Have you ever felt like the “traditional” expression of a yoga pose didn't quite align with or reflect your unique body, mental/emotional self, or individual needs and intentions?
The truth is, there is no “perfect” version of any pose. Many yoga practitioners find it helpful to adjust asanas to suit their individual practices. And in fact, modifications are the norm for most yogis, but because they're not often shown in yoga-related advertising and social media, they seem rarer than they actually are.
Modifying poses can be especially helpful for injured students, for students who are building strength in preparation for more challenging pose variations, or to simply offer a sense of ease and comfort.
Modifications make yoga accessible for everyone (no matter a practitioner's level, age, body type, or physical capacity).
Whether using a block to "bring the floor up to you" in half moon, or a strap to find a more efficient hamstring stretch in supta padangushthasana, yoga can be refined to suit the needs of the individual. In other words, it's not a "one pose fits all" practice. By remaining present to your experience and exploring pose modifications with a skilled teacher, you can learn to feel your best in any pose. Most importantly, modifications make yoga accessible for everyone (no matter a practitioner's level, age, body type, or physical capacity).
Diverse bodies on the mat? These are what yogis look like! Diverse practices and expressions of postures? This is what yoga looks like!
You are what a yogi looks like. We (every single practitioner) are what yogis look like. It's time we share what makes yoga work for us.
The Yoga and Body Image Coalition, together with Yoga International, want to see your unique expression of asana. Specifically, we want to see your pose modifications and variations (like placing a hand on a tree in tree pose or using a bolster to support a heart-opening shavasana). Join our challenge, hosted by Sarah Lyons, and share images of your yoga modifications. We will choose one winner (at random) every week for four weeks.
1. Follow all three hosts: @sarahlyonsyoga, @ybicoalition, @yoga_international
2. Share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #yogamodschallenge.
Additional hashtag suggestions (but not necessary to qualify):
#whatyogalookslike #yogabodyimage #yogaforall #ybicoalition #bodypositive #everybodyisayogabody #yogamods #whatayogilookslike
3. Tag three friends.
Suggested Asana Each Week:
Week One: Forward Bends/Balancing
Week Two: Extensions/Twists
Week Three: Side/Backbends
Week Four: Inversions/Arm Balances.
Week 1: A copy of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery and Loving Your Body, a one-year Yoga International Digital Membership, and a “This is what a yogi looks like” tee.
Week 2: A copy of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery and Loving Your Body, a six-month Yoga International Digital Membership, and a “Every body is a yoga body” tee.
Week 3: A copy of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery and Loving Your Body, a $100 Gift Card to Yoga International’s boutique, and a “#loveyourbody is more than a hashtag” tee.
Week 4: A copy of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery and Loving Your Body, a Yoga International Kleen Kanteen, and a “This is what a yogi looks like” tee.
This content is presented by one or more of the talented and dedicated staff members that we've been blessed to work with throughout the years.