"Flexibility isn’t just about opening up the body. It’s also about opening up the mind to accept what’s happening in the moment."
This is a cool article that I think speaks to some of the super powers you learn in yoga class. I always vow that I am the most inflexible yoga teacher. I often feel the frustration of the lack of my flexibility. However, what really surprises me is my inflexibility in life. How often do I get frustrated and stuck on the fact that things do not go my way. Why did that person break in line and cause me to have to wait longer? Why did my flight get delayed and cause me to slow down my fast-paced day? Why did my massage have to get rescheduled? Why did this person not do what I want? You know the drill... For me yoga teaches me mind flexibility. What if all the delays and "set backs" are just ways to cause us to rethink? What is they are pathways for us to see that it really isn't going to kill us to do things another way, to be delayed and to not get our way? Maybe it is to teach us to find that acceptance and peace with what is right now and to not fixate on how we think it should be. Food for thought. So the next time you realize your inflexibility in class maybe redirect yourself to understand where you are inflexible in life and take a deep breathe and say "Om"! :) Jill
By Daniel Scott
One of the most common things overheard by even the most seasoned yoga veterans is, "When I first started doing yoga, I couldn't even touch my toes.” They usually say this either right after or right before they tuck both legs behind their head.
While the sight of that can be somewhat intimidating, the thought is also extremely inspiring as well. There is a good chance that most average jogis—with a little dedication, determination and patience—will be able to touch their toes comfortable.
However, it just ain’t about touching toes, putting your nose on the floor in a forward fold, or tying your body up in a pretzel. Yoga isn’t a race. There is no finish line. There is always one more step to take, somebody more flexible than you, and volumes more to understand. One of the most important focuses of yoga is learning to accept the body as it is, work with what you have, and slowly expand its capabilities while closely observing what you already think you know. In time, your hands will get where they need to be, toes or otherwise.
So you can’t touch your toes. Big deal. Ask yourself why do you really want to? The real skill isn’t in grabbing your feet. At first, that could be extremely hard. Eventually you might touch them. Heck, you might even be able to wrap your legs behind your neck. However, you might also end up learning a much more valuable skill that that: listening to your body. For some body types, touching your toes may never happen. For others, it happens too easily.
Flexibility isn’t just about opening up the body. It’s also about opening up the mind to accept what’s happening in the moment.
Published March 6, 2012 at 2:30 PM
About Daniel Scott
Daniel Scott is yogi chocolatier and community innovator offering a fresh alternative to the traditional “yoga voice”. A globally renowned AcroYoga and Vinyasa teacher living in San Francisco, Daniel is the Chief Marketing Officer for FEARLESS Chocolate, the world’s largest manufacturer of raw organic chocolate. He also champions digital change through Authentic.ly, a boutique strategy firm that uses social media, company culture, and partnerships to solve business problems. Daniel enjoys good coffee, barefoot running, street art, partner acrobatics, large quantities, and great qualities.