Yoga is a movement practice that encourages us to listen more intently to our body. To find and create balance on the mat, steadiness and ease (sthira-sukham asanas). Quite literally to become established in “good space." That being the case, there is no need to apologize for what you do or don't do on your yoga mat in yoga class.
Recently I have had more than a few students come up to me after class and say they are sorry for not doing xyz, because their shoulder hurts, their hamstrings are tight, they had back surgery, dental work, ______ insert life here. You don't owe me or anyone else a sun salutation. No one is judging you for not doing something that your body doesn't feel up to doing. Stop judging yourself and start honoring yourself. Unapologetically. If you don't give yourself permission to turn down the pace, the intensity then who will? No one.
You don't like it when people yell at you or tell you to do something you don't want to do. Your nervous system is no different. Be kind to your parts.
Beyond the physical (asana) practice of yoga we all love there are the other limbs of yoga to help guide us on the mat. Svadhyaya is the Sanskrit term for self-study or "one's own reading." When we integrate our physical moving practice with some of the introspective elements of yoga we can get a little clearer about what we need from ourself on the mat. As my yoga teacher, Jason Crandell reminds, "you don't have to get it all done today." Yoga is a lifelong practice, not something to be achieved or aced or performed. That's the glory in it. You get to practice being kind to yourself. So. Begin by: listening more intently to our body. Find and create balance on the mat, steadiness and ease (sthira-sukham asanas). Quite literally become established in “good space." Which might mean you don't do xyz to the fullest and for that don't be sorry. There are no apologies in yoga... unless your phone rings and you answer it. Then maybe. ;)
One of the gifts of yoga is the ability to inspire and cultivate in us a growing sensitivity to our own prana so that we learn to move through our lives with steadiness (sthira) and ease (sukha).