What It Actually Means When We Say There Is No Such Thing As Bad at Yoga

That there is “no such thing as bad at yoga” used to be a preposterously absurd idea to me. Come on – there were people who could bend themselves in half (backwards and upside down!) and then there were people like me who got dizzy and lightheaded halfway through a hot yoga class and needed to take the teacher seriously when she said we could take child’s pose whenever we needed it.

But it’s true. There is no such thing as bad at yoga and there is no such thing as good at yoga, because yoga has many definitions, but not one of them includes folding in half or balancing on your hands.

Yoga is a state of equanimity and union – of body and mind, of the Self and the universe, of the Self and all beings. Yoga is also the path toward union. It’s the effort. The process.

There is no such thing as bad at yoga – there is only showing up, committing to your personal practice, and your personal path. And being able to do a handstand is not a prerequisite for working toward union.

We are all different, so our practices must be different. Doing a handstand may simply be a part of that particular practitioner’s physical practice that balances their body in a particular way and allows them to approach a meditative state.

The other possibility is that it is not. The other possibility is that that practitioner has certain imbalances that they are only reinforcing by working so much on their handstand.

It is not your place to tell. It is only your place to show up, to dive deep into yourself, and to do the work that is appropriate for you in this very moment.