I took my first yoga class approx. 10yrs ago and fell in love; the first exercise I went to where I left feeling strong and relaxed but not completely ruined! I felt my body more and noticed a big shift in my energies before & after the class. That being said, being in my early 20s I was more fixated on more high impact exercise to keep my weight balanced, with some yoga on the side; little did I know that I would gain great benefits (for myself) practising more yoga not fully understanding the overall benefits to both my mental and physical health. The past 5yrs I gradually practised yoga more frequently and much more so the last 3yrs where yoga was more a spiritual practice and mental shift for me.
I do recall when I first started I felt intimidated if I couldn't do a certain pose, or wasn't as flexible as mu neighbour. The moment I focused on my own practice however those concerns fell away as I was only concerned about my own ability and growing my practice for myself. I then decided 12 months ago that yoga ad helped me so much mentally that I wanted to give back & help others. So I enrolled on a 200hr teacher training course in Ubud, Bali. In the run up to my course those worries came flooding back wondering whether I was good enough, and whether I was strong & flexible enough. Those concerns, whilst valid, were actually unnecessary. I remember the first day the teachers (Adrianna & Lindsay - two beautiful souls who I will forever hold gratitude to) made us all feel completely comfortable and relaxed, explaining all our bodies are different and to never compare to others. Our bodies are all capable of different things; they were right. I am fortunate enough that my body has upper strength and my back is flexible however I have tight hamstrings and can at times haves tight hips and sore knees; that is just my body type. It doesn't make me weak or stronger, it is just my body type allowing me to do different things. So whilst I can lack flexibility in areas (in terms of fully straightening my legs and tighter hips can sometimes prevent my ability to fully surrender in to some postures) I can do headstands and strength/balance poses. Whereas some of my beautiful peers could be unbelievably flexible but unable to use upper body strength; so ultimately we should all be kinder to ourselves and accept our strengths rather than something we struggle with. Practice will always improve your postures but sometimes your body just will not allow it, so accept it, modify and use props rather than forcing to be the best - listen to your body!
So the biggest tip I can give you is;
Remember its YOUR practice, listen to your body and don't force yourself, deepen when it feels good, do a modification when it doesn't. Another tip, USE PROPS! Blocks & straps are amazing! There is no shame. For me blocks help improve my practice and deepen my stretch.