TL;DR : You have permission to modify your yoga practice, your relationships, your life

Yoga gives me flexibility and strength in body, mind and spirit.

I’ve had a yoga practice off and on for 12 years. Every once in a while a really inspiring teacher comes along and helps me up level my practice. Today was the last day of one of those teachers at my current studio. So I am feeling reflective of my last few months with her and my last few years with yoga.

I have a couple of chronic injuries that have contributed to some of the pauses in my practice over the years, but the more I’ve learned to modify poses, the more I’ve learned how to safely push my limits.

Important notes: At this studio, I like to practice up in the front row because of the winter sunshine that comes in the windows. These are also kinda kick your butt, I’m gonna challenge your balance and strength so much that there is no choice but to focus on your breath classes. I love it.

Three weeks ago my knee said no, ‘Haha, you think you are supporting weight on me? I don’t think so.’ I said, ‘I still need yoga today, lets see what we can do.’

So every pose I carefully evaluated my limits and modified A LOT. Whole class doing balancing figure 4? I’m on my butt doing it from boat pose. Warrior one, well that’s ok if I don’t bend deep, awesome. Chair pose, nope, gonna be mountain pose.

After class I was talking with the teacher about being proud of my modification skills and confidence to do it in the front row. You know what she said? She thanked me! I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do, I listened to my body and by doing it in the front row, I was giving permission to others in the class to modify if they needed.

So I’m here, giving you permission.
To modify your yoga poses.
To modify your relationships.
To modify your whole life.
To find what works best for you, even if the whole world is doing it differently.
Listen to your heart.
Listen to your knee.
You have permission to modify.

Photo credit: Nathan Pyle

PS: My knee is way better this week. Still had to modify a little, but blocks are cool.