I get a lot of students apologizing to me in class when they have difficulty with a pose, and it really bothers me. Why are you sorry? Let’s get this straight: in yoga, you don’t owe anything to anyone except yourself. Any instructor worth his or her mat isn’t going to be disappointed in you for being who you are. (OK, I once went to a class where this wispy little 20 year old instructor scolded the students for not being able to hold headstand long enough, and I almost violated the yama of ahimsa for that one, given that there were 50 year old beginners in the class.)

Anyway, I have to admit I am guilty of having done this; of making excuses for my tight hamstrings or poor balance, of pointing out how busy I’ve been as justification for being a little rusty, etc. The point is, we need to stop. If you don’t want to fall back into Camel today, don’t. If your knee can’t straighten, don’t do it. If you can’t quite rotate all the way in Triangle, you will one day. As an instructor, all I ask for is who you already are, and I’m stoked that you have set the intention of nurturing your practice. So, please, for the love of Vishnu, don’t apologize. You’re all good.

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