Friday, January 12, 2007

What is the Yoga of Stretching?


A while back I read The Yoga of Eating. It has had a lasting affect on my. Not just on my way of thinking about food, but on my understanding of Yoga itself.

One example of my learning: I realized that if I'm going to get physically fit, I need to find a way to do it without it being work. Going to the gym for an hour and doing the stairmaster just doesn't work for me. I know I won't do it. What I've done instead is integrate activity in to my life in a way that meets other needs as well. For example, I bike my son to school. I enjoy our time together, and I like the oddness of it.

One aspect of my physical health that is pretty far from where I want it to be is my flexibility. I can't remember ever having been able to touch my toes without bending my knees. Heck, I can't remember being able to reach my ankles.

I find that I don't really enjoy stretching. I've taken yoga classes, but they are more like aerobics classes with a different set of movements. The Yoga of it seems lost. Instead, I'm trying to find an activity that is interesting for some other reason, and will improve my flexibilty.

The only thing can think of so far is swimming, but I'm not sure. Does swimming make you more flexible?

Any other suggestions?

Edit: This page: http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/oldstretch.htm seems to suggest that they know something interesting, but they aren't saying what unless you pay. And I ain't paying.

Edit 2: When I imagine "flexible", I think of the opening scenes in the Firefly episode Objects in Space. River walks in to the cargo area, and bends over to consider an object on the ground. She could probably put her forhead on her shins.

4 comments:

Blue Lass said...

I'm a swimmer myself, and while I can't speak to the flexibility issue -- I've always been pretty flexible -- it does work out the tension in my shoulders, as well as greatly improving my mood. And it doesn't take very long. After about 20 minutes, I may not BE more attractive, but I FEEL more attractive -- and what's the difference, really?

Jay Bazuzi said...

Hmm. In addition to the short muscles in much of my body (hamstrings are my worst), I also have plenty of muscle tension (calves and shoulders/kneck/back are the worst). Loosening up those muscles would be nice, and maybe get me in a better state to work on flexibility.

I assume when you say "swimming" you mean 20 minutes of laps or something. When I say "swimming" I think of floating around with 1-3 children and lots of splashing. It's active, but it's not the same thing. :-)

Thanks for the thoughts.

Blue Lass said...

Oh well. At least you're clean.

Blue Lass said...

P.S. Dancing.

(At SUUSI I used to do the Greek Dancing workshop every year, and it was fabulous. They don't have that out here, though.)

 
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