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Why There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Yoga Pose

Yoga is about so much more than the pose. Let me share why, through my reflections as a student and teacher of yoga…

I’ll be honest with you… I am so guilty of posting photos on social media that present me in the best (usually filtered) light. Whilst it’s important for me to do so, to promote myself and my business, I have become increasingly aware of the impact that these types of images of yoga poses has on all of us.

baddha konasana
Image via @punchyourkarma / Instagram

What is yoga if it’s not about the poses?

Yoga poses (otherwise known as asana) are actually just 1 of 8 elements that make up yoga. And as we delve into the ancient, sacred yoga texts, we realise that they not once do they mention what the poses should look like.

Anyone who knows me knows that I teach alignment. I understand the importance of anatomy, physiology and sacred geometry. However I also I acknowledge that each body is structurally different.

Unfortunately, we are rarely shown the uniqueness of peoples’ bodies, rather the proliferation of ‘perfect’ poses by genetically gifted practitioners. Though ultimately, there is no one-size- fits-all alignment and no one-size- fits-all pose.

See also Cleanse Your Body With This Yoga Pose

yoga poses
Image via @punchyourkarma / Instagram

This brings me to my second point.

Props and modifications. Love or hate ‘em, these babies are the key to finding the ‘comfortable seat’ of yoga poses even if they don’t look especially pretty.

I’m not a former dancer or gymnast as a lot of yogis are. Handstands don’t come easily to me. I can’t do the splits. I had hip surgery at 21. Every pose I do comes with a great deal of work and discipline. And sometimes, my yoga poses doesn’t look like my teachers.

See also The Best Essential Oils For Meditation

So, what’s a yogi to do?

My advice? Come to your mat, stay present and ask your body what it wants. This will help you to step away from the ego and take the modification if you need.

Remember, what your body needs one day, may not be what it needs the next. The beauty of practice is that it constantly evolves.

See also Why Most Yoga Classes Are A Waste Of Time – A Yoga Teacher Explains

mindfulness yoga
Image via @punchyourkarma / Instagram

The notion that using props or modifications is cheating, is damaging to our perceptions.

So next time you’re offered a yoga prop, please accept it.

Be curious about your practice and watch as the ego tries to take over.

Question why you want to move onto the next level of the pose. Is it because you are ready to find strength and stillness there with breath coming slowly and easily? Or are you attached to a ‘performance’ and what you look like to others?

See also 15min Yoga For Flexibility

yoga pose - rock the baby
Image via @punchyourkarma / Instagram

If you need to bend your knees in down face dog, do it.

If you need to use a block in half moon, use it.

Every body is different, so just keep doing you and remember:

“Understanding without practice is better than practicing without understanding. But residing in your true nature is better than understanding or practice.”Upanishads

See also 4 Incredible Benefits of Yin Yoga

yoga practice
Image via @punchyourkarma / Instagram

Did you find my reflections helpful or resonating? I’d love to hear your thoughts on a time when you felt you may not have been flexible enough and how you overcome this? Pop in the comments below.

P.S. Who do you know that works to achieve the ‘perfect’ pose or doesn’t like props? Share this with them know – they’ll be grateful for the reassurance and thank you for it later!

P.P.S Don’t forget to enter the draw to win a FREE yoga mat! Simply subscribe to our youtube channel (here), and then via the form here (in 25 words or less), tell us why you want to win a stylish, eco-friendly UNIT NINE (U9) yoga mat.

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Cara Templeton Yoga Teacher & Nutritionist-To-Be

Cara is a yoga teacher, wellness coach and nutritionist in the making. Passionate about helping others achieve optimal health and wellbeing through small, sustainable lifestyle changes, Cara understands that life is about balance. Which is lucky because she is a sweet tooth with a penchant for red wine!

SHOWHIDE Comments (6)
  1. Great points Cara. I choose more slow and gentle yoga classes that are what I expect are truer to the original purpose of the practice. But at the same time, sometimes it just feels so good from a physical perspective, to get into a pose that requires a bit more effort. Really stretching out the body, I feel like I’m creating space and clearing cobwebs within me.

    1. 100% Alyssa. I too, enjoy a hot and fast vinyasa class on occasion. I’ve just found that these sorts of classes, which tend to contain advanced postures may make yoga seem unattainable. I want as many people as possible to experience the benefits x

  2. My teacher feels the same about yoga prop so I’m just getting used to using them. I think there’s pros and cons to using them / not using them. But appreciate reading and hearing different people’s opinions and reasoning. Thank you for honestly sharing your thoughts. It’s an important topic (yoga not being about what the poses look like) as the essence of yoga can get lost amongst all the acro yogi pics on Instagram!

    1. What do you think the cons are, Lisa? I’m really interested in understanding the hesitancy behind using props!
      And thank you, I believe really strongly in yoga being a practice for EVERY body <3

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