Practice when you're at your best. Practice when you're at your worst. It's practice all the time.
As a yoga teacher, I often hear students AND teachers over the years say, "because of my injury I can't chaturanga or backbend or forward fold so I can't practice for 2, 4, 6 weeks or even months." Yikes!!! That's a long time to give up self-love and self-care!
We would never think of skipping a shower or brushing our teeth for that long so why do we forfeit our yoga practice? Sure, we may not be able to practice the usual intense routine that we crave or love, but modifications can always be implemented. We have been growing, modifying, adjusting, and acclimating since we were born for every stage of this life. It's part of being human. So why can't we approach yoga the same way?
I recently helped my mom realize this when she broke her wrist. She had a cast on for 6 weeks and couldn't put any pressure or weight on her hand. We met for a virtual yoga class (she lives across the country) and she was surprised by how much she could do without having to be on her hand. She felt so much better mentally and physically by moving and breathing even though she couldn't do all the down dogs and chaturangas she was used to. This catapulted her healing because her mind was focused on health. I am happy to report her wrist healed perfectly and she's out of the cast working on rebuilding the muscles and ligaments that support this area.
I have encouraged many students over the years to still show up and work around those measly injuries, even in the more severe cases where maybe only a few poses can be practiced. That's ok, it's something. I do encourage everyone to seek the help and support from a local professional to determine what's safe and how to work around each individual challenge. With the correct guidance, most people are amazed how much they can actually do.
These injuries hopefully aren't permanent and it's just a temporary season of this life that is totally workable. I like to approach my yoga practice as a non-negotiable and a natural way to care for my body and mind no matter what it looks like on a regular basis. It's about feeling better and showing up for myself consistently. I hope you can do the same and remember to modify as needed. When was a time that you needed to modify your practice? How did that feel for you? Share with me in the comments below!