiety consumed me. Once I started seeking help and I accepted yoga into my life, I felt more in control of my anxiety and I learned how to manage it. That being said, I’m still human and I will still come up against certain obstacles that will trigger the anxiety, because that is simply the way of the world. Life has its ups and downs, and no one is completely immune from its low points. I liken it to having a common cold, which can be brought on or triggered by numerous factors like germs or the weather. You will have to take some medicine and get some rest in order to recover, but there’s always a chance that you’ll catch a cold again, even if you are taking proper care of yourself. The same goes with my anxiety. I can do all the yoga and meditation I want, but there will be days that I’m feeling low and will need a time out, just as others who are not of the practice. After all we are all human and we should keep that in mind and treat each other accordingly.