Ask any yoga teacher what the most common excuse they hear from people who don’t practice yoga is and you’ll probably receive the same answer: “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.”
We’re not sure where the myth started that naturally flexible and bendy people were the only ones who could practice yoga. In fact, it’s really the opposite.
Flexibility looks very different depending on if you are a twenty-year-old former dancer, a thirty-year-old professional athlete, a fifty-year-old desk jockey, or an eighty-years-young retiree. No matter your age, anatomy, or physical abilities, yoga can help you become more flexible. The beauty of yoga is there are several styles and levels of classes and at least one is suited for you. How wonderful is that?
Flexibility isn’t just about looser hamstrings, greater range of motion in your muscles and joints, a supple spine and better posture. Of course, all of these benefits are results of a consistent yoga practice.
What’s important to remember is your progress is individual and not to compare yourself to anybody else.
You might have the goal of touching your toes for the first time and another student might want to learn how to stand on their hands. And yet another student couldn’t care less about the physical results and just wants to create a calmer, steadier state of mind.
Your ‘why’ is your own. But what’s beautiful about yoga is that you garner all kinds of benefits in addition to greater flexibility. For instance, you may have started practicing yoga to prevent injuries for a sport you play. A few months pass and suddenly you realize you aren’t just more mobile, you can navigate rush hour traffic without a spike in your blood pressure. Whatever your initial reasons to practice yoga, you’ll be sure to gain a variety of benefits for your body, mind, and spirit.
Try one of this week’s four classes focused on creating greater flexibility and see how you feel: body, mind, and spirit.
1. Dana Smith - Free Your Hamstrings
2. Robert Sidoti - 5 Poses for Flexibility
3. Elise Fabricant - Yin Yoga for Flexibility & Relaxation
4. Kylie Larson - Hamstrings, Hips & Hanuman
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