Competent, capable, different not disabled

Yoga (cont.)

Yoga is helping me to have a better posture. I am strengthening my muscles and learning to have a straighter back and a more relaxed neck. I am learning to keep my shoulders back and down, something that 14 years of dance classes never managed to achieve.


Yoga is helping me to become more aware of my body as a whole entity, rather than a collection of individual un-coordinated bits. Yoga is helping me to be more aware of individual bits of my body, for example, how to tense or relax one particular part without also moving lots of other parts. These are particular challenges for me due being on the spectrum.


Yoga is not about becoming a contortionist!


For a long time, I did not want to do yoga because I am not very flexible. I am often anxious, so my muscles are tensed for a large proportion of my life and are not used to relaxing or stretching at all. Even after some months of regular yoga practice, I still cannot stretch myself into positions that most people can do without ever having tried yoga. My usual response to being not very good at something is to choose not to do it.  


However, yoga is non-competitive and it does not matter what anyone else is able to do. Also, I have learned that it doesn’t actually matter whether I ever manage to touch my toes or not. Yoga is not about who can make themselves the stretchiest and who is most likely to have a future career as a contortionist. Yoga is about learning to release tension from muscles, and so even if I never manage to touch my toes, my physical and mental health is benefitting through my yoga practice. Also, I think lots of people will benefit from yoga, no matter how stretchy and bendy they are, because the point of yoga is to release tension, and not to achieve particular shapes.


So, whether you are on the spectrum or not, I would recommend trying yoga for its mental and physical health benefits. 




To contact, e-mail: debi@aspiedebi.com