Flexibility of the mind, NOT the Body
The creative person is flexible – able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. ~ Frank Goble
The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers. ~ Brian Greene
As a yoga teacher as well as practitioner I constantly get questions and then excuses about why someone won’t even attempt to go to a yoga class.
Nine times out of ten it is the “I am not flexible.” line.
First of all, applying a “I can’t do that,” negative connotation is one of the first reasons you NEED yoga. Your whole attitude needs a vigorous meditation shake down. Would you use that excuse at work? Or to travel somewhere new? Of course not! You might have trepidations about it, but you would still do it! So stop making excuses and start Vinyasaing.
You won’t know how flexible you are until you try it. So I don’t want to hear you aren’t flexible. It is tough love with the strongest compassion behind it.
I get it. Some how people think yoga is this deep, dark, scary cult. And the truth is it is scary. It makes you delve inward. It makes you think and it makes you face your fears. And no, I am not talking about jumping upside down into a handstand, I am talking about the fears we have within ourselves.
Last year when I was sick, I avoided yoga classes like the plague (well technically lyme disease felt like the plague). I was so sick that to go inward was an exhausting journey one that would not be beneficial at all. At the time I didn’t realize, I just thought I was caving in to the creeping crud and needed to drag my arse out of bed and get to class.
Our subconscious is our best friend. It gives warnings when we don’t like someone, are not feeling well, and it even acknowledges our deepest insecurities.
That is what the whole “I am just not flexible enough to do yoga,” is. Insecurity. I admit it is hard not to roll my eyes when I hear it. But I also know that is their own issues to work through.
It really is a catch twenty-two. Because the mat is the best place to work issues out. Break-ups, death, stress, Self loathing, I go to my yoga mat, and while I might choose a corner to sob it out, I am there. And I can guarantee, I feel better afterwards.
One of my mentor’s Kay Kay Clivio always says, “That the hardest part of yoga is getting on the mat.” She is right. We can make every excuse in the book, but at the end of the day I have never regretted a single class.
Those friends of mine who have allowed me to drag them to a class (usually a Restorative or Basics..I am kind) despite their “no flexibility” excuse, not only loved the classes, but are now avid practitioners themselves.
Yoga isn’t about a hot Instagram picture, it is about YOUR personal journey. You get what you want out of your practice. Yes it might be flexibility or a certian asana. Or it might be deeper, clarity, peace of mind and one I always strive for: Self-love. The mat has no judgement and I promise no one else is looking at you. It only asks that you wipe it down afterwards.
Push the excuses away. Don’t let insecurity dictate how you live your life. Grab a mat and when you are done you might just find you discovered a lot more about yourself and it was all the good stuff.