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I’m Terrified of Yoga Inversions (& Other Random Confessions)

Lisa Picard | CC
Lisa Picard | CC

As a practicing yogi, you’d think I’d at least try to embrace all challenges that come my way. After all, among many other things, yoga is all about centering oneself—finding peace and balance both on and off the mat.

Yet, when my yoga instructors suggest headstands, handstands, and other yoga inversion poses, I’m ready to run screaming for the door.

I start feeling panic and anxiety, and later I’m a little depressed that I didn’t give it a try—three emotions yoga intends to reduce, not encourage.

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At first, I thought I just didn’t want to do inversion poses. They weren’t my cup of tea, and that was just fine. We can’t be expected to enjoy EVERYTHING, can we?

However, deep down I know the truth. It’s not that I’m just disinterested; it’s that I’m terrified.

Why does the mere thought of inversion poses petrify me?

Well, my arms are weak. My balance is a little off. I’m scared of falling.

Everyone’s watching.

How does this relate to life? What does this say about me off the mat?

During yoga class, I compensate with my legs. They’ve always been strong and able, so I know they won’t let me down (pun sort of intended). Give me a Mountain Pose any day. I’ll rock a Downward Dog for as long as you want.

Sun Salutations? Let’s go!

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However, if we go through life practicing only what we already know we’re able to do, never taking chances, how will we grow? How will we learn?

Even deeper down, I know another truth. My arms won’t get strong unless I work them. My balance won’t improve unless I practice. My fear of falling (or failing) might never go away unless I accept it’s probably going to happen…

…and I’ll just have to dust myself off and try again.

I’m Terrified of Yoga Inversions (& Other Random Confessions)

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2014). I’m Terrified of Yoga Inversions (& Other Random Confessions). Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Oct 2014
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