How Long Until I'm More Flexible?
How long until I'm more flexible? Everyone else in the class is so flexible, and I’m rolling around on my mat like a wet log.
Yes, I hear this one from a lot of my guy friends. It's hard being a guy in a yoga class, especially when starting out because…
a) Everyone knows what to do.
b) They already understand that crazy secret language to yoga teacher speaks in.
c) Nobody else is sweating like a fat kid in a candy shop.
d) The girls are so much more flexible than us.
e) We want to be the best in the class, because we’re men and we love competition. Wah!
I’m not going to lie to you and say that there is no competition in yoga. Of course, there is competition in yoga. However, it is purely created by the people practicing it, not by the practice itself. We want to touch our toes. When we finally do, we notice someone jumping through from downward dog to paschimottasana. Yikes. And then somebody else has a great headstand in the middle of the room. We want to do that, too, so we practice over and over. And then, of course, handstands look so cool…
Take a deep breath. Release. Relax. Yoga is not a race. There is no finish line. Just do yoga. Let the rest sort itself out.
It’s hard to say when you will become more flexible if you are unable to let go of how you define flexibility. If you never have done yoga, and you’ve just decided to start practicing regularly, just making the decision shows a great potential for flexibility. Don’t lose that. If flexibility is the opposite of tightness, of stiffness, of unbending rigidity, apply that to everything your doing on and off the yoga mat. You might be surprised with how fast you actually open up, not only in the body, but in other places as well.
For those of you who need an actual hard answer to the question “How long will it take until I am flexible?”, the only way to find out is to go start practicing regularly. Everybody and every body is different, and the fun is answering the question for your Self.
Daniel Scott is trained as an E-RYT 500 Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher and a Certified Level 2 AcroYoga (AYI) instructor. He has spent over 15 years taking and teaching dozens of styles and methodologies of yoga.