Strength and Flexibility

This week I have been taking more morning classes than usual.  Just the way my schedule has worked out.  I basically roll out of bed, hydrate, dress and run across the road.  Easy. 

Morning class for me is 9:30 am and considering I usually take a late afternoon or evening class, that is early for me.  I can feel it in the body too.   Quite stiff and this week with the lingering back pain, a bit sore as well.  My muscles seem to be more sore than normal as well.  Despite this, I have been enjoying the morning. 

With less flexibility, I am using my muscles more, ensuring stability in the postures, using my Bengal tiger strength.  Allowing the body to work with itself to open up.  When more warm, more flexible, the postures can seem easier, the depth greater.  But with more flexibility comes the responsibility to use your strength, develop your muscles to ensure proper form and correct alignment.  For example, half-moon is not about flopping over as much as you can. It is more about stretching up and over, warming up the spine.  It takes attention and strength as well as flexibility. 

Bikram occasionally talks about strength vs flexibility.  He does say that those with more flexibility have a harder time to develop the strength than those with strength working to gain flexibility.  It is really all working to gain a balance in the body.  Balance so that the body can work optimally. 

In the room, it is usually obvious who is bendy flexy and who is strong, yet board like. 

What about outside the room?  What about in life in general – are you soft, bendy, flexible and need to toughen up?  Or are you rigid and need some spontaneity. 

Being spontaneous and flexible is fun, yet too much giving in to others will is erasing yourself, your own will, your own determination.  In me this can show up as being too wishy-washy, giving in to others requests.  I feel this most often when I am trying to please, particularly with those who have some kind of power over me.  I don’t like the feeling this gives me, as usually I am pushing aside what I really want to do this.  I feel damned if I do, and damned if I don’t, often feeling obligated to continue giving in and feeling guilty when I don’t. 

I need to listen to my heart, my intuition and do what is right for me.  Allow my strength, which lives deep inside, to serve me.  This is not to become rigid or selfish, rather to ensure that I am me.  To shine from the inside.

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