For years I pounded the pavement. As a runner, my feet hit the cement over and over as I competed in cross-country, track, and, as an adult, even a couple marathons.
My coaches always encouraged stretching, both before and after the runs, but for the most part, I was on a one-way street toward shortening and tighenting my muscles. Until I tried yoga, I had no idea what it really meant to enlongate them. Running made me so inflexible that because of my inability to touch my toes or do the splits, I thought I “couldn’t do yoga.” Yoga was for bendy people, like gymnasts.
Thank goodness I figured out my thinking was flawed at age 30 and not a minute later. The benefits of yoga for inflexible people are amazing. Yes, it’s true that having shorter muscles means I often need to use a lot of props and adjust my poses in way others don’t, but almost every single time I practice yoga, I find myself thinking, “This feels so good.” After years of heading “one way” I’m finally teaching my body to move in the opposite direction. Ahh.