This phrase is something I hear a lot…… Despite the common belief that yoga is about throwing very precise shapes with your body…. its really not. Yoga means ‘to yoke’ or ‘to join’ so when we practise yoga we are joining our mind with our body and our breath. Some yoga poses seem to require extraordinary flexibility that most of us just weren’t born with and indeed forcing our bodies in to these poses repeatedly just isn’t good for our joints and connective tissues… after all how much flexibility is really needed to live our lives? Enough to tie our shoe laces..? Enough to sit and meditate for 10 minutes? Enough to get our legs behind our heads? And For what purpose?

We are all very different. We all live different lives in different bodies and yoga absolutely can and absolutely should be adapted for every different body. I truly believe that the yoga pose should meet you in your own body however that looks! We should celebrate our uniqueness and not try to force our bodies in to the unique shape of someone else by trying to make the same shape as their body – whether this is our teacher, a fellow student or our favourite Instagram yogi. Just because someone can get their legs behind their head it does not mean they are more ‘yogic’ than a person who practises regularly – a few simple sun salutations and a long savasana. It is about practice and consistency and showing up for yourself on your mat – even if just for 5 or 10 minutes a day.

If we are breathing and moving and our busy chattering mind is quiet in this moment then that is yoga. If we are learning about ourselves and leading a more peaceful life then we are practising yoga. If we are going to class once a week and getting away from the family/house for an hour, this is yoga. Just coming to our mats and moving, breathing and being with ourselves… this is yoga.

By all means play! In fact I encourage it because it is fun! Make new shapes with your body, fall and laugh. Practice asana (physical yoga poses) until you can sit on the floor to meditate for 10minutes without pain….or until you can handstand…..or until you can get your leg behind your head if you want to! But know that real yoga is so so much more! And it’s this yoga that will change your life.

Author: Hannah Harris

Hannah Harris – founder of Yoga in the Earth

Helping you find calm in your busy day!