Written by Antranik
Common Question Time!!!
As someone who is very inflexible and interested in yoga, I don’t think I’m flexible enough. It seems to me that until I get a little bit more hamstring flexibility (among other areas), I just wouldn’t be able to do most positions to how they are intended and am better off focusing on very basic stretches first. What would you recommend for the flexibility challenged?
Antranik Answer Time!!!
There’s a saying in yoga that you are considered a beginner for the first 10 years of your practice.
There may be some poses you can do ‘perfectly’ right off the bat. And then there are poses that may take months, years or decades until you can do them ‘perfectly.’
Yoga isn’t about performing that ‘textbook perfect’ pose. Every single person has their completely unique challenges and they are on their own journey/pathway. Yoga is more-so about this process of unwinding and participating in your journey.
- Your form will look better with practice.
- Your flexibility will come with practice.
- You can’t expect to un-do years (or decades) of inflexibility in a couple yoga sessions.
Besides, it’s not just about flexibility. It’s about flexibility, strength and balance and holding this calm, cool collective expression of bliss while you’re practicing.
- You may be inflexible but you may also be very strong and can hold certain poses without a hitch (often seen with men who weight-train).
- Or you may be too flexible and not have the strength to hold the pose for more than a few seconds (often seen with women). Often times in this case they may look like they have perfect form (especially with the hip-openers) but are not engaging the proper muscles and actually cheating by hyper-extending their joints because the strength isn’t there to hold them together.
So again, yoga is more-so about the process of winding and not about performing the ‘textbook’ perfect pose.
But one thing is for sure, if you keep avoiding yoga because you’re not flexible enough… then when will you be flexible enough to do it?
Question: What would you recommend for the flexibility challenged?
Take the beginner-level classes. The beginner-level classes are mostly comprised of the most basic asanas (poses) which are all very good basic stretches. Just do it, and keep at it!