Yoga Myth Busting: I Have To Look Like the Teacher In Every Pose

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

You've probably seen some amazing yoga pictures on Instagram or doing the rounds on the internet. Perfectly executed poses with incredible mountain backgrounds. Yea you know the ones.

As soon as you see them you wish you were there, and if the pose is a difficult one you'll probably wish you could to that as well.

You'll never be able to recreate that photo exactly how it is. You can try, and you'll get one that is just as good, but it won't be exactly the same.

This brings us smoothly on to our next yoga myth-busting blog. It's a common misconception that you have to look like your yoga teacher in every pose. It's actually quite a put off for newbies as well when they can't do a pose and get disheartened.

Remember Where Your At

Now the chances are that yoga teacher in front of you has done yoga for a much longer period than you have. You don't expect to rock up and be just as good, or better than them, do you?

It's important to remember that everyone in your class will be at different stages of their yoga journey. Some will be strong on some poses and weak on others. It's no Biggy.

Remember where you are and the journey you are on. If this is the first time, you're trying a pose, you’re not going to look like the teacher. You may not even be able to do it, and that's okay. Just remember in 3- or 6-months’ time you will be better with consistent practice.

It's about you. Not the teacher.

The other thing that is vital to remember is that your teacher is your guide and your focus point. They will guide you through the routine and the poses. The focus shouldn't be recreating their pose exactly. You’re just using it as a guide.

You only need to do the pose to the best of your ability. Don't focus on the teacher. Focus on your body, your balance, and your breathing. The teachers pose is simply a reference point.

If you feel you're going to break the pose if you try to hard then stay where you are. There's always the next lesson to try again.

You don’t need to be perfect first time.

Many yogis will agree with this one and it's important to note for beginners. You don't need to be perfect first time. In fact, you won’t be. No one is.

Yoga is about developing and improving. Just like a weightlifter wouldn't attempt to bench press 150KG the first time they step into a gym. A yogi wouldn't try the peak cock pose. Well, they might try, but they would fail. Probably hurting themselves in the process.

The point is you will gradually improve, building your confidence and ability. You will get to the point where your poses will be great and probably just as good as the teachers.

Everyone’s pose will look different.

Everyone is built differently. From the lengths of their bones to their muscle insertions. Now it's understandable when you're in a yoga class you want to check you're "doing it right" compared to everyone else.

Well, don't. The truth is, yoga poses look different on different bodies. Which is totally fine. You will need to accept that because pushing yourself into a shape that isn’t physically accessible to you can injure more than just your pride.

If we look at this from an anatomical standpoint, there are generally two reasons why your poses might never look exactly “perfect”. Muscular constraints and skeletal limitations.

Having either (or both) doesn’t mean anything is “wrong” with you. Yoga is about meeting your body where it is—without judgment—and growing from there.

The key is that “growing” can mean moving deeper into a pose, or it can mean the ability to be perfectly at peace with staying where you are.

Just focus on your journey and your body

Just remember this is your journey and your road of improvement. Over time, and consistent practice, your body will become more flexible and your balance will improve. Poses you once struggled with will become easier, and you'll move onto more advanced poses.

Don't worry about looking like the teacher or everyone else. Just focus on improving your own poses over time. and definitely, definitely, don’t let it put you off from coming back.

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