Flexibility, Candy and Yoga

"How long will it take before I can get more flexible?" is probably the most common question asked by most upcoming or new yogis. This is like asking the classic Tootsie Roll lollipop question of "how many licks will it take to get to the center?"

There is no true answer. It depends on the person experiencing it. With the Tootsie Roll, you can take your time and relish the flavor drop by drop until that chewy center reveals itself. Or, you can take a few quick rolls of the lollipop in the mouth until you crunch down to the core and enjoy it for a few brief moments. Which sounds more gratifying?

The same approach is with yoga. Forget about time. Forget about the agenda of poses to be able to do by a  self-imposed deadline. Forget about flexibility. It sounds strange and conflicting to the task motivated mind. What is more amazing is that the moment you stop worrying about what you think you should be doing, you will discover the bliss of enjoying what you ARE doing. The more flexible you become with time, the more details you will notice. Whether it be music, art, acting, a single flower in the grass or yoga, the beauty of all masterpieces are in the details.

When in Downward Dog, do you use the time to feel each fingertip press down? Do you feel the subtle lengthening of the muscles in the body take place? Do you envision the cells moving around enjoying your exterior movements that nourish them to be stronger? Do you feel the gift of inhaling and exhaling consciously? So many details to observe moment by moment....breath by breath. Use this flexibility of time off the mat. It is in the details of active living that we learn more, grow more, become more. The advancement of technology has not given us more time...it has made the "to do list" longer with less time to experience the details.

If you're going to eat the Tootsie Roll lollipop, savor every nuance of it. The sweet flavor covering every taste bud the longer you let it rest in your mouth. The subtle change of the smoothness of the candy as you let it melt and coat your throat. The silly guilty pleasure of savoring sweet sugar. The anticipation of getting to the core.The priceless gift of just being in the moment. The center will come soon enough and then it is gone. It is not wise to just keep on eating candy to enjoy the moment; however, yoga is a candy you can devour for a lifetime.

Practice it long enough and you will uncover a core of yourself you never really knew. You intuitively know it is there; however, if you let time press you forward too fast, you might overlook the most beautiful of details. Fortunately, the unraveling of the layers of Self via yoga is a lifetime practice.

 So what's the hurry? Enjoy the flavors that make you who you are. You just might find there was more to you than you could ever imagine. Let the mind become more flexible with time and the physical changes will emerge. The sweet core will not dissolve and leave nothing else to enjoy. Instead, it will do just the opposite. Expect an expansion and be ready to share it. You will not run out of love.

So, to simply reverse roles with inquiring minds of flexibility, I ask you...once you become more flexible, how many practices will it take for you to leave the mat?

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Yoga and the Adrenal Glands

Inversions, Hormones and Yoga