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World Mental Health Day 2013: Making Life Modifications

Older Couple Beach

When I first start “doing yoga,” I thought I had to master every pose, every time.

Actually, I thought every pose was the end all, be all of that post.

Boy, did I have A LOT to learn.

Once I found a yoga studio and started regularly attending classes, I discovered all yoga poses have modifications. These modifications are to help you achieve some version of the pose based on factors like your–

  • Experience level.
  • Body type.
  • Comfort zone.

–and still experience the benefits of the pose.

Too, if you can’t “master” any of the standard modifications for that pose, a qualified and experienced yoga instructor can help you develop a modification that fits YOU.

(At this point I should mention, this was around the time I realized I wasn’t DOING yoga, I was PRACTICING yoga, as all yogis do.)

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Making yoga modifications is a lot like making life modifications. We make yoga modifications because something doesn’t quite work. We aren’t flexible enough (right now, or anymore), or we have too much body mass or not enough balance.

Don’t we do the same thing in life?

We make modifications to achieve the pose–whatever the pose may be.

We make these modifications because in life–like in yoga–there is no end all, be all pose. There is no right or perfect way.

There’s only YOUR WAY.

Often, our life modifications are based on our ages.

We use training wheels on our bikes when we don’t have enough balance. We live with roommates when we can’t afford an apartment or a house on our own salaries. We look for a higher-paying job to support our children in the event of divorce or death of a spouse. We consider retirement homes when keeping up with a house on our own just becomes too much.

Or, we’re ready to parrrrrtaaaaay 🙂

Life modifications are normal. A third-grader can’t live on his own, after all.

What kinds of life modifications have you made? What adjustments have you made to achieve the “pose” you want?


This post is part of the Carter Center Mental Health Program for the 3rd annual blog party World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is “Mental Health and Older Adults,” and I hope I’ve respectfully represented it.

Learn more about World Mental Health Day at the World Health Organization and see more Psych Central blog party posts at Psych Central’s World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day 2013: Making Life Modifications

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2013). World Mental Health Day 2013: Making Life Modifications. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2020, from


Last updated: 5 Oct 2013
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