Yoga is for every body. Learn how you can practice yoga for your body whether you’re practicing in-person or online.
One of the things I hear a lot from women is that they don’t feel like yoga is for them because the poses or the transitions into poses don’t work for their body.
The problem isn’t that you don’t have the right body for yoga. The problem is that you haven’t been properly supported in your yoga practice.
Yoga truly is for every body.
Here are a few ways to make yoga work for your body.
1. Embrace props.
Props make yoga more accessible for your body. For example, low lunge might feel inaccessible because your belly gets in the way and doesn’t allow you to bring your hands to the floor. Placing your hands on blocks when you’re in a low lunge can feel much more comfortable for your body.
Some props to consider investing in include blocks, a yoga strap, a blanket, and a yoga bolster especially if you practice online yoga at home.
2. Find movement in poses.
Your yoga teacher will give alignment cues for each pose during a practice. But think of these cues as guidance rather than the requirement. Alignment cues are meant to help you align your body in a way that prevents injury and helps you get the most out of the pose. But all bodies are different.
Try moving around a bit in poses to find what works best for you. For example, traditional alignment for Warrior I has us in heel to heel alignment with our hips facing the front of the mat. This alignment can make it hard to balance and be really uncomfortable for your hips. It might feel better to move your back foot out to the side and keep your hips at a 45° angle.
3. Remember that your body is unique.
One of the misconceptions about yoga is that with enough practice you will be able to get strong enough or flexible enough to get into certain poses (handstand, bird of paradise, mermaid, crow, etc.).
But each body is unique and has certain skeletal or physical limitations, and that’s totally normal and okay. Some poses may never be accessible to you. That doesn’t matter because there are lots of other poses that are accessible to you.
Whether you’re practicing in-person or online yoga, find a teacher who doesn’t pressure the class to “keep practicing until you get there” or keep working to find “the full expression of the pose.” This is actually a harmful message that isn’t inclusive.
Find a teacher who honors your body as it is right now and provides you with the support that you need.
You can find more online yoga classes just like that one in the Body Positive Virtual Yoga Studio, where I provide you with support around a body acceptance practice through yoga and meditation.
Each class features body neutral cues and alignment options for a variety of bodies.
I’ve intentionally created these online yoga practices, guided meditations and workshops to help you connect more to yourself and your body, practicing trusting and honoring your body, and develop self-care practices.
In the studio, you have access to nearly 100 streaming videos and downloadable guides for just $12 a month. JOIN HERE.