Three Reasons Why Choices Matter To My Yoga Practice

I like to be reminded that I have choices in my yoga practice. I find myself gravitating toward teachers who remind me that there are always different places to go in any given pose. As a new teacher I try to always give options for poses so students can go to the place that is right for them. That place can be different from one day to the next; from one moment to the next. When we are given a verbal reminder that there are options for ways to move our bodies, we can gain a deeper understanding of our practice and feel more connected. Here are three reasons that I think options are helpful and necessary for yoga class:

1. We are all different. All of our bodies move in different ways and may need different things at different times. When we are given the optional variations it allows us to make the decision for our own bodies.

2. When we give people choices for Asana variations, it allows everyone to feel included. I always appreciate classes where the teacher talks about the different steps along the way to a difficult pose. I can’t do Bird of Paradise pose but I can do some of the steps that lead up to Bird of Paradise pose. I always like when an instructor talks through all the steps and reminds us that all of them are great places to be.

3. Giving people choices helps them feel empowered in class. I feel included and appreciated when I am given variations and options in class. I know my own body better than anyone else so being reminded of the choice I have to do a variation or opt out of a certain pose gives me a feeling of control over my practice. I am aware of variations and can take them even when they aren’t offered. But to newer students it may be intimidating to not be able to do a certain pose. When we are told that it is okay to be where we are right now that is encouraging and empowering

I think it is always a good idea to remind students of the choices and control they have over there bodies. It helps us connect to ourselves and tune in to what we need when we are given that choice.

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