4 In Yoga

The Top 3 Yoga Rules (That Most People Forget)

Here’s the thing: There are no such thing as yoga rules, but I wanted to share the 3 most common things I notice most students (and teachers) forget to mention in class or bring into their personal practice.

P.S. It’s totally natural to forget these things because society constantly tells us otherwise. (Insert eye roll). Hopefully reminding ourselves of these truths can bring to light our perceptions about what a “good” yoga practice looks like and enable us to move past those internal voices that whisper “not good enough.”

1. Showing up is always enough.

Regardless of what your practice looks like today. Regardless of whether or not you can get into that pose you’ve been trying to get into for months. Meet yourself where you are at. Progress begins there, from a place of gratitude for what you have already accomplished and curiosity for where you can go. Sustainable growth begins here, where you are right now.

What the opposite of this looks like in our practice:
– Thoughts like, “Shit, I was able to get into this pose last time, what the *@#% ?!”
– Thoughts like, “What am I doing here? I shouldn’t have missed all those classes. If I had just showed up, I would be able to do all the yoga things with half as much pain and embarrassment.”
-Thoughts like, “My practice doesn’t look like hers. Therefore, mine sucks.”

2. It’s not really about the pose.

Yes the pose is important, yes alignment is important, but, as my teacher once said, “the asana is just a vehicle for the breath.” The postures are a mirror for us to learn how we respond to external stress. When we are stuck in a pose, there’s no hiding from what emotions, thoughts, and feelings arise, and we learn to recognize and acknowledge them with less judgment. The more we practice, the better understanding we have of where that mental stress can show up in our physical bodies when we are off the mat, and the quicker we are to navigating that stress with more grace & ease.

What the opposite of this looks like in our practice:
-Ex. While you are stuck in pigeon pose, having thoughts like: “This is hard, this is so hard, why do we have to do this one? How long has it been? Why isn’t she telling us to move on to the other side? I swear it’s been more than a minute. Why can’t I stop fidgeting? She told us to stay still. I can’t stay still like this! No one can! (Peeks over to look at the other girl beside her) How is she doing this?! She looks so relaxed?! She’s still! Why can’t I stay still? What is wrong with me? I’m just hungry. So hungry. But I shouldn’t eat because I already had a big lunch. How many more classes until I am finally comfortable with my body? I should start taking those pilates classes. (The teacher comments: “Notice if you’re holding tension in any areas to compensate for the stretch you feel in your hips.”) Hmm, clenched jaw, tight fists, furrowed brow… check! All three! I can’t do anything right!
-You might think that this example of “bad” yoga. The girl (whose thoughts eerily resemble mine in almost every yoga class) is doing the yoga perfectly. Yep, perfectly. This is her yoga. It’s not about the pose. The number of thoughts you have doesn’t correlate with how awesome of a yogi you are. You do yoga? You’re a yogi.  The pose is a mirror that reflects your mental state back to you.  It’s about noticing the thoughts & stress that arises in response to the pose.

Yoga teaches us to be present and still. It doesn’t ask that we master a pose, it only asks that we show up to work through them.

3. The work you do on your mat is important.

Sometimes it can seem mundane and repetitive, the poses and the breathing. But when we set in an intention, we create space for something bigger than ourselves. We dedicate our practice to what inspires, motivates, and drives us to show up more courageously and meaningfully in this world. We learn to meet ourselves and our bodies with more compassion, more patience, and less judgment, and that makes it easier for us to meet others from that place. By standing in that space of our greatest potential on a regular basis, we unconsciously invite others into their own. Giving ourselves permission to do this shows others how it can be done. Showing up and doing the work is bigger than your goals, your body, and your practice. It’s a call to step into a place of living more intentionality and wholeheartedly.

What the opposite of this looks like in our practice:
– The belief that your time on your mat is selfish and self-serving. Yes, it self-serving self-care, but it is certainly not selfish. And I’m sure you’ve definitely had one of those “I’m sorry for what I said before yoga,” moments. Or if you’re reading this and you don’t consider yourself a yogi, maybe you’ve had one of those “I’m sorry for what I said before I had my coffee/ 8 hours of sleep, nap, etc.” Because I can bet your an all-around a little less stressed if you took the time for yourself…at least for an hour or so following a class. We would all hope 😉

The point is, we can only show up fully for others if we show up fully for ourselves first. In the words of my Insta friend, Annie, you’re not being graded here. Your time on the mat sets the tone for the way you spend your time off your mat. Show up! Don’t freak out about not arriving at your destination. Your presence is enough. In fact, it’s everything.

Share your thoughts below! What are the difficult, messy parts of your practice and what are the parts that you love and find easy and freeing? 

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 3, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Yoga is a sweet, accepting an loving practice and sometimes, like you said, it’s easy to forget that and get caught up on how difficult it is and the completion of asanas.
    These really are the 3 best rules every yoga practitioner should always remember and embrace

    • Reply
      Aurora Myers
      April 3, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Yes! You are so right, yoga is supposed to be a sweet practice. I forget that so easily and get caught up in becoming better in the poses all the time..it’s a constant lesson, one I’m reminded of over and over again. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 2, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Such helpful reminders! <3

    • Reply
      Aurora Myers
      April 3, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks babe! I try to remember these things… the post is mostly a reminder to myself! haha

    Leave a Reply