Hey you! Do you need to stretch more?
The answer is probably yes. Most of us could stand to be a bit more flexible!
Flexibility and mobility matter, but not just for the obvious reasons. How we feel and move informs how we engage with the world around us. For better or worse, it affects our mental and emotional states too.
The ability to move without pain and stiffness is a gift that many people take for granted. Until it’s gone. It is common to accept the influx of aches and pains as an inevitability of aging. But does it have to be?
My interest in flexibility has a lot less to do with what happens in the dojo or gym, and a lot more to do with how we move through each day. Regular stretching requires us to take a daily inventory of our bodies. The simple task of maintaining an awareness of how our bodies feel can make a huge difference in our daily lives.
This type of consistent awarenesses also happens to be a very simple way to help prevent injuries.
Do you know where you are holding tension? Where you are feeling loose?
Are you experiencing any pain or unfamiliar sensations?
Are you breathing deeply?
Learn to listen to your body.
We should all be aware of what is normal for our bodies and what is not.
Our bodies are always trying to communicate with us…we really just have to pay closer attention.
I can't stress this enough: it doesn’t have to be complex, just consistent.
If you love yoga, take a class or find a youtube channel. If you don’t love yoga, pick something else.
Start with a few easy stretches, work your way up to a routine that works for you.
There are a lot of ways to increase your flexibility. But it will help a lot if you can set some personal goals. Every body is different, and we all have different physical expectations. But one thing we can all agree on is that the better it feels to move, the more likely we are to do it more!
I am a huge proponent of feeling strong and fluid in my movement. I think extreme flexibility is impressive and beautiful. It’s just not something that I have found a need for. And without a need, I am hard pressed to commit to a practice.
The key for me came down to identifying the needs in my own life and finding something that accentuated the lifestyle I wanted. Being clear about my goals made committing to a consistent practice so much easier. I wanted to feel strong, and pain free in my movements. I wanted to focus on strength and dynamic motion. I wanted to get more out of the time I was putting in than just the physical benefits of stretching.
Sila is perfect for me, because it is a compliment to the various demands I put on my body. It provides the physical and mental tools I need to feel my best both when I am working out, and when I am going about the tasks of every day life. It challenges me mentally and physically in ways that no other training method has. It has proven itself as both medicinal and recreational, functional and creative.
The practice of Sila often seems like a living breathing thing more than a system of movement. It is adaptable by nature, which allows it to provide an edge when it comes to achieving almost any positive personal goal that I can think of. I use it so much that it is practically like having an extra (very useful) limb.
Sila is essentially a yoga of martial artists. The Martial Arts approach to movement is unique. The history, intent, and application is an animal all its own. To benefit from it you really have to tap into your own body and the heart of the movements simultaneously.
There are certain stretches that look the same no matter what name you call them.
There are only so many ways to pattern your breath and align your body.
So the question is, where do you want the tools to take you?
What do you need them to do?
Sometimes you just have to try something a little different to find exactly what you are looking for.
Come see if Sila is for you!