Saturday, January 21, 2012

on the mat | some flexibility helps

One of the biggest reasons/excuses people tell me that they don't practice yoga is that they just aren't flexible enough. And I nod, like I understand, and let them go their merry way. But inside I am screaming, "But that's what yoga is for!"

Being a runner for some 20+ years, I understand about having a stiff lower back and hamstrings. When I was training for the NYC marathon, I could tell that the longer runs (+2 hours) definitely made my yoga practice suffer. But continuing yoga throughout the training certainly kept me injury free. I have long since decided I much prefer the difficulty of yoga over the difficulty of running, but that's a story for another day.

My point is that, yes, yoga can be hard when you are not that flexible, but even if you go once or twice a week over a period of time, you can start to feel the difference. And you will become more limber. Not overnight, but what really happens that fast anyways?

Yoga doesn't just help with flexibility of the body; it can help with being more flexible in your mind too. Like accepting that today maybe a certain bind just isn't going to happen. Or no matter how much you try, your knees are in too much pain to sit in full lotus. But that's ok. Just do what you can. Namaste.


The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I used to run a lot and have also completed the NYC marathon (2002).I am falling out with running a little and want to increase my flexibility.
You have persuaded me to dig out my yoga DVDs and start again.

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

I use to be able to do that pose. LOL Yoga is great. I have a DVD and really need to revisit it. :)

Megan Mae said...

I totally agree with this. Yoga is like any other exercise, it takes time. It takes time for any change in the body to happen. I think it's funny because people don't heal from injuries overnight, why do they expect exercise, diets or anything else for that matter to change them so quickly?

I don't do yoga (yet) due to time/money/place constraints, but I took up swimming as an alternative to get my body used to a low impact exercise. I do hope to join on somewhere and learn in the future, but for now I will admire - and hopefully learn! - from those of you that do.