Halloween is around the corner, as the endless shop displays of ghosts, ghouls, witches, pumpkins and black cats remind us. In addition to urging us to dress up, and eat a lot of orange-and-black packaged candy, Halloween is a chance to face — in a rather jokey fashion — our primal fears.
The pretend-scary of Halloween is rooted in timeless human fears: darkness, death, the unknown, spirits, sickness. Making a holiday of them is a way of facing fear, but also a way of avoiding it.
Yoga, as a mind-body practice, offers another way to consider our fears. We challenge ourselves in order to feel more confident, stronger, more empowered. Whether we know it or not, we are practicing yoga for the zombie apocalypse.
Think about it: we do yoga to be stronger, more alert, to enhance our balance, reflexes and concentration. We do yoga to control our breath and mind. We do yoga to surmount obstacles and cultivate courage and determination.
In other words, we do yoga to prepare for the day something goes horribly wrong. It might be a zombie invasion, it might be the loss of a loved one, or our own health. Whatever “apocalypses” we eventually have to confront, yoga is a tool, a weapon, to prepare us to navigate the worst of times.
So, as you’re heading out to a Halloween party this weekend, or passing out sweets to trick-or-treaters, smile and remember: yogis don’t need to be afraid of monsters.