Over the past two months of flexibility and handstand training I’ve learned more about my body than all my grueling hours at the gym. Instead of making gains by upping the amount of weight I can lift, I’m making them with balance and stability.
Progress comes inch by inch, second by second. In my first handstand class understanding how my body needed to move and activate to lift my hips over my head was confusing to say the least. Once I got there having any clue which side of my body was my right or left was like trying to split a bill five ways after multiple bottles of wine. Huh? Do What?
I’ve discovered muscular imbalance I thought had been corrected. I’ve found my right side to be more problematic than my left, despite all the side effects of my herniated cervical disc have been on my left side. It’s amazing what your body will teach you about itself if you’re willing to put in the work to listen and learn.
During hamstring stretches during flexibility class, sometimes all I feel are my hip flexors. Amazingly, I’ve discovered that the front of my shoulders are very flexible while the backs of my shoulders are tight and my limiting factor in my back bends.
I’m able to listen to my body now, while I’m upside down which is an unbelieveable challenge. I can hold a handstand against the wall and be able to have a conversation about my limiting finger and wrist flexibility.
I don’t think I ever understood so well all the ways our body tries to communicate with us and all the ways we dismiss them. Your body is a chain and each tight or flexible muscle connects to another. Pulling you off-balance, limiting your strength or causing those nagging aches and pains.
I challenge you to spend a few minutes each day stretching and listening to your body. What is it telling you?