Magically Increase Your Yoga Stretches by Changing Your Posture

I was delighted to gain a new insight on how to overcome the limitations of my mind in my when doing yoga stretches. Watch this video to see what happened.

I always find that when I’m doing yoga, I imagine in my mind’s eye that I’m doing the complete stretch or exercise completely and with great ease. Especially so when rolling my spine. In areas where there is stiffness I see suppleness and flexibility in my mind’s eye.

It also helps to look over at others in the class doing the same exercise and see them move and stretch with ease. I tell myself that this is a mirror image of me doing the same thing. My mind is unable to tell the difference between ‘out there’ and ‘in here’.

But what totally amazed me about this change of posture was how this is applicable to every area of my life. I may perceive myself as being stuck or having difficulties, yet it really is always a question of perspective. Taking a step out of the area I am ‘struggling’ in to move into some area where I can enjoy free movement allows me to free up my thinking generally.

So when I move back into the space I was originally in, I can apply what I have learnt elsewhere to moving forward where I thought I was stuck. And then I find that I wasn’t really stuck at all.

I feel inspired to remain aware of this and bring my successes in other areas into those areas of my life where my thought processes have ensnared me. Regular changes of posture are on the agenda.

Have you found this to be true in your life too? I’d love to hear of your experiences.

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28 Responses to Magically Increase Your Yoga Stretches by Changing Your Posture

  1. I love yoga and Pilates because, as my Pilates teacher says – it’s a mental sport! Definitely mind over matter and it’s almost impossible to chat with a friend during a class. One must concentrate on their movements and stay focused. You should try the T-Zone Vibration machine, which is what I use before I do Pilates. Really loosens you up. After just a week using the T-Zone, I was able to bend over and place my palms flat on the floor – for a 54 year old, that is what I call flexible! I agree with you that doing yoga helps the mind in so many other ways, too. That mental ability to visualize the stretching and going just a touch farther can certainly be applied to everyday tasks and challenges.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Laurie – your machine sounds wonderful. And yes, that is a great achievement to be able to bend forward like that – you’re talking about sitting down like the exercise above?. Well done you! I forgot to share that the lowest disc in my spine is almost worn away which brings about symptoms occasionally which are similar to a slipped disc and this seems to have something to do with it. Going there with our mind so helps, doesn’t it? Thanks for commenting.

  2. Molly Perry says:

    As a “type A” person, I tend to lack flexibility in some areas, so it was good for me to hear that I should step back at times and reevaluate where I cam from. Often we get so muddled in the mess that we forget the point of origin. Thanks for the insight, Fiona!

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Molly and thanks for commenting. Glad to share insights Molly. Stepping back and reevaluating is always good.

  3. Love how you took a physical challenge and applied it to every day life. The idea of taking myself out of a challenging situation just long enough to get “unstuck” is very powerful.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Stephanie – welcome to my blog. I love seeing these parallels and am glad it’s sparked an idea with you. Thanks for commenting.

  4. It’s amazing what a change of perspective can bring about. You reminded me of my coaching days when I would think about perspective as a cereal box on the breakfast table. On person would be looking at the front, one at the side and one at the back. All looking at the same box, each with a different perspective. All you needed to do to get a new perspective was to change seats or turn the box. It was (and is) a great metaphor for life and as you say, for get unstuck. Appreciate the reminder! Thanks, Fiona.

    Susan Berland
    A Picture’s Worth
    http://www.susan-berland.com

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks for sharing the cereal box example Susan. That reminds me of the story of the 5 blindfolded men who are touching different parts of an elephant. It sometimes doesn’t take much to get a new perspective.

  5. As I was reading your article, I realized that I immediately honed in on the words “yoga” and “struggle”. I have attempted to start a personal yoga practice; however, I have always thought of it as a struggle in many ways: finding the time, getting the proper posture, etc. So I just coached myself: My beliefs create my reality. Yoga will
    continue to be a struggle as long as I continue to believe “that is the way is for me”. What a limited perspective of seeing it. This statement is not truth; however, I have been believing it to be true. I will change my belief system to ‘I regularly incorporate yoga into my life with ease and grace’ . Thanks.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Rachel and thanks for commenting. Good luck with the yoga stretches. Glad this has prompted some reprogramming.

  6. Yoga is not something I’ve entered into with any regularity, but I find exploring the body-mind connection through other exercise equally potent. Absolutely love the idea of seeing “in here/out there” as the same, and connecting to others’ actions as a way to inform your own. Our bodies are such great examples for our minds, and vice versa–one can lead and teach the other, and help us find a way to have a new perspective.

    I can feel how flexible and supple you are becoming in your whole being!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    “Word maven loves—and learns from—ordinary life.”
    http://www.thereflectivewriter.com/blog/

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Judy and thanks for your comments. I’m aiming for continued flexibility. To keep me on my toes with life.

  7. Hi Fiona,
    I like the “regular changes of posture” lined up in your future agenda…I need to keep this in mind. Since I’m a Class President Character Code it is very easy for me to leave my “body” in the other room when I work or focus on a project. Yet, I feel so much better when I move…need to keep this as a reminder – thanks!
    Brandy 🙂

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Brandy – yes, the regular changes of posture. Keep moving, no matter how small the movements are. I thought you were predominantly a Cheerleader, not a Class President. Either way, keep moving. 🙂

  8. Hi Fiona,

    Thank you for another reminder of how powerfully our perspective guides our perceptions and our expectations. Probably in ALL areas of our life.

    Talk about the mind/body duality. It’s really just one, isn’t it? And here we are running around trying to unify the duality, or at least harmonize them, using yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, and all the rest. But suppose we do so only because we THINK there’s a mind/body duality. What a great opportunity for changing perspective, eh?

    Robbie

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      But here’s one to ponder on Robbie. In order for the Oneness to know and experience itself, the duality has to exist. 🙂 In that sense, we are sparks of the Divine. But I diverge….

  9. Hi Fiona – Lovely to hear you speak! Thank you for sharing this. I must get back to yoga/pilates. I need it, crave it and miss it.
    Debbie

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Debbie – glad you enjoyed the video. And yes, do enjoy your yoga again. The best workout on the planet. I’ll be publishing a lovely video with a yoga instructor very soon now so watch this space.

  10. Pat Zahn says:

    This reminds me that I have to get back into my yoga stretches. I had a lot of success with Pilates and it’s true when you learn to let go of your limitations with regard to your body, you start to see that this can be done with your mind as well. I’m currently doing some strength training and part of that is pushing past your mind telling your body (or vice versa) that you can’t do another rep, when in fact, you can.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Pat – thanks for commenting. Nice to hear from so many of you that you feel inspired to get back to yoga or your other forms of exercise. Your strength training sounds a great exercise. We can always push a little bit further and break the boundaries we thought were there.

  11. Donna McCord says:

    I have very little experience with Yoga, but have done quite a bit with Pilates…either way, I love how you describe the power of our perspective and how that can impact what we are doing…both in stretching the body and the mind. I have found, too, that envisioning my body doing what I want it to do helps — so much value in the imagery; and I know that when I tell myself that I have much to be thankful for, that I am secure and strong, my anxieties and fears begin to disappear…for me, the best I can do when I feel “stuck” or frustrated, is to breathe deeply, talk to God and ask for His wisdom, direction and/or peace, and then just let go of the negativity. Thank you for sharing another lovely and encouraging post, Fiona! You have such a beautiful spirit!

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Donna, I feel really touched by your comment. I’m so glad thaat you have felt encouraged by this post. And remember that we can only recognise things that we have within ourselves. Namaste.

  12. Awesome….love the reminder that you can stretch your mind too! I had to take yoga in high school and I was really good at it and enjoyed it. I really wish I would have stayed with it. After I had my daughter I did prenatal yoga (yes, I know it was backwards! due to injury it was all I could do) and it was difficult and relaxing at the same time. I think its time to look into that again….as I tried the stretch while watching your video;) at my desk…oh I felt it behind the knee’s…but I did good!!! My trainer used to push me, and not let me fall into the mind game…which is so easy to do! btw, I loved your video:)

    Rita Brennan Freay
    @Rita4kids
    ritabrennanfreay.com

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks a lot Rita. I’m so glad you enjoyed the video. That makes it all so much more worthwhile when it gets appreciated. And great that you’re interested in doing yoga again. The only reason you felt it so much was you weren’t warmed up. If you go along to a class or get a DVD, you’ll be led slowly into the stretches. Let me know how it goes.

  13. How I love Yoga, yet I don’t do it that often. LOL! I remember there were times that I used to get frustrated because I was not able to do certain postures and I kept thinking that I’ll never be able to do that…THEN I shifted my mindset that I can do that and I am able to do certain postures I never imagined I can do. I will admit I am a bit rusty as I have not been to you class in weeks, but this is a great reminder that I need to get my toosh to the yoga studio. LOL!

    I believe that anything is possible at any age. What I love most about yoga is that you might not be able to do something that day, but as you keep doing the movement and working through it and feeling the ease….the easier it becomes and you are more flexible.

    Thanks for this.

    With much heart,
    Alara K. Castell
    Your Sassy Spiritual Guide

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      You’re so welcome Alara and happy that this has inspired you to get going again. And it’s so true. The more regularly we do the exercises, the easier it is for our body to do them and we can stretch further. Which brings more flexibility. Great stuff.

  14. I used to love yoga – I just can’t find a good class at a good time here. Maybe I just need to get the DVDs and Wii out. On another note, your post reminds me of my favorite quote ‘If You Change The Way You Look At Things The Things You Look At Change’ – this literally changed my life at a low point and I hold onto that thought constantly and try and always change the way I look at things when things aren’t working for me.
    Louise Edington
    Fearless For Freedom
    http://louiseedington.com

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      That quote is great Louise. Changing the way we look at things is really the only way to go. Hope you can find some class to attend, but there are lots of good DVD’s available. Yoga really is excellent for mind, body and spirit. I love my kundalini yoga class, especially the breath of fire. So invigorating. Thanks for commenting.

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