In yoga we pay attention to harmony found in balance. An equal amount of strength and mobility, of ease and tension within the general given of human anatomy and also our own individual preferences and limitations. It is the balance of freedom and restraint that is aesthetically elegant.
Modifications are not a compromise, it is knowing yourself, your body and needs during the practice; when to expand and where to contain breath or effort.
For example, if I’m working toward Padmasana (Lotus Pose), I apply biomechanics and physiological reflex arcs to gain freedom of movement in the hips while at the same time using the muscular stabilizers and my hands to ensure congruency of the knee as a hinge. This is an example of balancing freedom with restraint. Since we also benefit from preparing the body for a pose, the journey itself becomes the reward.
We apply the same principals in life, finding deeper levels of acceptance and wisdom. Moving from your core will add physical balance and prevent injuries
but won’t make you a nice person.
Inspired by a Ray Long article; founder of Bandha Yoga, Iyengar yoga & other forms of yoga expert.