Have you ever thought about what it means to be flexible? Yes, it's nice to be able to touch your toes as a party trick and have long lean muscles to look good – all things that practising yoga can do. But the bigger payoff is how it can make us feel on the inside. That includes being more flexible in the way we approach life –particularly now when we're having to adapt our everyday routines almost on a weekly basis. Our inner control freak might want to do things the way we always have, to stick with familiar patterns, but is that helping to us find a positive way forward?
In this dynamic flow yoga sequence, suitable for all levels, Mercedes Sieff, co-founder of Yeotown Health Retreat, yoga instructor and positive psychology coach, guides us through a practice that focuses on flexibility not so much as a physical form (although you definitely will feel some yummy unknotting going on) but as a character strength.
"I've given this class a focus that's very poignant at this moment as we've had to adapt and change our routines and ut outlook a great deal in recent times. As a positive psychology coach, I look to draw on the character strengths that can really help us in any given situation. Right now that's things like courage, bravery and resilience, but what keeps coming to mind is the character strength of adaptability and fluidity: being able to adapt and be fluid to whatever is happening around us rather than having the need to control or fix things."
How does that translate to yoga? Mercedes explains: "In this class, we're going with the flow. It involves a lot of fluid transitions between poses and exploring how you can adapt the poses to suit you, to what feels good for you."
If you've practised yoga before, you'll find tasters of familiar poses such as triangle and tree, but not as you know them – remember, it's all about doing things a little differently and letting go of what we think is 'the right way to do things'.
If you've become stuck in your fitness routine or don't know where your life is heading, get on the mat and try this uplifting playful sequence. Tapping into your character strength of adaptability (we all have it!) in this class is like finding a superpower, says Mercedes. "If you're ever stuck, ask yourself is there any fluidity in this moment? Can I adapt? You might just feel something shift."
Follow Mercedes @mercedessieff