“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden
As an instructor I often hear the following phrases (or something similar) from students with regards to attending a yoga class:
- “I’m not flexible enough”,
- “I can’t bend like that”,
- “I’ll start yoga when I lose weight”,
- “When I have time I’ll start coming”,
- “After the _______ (fill-in-the-blank) event is over I’ll do it”,
- “when life slows down”,
The reality is this…
These are just STORIES that we tell ourselves to keep us from doing what we CAN DO! It is the mind interfering with what we want most: getting well, losing weight, finding time, gaining strength and greater mobility.
Let’s try a quick experiment…
Stand up and face a wall at arms length. Especially if you are sitting at the computer reading this email. Go ahead, try it now…
Press play or read on…
Facing the wall, place your hands flat against the surface at shoulder height. Separate the hands so that the crease of the thumb is in line with the outer shoulder. Now step back a foot or two as you walk your hands down the wall until they are the same height as the hips. You will end up making an upside down “L” shape against the wall where the upper torso is parallel to the floor, and the legs are perpendicular – your back and spine flattening out like a table top.
With the palms pressing into the wall, create greater pressure in your finger tips resulting in a firmness in the forearms. Keeping the forearms strong and elbows straight, rotate the upper, inner arm towards the sky allowing the shoulders to broaden and the scapula to move down the back. This should make your back even flatter. Isometrically (without moving the hands) hug your forearms towards each other. NOW stretch the hips away from the wall. You should experience a decompressing of the spine. Aahhhhh. Stay here and take 5 – 10 deep breaths. Step in as you bring the arms to your sides.
Bottom line: Maybe you can’t touch your toes, but you CAN find greater ease and vitality in the body by going through the above sequence: creating more mobiliby through the shoulders, back, and spine, enhancing your present moment… enhancing your life.
At the expense of sounding redundant, let’s roll out the facts…you didn’t need to lose weight, or find the time, or touch your toes, or wait for an event to finish, or expect life to slow down…to have a satisfying positive effect on your overall well being.
Moral of the story: Just DO it! Take a break, care for yourself, love your body and tell yourself a NEW story!