“FLEXIBILITY HAS BECOME A MODERN DAY VALUE. BUT FLEXIBILITY COMES WITH A COST”
Truth be told, I don’t think Maynard was discussing the type of flexibility for which I am looking. Author of ‘Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship,’ Mr Webb has written a book about adapting to work in this age of the internet.
I, on the other hand, have been yearning for flexibility of movement. While I’m not an expert on kinesiology, I have noticed that as you age the joints get stiff, and that wonderful suppleness of youth becomes a distant memory. Not so, for my former yoga instructor from years ago. I believe she was probably in her 60’s. Just watching the spring in her step, her agility and ‘stretchiness’ was inspiring.
Rereading a portion of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ and thinking back to my instructor, it occurred to me going to a yoga class was a good idea. I googled Yoga and found a Hatha Yoga class not too far from my house. And surprise, a beginners’ class was scheduled to start in one week!
On the first day, I found myself with a number of ladies ranging in age from twenty to perhaps seventy-something. We were told some movements are easier than others but were assured that if we’d stick with it we would see improvement. In my case, getting up and down gracefully is a challenge. Mother had a reason for not selecting the name ‘Grace’ for her daughter.
The first thing we were asked to do was sit cross-legged while maintaining good posture. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? I watched the others in the class. Their knees were almost touching the floor. Mine were up to my ears. It was suggested that I sit on some towels, elevating my bum so my knees appeared to be closer to the floor. “Oh, and watch that posture!”
Funny, I had no recollection of pain during my earlier classes. Our instructor explained that most of us had spent many years sitting, standing and walking incorrectly. “As a result, some of these poses may be difficult. But don’t worry, just stick with it.” Good grief! I had soooo many years of bad sitting, standing and walking to make up for!
I don’t recall perspiration dripping down my face in past classes, but I was beginning to feel it now. The word ‘INFLEXIBLE’ was flashing before my eyes. We moved on to standing poses: the Sun Salute, Downward Dog, but inevitably we were back on the floor in the Lotus Position. “OMG, my hips won’t move, what am I going to do?” Perhaps, the instructor saw the look of terror on my face, because she asked us to rise again and that’s when I stumbled. I didn’t fall completely because I was able to catch myself — unfortunately with the second toe of my left foot. Just as I was about to let out a gasping cry, I saw the sign:
“NO WHINING PLEASE”
“What? You have to be kidding!”
The instructor was on to another pose — the ‘Warrior Pose.’ She tried to assist this warrior who couldn’t put pressure on her left foot and breathe at the same time.
The hour was almost over and it was time for the ‘Corpse Pose.’ “Are they going to put me out of my misery?” Lying on my back, my toe throbbing, I awaited my fate. Fortunately, it was only time for meditation. And then our Instructor said, “Namaste.” The class had ended.
I hoped my ‘corpse toe’ could be revived. Too bad we didn’t have a video of me leaving the studio. Limping and appearing to be wearing some kind of body armor, I was the personification of rigidity. Yep, achieving flexibility does come with a cost. Regrettably there’s no guarantee you will realize it.