When people first come to yoga, they often tell me that they want to become more flexible. They experience tightness in areas of their body. They see the ultimate test of flexibility as being able to bend over and touch their toes.
When we talk about flexibility, technically we are talking about being able to move joints through their full range of motion. But if our back or the backs of our legs are tight, and our hips and back can’t move fully – our flexibility is limited.
Our work with breath and postures increases the elasticity and mobility of muscles, relieving tension in the back , neck, shoulders and joints. With added comfort in the body and greater self-awareness, students often are more attentive to their posture as they stand, walk, and sit.
Flexibility is also an attitude we seek in our practice. We notice one week we feel strong and move easily with the breath in our postures. The next week we may be tired, feel unsteady, our breath feels shorter, and our mind distracted. We see how there is always change. Over time and with encouragement we come to accept these change in ourselves and in our daily lives. We are like the tree that must be flexible enough to bend to the winds of storms.