What do you get if you cross an elephant and a rhinoceros? Elifino!
I have been trying to add an aerobic element to my weekly exercise; I'm not ready for running, yet, so I've been using the elliptical machine three times a week. Post-workout, I do a few stretches for the legs to loosen everything. I gotta say, sometimes it's nice to use asana for purely physical reasons, no measured breathing, no turning inward, just letting the work of the muscles be the only work.
Sometimes the chosen pose--usually gomukhasana-gets the attention of fellow gym-goers so (as long as I'm in a good mood) I can use the moment for a bit of yoga-promotion. Pressed for details, I will go so far as to invite the curious to one of my classes. Spreading the word, if you will (*gasp*).
A couple of times I've traded pleasantries with a very strong, muscle-bound fellow. Yesterday, he called out, "So, Yoga Lady, what's the secret to getting more flexible?" Hmmm, teachable moment, thought I. So I chatted with him for a bit about not pushing past a muscle's capability, but allowing the body to open with the breath; listening to what's too much and backing off a bit when the muscle starts to resist a stretch; coming to class (of course); not getting mad when you can't do the same thing as your 17-yr-old body did in Tai Kwon Do.
I'm starting to see more students in class with the express purpose of increasing flexibility, which is nice. Maybe we've starting to move beyond tight, hards bodies (a little bit). I figure getting them in the room is the biggest hurdle and then I can slowly let yoga work its magic. If they stick it out, they increase flexibility...and often pick up some other skills in the process.
But, the Secret to Flexibility, in 25 words or less? Uhhh, hell if I know.
(For more animal mash-ups, click here)