We've all watched our kids bouncing around the house, doing the splits, getting up from, and down on the floor with ease, and thought to ourselves; "I used to be able to move like that", right?
Some of us are more naturally flexible than others, but we all start fairly flexible. For some of us we were always a little tighter, and as we've gotten older we have lost our range of movement. Sometimes, reaching your toes feels impossible, playing on the floor with your kids is more difficult, and getting into something like splits seems like it will never happen in this lifetime.
Many of us have desk jobs where we are sitting at a computer most of the day, or we are spending time driving a car, looking at our phones, or watching TV. We just aren't moving our bodies enough to maintain our flexibility.
When you move your body, energy can flow freely. This means clearer thoughts, better movement and a more positive outlook. When you haven't moved for a while, it gets trapped, becomes stagnant, and no new energy can flow in because you're already filled with the old, stale & stagnant energy
You feel it after exercising. It may be hard to get started but once you have done that workout, don't you feel so much better for it? I don’t know a single person that has said "I really regret that workout, I feel worse than before". You always feel better after moving your body.
Working on your flexibility has a long list of really significant health benefits, for example:
If you can see improvement in the things listed above wouldn't that make you a better parent, a better partner, a better friend? Wouldn’t your kids appreciate having a parent that can run around with them, sit on the floor and play, a parent that most of all is happier and less stressed? More mentally able to engage with them? I hope so!
The reason this is so important for parents, (and especially parents of young kids), is because we are all so focused on giving our kids the best life, that self care becomes the last thing on our list.
If improving your flexibility does all of the above, imagine what happens if your flexibility is decreasing - it does the opposite!
Parents get a lot of aches from carrying their kids, picking them up, sitting on the floor to play with them, leaning over to breastfeed. We can be sleep deprived, anxious and have a lot of mum guilt. On top of all that, we have little time available to us to actually focus on self care.
You work with the time you have, even if that is just 20 minutes a day, maybe even 5 minutes some days. A couple minutes before you go to bed, a couple minutes during the little one's nap time, a couple minutes for someone else to watch them while you can work on yourself.
Self care is a NECESSITY so that you can keep being the awesome parent and role model I know you are! Perhaps even more importantly, teaching your children that self-care is essential.
It doesn't matter where you are on your flexibility journey. It doesn't matter if you are nowhere near your knees, let alone your toes. Improvement comes with practice.
If you would like to start your flexibility journey today, with someone who has been the least flexible person in a yoga class, and who also has a crazy child running around most of the time, then join me on a 5 day challenge to gain some flexibility. It's free, it's quick, and it gives tangible improvement you can see.
The Get Closer to Your Toes Challenge is a short 10 minute series that gets sent straight to your inbox, you can sign up here!
If you would like some yoga and parenting tips, as well as short classes from a previously inflexible mum, then come and join me on youtube at Lakora Yoga.