Ever had that frustratingly flexible friend who came to class one time after zero preparation ever and effortlessly nailed that move you’ve been working on for months?
Ever wondered why some people are limber and loose with apparently minimal effort, whilst others can stretch daily but see little to no improvement? (definitely been there!)
Ever been told that if you practice every day, one day you’ll be able to touch your toes/perfect your downward dog/do the splits/perform some other super-flexi pose? Well, this isn’t always true.
Put simply, our flexibility is determined by two things – our muscles, but also our bones.
We are able to improve our flexibility and mobility by stretching regularly, releasing tension with foam rollers, spikey massage balls and massages (this is official permission to book yourself in for one, stat).
However, we don’t have so much impact over the shape of our bones. Our bodies are unique in a whole host of ways, and our skeleton is no exception. Some of us have much deeper hip sockets than others, for example, whilst others have shallower ones, allowing more flexibility at that joint.
This is not to say that stretching and release work is not important, it is important to remember, when stretching, that more flexibility isn’t always better, and that you are not somehow inferior because you don’t have the bendiest body in class.
Moving your body is something that should be done with joy, and as a celebration of what you are capable of, rather than a punishment for what you are not. The same philosophy can be applied to stretching. Be guided by what feels beautiful and loving to your body.
Let go of any ideas of ‘perfection’ and to fully accept and love where your body is at in this moment.