In a private class yesterday, my student and I had a conversation about flexibility. An ex-dancer, she moves her body with grace and elegance, with a level of freedom and fluidity that is beautiful to witness. Admiring how she moved, my guess would have been that she continues to dance daily. I was shocked when she said she had not danced for over 20 years. I asked how she has maintained her flexibility over the years and she answered with this simple, yet powerful response: “I believe flexibility is a state of mind. I’m spontaneous and try not to get caught in mundane daily routines. When my mind is free, my body is free also.”
I found this to be such profound insight and something that I shall keep with me always. Whilst the concept is simple, if we actually take a moment to stop and contemplate this, there is so much depth behind it.
I personally can get very stuck in my ways. I like routine, to the point of being a little OCD in many areas of my life, I can easily get caught up on the little things (which really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things), and I lack creativity (hence my inability to cook edible meals. I’m no longer allowed in the kitchen at home). There are many areas of my life that are very rigid that I’ve needed to consciously work on – I’m talking body, mind and spirit.
Reflecting on my journey with yoga, I will never forget how stiff my body was in the beginning. I began yoga at one of the most stressful times of my life and I felt so restricted in my body (and upon reflection, more so in my mind). As my practice has developed and as I’ve matured and changed over the years, my body has begun to unlock in ways I once never thought possible. Whilst I still have many neurotic issues that will forever be a part of who I am, I’ve become far better at witnessing and understanding these. And as I’ve come to understand myself a little better, I’ve become more aware of my responses to neurotic thoughts, which I believe is crucial to finding freedom and flexibility, in body and mind.
With that in mind, in May I will be hosting a Yoga For Flexibility workshop where you will learn techniques to release tension and tightness in the body, and techniques to control the mind that will manifest into an even deeper release in the physical body.
Spaces are still available if you would like to join us. Click here for more details and to register.
Until then, remember to take time out to slow down, breathe and let the mind be free.