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5 Tips To Improve Body Control + Flexibility for Yoga

yoga Oct 22, 2015

That moment of inspiration, where you experience something that permeates through all the b/s and minutia, and hits you straight in the heart.

Moments of inspiration can be truly life transforming.

One of these inspirational moments for me was when a great friend of mine, Amanda Patti - who’s also a student of the Embodied Flexibility program I teach (included in Physical Freedom Academy) - shared a video with me.

Note: You can check out all the awesome stuff Amanda’s doing here.

It was a video sharing her story about how:

  1. She used to be a Yogi,
  2. But then she got injured,
  3. And how she’s regained her flexibility + body control.

This inspired me so much, because not everyone I’ve met has the courage to face their physical challenges, and transcend them.

So if you’re in need of a little inspiration, and you’d also like to improve your body for things like Yoga, you’ll enjoy Amanda’s story below.

 

But First I Need to Say Something About Yoga

There’s traditional yogi’s who live in seclusion in the Himalaya’s, there’s Instagram yogi’s, and there’s those that want to be yogi’s, but lack the flexibility and body control to get there.

You might be wondering … ‘Isn’t Yoga the way to get flexible and develop body control?’

Not necessarily these days.

Many people I’ve worked with actually need to build their general foundation of flexibility for Yoga, to get the most from it.

 

It’s Hard to Know What Yoga Even Means Anymore

The essence of Yoga today is quite different from its original intentions.

Some say it’s completely lost its essence, which I mostly agree. While I have found some great Yoga schools and teachers in my travels, they can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

You have to be discerning and know what to look for. Otherwise you can easily find yourself doing a Yoga style that doesn’t suit your individual body, leading to a potential injury like Amanda shares in her story.

 


 

A Story From a Formerly Injured Yogi

Here’s Amanda’s story + some tips she’s learned on her journey coming back from injury.

They’ll help you to improve body control and flexibility for Yoga, whether you’re doing it now or intend to in the future.

Watch the video below to meet Amanda and hear her inspiring story.

 

“I went from being a bendy yogi to an injured yogi incapable of doing the simplest of movements, like rolling over, without being in pain.

I was bracing in every pose and cheating like there was no tomorrow.

For the better part of the last 4 yrs, I did zero flexibility training.

Why?

Most of what I had been exposed to and most of what was out there was too destabilising.

So, I let my flexibility go and allowed my system to stiffen up to the extent it needed to be stable and move without injury.

 

Amanda’s 5 Tips For Yogis (And All Humans) to Improve Flexibility And Body Control

Here’s some tips Amanda shared with me, to help you on your flexibility journey.

 

1. Move within the range of motion you can actively control, without forcing it.

Moving and forcing yourself outside of the ranges your body has stability in, can overstretch your ligaments and damage your joints.

The great news is, to dramatically improve your flexibility, you don’t need to force it.

You can become flexible fast, and you can do it safely. Simply explore the edges of your flexibility, and allow your body to get comfortable with this.

With humble daily practice, the edge of your range of motion today, will grow into new freedom to move in, tomorrow.

 

2. Explore multidimensional movement off the mat.

Yoga tends to be quite linear, which doesn’t always meet the demands your body needs to be prepared for daily life.

Explore how your body can move dynamically off the Yoga mat. It’ll give you more physical confidence in a range of situations outside the 4 corners of a mat.

 

3. Be willing to practice, regularly, what you aren’t good at, or what you really stink at.

We’ve all got areas that challenge us. And it can be easy to sweep them under the proverbial rug of our awareness; to pretend they don’t exist.

You know the saying: "Ignorance is bliss."

Well I have a new version of that saying... “Ignorance is ignorance.”

It may be challenging to face at first, but it’s through this challenge where great levels of growth in your mind, body and spirit occur.

All it takes is humble, daily practice. And that’s what the Embodied Flexibility program is all about.

 

4. Let go of the dogma and be willing to set the ego aside.

At the end of the day, your individual body is more important than the label you attach to the system you follow.

Let go of the word ‘Yoga’ and any identity attachments to it.

You are not yoga.

You are your own beautiful, unique self. This applies to men too 😉

Nothing more, nothing less.

The labels and dogmas are only holding back your highest potential.

Instead of focusing on the name of the stretch, or style of Yoga –

Look beyond all of this nonsense and put your focus on feeling and listening to your body while you move and stretch.

Practice this and you’ll awaken the endless possibilities that purely experiencing your body (without the labels) can offer.

 

5. Don’t wait for an injury to slap you upside the head.

Another saying you may know:

‘One ounce of prevention is better than ten ounces of cure?’

It definitely holds truth when we’re talking about the body.

If you were to lend your body to someone else, what would you say to them about it?

Are there any vulnerable spots, waiting to turn into a full blown injury?

Sometimes we can be so focused on life that we forget to take care of our own body in a deep and nourishing way.

Perhaps this is the reminder you need to get back to the basics and take care of the vessel that’s sailing you through life.

You don’t need to wait for pain to do something about it. Prevention, prevention, prevention!

 


 

The Most Important Tip is to Start Creating Momentum

Having a body that feels flexible and free to move the way you want doesn’t have to be complex, and it’s one of the greatest gifts I believe we can give ourselves.

But to experience this gift, you have to start!

All it takes is one step at a time to create momentum. And over time it can add up dramatically.

So here’s a course you can get started with to kick-start your momentum.

It's called the Physical Freedom Challenge, and it's the first step we recommend to anyone looking to improve the way their body feels and moves.

In it, you'll assess your mind-body connection and identify your highest areas of need to focus on to cultivate deep levels of body control + flexibility.

It contains the same principles Amanda used to kick-start her road to recovery from her injuries.

Learn more and join the challenge here.
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