Do you need to be flexible to do yoga?
Well, there are many books and web-sites addressing how to improve the flexibility of your physical body. I agree that there are great benefits that can be gained. Firstly as a preventative mechanism, averting shortening of muscles and tendons caused by inactivity, age, disease, over training or asymmetrical muscles, etc. Secondly, training in flexibility can avoid injuries from high impact or sudden shocks. Also there are many ways to improve one’s flexibility: by simply learning proper breathing, proper alignment, stretching, holding a position for a specified time, practicing it every day, having a good healthy diet, eating no junk food, drink plenty of juice and plenty of water, no caffeine, etc., etc.
However, for me, one of the most important things, and perhaps the most difficult thing to practice, not only in yoga but in life, is the attitude regarding the flexibility of our mind. I truly believe by having a flexible mind we can prevent many illnesses that our modern world are suffering from. The grand view of flexibility in yoga is to have an open mind. Open mind in the spiritual sense means to be more accepting without any expectation. However, by no means am I suggesting one should not be disciplined with one’s practice or with oneself, but we should learn to be more flexible when interacting with other beings.
Very Yoga, Mymuna