3 Signs You Should Modify a Yoga Pose

Not only do things generally move quickly in a yoga class, but for every yoga pose, there are at least 2 or 3 modifications to consider! So when should do you modify? Although there’s no hard or fast rule & you’ll likely feel differently on different days, there are some consistent markers you should look out for:

1. You Can’t Breathe

At its core, yoga is about the breath. It doesn't matter how "impressive" the pose is or how much strength or flexibility it requires… if you can't breathe, you should modify. I usually have trouble breathing in certain binding poses, so although I can technically complete the bind, I modify instead of holding my breath. Your breath is the one thing you have from your birth until your death - honor it!

2. You’re Doing it for the Ego

In yoga, the “why” is just as important as the “how.” Until I discovered mindfulness, I didn’t realize so much of what I did in class was motivated by my ego! I NEVER modified because I thought modifying somehow made me lesser. It’s so silly how much credence we put on being the best - whether we're competing with others or with past versions of ourselves. If you find yourself literally always doing that extra vinyasa or holding your leg up in the air just a little bit higher than everyone else, ask yourself "why?" Then give yourself permission to be honest & do what your body NEEDS that day.

3. You’re in Pain

There’s a difference between being uncomfortable & being in pain. If you’re slightly uncomfortable & putting in more effort than you’re used to - stick with it. Push through the discomfort & find your edge, thats what makes you stronger! But if you feel a tweak or a pinch or anything that’s moved past discomfort into pain, you should definitely modify! No yoga pose is worth hurting yourself over!

Which poses do you like to modify? Let us know in the comments section!