Whether you’re scrolling through your favorite yogi’s Instagram feed or are mid-downward dog in class, one thing’s the same: You’re constantly being surrounded by picture-perfect yoga poses. And with that—whether you realize it or not—comes the feeling of having to work on your own practice until you meet those standards.
The idea of mastering every pose can be incredibly intimidating. In fact, it’s something that’s kept me from fully diving in myself. If I’m not bendy enough or strong enough, what’s the point in trying? But in a recent Instagram post, Amanda Bisk, exercise psychologist and yoga teacher, wanted to make the real purpose of yoga very clear to her followers. Sometimes practice isn’t “perfect yoga,” and that’s totally okay.
“Sometimes, you just want to squeeze and extend your toes because of the years of gymnastics you did as a kid. Maybe your elbows and shoulders aren’t in line in your chaturanga. Or you let your hips roll out of parallel in your three-legged dog because it feels damn good,” she writes. “You do weird movements that aren’t ‘yoga poses,’ or you wobble and fall out of your handstand. Maybe your yoga is just moving, maybe dancing to the music—no expectations or criteria. Just doing everything that feels good. Do your yoga, fam.”
“Maybe your yoga is just moving, maybe dancing to the music—no expectations or criteria. Just doing everything that feels good. Do your yoga, fam.” —Amanda Bisk
What really matters at the end of the day is that yoga is making you feel good, both physically and mentally. And that you’re doing it, period—not how well you’re doing it. That might mean you’re not doing perfect poses that get all the likes, but instead doing a flow of movements that works for you.
So grab your mat and do a feel-good flow like Bisk, going at your own pace and in your own style. When you stop caring about every little detail and start focusing on the reason why you’re doing it in the first place, it changes everything.
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This sequence of yoga breaths will help you chill the eff out—promise. Then try out the style of yoga that helps delete all your negative thoughts.