After the 5K on Saturday, there was a free yoga class on the beach. I was all for it, of course, but was more than a little surprised when Micah said he wanted to join in too. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that Micah is the least flexible person I know. Not one bit. He is amazingly inflexible. I didn’t think he’d like it at all, but he was a good sport. The instructor was very encouraging of his attempts, although I suspect she was secretly amused at his inability to barely get halfway down his calves when trying to touch his toes. And even though we like to laugh and joke about it, inflexibility is no laughing matter.
Well, maybe it is a little bit, if you are watching Micah try to touch his toes, but only a little bit.
The truth is that stretching can prevent injury. And it can also help rehabilitate your body if you are injured. It improves your athleticism in general because your body becomes more efficient, stronger, and is able to bounce back from tough workouts more quickly. It is very serious business. Nevermind the fact that I laugh whenever I imagine Micah in butterfly pose. It’s very serious.
After the class, we asked Ms. Superflexible Yoga Instructor what Mr. Hopeless Case could do to help himself out. Her answer: breathe.
Which brings us to today’s tip: when you stretch, breathe. When you are standing and trying to touch your toes, instead of straining towards them, relax, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, let your body relax a little bit more. Your muscles will relax as well. You’ll be able to go more deeply into the stretch, and your body will thank you. Eventually.
ps I have something exciting to share with you later today. Check back for details . . . but for now let me pique your interest with the words Ironchef and Ironman.