Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stretching and Yoga

I wrote a short post on facebook about how yoga is not stretching.  Of course you "stretch" during a yoga practice, but stretching is not the intention of yoga.  That being said, if I did not practice yoga I'd be tighter that a drum....really, really bad I'm sure!  I understand the appeal of joining a group or a class because there is no way I would "stretch" on my own, even though I've got the time and I've gotten rid of most of my living room furniture in exchange for padded mats over my hardwood floors!

A couple of weeks ago a fellow RKC Leslie Branham presented to her facebook family (friends and clients) the idea of making regular stretching a priority.  Leslie decided that she was going to lead the way by practicing her splits again.  This struck a chord with me as I had also recently decided that I needed to make stretching a bigger part of my routine.

I now spend 30 full minutes after my 90 minute Bikrams class to stretch.  I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm cranky, I'm wet, and I've got many more excuses I could come up with....but none are more important than taking a measley 30 minutes when I'm already warmed up and I'm already on the floor!

Ankle flexibility and hamstring flexibility are the areas I could use the biggest improvements on so those are my main focus.  To be honest I was surprised at how far a little effort goes and how fast I was able to close the gap in my splits (L) withing a couple of weeks.  Now when I can get into them without a 104 degree 90 minute warm up, then I'll have something to be proud of.  But right now I'm plenty proud and I know improvement, consistent improvement will be my reward.

Stretching is like any practice, like all training, the practice thrives with consistency and there is no finish line! I took Leslie up on her encouragement to stretch, but not just for to see who could get into splits first or for only 30 days!  I told her I'd meet her back in 1 years time because the "challenge" is to establish the habits of good health.  With good health, and that includes a healthy and supple body, we all "win".

Before pictures taken on 5/10/12, "so far" pictures taken this afternoon, 6/20/12.


Mark Reifkind said...

wow, you've made incredible progress so quickly love! I remember when you started working on this. it's been FAST. great job. Love it.

and you :))

Maribel said...

Wow! I don't think I've ever been able to get in to a split. Impressive!

guy said...

Impressive, I have been stretching along w/ Mr. Riff's youtube video as well as my daily "SuperJoints" practice, it's making a big difference allready.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Thanks day I'll be as good as you!

Tracy Reifkind said...


It's just like anything gotta train it to be able to do it! But seriously, this is after Bikrams...any other time would be impossible! (for now)

Tracy Reifkind said...


Mark is really good about regular stretching....he has to be. But still I sit at the dining room table playing Scrabble, when I could be on the floor stretching with him...

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