Yoga has taught me a lot about the way our body moves, the muscles we choose to actively engage, the way we breathe — and on a whole, the way our body feels. Many times, we often want to try our best to get into a pose perfectly; getting into that “perfect” alignment and that “perfect” shape, but what we fail to realise is that what we think may look like the “perfect” alignment on someone, may not actually be good for our own body. “Perfect” in this case is relative to each individual.
When i first started yoga, i was the kind of student who always took the hardest variation that the teacher gave, and tried to refrain using any props like blocks/straps because i felt that, that would mean i was “weaker”. And this makes me push myself into poses even when it felt uncomfortable (as long as it “looks good” right?). There’s a fine line between trying your best and excessively pushing yourself beyond your own boundaries. As i deepened my practice, I learned to drop my ego and use all sorts of props that was accessible to me and do the variation that’s best for my body. It’s funny to think how i didn’t think i needed props at all when now they’re like my best friends i can’t live without!! haha 😛
I’ve learned to listen to what my mind is telling me and what my body feels (Am i doing more harm than good when i’m in this pose? Do i feel a strain anywhere? Am I feeling the stretch in the right places? ) Yoga is supposed to make us feel good; So if there’s a simpler variation you can take to make your body feel better that day, take it! Nobody’s gonna judge you for that — you are really the only one judging yourself!! If there’s a prop you need, use it! Listen to what your body tells you and what it needs, because you are the best judge for knowing what’s best for yourself (:
Pei Xuan 200HR Weekend YTT