After my car accident it took me a long time to be able to go back and practice yoga and after being away for almost 6 weeks I thought I would never be able to get my practice back to where it was post accident. Probably like many people out there, I have never thought of myself as a flexible person. I cannot bend into a pretzel to save my life and most definitely am not a gymnast!
You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga! The best yoga advice I ever received was in a class I took a few months ago. She was speaking about flexibility and different body types and said:
” Yoga isn’t about how far you can bend or stretch, it’s about how far your body can bend or stretch”.
We all have to realize that we were all born with different sized skeletons and different sized bone structure. This means that someone with a tinier bone structure may be able to reach their hands to their toes while someone with a larger bone structure (me!) might only be able to reach their hands down to their shins. Either way, if you are feeling the stretch and feeling like you are at your bodies capacity, then you are still getting the benefit.
Either of these forms of Uttanasana are acceptable
I found this article that I wanted to share with you courtesy of doyouyoga.com. It talks about the myth of not being flexible enough to do yoga which the author Kirby Koo equates to being ” too tired to sleep or too hungry to eat”.
Check out the article…I’m not Flexible enough for Yoga…
I agree with Kirby in that flexibility should not hold you back from practicing yoga. In fact it should be your motivation! I can tell you from my own practice that I was not a flexible person when I started yoga. However, the more I go and the more I challenge myself, little by little I am getting more and more flexible.
My recommendation to you:
Get on Groupon and grab a yoga deal off there or find a studio in your neighborhood and try them out. Often studios offer a special introductory offer for beginners or you may even want to try a one month unlimited pass. Give it a fair shot. Don’t just go to one class and give up thinking that you aren’t flexible or that you can’t do it. Trust me YOU CAN! Make it your goal to go to two classes a week (more if you want of course) and see how your flexibility improves in a months time. Don’t attach a specific outcome to your classes, just commit for a month and see if you notice a difference.
The important thing is to remember to leave your ego at the door. Yoga is your own personal journey. Our balance and body changes from day-to-day so don’t beat yourself up if you done have an amazing practice one day because the next day will be completely different. Feel free to share any words of encouragment and your yoga journey with me! I like reading your stories as much as I like sharing mine