We must stop worshipping flexibility in yoga.
You may have been in a yoga class overhearing a newbie say, "I've never done yoga before, so I'm not very flexible", as if it's a pre-requisite. All I can say is that you don't need to be flexible to do yoga.
That stands as much today as it ever has done.
As we learn more about the human body, the pitfalls of desk sitting, how rest can make us more energised and how exhaling burns more fat than sweating, I have to ask; when's the strength revolution coming?
I'm a very flexible human being, I began dancing at age two, and it was drummed into me to do the splits, lift my leg higher than my shoulder and kick my feet around to the back of my head. Why? So it would make me look more determined to win competitions, more hard-working, better than that dancer over there?
Eurgh, spare me.
Flexibility rarely offers any real substance to movement, rarely connects you to your body more deeply and insufficiently teaches you to push through no matter what.
I can't remember the last time being flexible helped me. Strength, mobility and stability, however, now we're talking!
If you're naturally flexible, perhaps you can do freakishly flexy movements without warming up or even warning your body. If that's the case, you, my friend, maybe hyper-mobile.
Hyper-mobility is a cursed superpower in my eyes. And herein lies the problem: We worship flexibility, so if it comes naturally to you, people comment on it and tell you how lucky/talented/amazing you are, so you continue. Until the aches, pains and injuries creep in that you weren't warned about because 'pretty'.
Therefore, I propose we begin exploring our individual mobility ranges and the comfort we find within them. The stability we can gain through fun, explorative balance work - the strength gained from resistance, lifting and moving past limiting beliefs we have of ourselves.
Are you with me?
If you think you may be hyper-mobile and would like to explore how yoga can help, I'd love to invite you to my workshop. We'll spend the morning delving into what hyper-mobility is and the ways in which yoga can strengthen and stabilise your joints.
Click here for more information: https://www.laurengray-yoga.com/hypermobility-workshop.html
Mythological, philosophical and whimsical ramblings of a curious minded yogi.