Why touching your toes is not the ultimate goal of yoga

You may never be able to touch your toes in yoga. Not, even after years of a regular practice. And it’s not because you’re not flexible enough or haven’t practiced enough. It could simply be due to reasons out of your control like the length of your legs in comparison to your arms and torso.

I felt such a relief the first time I learnt that.

I only discovered that whilst studying to become a yoga teacher and I feel like this is something every yoga student should know. I am sharing this so you don’t spend years trying to stretch your body further than it can, simply because you believed, like me, that after years of doing yoga your body should be able to fold in half with ease.

It is still important to challenge your body during yoga though, just like you do in any movement-based practice. As many yoga teachers instruct, it is all about meeting your edge and finding that balance between comfort and discomfort. You want to feel the stretch, whilst also being conscious not to go too far and overdo it.

Being able to touch your toes in yoga is not the ultimate goal though. I’ve been practicing yoga for over 10 years, and I still love using props and modifying poses so that they work for my body. This doesn’t mean I haven’t increased my flexibility and strength over time, because I have.

It means I’ve learnt the art of yoga is finding your flexibility by discovering the best way to express each pose in a way that works best for your body at any given moment. By applying this, you also open up to other teachings of yoga and discover; being flexible in mind, is just as important as being flexible in your body.