Be flexible with your inflexibility

SD hotel yoga

Curt and I were in San Diego for New Year’s. When practicing yoga at a hotel one must be flexible with props and space. Items found in the hotel room can be used as props.

Over my winter break from work I was able to “teach” yoga to three friends to work on my teaching skills and give them a “free” class.
Every practice was different and in different locations (gym, my house and a hotel room). Thanks again to my friends for giving me the opportunity to work on my teaching skills. Hope the “class” was beneficial for all of you as well.
When I worked with my three friends the main thing I heard was, I am not flexible.
I told my dear friends that your body is your body and it does what it can. I also told them that flexibility is not always a good thing. Being flexible or overly flexible can be a liability in yoga or any type of exercise or activity.
I also reminded them that it is safer for your body to be less flexible than more flexible. There is a smaller chance you will hurt yourself as your body just can’t over do it.
When you know you have an injury, an issue, are over flexible or under flexible, etc. you make modifications, adjustments or utilize props to help you get into the best yoga pose for YOU.
I hyperextend in my knees. So I have to be very careful in certain poses, especially in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose). I use a block while in the pose to help avoid hyperextension and also because I feel like I can get more deeply in the pose with the block.
Yoga Journal says that since hyperextended knees are basically a problem of too-loose ligaments and tendons around the knee, you can cause or exacerbate such looseness through poor alignment in yoga poses.

triangle with block

Working with the block is helping me eliminate the practice of hyperextended knees in Utthita Trikonasana.

As I learn more about myself, my body and my yoga practice I am (at least for right now) concentrating on my alignment and focusing my public classes and home practice on Hatha Yoga and alignment.
Hatha Yoga (according to Yoga Journal) refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.
In Yoga Questions Answered on Yoga Journal the question proposed: I’m not flexible–can I do yoga?
Answer: Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible.
If you are new to yoga and are frustrated with your lack of flexibility just remember that yoga is a practice and you will always practice it.
AND if you want to help me with my teaching skills, let’s set something up. Teaching opportunity for me, “free” yoga class for you.