A few months ago I was having a conversation with a friend about her yoga practice. This was my response to a perception she had about modified poses and adjustments. There is so much more I could say about so much of what I write here. For today, here is my message to you.
When you show up on your mat, it is *your practice*. That means that the ‘right’ way to do any pose is the way that gives you the most benefit. That is not going to look the same for anyone because our bodies are all so beautifully different. Think of teaching. When you try to teach a roomful of kids (or anyone) the same thing, it’s not going to land in the same way for everyone. Some will need to hear it explained in a different way. Some will need to see it, some experience it, and some will need to let it sink in over time. In many ways, yoga is the same.
The incredible thing about modifications and adjustments are that they are a doorway to learning more about yourself.
A pose that you thought you couldn’t do becomes one where you can discover your strength when you are guided to the understanding that you reap the benefits whether your knee is up or down.
The invitation to skip a vinyasa and take a few extra breaths in downward dog, child’s pose, or any other place where you can return to your breath is an invitation to listen to yourself.
The gentle assistance of a teacher in a pose that you may know well and feel strong in helps you to see that your strength goes even deeper than you realized.
None of this is judgment. None of this is wrong. Quite the opposite. It allows you the opportunity to meet yourself where you are, embrace it, and be with it.
Being with it can be scary so we often run. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough. We tell ourselves needing support or guidance is a bad thing. We tell ourselves we’ll never be quite who we want to be. We tell ourselves we don’t have the time, money, energy, space or opportunity. We tell ourselves so much that keeps us from living the life we want to be living.
Your practice of yoga is a chance to be with yourself. To explore where you’re holding on, where you’re letting go, where you are allowing and opening.
When you are open to receiving support that comes from a place of love, you are opening that door and stepping forward, ready to journey deeper into yourself.