“I’m Not Flexible Enough”
This is the phrase I hear the most often from people when I mention that I am a Yoga Therapist and I begin to work with a new client or student or even when I have a casual conversation about yoga when I am out and about. So many people think that yoga is an exercise that is done on a mat and requires physical flexibility. I quickly respond to this phrase with, “yoga doesn’t require physical flexibility it requires mental flexibility.” You need to be flexible, open and willing to learn this methodology to heal your body and mind.
Yoga is a multimodality self-healing total mind/body practice. If you can breathe you can practice yoga! Actually, the most advanced aspects to the yoga practice are to sit and breath and work to calm the mind. Yoga is more about the mind than the body and the goal is to bring the mind to a balanced state to connect to your true essence of peace and harmony. Most of the tools in yoga are focused on aspects of our energy and especially the energy of the mind. The mental flexibility is the willingness to study, practice and be disciplined to commit to heal yourself on all layers of your being with the tools in this practice. Since most of our modern diseases are stemming from chronic stress yoga is the perfect antidote!
Keeping your body strong, functional and mobile is also an aspect of the practice of yoga because it is the package that contains YOU! If your body is injured or weak it may lead to pain and discomfort and this will have an effect on your mental and emotional well-being. The physical asana helps to balance the energy of your body and mind and ground an active mind into the somatic realm. Moving with the breath will harmonize the mind and body and bring you to a state of ease. The description of the physical aspect of yoga in the texts is “to sit comfortably” and to find the balance between “effort and ease” so the physical practice is modified to fit our individual needs.
We all are flexible enough to practice yoga and the more you practice yoga the more flexible you will become!