The Down falls of being an elastic girl and the upswing to getting older and stronger.
I have spent all of my life living in a body that is extremely flexible, stretchy bendy and hyper mobile. I believe at one point I even acquired the nick name “bendy Wendy” I have to admit, I have always thought of this way of being in my body as an asset to my health. Flexibility equals a healthy form right?
As I evolve in my own and skin and movement patterns I have been re thinking this idea. Even though I have moved through life being able to bend in any direction I have had wide spread pain for as long as I can remember. My inner work over the last 6 or so years has been to understand the mechanics of movement in regards to what ligaments do and how muscles hold things in place. Without the integrity and strength of strong muscles loose ligaments can turn a body into a bit of a jelly fish, too fluid, too watery even.
If I observe this even further in terms of my character I have witnessed my flexibility in other areas of my life path. I have the tendency to be a little watery when it comes to decision making. As a parent I have personal challenges with standing my ground, my jelly fish way of being is often in confrontation with logic. I have learned how to slip around or slide side ways to avoid the density that often accompanies a strong statement or decision.
Don’t get me wrong being flexibility has served me in a sense that I love freely and strongly, I have never been stingy with giving and I know how to move in ways that inspire freedom and creativity. I like to think that I am easy to be around and can spend time with almost anyone as a compliment to my flexible nature. I have learned to use my body as a conduit for my most authentic expression of life and creative rhythm. Moving is how I process just about everything.
What has changed is that instead of pressing completely to my edge in my yoga practice, I have learned the art of retracting, refining and aligning, not only in my body but also in my thinking. I am learning how to syphon my energy towards effort in the right places. I am learning that as I age getting strong is essential. In the yoga world we see the postures that hold the most extreme case of flexibility as the end goal. I am wondering how I might enter these postures with an essential sustainability and with an unwavering strength. I am learning how to stand at my job at the health food store without hyper extending my knees so that I can stand longer without pain. I am learning the art of strong expansion. Being free, strong, graceful and integral within my form is the direction I am heading.
I hold in my awareness an idea of drawing energy to the mid line, not only in my physical form but with the intimate energy of being. I am learning how to gather inwards while steeping longer in personal inquiry, listening to the more subtle reverberations of my own body language. I am learning what it means to not take the easy way around.
It is my goal to learn how to move in a new way, to break the familiar and often lazy patterns of movement. I am in process.
I view my practice and my teaching now as way to do less and feel more. Our practice is a personal revolution right? if you are tight in your body or thinking your practice may be about creating more space, more fluidity, it may be about becoming less ridged in your thinking and generally more flexible with your love or giving. It really is about creating an inner equilibrium inside of yourself. The journey is ours. This reasoning is why we must be kind to ourselves and those around us when we step onto the mat. This is why a yoga instructor’s goal is that YOU find a way of moving inside yourself that is deeply resonate to your life path and healthy for your unique body.
You know that glance; we all have a snuck a peek at the yogi beside us bent completely in half with a serene sense of bliss swirling around them, just remember that the jelly fish like body has its own journey, a different one than yours perhaps and the beauty of a shared practice is we are all evolving together in our own ways. Tight or flexible there are lessons wrapped up in your fascia, there is an evolution coiled in your own muscles. We have our ancestor’s bones and our own unique cells bundled up in this brilliant body. Our unique contours hold a deep language and a poetry that only we can speak.
Be Strong. Be Flexible. You are a walking miracle, allow your aging to bring forth your own body wisdom.