No Flexibility… No Problem

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Hi Friends!

There is a stigma commonly associated with the practice of yoga; the need to be flexible in order to participate! This misconception has kept thousands of people from enjoying the many benefits of this incredible practice. Well, it’s time to clear the air and set the record straight.

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE TO DO YOGA!

In fact, flexibility doesn’t come easy for most men. As a former weightlifter and survivor of two car accidents that caused injuries to my lower back, I’m not a very flexible person. Knowing this, I usually try to get to Strala at least 15 minutes before class starts so I can warm up (especially before STRONG— I’m just sayin). I need time for my muscles to loosen up a bit before I do any kind of physical activity. However, I’m not the only person with this genius idea.

As I place my mat along the back wall in preparation for class, I can’t help but notice the 20 or so beautiful women dressed in Reebok pants and multi-colored tops, moving easily through poses that would probably break me in half. Remember, this is during my warm up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched in awe as these incredible ladies seamlessly flow into Scorpion, or find a bit of a meditative state as they glide into a bow pose.

These are just two of the many poses that I don’t seem to get along with– yet! I’ve tried and though they continue to show me no mercy, I feel like we’re beginning to warm up to one another.

The beautiful thing about yoga is that there is always something to work towards. Whether it’s holding a handstand or being able to get into a low squat, the possibility to improve is endless. That’s why it’s called yoga practice, not yoga perfect.

Before I started practicing yoga, I was training for a Men’s Physique competition. I was 5’7″ (I still am), weighed about 161 lbs. and was only 7.4% body fat. I had a physique that I loved, but had the flexibility of a turtle. I could barely scratch my back, let alone attempt a reverse prayer, which I can do now by the way. Two and a half years later, I still have a body that I’m proud of and I’m able to do things I never would have imagined. I’m still a work in progress and have accepted that I always will be!

Today, as a practicing yogi and yoga guide, I’ve discovered an affinity toward the practice. Yoga has taught me how to break through barriers, trust my instincts, find ease in my movements and listen to my body. From overcoming addiction, conquering an anxiety disorder and now acquiring more strength and flexibility, I now realize my only limitation is the one I create for myself.

Whether you’re a man, woman, overweight, bulky, short or tall, yoga is for you– it’s for everyone! Don’t allow your insecurities and/or fears of limitation keep you from discovering your best self. Hope to see you in class 🙂

Namaste.

Quentin Vennie

 

About Strala Yoga Training

Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.

It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.

In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.

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Finding the right distance. It’s a practice we can feel out and adjust in every moment. Cool thing is when you create a good relationship with yourself, finding the right relationship with others becomes a joy.From @stralayoga training in Berlin a couple years back. We are hoping to be there with a nice group next summer celebrating finding the right relationship.#stralayoga #shiatsu #yogateachertraining #taichi
When we soften, much more becomes possible. #stralayoga #taichi #shiatsu
It’s so easy to stick to habits that are familiar, even when they are destructive. We all have our reasons, our armor and our guard up to protect ourselves against whatever specific formula triggers us. We are afraid if we are more gentle with ourselves, we won’t be braced to defend ourselves, but the opposite is true. Moving like you love yourself in yoga and life is a choice to create a new, lasting habit, a way of being truly you.Tai Chi, nature, science, and the wisdom of your Great Grandmother, remind us when you go to war with yourself, you lose. When you move with whole self harmony towards progress, treating every bad habit you find along the way as a gold mind opportunity to move toward balance, you feel better, your body works better and you have access to more of yourself. You have a chance to do some good.I move like I love myself. It can start with an idea, a mantra, a practice, a way of being. If you choose to let it make a home in you, you will have gone to peace with yourself. Anything is possible.Pic by @jes.lock & @arslanstype @sundanceresort for Rest & Renew Training & Retreat#connection #selflove #wellbeing #stralayoga #taichi
Giveaway Time 🎁📚Long time @stralayoga friend @rainesfordstauffer a bright star for good, has written a beautiful new book An Ordinary Age.It’s so great to see so many great reviews and impactful media coverage for such a fantastic young person and topic. We’re giving away (buying and sending as a gift from me to you) three copies. (3 copies from @stralayoga account and 3 also from @tarastilesTo enter:
Comment on what you are doing for self care today.
Tag 2 friends who you want to feel better.
Follow @rainesfordstauffer @stralayoga & @tarastiles so 6 copies in total)Take good care.We’ll announce 3 winners in our story on Monday May 17.#selfcare #rainesfordstauffer #anordinaryage #giveaway #bookstagram
We share the relationship we are already having with ourselves. Self care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary and takes the pressure off of trying to fix everyone & everything.@bibinsb & @lexluca are great examples ♥️Great memory from a great group in Amsterdam. #stralayoga #connection #selfcare #shiatsu
Fun one 👋Why do you practice ease? To feel better, to be able to enjoy more, serve more, to have enough energy to run around with the little ones in your life or something else? Pic by @inaraa_yoga before class in Berlin.Let us know in the comments.
Every  breath is an opportunity to feel better.
I create calm. When I choose to center myself, I create calm for me and the world around me.Welcome May, welcome our monthly theme, welcome our practice calendar, welcome calm. #stralayoga #createcalm
The mute button. 🤫An easy DIY #shiatsu to practice with yourself or with a partner. This #tsubo (entry point to a #meridian highway) has a way of calming an overactive mind. We named it the mute button in #stralayoga for a reason 😉Where
Below the big toe bone and a little in toward the center of the 🦶How
Press your thumb into this place as you lean in and away from the center of yourself or your partner.Now what
Soften yourself, breathe deep and make sure you are moveable. Hang here a bit without trying to make anything happen. Just chillNow what
Lean away from your partner to disconnect. Give them a bit of time to relax and maybe ask for some feedback.Don’t forget
Ask your partner for your turn 🙌
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