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The Three Key Ways Yoga Enables Flexibility

Yoga stems from a long line of eastern philosophies and practices from stand a platform that believes that a disciplined student of yoga can reach a state of enlightenment though the cultivation of the human vehicle – body. Yoga is known for the strange and sometimes demanding poses that are endowed upon the practitioner. Most of the yoga poses we practice today focus on opening up the body versus the building of muscle.

yoga stretch poses

Do Yoga!

Think of your body as a house. Just like with a house, you can do two primary things to create more space. They are: Build on to the house – or – get rid of some stuff inside. Building onto the house is just like if you were to build more muscle on to your body. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, muscle building is a much needed component of the human experience. However, when you build on you tend to not allocate your space any differently. Furthermore, you tend to just fill up that space with more things. Therefore, a clean approach would be to strive to do some internal Spring cleaning, allowing for actual space that allows for a simpler life. This is the essence of yoga. Through opening up the body, the mind follows.

In our busy life, we don’t have time for a lot. Therefore, I wanted to list the top ways that yoga enables us to be more flexible – and not just physically.

crazy yoga pose

Build Flexibility!

According Sharon Tanenbaum of RealSimple.com when you stretch a muscle, you lengthen the tendons, or muscle fibers, that attach it to the bone. “The longer these fibers are, the more you can increase the muscle in size when you do your strength training,” says Geier. That means that a more flexible muscle has the potential to become a stronger muscle, too. In turn, building strong muscle fibers may boost your metabolism and your fitness level. Flexible muscles also make everyday activities easier on your body and may decrease your risk of certain injuries. Common behaviors, like hunching over the computer, can shorten some muscles. That, along with the natural loss of muscle elasticity that occurs with aging, can set you up so any quick or awkward motion (lunging to catch a glass before it teeters off the table, for example) could stretch your muscles beyond their limit, resulting in a strain or a tear. “Even if you’re aerobically fit, it helps to be limber, too, so your body can easily adapt to physical stressors,” says Margot Miller, a physical therapist in Duluth, Minnesota, and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association.

 

  1. Mental Flexibility: By stretching and allow your muscles to expand you build up neuroplasticiy within your own personal pain tolerance. Each time you go a little bit further in your stretch you are building up the ability to endure more. Every time you go deeper into a stretch you are required to go deeper within yourself. Your mental internal talk is also stifled the further you go with a yoga routine. The more this inner voice is quieted the more at peace you feel. Eventually, you are able to perform the poses and routines without struggling with that inner monologue.
  2. Physical Flexibility: Yoga allows for many opportunities for our body to become more flexible. On a deep level, we come to find out that our body’s ability to be flexible is directly related to how far we allow ourselves to go. The act of choice making is a craft and skill that is developed over time. Have this skill has been completely exhausted, we call that Samati – or – enlightenment. But first, we need to make the choice to push our body into a deeper and deeper stretch, ensuring physical flexibility.
  3. Spiritual Flexibility: This is a very subtle nuance that develops in such a way its as if it sneaks up on you without you knowing it. When your spiritual muscles start to flex you will feel a deep sense of gratitude and compassion for others. This deep sense of compassion can be said to stem from the thankfulness in the achievement you have reached. I don’t believe this to be true. For your spirit is not concerned with humanistic achievement structures. This is why it will seem as though it sneaks up on you. Through yoga, you are empowered with many opportunities to be thankful. Therefore, they way to encounter a yogic spiritually driven flexibility session is to say out loud, “I am extremely and deeply thankful for this moment!” – when you are in the most difficult pose of the sequence. You will find it hard to be genuinely thankful versus just saying the words. Keep at it, and eventually you will become more flexible in that department.

Yoga is a fun, hard, and flexing way to spend an hour of your time. In India they spend days and days practice this timeless practice. Even though in the west we may not have that much time, we can still have the much dedication to growth and making ourselves more flexible. Because as we become more flexible, the space in our life starts to embody more space. This is something we can all benefit from, in every way.   🙂

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