In the last few weeks, I have ventured into the new (and sometimes slightly painful) world of yoga. I know that no matter what soreness I might experience the next day, I find myself looking forward to the time to stretch and hold the poses, breathe and relax while focusing on tensing specific muscles.
At the end of this last class, we were in our normal relaxation time, but with my rear firmly planted against the corner of the wall and floor, my legs were stretched up the wall. Letting me legs stretch out to the sides in a V, my muscles initially resisted. I think there may have been some discussion of mutiny going on in those muscles. Given time, letting gravity and breathing slowly relax the muscles, the stretch was deepened.
If I had tried to force that stretch, I would really be hurting and potentially do some muscle damage. If I didn’t relax into the stretch and let the muscles slowly relax, I wouldn’t achieve that looser muscle feel I was going for. I needed to just let it keep at it, while giving it some time.
We all have issues we need to deal with, things that stretch us beyond what is comfortable. We have to deal with them to be able to move on and face the future. Yet, we cannot always just force ourselves to fully “deal with” something in a particular moment either. It seems, at least for me, that it comes more in fits and starts. There is no movement, and then a bit, a centimeter more, then another and another. Perhaps even plateauing a bit, before being ready to resume; teaching us patience.
Yoga may be working on my core muscles and flexibility. It is also reminding me that dealing with those tight muscles takes time and effort – so does life.