Have you ever been super inspired to try that new yoga class on your Youtube feed, or that fun pose that you saw on Instagram, but felt like your body shape was not “perfect” enough to do it? Hear this loud and clear: there is no such thing as “perfect” and letting your self-doubt keep you from trying new things is only hurting you, my friend! Here are a few tips for living your best life and loving your yoga body:
The concept of Ahimsa, or nonviolence, is one of the five Yamas. The Yamas are the ethical, moral and societal guidelines for yogis, and they're an incredibly beneficial concept for use in your practice, both on and off your mat. The main idea to keep in mind is that Ahimsa/non-violence can also be interpreted as compassion or self-compassion, which is an awesome way to start off your new relationship with yoga. Try to let go of expectations and comparisons to others and give gratitude for the amazing things that your body can do!
Use Your Props
Blocks and props are best friends to many yogis and are a great way to tailor your yoga practice to meet you where you are. Most studios have blocks, straps, bolsters, and blankets on hand but you can easily improvise at home with a rolled up or folded blanket, a belt, or a sturdy couch cushion. Use these props to help bring the ground closer to you in poses where touching the ground isn’t an option yet. Also, try to feel comfortable enough to ask your yoga instructor to help recommend modifications for poses using the props that you have on hand.
Listening to your body tell you what it is and isn’t open to doing on a particular day, or as you start your practice from a beginning level, is a perfect example of Ahimsa and a great way to honor your body and your boundaries. It is always ok to skip poses, even as an advanced yogi (remember, this is YOUR practice), or to ask the teacher to help you with pose modifications. You can take baby steps toward harder poses, working on the preparatory steps toward them, always keeping ahimsa in mind and respecting your limits. Your limits will change as you continue to practice!
If you have questions, please reach out here. Also, feel free to join one of our classes (your first one is free if you use the code FIRSTFREE).