"I can't do yoga because I'm not flexible."


As a yoga teacher, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this statement so I thought I’d delve into the topic of “flexibility.” Have you ever wondered why some people are effortlessly flexible and others stretch consistently and see little to no change?

Well, our flexibility is determined by two things – our muscles and our bones.  Have you ever been told in yoga that if you practice every day, one day you’ll be able to touch your toes or have your heels touch the floor in downward dog or be able to do the splits?  Well, this isn’t always true.

We are able to improve our flexibility and mobility by stretching regularly; however, we don’t have control over the shape of our bones. Our bodies are unique in so many ways, and our skeleton is no exception.  For example, some people have deep hip sockets and some people have more shallow hip sockets, which allow for more flexibility in that joint.  Maybe you have experienced this with a frustratingly flexible friend who has done little to no yoga and immediately pops into down dog with heels completely flat on the floor while your heels are still off the floor even though you have been consistently practicing!  There could be a couple of reasons for this: one, you might have tight hamstrings (another topic) or, two, that due to the anatomical makeup of your ankle joint, it’s just not possible for your heels to reach the floor.  And, you know what?  That’s okay!   Keep working YOUR own down dog.  Listen to your body.   Listen to your teacher for alignment tips.   Remember that more flexibility isn’t always better.  Just because your heels do not touch the floor in down dog or your hands don’t touch the floor in forward fold, doesn’t mean you are “not good in yoga.”  We don’t like comparisons in yoga, and that is why we like to cover the mirrors in our yoga classes at The Yoga Barre. 

Moving your body is a gift.  Celebrate this!   So, we’d like to let go of the worn out statement, “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.”  Try a yoga class to get a taste of what you’re missing.   

We’d love to have you in any of our classes at The Yoga Barre.  Our Yoga Basics series begins 4:00 pm, Sunday, October 7 and will be held for six consecutive Sundays.   Amanda Walley, Kripalu trained yoga teacher, 200 hour RYT, will be teaching this series. We are honored to have her join our team. 

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