Why variations are key to an inclusive yoga practice

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Having a “child’s mind” is a principle of mindfulness that means approaching life with openness and curiosity. Part of how Natalia Tabillo of Yoga for the Whole Body developed her own yoga practice: matching her body’s needs and the way it wants to move, and finding the right posture.

That’s the philosophy she now brings to her students as a yoga teacher, and it’s part of her advice for people who may be new to yoga, or just starting out.

“When I realized that it’s a habit in the sense that every day, your body, your mind and even the sides, left and right sides, are going to be different, everything changed,” says Tabillo.

Natalia Tabilo
Photo: W+G Creative

In this week’s episode The good + good podcast, Tabilo shares the story of how she got into yoga, and why she didn’t immediately feel like it was for her because she lives in a larger body. But when he realized he could change the poses to suit him, it opened up a whole new world of movement.

He’s not the only one to approach physical activity this way. Inclusive fitness spaces are working to make changes a central component of physical activity, not an afterthought.

“I don’t walk, and my body is really different from a lot of people, but everyone’s body has little differences that I think we should all take stock of and be proud of,” said Alana Nichols, Paralympic athlete who is paralyzed below. His middle thigh, mentioned earlier good + good. “It’s important to fix that [workouts] To honor those experiences.”

Tabillo actually prefers the word “change” to “transformation” because he doesn’t think there should be a default way of doing things.

“You are in charge of your practice in the sense that you can decide to make a change,” says Tabillo. “When you decide to honor your mind and your body differently, you find your power.”

You can listen to more of Tabilo’s stories and tips for approaching yoga with a beginner’s mind by listening to the full episode now.

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