It’s summer and I’ve got nostalgia on my mind. Been perusing old pics and attracting languid conversations about all things life. I find it interesting that people (friends, students, clients, strangers) assume that flexibility comes easily to me.
In this picture from 2012, ya, flexibility was as fluid as that dreamy water (#bahamas) but that hasn’t always been the case.
As a child I was the kid who’d plop to her belly and touch her toes to her nose. When I first tried yoga at 24 years old, however, I had lost most of that intrinsic flexibility. A decade or more of competitive tennis, long distance running, high intensity cardio and weight training had left my muscles stiff, tight and guarded.
I vowed to myself to reclaim my child like range of motion. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took a lot of time, effort and faith to unwind the limitations. In the process, I discovered so much about myself, let go of a lot of BS and radically changed my life. I never realized that reclaiming my flexibility would also be a catalyst for healing on many levels.
Over the years, I have turned to my yoga practice, particularly #asana, as benchmarks to gauge how life is moving through me. I vary my exploration but also keep a series of shapes (asana) consistent so that I can compare and contrast how each part of my body feels on any given day or decade lol.
Some positions come and go, like the one in the picture. For example, after my c-section I wasn’t able to lift into locust pose, that pathway was simply gone. Over time, (though time alone is not a sure bet) I’ve earned my way back to locust, and to many other check point shapes I turn to like sentries of my inner terrain.
Body awareness, persistent observation and assessment of physical sensations, has proven to be an indispensable life-line and source of insight, stability & strength. Obviously, this idea stretches far beyond any specific asana. Awakening space in the body awakens consciousness ... freedom of expression and compassion for the journey — illuminating the path inward and onward.