You might think that flexibility is just the movement you can see in the video. You might think that those exercises look difficult. You might think those exercises look easy. For me they are simpler now, but they were real posers when I first started. There is however more to it than that. It’s not just physical exercises that require flexibility. Flexibility should be a part of every aspect of our lives.
To begin with, why the exercises? Firstly, because as we get older we slowly begin to seize up, our bodies don’t recover from exercise so quickly, whether that’s more physical work in the garden, or carrying heavy bags of shopping, or simply stretching to the top shelf. Simple movement helps us continue to move freely and there ache less and continue doing any activity e love for longer. Even sitting for longer periods in front of the TV requires flexibility. We need to keep our muscles moving to keep them flexible.
Just look at a small child, they are about as flexible as it gets, they run into things and take falls and knocks and bruises in their stride. Most or all that would do us damage as we age.
Children are also very much more open to ideas or other options having not made their mind up about many things, in fact their minds are so flexible they still have no concept of ‘impossible’. They will try anything because they have open flexible minds. When was the last time you did anything for the first time?
How many things do you have a fixed opinion about? Politics? Religion? Drugs? Abortion? Any wrong doing, perceived or otherwise? Are you actually prepared to listen to what other people have to say if their opinion is different to yours? If our politicians or other leaders were better at listening to each other then maybe fewer people would have died in wars.
If we look to the countryside, we can see many examples of the benefits of flexibility. As trees age they become inflexible and break and tear, but while in the throws of youth, or even middle age move with a flexibility that allows them to return to an upright pose once the storm has passed. There’s a lesson there too. Have you ever looked at a fallen tree, (Yes, sometimes it will still happen!) you will see the rootstock is usually not much more than two to three metres in diameter, yet the tree is often well over fifty metres high, the giant redwoods are up to 200meters tall.
How do they do that with such a small rootstock? By being flexible. In all the worst storms, the ones where trees do fall over, many more of them stay upright. They will bend and flex in the storm so as reduce the strain on the root stock and all their branches; and when the storm passes, they then stand back up.
We all have to cope with tragedy and trauma for some of our lives. It’s impossible not to, people die, jobs get lost, relationships come to an end. Many of us fight these events often making the situation worse, loosing control of our emotions or drowning them in drugs or alcohol, ultimately making the symptoms worse.
If we maintain our dignity and take a little time out to reflect on the situation it is never as bad as first appears. Taking 24 hours before making any decisions when facing difficult situations or come to that amazingly brilliant ones too often changes the choices we make. Often quite dramatically too. Time gives us great flexibility.
After all, as the butler Albert said to a young Bruce Wayne after he fell down the well, ‘Why do we fall down Bruce? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up again’.
Flexibility has to be remembered, we are born with it, but we forget very easily.
Simon Pollard. Countryman and Modern Day Pagan