Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Being present is not always easy, I get you.
I used to run home from work, get changed quickly, run to the yoga studio and feel relieved that I made it.
Once I sat down, my mind started going through what I had done that day, what items on my to-do list had been ignored, how hungry I was and what I was going to have for dinner.
Before I knew it, I was doing 10 down dogs and my wrists were in pain. My lower back hurt, my knees hurt and seeing that everyone else was doing better than me, I left feeling inadequate.
One day I stayed after class to tell one of my teachers that I have all that pain while doing Yoga. She asked me to modify everything until my body feels open enough to do the "correct, or full version" of the pose.
What no teacher had told me ( I learned this during my training and personal experience) is that :
The "correct" pose doesn't exist...or exists in books. If you get 100 teachers in the same pose, you'll see that they all look different. The correct pose is the one you make for YOUR own body.
Yoga is not all about the poses. The physical practice is a medium, the journey, not the destination. I'll share more about this soon.
So, how do you get to a place where you feel confident, able to practice pain-free in any class you step in?
Modify your asana. Bend the knees in downward dog, use props, choose the other variations that your teacher is offering.
Listen to your body. This means if something doesn't feel right, usually it's not right. Not only we all have different bodies but our bodies may feel different each day. Do what weeks right for you at that moment.
Cultivate patience. I'm not saying it's wrong to have goals in your physical practice but go into your practice with the knowledge that it may take time... Or even that it may never happen.
Rest. When everyone is doing that extra sun salutation, you can stay in child's pose. Stay for the final relaxation or Shavasana (no it's not a waste of time, is the most important part of your practice) and learn to enjoy it.
I hope these tips or advice can make a difference to you. Be safe and most of all enjoy the movement.