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Yoga is a wonderful practice. It’s easy to do in lots of different settings. In most cities, there are classes readily available. It offers a range of activities from simple beginner movements to remarkable feats of strength and balance.

Almost everyone who attends a yoga class for the first time will find that there are some movements they cannot do. This is normal and completely fine — a good yoga teacher will be aware of students’ hesitation and will offer modifications. These might be substitutions of simpler moves or poses that serves as part of a learning sequence for approaching a more demanding pose.

Amber Karnes of Body Positive Yoga offers this particularly helpful video showing simpler and alternative options for the Sun Salutation. This series of poses is the basis of Ashtanga yoga and, in keeping with its name, can get your day off to a great start by easing all parts of the body into motion. The video begins with a performance of the standard poses, and then Amber goes through each pose with modifications and substitutions. It’s a terrific introduction both to these poses and to the way yoga can be adjusted to meet you where you are ready to begin.

Amber’s video focuses on some of the challenges for larger bodies, but everyone can benefit from seeing how she addresses different mobility issues with accessories and different poses. Watch the video, and give the poses a try!

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