Blog by Yoga Instructor Julia Countryman
“I’m not flexible enough for yoga”
“I would be falling all over the place”
“I’m not really into that ‘New Age’ stuff”
“Me? At yoga? That would be a sight!”
Unfortunately, many of the reservations that keep us from starting a yoga practice are the exact reasons we should be hitting the mat. Let’s break it down a bit.
Probably one of the most common excuses I hear is “I’m not flexible enough”. Guess what? I’m not either and that is okay. When our bodies settle into a limited range of motion, our muscles shorten and joints stiffen. This can happen to everyone, even athletes. Our fascia (the beautiful connective tissue around our muscles) also stiffens, dehydrates, and gets stuck down to the surrounding tissues, preventing a great range of motion. Our flexibility isn’t restrained by our muscle but rather our fascia. Moving through yoga poses helps slowly stretch this fascia, making it more pliable and supple. Slowly but surely increasing not only your flexibility but also your overall mobility…and who doesn’t want supple fascia?
“Yoga is not only learning to stand on your head but also learning to stand on your feet”-Swami Satchidananda
Our bodies are constantly compensating for its weaknesses. Maybe our right hip compensates for a weak knee or our back takes over the work for not-so-strong abdominals. Adjust the body a bit so everything has to work equally and watch the magic happen. (Usually resulting in a lot of wobbling and a few face plants.) I’m always amazed at how much work just standing in Tadasana is. Hold for just a few moments in proper alignment and you’re sure to break a sweat. Take a leg out of the equation but putting it into tree and the real discovery begins. We find where exactly our weaknesses lie-maybe our feet, maybe our core. With this discovery, we can being to make our weaknesses stronger, improving both our balance and posture.
Yoga literally means “to yoke”-yoking our minds to our bodies through asana-the physical practice of yoga. There is so much to think about while in a pose-Are my hips square? Is my body lifting? Am I breathing? Should that feel like THAT??-that more often than not the outside world begins to dissipate as we become more focused on what our bodies are doing. This new found relationship between your brain and body has been linked to several health benefits including:
Lower blood pressure
Developing of coping skills in individuals with anxiety disorders and PTSD
Development of positive body image
Improved circulatory health
If that’s not enough, learning to be more mindful of what your body is doing is a huge step in injury prevention.
Okay you’ve convinced me, now what?
Find a class you enjoy.
We now offer 6-week specialty yoga classes that start the week of October 24th. Gentle Yoga, Yoga For Flexibility, Power Sculpt, Barre Sculpt and Slow Flow. Learn More
So now that you’ve had the rundown, we look forward to seeing you in the studio. All you need to do is come with an open mind, remember despite what you see on Instagram no one can do yoga perfect-that’s why it’s called a practice, and always, always BREATHE!