One Size Does NOT Fit All: 5 Ways To Make Yoga Fit You Better

When I started yoga, I was in my early 30s, and I loved Power yoga or any style that I felt would challenge me physically. I rarely used props and attempted to muscle through the flow until I injured myself and had to take a break.

This injury was not mid-flight. This was not an impromptu moment when time stopped as I performed a sexy hand balance… it happened on my mat. No one made a sound, and there was no turning of the heads or gasps. I was in a Seated Forwardfold.

Learn from my Injury

As I sped through a sweaty Vinyasa flow, I reached my toes while in Paschimottanasana. I was just a few inches from my toes, so I went a little farther. With that reach, I felt a pain that changed my yoga practice and, in some cases, my life.

Later, I learned that I had a hamstring injury. What was I going to do? After a few weeks of the same routine, I was forced to stop. I was no longer doing yoga, even though I continued to do the same poses. I wasn’t listening to my body and was in denial. It’s amazing how an injury can slow you down, especially when you are on a good run.

I stopped doing yoga for a couple of weeks so that my injury could heal. During my time off, I realized just how much I missed yoga. I had to decide whether to stop yoga practice or change the way I practiced. I decided to resume my practice from a different perspective.

Props can be used to enhance the appearance of your props

I started incorporating props after putting my bruised ego to one side. I used blocks and straps as well as the wall, tennis ball, blankets, and tennis balls to make yoga easier for me to do during my recovery period. In the past, I focused on “glory postures,” but now I understand how important yoga is for everyday life.

Props are another way of practicing ahimsa or nonviolence. Props allow you to get deeper into the pose and feel the shape in your body. Props are still a part of my yoga practice, and you can use these to fit your body better.

Use YOU to Modify

Consider bending your knees into a Forward fold and then easing into straight legs if or when the body opens. Keep the knees bent to lengthen the spine instead of focusing on your hamstrings.

Consider stepping instead of jumping. Take a break from jumping and focus on your core, alignment, and maintaining the integrity of your shoulders.

When you are having trouble breathing, try the Child’s Pose or an Easy Seated Pose. You are the only one who can judge you, as no one else knows your body better than you.


Do you have tightness in your back or hamstrings? It’s no problem! In Forward Folds, I brought the floor nearer to me by using a few blocks. This allowed me to focus on the spine and not just the fingers and feet.

My students are always told that there is no reward for touching their toes. So let go and enjoy the moment.


Is it difficult to sit up straight on the mat with your legs crossed? No problem. Try raising the floor! Sit on a blanket folded in half or more.

This will allow you to gently and comfortably open your hips and legs. You can now focus on sitting tall, with more spine length and opening at the hips and groins.

A Chair

Do you find it uncomfortable to sit on the floor or need more support than blankets can provide? No problem.

From your chair, try poses that work the hips and hamstrings. Sit on the edge of your chair and cross your foot over your thigh. Hold onto the edge and slowly hinge forward from your hips, which will help open the hip.

If you want to lengthen your entire back and stretch your hamstring, you can straighten out one leg while the heel is on the floor. Holding onto the edge, lean slowly forward with a straight spine over the straight leg.

You can also loosen tension in your mid-back by gently twisting. Hold onto the edge and twist your upper body backward.

Take 3-5 deep breaths and breathe into the sticky areas. Try the opposite side.

The Wall

You may need a break, or it might not be possible to do Down Dog right now. But you still want all the benefits an inversion can offer. Try Down Dog by the Wall.

As you push yourself away from the wall, straighten your arms and hinge at the hips as you place your hands with elbows bent. As you walk your feet back, straighten the arms while hunching at the hips and push yourself away. The body will form an L-shape when the arms and torso are in line. This is a gentler method to invert.

Inversion has many benefits, including increased circulation, reduced back pain, and calmness of the mind and body.

I was able to rediscover yoga’s beauty after my injury. I was amazed at how yoga could be tailored to my body. I didn’t need to change my body to fit a particular pose. I could use props to help me experience the physical and spiritual benefits of the pose.

Props can help you to take your yoga practice in a new direction, whether you are an advanced or beginner.

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