When students come to yoga afresh they often express the desire to become more flexible. Although I always ensure that they gain the understanding that strength also needs to be acquired in equal measure to make the yoga practice safe and enjoyable, the students do have a very good point:- Yoga is all about Flexibility.

Apart from the obvious physical component, it makes our lives so much richer, varied and fulfilling, if we stay flexible and open to the ever-occurring changes in our day-to-day lives. We put ourselves under so much pressure with our aim to achieve, meet certain deadlines – may they be related to work or personal matters; and especially in a place where there is a strong work ethic, we aim to perform over and above, the best of our abilities. Our lives are planned to the minute and especially in a busy city like Sydney e.g. meeting up with a friend often requires scheduling far ahead, leisure time doesn’t seem to happen spontaneously anymore, and the space to plan a day by simply doing what ‘one feels like’ no longer exists. We often feel overwhelmed by the amount of things we think we have to do. With expectations put on us by ourselves and others, a certain rigidity easily sets in, not allowing us to be… Flexible.

In Yoga we start to get the feel for and understanding of, the oneness of body, emotions, mind, and spirit. When our lives start to become more stifled and rigid, our bodies will reflect that. In reverse we can influence our emotional and mental set-up through our regular yoga practice, with which we become again more… Flexible.

Many of us have experienced how beautifully this works. Small progressions in our yoga practice – may it be becoming stronger and/or more flexible – quickly expresses itself in our daily lives. We can more easily stand our ground in a challenging situation and become more flexible when needed. Life becomes so much easier, more flowing, richer, and so enjoyable.

So give yourself the space to be more of yourself, dare to say ‘no’ to the extra work load and social commitments when needed; say yes to the opportunities of doing what you really love doing – still honouring your responsibilities, and facing your life’s challenges; all the while being loving and compassionate toward yourself and …Flexible.

OM Shanti,