The conversation in the studio this morning went something like this…’Yes but if I cut this and this and this out, I can’t eat anything”. Well, my response was "The greatest thing about changing your diet and cutting out all of the inflammatory foods is that it opens up a whole new world of food. I’ve done it now a few times (changed my diet) and every time, I discover a completely different way of looking at things – new foods and experiences are opening up to me . And..it’s exciting" Forget about the foods that are not on your ‘list’ – focus on the ones you can eat and take it from there.
Every yoga (and Pilates) teacher has heard this phrase numerous times “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga (Pilates)." We either nod quietly to ourselves or bang our heads on the wall in frustration. Are we all missing the point? It’s about movement and getting more activity into our daily lives. Who cares what shape you are in or whether you can get your foot behind your ear or not? And if you can do this, it may be detrimental to your body.
Your body takes the shapes and movement patterns of the activities that you spend the bulk of your day doing. It’s very good at it. If you sit a lot, you get very good at sitting – it’s how we were wired. The brain develops pathways that strengthen with repetition and that’s how we develop our habits. This is very beneficial for doing things such as driving a car – remember how difficult it was to look in all directions, push the clutch, change gears, indicate etc. when you were learning? Now, years later you do all of these things without thinking about them. It’s not so great when we spend a lot of our day with all of our weight over one hip or sitting with the right leg crossed over the left etc. etc.
Often, we come to yoga/Pilates/core and stretch class and do things without thinking about them, or look at what someone else in the room is doing and try to emulate them. If we do, we’re missing the point. It’s all about how your body is feeling in each and every moment and adapting to the sensations which arise. Maybe today in triangle pose you can take your hand to the ground and maybe tomorrow it’s on your thigh. The point is to do what you can and when everyone else is in crow pose and you are struggling to get into a deep squat, know that this is every bit as beneficial to your body right now. That’s what you CAN do. Honour it!
See you on the mat.