Yoga for Non-Confrontational People Who Need to Set Personal Boundaries

Let’s move into the I’ve-spoken-up-for-myself-and-that-is-a-choice-I-deeply-regret pose

Nat Hrvatin
Apr 7 · 3 min read
Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Welcome to this non-combative space. Please unroll your mat and resist the urge to apologize when you accidentally bump into the person beside you.

We’ll start today’s practice in mountain pose. Please extend your arms to your sides and drop your shoulders. To truly embody that strength in body and mind, I want you to set a boundary with your friend Susan. Repeat after me: “No, Susan. I cannot carpool your twins to soccer practice. You live three towns away from me.” Ah, that was lovely.

From there, we’ll shift into balancing half moon. As you inhale, remember why you’re here. You’re tired of doing your classmate’s homework for them. Exhale. You’re tired of shoveling your neighbor’s driveway. Inhale. You don’t want to be frisked by TSA for agreeing to carry strangers’ bags. On an big exhale, repeat after me: “I’m not a spineless coward anymore.”

Clasp your hands in prayer pose and inhale. As you inhale, picture being surrounded by an invisible barrier. When Aunt Tina asks you to babysit your cousins for free again, imagine this barrier. Tell Aunt Tina that answer is “No,” unless she is willing to pay for the therapy needed after handling her hormonal teenagers.

Meet me in a seated position. Wrap your arms around your knees and place your head in between them. This position is called the regretful coward pose. You have finally spoken up for yourself and that is a choice you deeply regret. If you’d like a challenge, poke your head out from between your knees into reluctant turtle pose.

Place your hands and knees onto the mat and arch your back into cat pose. You may modify this position into scaredy cat pose by raising your shoulders to your earlobes and meowing softly. I used to use this pose when I would feel obligated to hang out with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. But now, I know my boundaries and also know that friend is going to try to sell me LuLaRoe, so I say, no.

Now, slide your arms and feet into Warrior II pose. Remember, you are a warrior. Your battleground is the office lunchroom. Your weapon of choice is passive-aggressive memos on the fridge reminding your coworkers to wipe down any spills. Next time, tell Bradley that his tuna salad leaked from his partially open ziploc and urge him to invest in some quality tupperware. Ohmmm…or maybe Pyrex…ohm.

Stand at the front of your mat and bend your right leg into tree pose. Just like a tree, you have roots. Your feet are firmly on the ground. You use those same feet to stand your ground when your boss asks you to come in on Saturday again. If he tries that same shit this week, you need to make like a tree and leaf your place of employment.

Lower yourself onto your hands and —

Oh, pardon me, I heard a knock at the studio door. Please rest in child’s pose while I see what’s the matter.

Uh huh. Yes, I did sign up for the studio space.

Well, you’ll have to wait because my class is in here —

We’re double booked? But, my class is in session.

Yes, I can see your name on the studio door.

Yes, I know this is your studio.


Sorry, our session must wrap up early today. Our final pose will be a new one: the ostrich shoving its head into the sand pose. While standing up, slowly lower your head towards your mat. Breathe in gently while replaying conversations that you wish had gone differently.

Jane Austen’s Wastebasket

Thanks to Kyrie Gray

Nat Hrvatin

Written by

Nat Hrvatin is a writer, educator, and performer from Cleveland, Ohio. Website:

Jane Austen’s Wastebasket

Humor inspired by the literature, history, and other non-lucrative college courses

Nat Hrvatin

Written by

Nat Hrvatin is a writer, educator, and performer from Cleveland, Ohio. Website:

Jane Austen’s Wastebasket

Humor inspired by the literature, history, and other non-lucrative college courses

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