It can be tempting to try and attempt that crow pose, but maybe you don’t think you’re ready for it just yet. If that is the case, do not push yourself to do the pose. When it comes to yoga, you should never rush yourself. Holding your own pace is important. Here is why.

Yoga is Supposed to be Individualized

A common misconception about yoga is that you have to be able to do those difficult poses. That is not true! If you feel that a pose pushes your body too far, you can opt out of it, or try to simplify it. Many poses have both advanced and simplified versions, making it much easier to put together an individualized regimen that is perfect for you.

Think of yoga as your “comfort zone” or your “safe place”. It is important that you do not go beyond your comfort zone, and while that may sound like a bad thing, it isn’t! The awesome thing about your comfort zone is that it will expand as you grow and further your practice. When you connect your inner-self with your body, you will discover the perfect regimen for you. Your comfort zone is personalized, the way yoga is supposed to be.

Respect Your Body’s Boundaries

There are many reasons that you should respect your body’s boundaries. While a stretch may push you a little, you will just feel a snug amount of tension. If you do not respect your body’s boundaries, it may lead to an injury. If you have ever pulled a muscle, you know how uncomfortable it can be, and it can take a long time to heal too! It is better to take it easy on yourself than you hurt yourself during a practice. If you feel like you’re pushing your muscles too hard, maybe it’s time to take a break. You’re saving yourself a whole lot of aches and pains by simplifying your poses or taking a break when it feels like you need it.

As we age, our joints can sometimes become weaker. If your joints, ligaments, and tendons have weakened over time, it can be easier to damage them. Some damage can even cause long-term problems, especially if you already suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis, gout, or other illnesses that attack the joints. There is no reason to risk joint damage if you can help it. Take your time and work into poses you’re comfortable with. Remember to stay inside your comfort zone. Your body gives you warning signs for a reason!

You Don’t Want to Give Up Your Practice

The fact of the matter is, you can really hurt yourself if you try to push your body too hard during your yoga regimen. If your body is telling you “no”, listen to it! Your joints and your muscles cannot afford the damage you could cause via a hyper-extension or landing a pose transition incorrectly. If you do end up hurting yourself, you won’t be able to do any yoga at all! Overall, it is best that you go at your own pace. Yoga is meant to be an individualized experience, so do what makes you feel good. Your body will thank you.