Why Flexibility and Mobility Matter
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
If twisting yourself into a pretzel seems like a fantasy... It probably is. The good news is that good flexibility and mobility go beyond moving like a rag doll.
My lifestyle the past 10+ years has taught me that without flexibility and mobility, we are well and truly screwed. At least I know I am. Why? Because all my jobs have been sedentary, which has given me the pelvis of an 80-year old woman. By having stiff hips and a reduced range of motion, I’ve struggled doing Chair Pose in yoga and squats in cardio training. I haven’t been able to place my foot on high footholds while climbing nor been able to properly lift my legs at 90°degrees on landing after skydiving.
In addition to that, thanks to my yoga teacher training (YTT), I’m well aware of the importance of flexibility and mobility in ensuring longevity. It’s not just about doing the splits, it’s about being able to walk with a straight back in old age.
How I’m Slowly—Very Slowly— Improving My Flexibility and Mobility
In my experience, this training branch is the most difficult to work. It may not seem like it, after all, it’s only stretching, right? Well, no. One of the most valuable lessons from my YTT is how stress, bad posture, a sedentary lifestyle and emotions conspire against us to create even more tension in our bodies, shorten our muscles or become chronic pain. And it’s extremely hard to pry those muscle fibers loose.
What’s more, the main difference between flexibility and mobility is that mobility refers to how supple our joints are and how easy—or difficult—it is to explore different patterns of movement. Flexibility is the elasticity of our muscles, i.e., how far can we comfortably stretch them.
If you’re just starting out...
Yoga: Beginner’s Hatha, Yin Yoga and I particularly love the traditional Hot Yoga sequence (26-2).
If you’re getting the hang of it...
Yoga: Intermediate Hatha and Vinyasa.
If you’re ready for the next level...
Yoga: Advanced Vinyasa and Ashtanga.