I often hear people say that they are not flexible enough to start yoga.
Well, I was not flexible at all when I started yoga and I wouldn’t call myself a super flexible yogi even now.
Though I am definitely more flexible in some parts of my body, there is a certain part of my body that needs more work. For example my back is often very tight that I struggle to hold even gentle backbend for 5 breaths.
However, interestingly some days I can execute backbend with no issues at all. When my body doesn’t move the way I wanted, for example Halasana (Plow Pose) I often get really frustrated and I even feel very emotional about it. I didn’t know what this meant till my Yoga teacher explained years ago what it is all about.
I honestly thought that I was just so inflexible and I am just not good at yoga!
Inflexible Body, Inflexible Mind
So if you are thinking that you are not flexible enough to start yoga, your mind is also being inflexible.
For example, when you see an advanced student doing the handstand, what are your instant thoughts? “I can’t do that”? “Not in my lifetime”?
When I was just starting yoga, I had the same thoughts. My thoughts were so negative that I didn’t even try those scary postures my teachers made me do in the class.
When I went to do my yoga teacher training, that all changed. I tried every single posture in Ashtanga Primary Series. Even I couldn’t do the posture properly, I learned not to worry about what other peoples can do and I can do.
More I practice yoga, my body felt lighter, so as my mind. This is because I was releasing all the tensions and frustrations out of my body, by stretching, squeezing and opening of the chest and hips. Slowly, my back started to feel less tight and my hips started to open up bit more.
The tightness of back can be related to repression or restriction in your life or issues from the past. The hips can be related to general frustration or trapped emotions.
So next time before you tell people that you are not flexible enough to start yoga or your are not good at yoga, think about the situation that cause you to become tense, anxious, worried or frustrated.
Whether you decide to go to your first yoga session, or deepening your practice, take a moment in each yoga posture with an intention to release that tension or emotions. In this way, you are enabling your trapped energy to be released and you will realise your body is lighter and so as your mind.