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Yoga and Flexibility

kauradamson2010-07-04 11:25:56 +0000 #1
Hi guys

I have just started practicing yoga recently (6 weeks ago), I try to go to a training 3 times a week plus do a proper (1 hour or a bit more) training on my own twice a week. Atm, I am rather inflexible, therefore I was wondering if you could share your thoughts/experiences on how long it will take me to get remarkably more flexible (i.e to be able to do splits both ways).

Thanks loads

Kaur
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 11:42:18 +0000 #2
There are (at least) two answers to your question.

The bigger picture answer is to look much deeper into the practice than what your external eye sees on the surface of the body. In that view yoga may not be asana, asana may not be "training", and flexibility is no more important than a tan. In that view the practice of yoga may be about the individual's journey into themselves - stiff or supple makes no difference whatsoever.

The second answer is a more pragmatic one and perhaps the one expected.

You may never "do" the splits. Then again you may do the splits next week and feel nothing from it at all. The nature of flexibility in the body (and please understand asana is about moving somethings and stabilizing others while contortionism is about flexibility only) depends on several factors including your age, health, diet, appropriateness of asana practice, regularity and dedication to it and the environment.
kauradamson2010-07-04 11:32:23 +0000 #3
Heheee Thanks for the quick reply InnerAthlete. Of course I am aware that yoga is so much more than flexibility (asana is just only one leg of yoga out of the eight) , but it just seems to be that due to my infelxibility I cannot really get the most out of the practice. (i.e. cannot go into poses that would be deeply relaxing, I loose the rythm of my breath since when other people can put their hands on the floor in certain poses I have to keep my whole body up, I cannot fully "create space" "open up my chest" since my shoulder joints are not flexible enough). Therefore it just seems that if I was more flexible I could get more out of the practice and actually concentrate on finding the inner peace and relaxation and do the practice with deep abdominal breathing. Therefore, thought to ask the question, how to boost my flexibility or when might I expect my flexibility to start increasing when I practice yoga regularly. Thanks!
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 12:42:31 +0000 #4
How long did it take you to learn to walk?

Did you compare yourself to teenagers and assert that you'd be much better off if you could simply walk and drive? You are in the infancy of your practice with a somewhat adult mindset. Let it go. Those people with their hands on the floor? What makes you think they are experiencing "inner peace"? They are most likely in tremendous turmoil. Do not be fooled.

The mandate for a student in yoga is to feel as deeply as they can feel. You are not limited on the Feeling Field of Kurukshetra. No matter where your body goes to you can place your mind in your cells and feel yourself from the inside out. When cultivated absent of ego, that skill places you well above the curve formed by the other students who are only supple.

Also it would be relevant to have some information about what sort of practice you are doing. Every pose has an alignment to maximize the flow of life force or prana. Therefore there is a plane of every pose. Students falling away from the plane of the pose should be modified in the pose to bring them toward it. Meaning? Us a block. Or perhaps the practice you've started with is too fast and frisky and you are not at the level in which the class is constructed.
xela2010-07-04 12:38:02 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by kauradamson



Heheee Thanks for the quick reply InnerAthlete. Of course I am aware that yoga is so much more than flexibility (asana is just only one leg of yoga out of the eight) , but it just seems to be that due to my infelxibility I cannot really get the most out of the practice. (i.e. cannot go into poses that would be deeply relaxing, I loose the rythm of my breath since when other people can put their hands on the floor in certain poses I have to keep my whole body up, I cannot fully "create space" "open up my chest" since my shoulder joints are not flexible enough). Therefore it just seems that if I was more flexible I could get more out of the practice and actually concentrate on finding the inner peace and relaxation and do the practice with deep abdominal breathing. Therefore, thought to ask the question, how to boost my flexibility or when might I expect my flexibility to start increasing when I practice yoga regularly. Thanks!

Just keep at it and it will come! And remember...those flexible people have to work that much harder to get the same benefit you're getting! Don't fret.

Just remain dedicated and you'll see your body open up!

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