I have a strange obsession with diseases, afflictions, disorders, and my beloved Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide — 1288 pages to feed my infinitely curious brain. I carry the latter about lovingly and you can trust that I am full to the brim with important facts. My latest reads: how to treat an eye out of socket (pg 1208) and replaceable parts of irreplaceable you (1217-1219).
This brings me to a disorder prevalent amongst yogis and yoginis: Paranoid Yogic Disorder. Do not be alarmed if you recognize any of the symptoms. This disorder magically disintegrates with meditation, practice, and belief in the self.
Paranoid Yogic Disorder — Common Symptoms:
- The belief that every last pair of eyes in class, even the ones in front of you, are ON you. (truth: everybody is worried about their own sh*t. don’t stress.)
- Absolute conviction that the teacher is judging your every move. (truth: unlikely. he or she is probably thinking about the spiritual well-being of the class, what’s for dinner, a to-do list, or perhaps, what that strangely paranoid/constipated look on YOUR face means.)
- Questioning your yoga wardrobe. (a. find a new studio if this is the primary concern there. b. as long as your hotness is relatively contained and you’re wearing something comfy and breathable, you’re good to go mofo.)
- Wondering if you smell. (slap on some deodorant and poof! this worry disappears. magic! unless you ate garlic…then you’re f*cked.)
- Fear of falling and faceplants. (a normal amount of fear keeps us safe. too much keeps us from doing all the kick-ass sh*t in life. be brave, little grasshopper. you are sturdier than you think.)
- Constant self-doubt about making it through a tough pose or the whole class. (truth: this is your tricky mind messing with you. don’t let it win. you got this shizz.)
Dr. Lo says that you should remember what a badass you are. Now get the hells out of your own way and show your practice who’s boss!
Meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be reading up on Deep Vein Thrombosis. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I’m 99.9% sure I have it. Either that or Restless Leg Syndrome.