Posts In: yoga for all

I wrote the following article for the Accessible Yoga Blog. You can read the full text below.

Saying “modifications” perpetuates the idea that you’re not doing a 100% yoga, that a full expression of the pose exists, that there is a goal when the invitation of yoga is to be with yourself, with your mind and body in this very moment. That’s why I invite you to say “variations” and not modifications because everything is 100% yoga!

Since I started practicing yoga something happens in my body and mind when a teacher says, “if you need to modify” or “if you can’t do this,” something similar to a knife through the heart. For so long I felt I was doing less, that I wasn’t being able to do and enjoy the “complete expression of the pose,” that I needed to push, work harder in order to achieve that goal of having the gift of doing the complete, full, or traditional posture.

With time, and after becoming a yoga teacher, I’ve come to realize that apart from how “modify” is said (even though it might come from a place of love it can still be a loaded word) it is when it is offered. It is not that per se the word “modify” is wrong, it is because traditionally the “modification” in yoga comes after the teacher realizes someone is struggling or “can’t do” the traditional version of the pose offered.

This is when things start to get weird, students are singled out, maybe offered some props to go to the rescue (even though those props should have been available and the teachers should have taught how to use them from the beginning), or even worse, students are left out, unseen because the instructor doesn’t have the tools to offer adequate variations beforehand. Or a teacher is just not interested in giving options because that person “doesn’t belong to the target audience” or their class is not made for that type of student (shockingly, yes, this has been used as an excuse when I’ve asked yoga teachers why they don’t offer choices to students in class.)

That’s why I embrace, promote, and encourage that we use the word variation instead of modification, not necessarily as a synonym, because, at least in the way I teach and share yoga, variations are way deeper than offering a modification when someone can’t do something. They are synonymous with freedom in your practice, they are a way of honoring and meeting the needs of your body and mind.

Every day is going to be different in our bodies and minds, that’s why we need to offer variations, options, exploration, and freedom every single time, without making assumptions, without choosing for our students, it is their practice!

Variations are for all bodies! They are not modifications when someone “can’t do” something, they are choices and freedom for your body and mind. And the beautiful thing about variations is that they are for everybody! Anyone can benefit from choosing for themselves! And this freedom on the mat translates to life, in the way we relate with others, in the way we set boundaries and truly know what we want and what we don’t.

And remember, just because you live in an able body doesn’t mean that you will want to do or you will enjoy the most challenging variation every single practice! Just because you live with a disability doesn’t mean that postures like chaturangas, planks, or inversions will not be available, there’s always a variation for you! You can choose to do a chair practice at any life stage, teenager or senior! You’re the owner of your practice.

As I always say: Your body, your practice, that’s why as yoga teachers we need to offer the opportunity to explore what feels good, and what your body and mind need at this very moment.

Originally written in English and published in The Accessible Yoga Blog. You can read it HERE.

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I see a lot of yoga teachers reposting other people’s content like it is their own, without giving proper credit and even altering the original content. Read this post to know my thoughts and tips about this!

This is super important, I see so many people reposting content almost as it is their own. ⁣⁣Asking before reposting and giving proper credit is key to maintain your online reputation. Along with taking another person’s creation and work without permission, you can be subject to a copyright claim and/or violation of intellectual property.

⁣⁣In the same line:⁣⁣

– Do not take screenshots of content and post them into your feed, there are reposting apps that will maintain the integrity of the video/photo you’re sharing. Always ask for permission you can do this via DM or in the comments sections of the post you want to share!⁣⁣

– A good solution is to share the original content post in your Stories instead of your feed! (Without altering it or making it a screenshot)  I’m a firm believer someone’s feed needs to portray an original message, that person’s voice, for anything else, use stories.

⁣⁣- Tagging someone in the picture or video is not enough, you need to add their handler on the text you write, preferably at the beginning, so people right away know this is not your creation and that the caption is also not yours.

⁣⁣- Never alter someone else’s content: changing colors, removing logos, editing someone’s body, adding filters, etc, It is erasing and appropriating someone’s else work and creation. This has happened to me and it sucks! ⁣⁣

– Never use other people’s photos or content to promote something YOU are selling or offering. This generates confusion, can mess with your credibility AND if you’re a creator you need to do the work don’t use someone else’s! ⁣

I hope these tips help you to grown and maintain your online reputation and credibility :)!!!

There are endless ways to enjoy the benefits of Yoga poses, you only need to be creative and use your props!

In this post, I show you two options to enjoy Pigeon Pose, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana using your bolster, and a chair.

As you can see in the first picture, for this hip opener pose, you can use a bolster under your pelvis for support and elevation, you can also play using different heights with blankets. If for any reason this pose doesn’t feel good in your body, no worries! you can try the variation with the chair. Find your comfortable seat and cross your right ankle on top of the left thigh, flex the foot and use your bolster or a pillow on top of the thighs so you can comfortably rest your head… ahhhh feel both variations in your body and choose the one that feel amazing!

How do you adapt the poses to your body?

This are some options if grabbing the back of the thighs or the shin doesn’t work or doesn’t feel good in your body

Always adapt the pose to your body and not your body to the pose! Use your blocks and strap as tools for success to support you and help you during this exploration of the figure four stretch.

  • Gently use your hand to push the knee away from your body
  • Use your strap as an extension of your arms
  • Use a block under the foot that is on the mat to create elevation

⁣How are you adapting the poses to the needs of your body?

In this post, I want to share with you some ideas on how to use your blocks especially if you live in a larger body or you want to experience a new relationship with gravity

These are some ideas on how to use your tools for success, aka blocks, during a flow!:
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– Forward Fold and Half Lift using blocks to bring the earth closer to your hands
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– Low Lunge with blocks on the inside of the front foot to take the space your body needs
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– Downward Facing Dog and Plank with blocks to make it more accessible and gentle in the body
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How are you adapting the practice to the needs of your body?
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