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things not to apologize for

to your movement/wellness professional (yoga teacher, personal trainer, coach, etc.)

I wrote this post the other day after a few sessions with clients who have a deep-seated

apology habit– even when there’s nothing to apologize for. I always express that there’s no need to apologize, and that my job is to help this process feel as supportive and useful as it can– but I also understand that many of us have been made to feel that it’s not okay to ask for “special” treatment, or that there’s something wrong with us if we need to have something adjusted. So many people I know have suffered through a class or session rather than feel as though they’re a burden, or not wanting to be the person who says, “that incense is making me sick, can you put it out?”

Each of us has a body, mind and system that is completely unique, and which responds best when it feels comfortable, safe and supported. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of things that often come up for folks I work with of things not to apologize for:


  • Your size, your shape, your mobility, your strength, your hearing, your vision, your abilities, your injuries, the noises your body makes, and anything else you can possibly think of that has to do with you, as you are.

  • This also includes anything you use to help you to use your body: wheelchair, hearing aids, prosthetics, etc.

  • Any involuntary sounds or movements of your body.

  • Needing to use the restroom; needing to pause (see #3);

  • And any props or assistance you require in your practice.


Many of my clients are folks who live with ongoing pain or conditions that make them highly sensitive. Their systems respond more loudly to things that may not register with other folks. Here are some ways this might show up in their bodies:

  • being sensitive to hard surfaces under your joints– often folks may need to add some padding or a cushion to support themselves.

  • being sensitive to textures, or allergic to certain substances: the type of mat we use, the softness of a blanket– these can make a big difference and even trigger dangerous reactions.

  • being sensitive to scents like incense, essential oils or anything else in the air.

  • being sensitive to light, sound, temperature.

  • being emotionally sensitive: working with the body means that emotions are going to arise. It’s okay to feel and react to those moments.