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Maybe You’re Flexible Enough?

by Bridget

Flexible, Jean-Michel Basquiat 1984

I can’t tell you the number of seasons I’ve heard people say something along the lines of, “Oh, I can’t do yoga- I’m not flexible enough, ” when they hear I’m a yoga professor. I can see why countless people considered that “practicing yoga” is only achieved when you attain a constitute that might be featured on the move of a yoga magazine. The modelings tend to be very thin and very flexible beings changing into impossible-looking figures. I had a student in one of my categories who was hypermobile, and I often caught my other students querying her how she got so good at yoga–there’s exactly a sense that more flexible is better when it comes to yoga.

Unfortunately, hypermobility is a real problem that can lead to joint instability, chronic agony, and sometimes even costly and pain joint fixings. See Baxter’s post Are You Overly Flexibile? Hyperflexibility, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and Generalized Joint Hypermobility for more information about all of these conditions. He includes a section on yoga recommendations for people who are overly flexible, including increasing strength, scaping undue brace progress, improving proprioception, and raising nonchalance. I specially like the last two suggestions, because often we move too deep into a pose simply because we don’t have a sense of where our restraints are, so improving our proprioception contributes us a better sense of where we are in space and what our limits are. As for cultivating equanimity, the yoga practice, or a particular pose, may specify a sensation that is different from the stress we’ve been suppressed under all day, to the point where we don’t actually notice that it’s hurting us. Finding a balance in soul can help us to find a balance in our yoga practice.

With these tools in place, we can approach a yoga practice from a more balanced perspective. Instead of forcing the yoga upon our mass, trying to achieve an outward image of perfection in a pose, we can focus instead on how the yoga feels, and most importantly, how we feel in the world as a result of our yoga practice. I do like to repeat a quote from Alan Finger that says: “Don’t practice yoga to to be all right at yoga; pattern yoga to get better at living.”

Find information on Bridget’s current classes here.

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