Yoga Poses look different on everyone

 

Have you ever found yourself thinking…

“If I do yoga at home, I won’t know whether I’m doing it right!”

“My body can’t make those shapes!”

“I will BREAK if I attempt that pose!”

I completely understand why many of us feel this way. We feel the need to achieve some external standard of ‘yoga shapes’ because that’s what we think yoga is!

The sad thing is that many people NEVER start yoga, because they feel that the poses are just too far out of reach. 😔

This feeling is created by the achievement mindset that is ALL around us, as well as the many images and videos of advanced yoga poses on social media!

However, I’ve got some good news for you…

There is NO perfect pose.

Yoga poses (Asanas) look different on everyone. And yoga is not about what the poses LOOK like anyway!!

It’s about what the poses DO for the individual.

 

Scared of doing it ‘incorrectly’

I often hear people say that they worried about doing the poses ‘incorrectly’ if they are not with a teacher. This stops them trying yoga at home.

There is some logic in this, however it’s not the whole truth.

Yes, if you’re attempting very advanced yoga poses at home, without the necessary preparation in flexibility, strength and awareness, this could cause issues. Think Head-Stand, Lotus pose and Leg Behind the Head pose.

(These are poses I don’t recommend for yoga beginners).

However…. That is NOT what most home-yogis do! And most recorded yoga classes don’t go into these poses either!

 

Getting in-tune with YOUR body

For the VAST majority of yoga poses, there is absolutely no risk in doing the poses a little differently. Our bodies are strong and adaptable (even for those that don’t think so!)

You just have to stay aware of how your body is feeling, and don’t force things that feel wrong. (This is general common sense that applies to everything in life!)

We actually get more in-tune with ourselves, when we experiment with how OUR body feels in a yoga pose. It might be that moving the arms in a particular way gives YOU a better sensation of stretching somewhere (regardless of whether you’re imitating the ‘picture’ of the pose).

So what I say to those who feel afraid to start yoga at home is:

“Stay mindful of how your body feels”.

“The shape of the pose doesn’t matter. What matters is the FEELING it creates in YOUR body”.

 

Should I follow instructions?

In a yoga class, or recorded video, you’ll often hear instructions such as ‘bend the knee deeply’, ‘broaden the collarbones’, ‘twist from the belly’… etc.

These are all TIPS to help you, the student, make little adjustments to your body’s position in order to find a satisfying position for YOU.

When it come to these ‘instructions’ – you can take them or leave them!

The important this is how things feel for YOU, and not to worry if that means making a different shape compared with your yoga teacher!

As a yoga teacher, I actually LOVE seeing when students clearly are thinking and moving for themselves, and moving in a way that suits their bodies.

 

The JOY of home yoga

I learned yoga at home from books and apps. Yes, I did go to classes now and then, but it was never regular.

What I LOVE from practicing in my own space is that I can make it my OWN.

Even if you’re following a recorded class (hint, hint… I have many! 😉), you can choose to skip a pose, or replace it with something that feels better in the moment.

(You can choose to do that in a group class too! But it can feel more uncomfortable to be ‘different’ from the group).

So, I HIGHLY recommend a home yoga practice! For yoga beginners and for those with an established practice.

And I also recommend to leave ‘perfection’ OFF the mat!

Yoga Homework!

I invite you to do a yoga practice at home, and reeeeeally make it your own.

In every pose, be aware of where YOU feel it stretching/strengthening.

Is there a stretch that you want more of? Then move a little differently to try and deepen that stretch.

It is YOUR practice!

(Ps. If you’d like to follow a recorded class, check out my online library!

Scroll down to access my free classes.)

I hope you enjoyed this mini blog. 🤓

I’d love to hear your views in comments below!

Jolanthe x

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Love, Jolanthe x