Yogabody Science of Stretching Program, Science of Stretching™ has been transformational for tens of thousands of students around the world…
How flexible do you want to become?
When you’re stiff, it feels like you’re trapped in your own body. Since you’re reading this today, maybe you can relate to that stuck feeling in yoga, during the other physical activities you love, or even when you’re simply trying to sit cross-legged on the floor.
Before I discovered the Science of Stretching™, I had the mobility of someone in his 70s (yet I was in my early 20s). People tend to get stiffer as they age, obviously, but I couldn’t imagine losing any more mobility, so I became determined to find a solution.
There is a stereotype that yoga classes are all about flexibility, but that’s almost never the case. Most classes focus on strength, balance, breath, concentration, and the mind-body connection. Flexibility is surely on the list, but it’s usually at the bottom of the list of priorities in most classes.
I didn’t know that, so I became a yoga maniac going to class every day. The other students seemed pretty limber, so I thought it was logical to sign up for a membership. Much to my surprise, after weeks of suffering through classes, I hadn’t achieved noticeable results.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved yoga. I felt more calm, my balance was improving, and I was even losing weight; but I was still as stiff as a board and didn’t see that changing anytime soon.
Then I met this weird guy named Anthony.
In yoga class, you’re supposed to stay focused, but I couldn’t help staring. After six weeks, Anthony could lay flat against his shins in forward bends, cross his legs in full lotus, and go three times as deep as I could in backbends. He had leaped from beginner to intermediate extremely quickly. Whatever he was doing, it was working; and what I was doing clearly wasn’t.
Finally, I had to say something.
After two painful months of Hot Yoga torture (I was going every day), I finally got up the nerve to invite Anthony for pizza after class (this was before I learned how to eat properly for flexibility). Anthony reluctantly agreed, and although he didn’t eat anything during our meeting, he did tell me three secrets to stretching flexibility that I later learned are true for almost everyone.
#1. Anyone Can Become ‘Wow’ Flexible
What most people would consider extreme flexibility—Splits, Full Lotus, Wheel pose—is actually just natural Basic Range of Motion (bROM). If you doubt this, spend an afternoon with any six-year-old kid and you’ll realize that we were all naturally flexible, we’ve just lost it. The ‘wow’ factor shouldn’t be a wow at all. It should just be normal, but we’ve all let ourselves get to a ridiculous state of inflexibility, where basic tasks, such as bending over, involve stretching.
#2. You Don’t Become Flexible Going to Yoga Classes
This was a real eye-opener for me. I used to think yoga was all about stretching and flexibility, but Anthony taught me that most yoga poses demonstrate rather than develop flexibility. “Yoga is a holistic health practice,” he told me. “If you’re stiff, you don’t need yoga. You need to stretch!”
After struggling through daily yoga classes for two solid months, this was the last thing I wanted to hear, even though I knew it was true from experience. Despite all my efforts and commitment, my stretching flexibility had barely improved at all.
#3. Pizza Makes You Stiff
Well, not just pizza, but nutrient-poor food in general. Anthony told me, “It’s possible to eat junk food and improve, but if you want to increase your stretching flexibility fast, you need to eat better and take care of your micronutrients.”
He said, “To think that if you stretch more you’ll become more flexible is like saying if you eat less, you’ll lose weight. In theory, this is true, but in the real world, it just doesn’t work like that. To lose weight, you’ve got to eat right, and to get flexible, you’ve got to stretch right and get proper nutrients.”
I could tell Anthony was getting sick of my questions, but before he left, he wrote down a series of awkward yoga poses that he claimed he practiced every night before bed for about 15 minutes. He also made me a list of foods and supplements—most I had never heard of before.
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