I think the question I get asked the most since I started my personal yoga practice in 2014 is: How did you get so flexible?
Most of those asking are coming from a place of wanting to enhance their own flexibility, but after I give my answer I would say about 90% never respond (if they have messaged me online), or politely nod if they are asking in person. Because my answer is not, “Oh, this is exactly what I did and it works for everyone!” I think most of us are hoping for an easy way even though we may realize instant gratification does not equal happiness.
My response in a nutshell is: practice every day, be vulnerable, and have patience. Your body is going to be different than mine and you will have to discover what works best for you.
Flexibility starts in the mind, which can at times be a hostile and unforgiving environment, especially when you have to work through anxiety and depression like myself and so many others. The transformation I have seen in the way I think, the way I view myself, and the way I talk to myself is absolutely amazing.
When I first started doing yoga every day there was a lot of discouragement, anger, frustration, and swearing at myself. I wanted results and I wanted them fast. I wanted to just “get there”.
I’m telling you right now, let that go… “There” does not exist. Let it go, get it out, and focus on the journey, because that is going to be the joy in every day. Every time I come to a place I have been working for in my practice– whether it be a certain pose, or a flow I’ve been putting together– I think about the love that got me there. Those times I gave myself encouragement, the days I let myself have a break because I was allowing negativity to enter my practice. I remember all the little moments along the way of being patient with myself and breathing into that space. Those moments add up and they make the process the most fulfilling part of my life.
Do you want to get flexible? Then be flexible. Be willing to change. Be honest with yourself, let moments of sobbing during your practice happen, let the ecstasy of falling in love with yourself happen. And for the love of the universe cut yourself some slack, be kind to yourself. You have a lot going on. You have an amazing mind connected to a beautiful body, so let them merge and treat them well.
This is my journey of falling in love… With myself. Thank you for joining me.