Will these muscles ever open up?
October 27, 2009 12:03 PM Subscribe
I'm 54 years old, fairly new (2+ years) into a yoga practice. I'm unable to open up enough to successfully do many of the poses; my muscles are not only tight but also actually shorter (from what a trusted massage therapist told me) shorter than the same muscles on other people, presumably because I've carried stress by tightening up all these years. I do believe in this practice, and the possibilities of actually opening up these muscles over time -- is this just delusional?
posted by dancestoblue to health & fitness (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When I casually mentioned to the massage therapist -- who is also a qualified yoga instructor -- that I believed that these shortened, tightened muscles would open up / lengthen over time, she seemed surprised; I don't recall exactly what she said, but words to the effect "Hey, you've been tightening/shortening these muscles for decades, they're set this way, you're now 54, give it up" or some such. And I'm thinking "Hey, I'm hoping that my body will open up, might take years but I've got time.
Many of the poses I'm just unable to perform correctly, I'm strong but inflexible; I've had two masters tell me this -- as a general rule, when showing up to begin a yoga practice, women are flexible but not strong; men are strong but not flexible. It is very annoying to me to watch my women friends bend down and palms down on the floor, and because of tight hamstrings and butt and every other muscle I'm barely able (on a good day) to get my fingers to the floor -- and this after two years of this practice, and my women friends not practicing anything other than maybe flexing their fingers around a keyboard -- but I've seen it enough to accept that it's how it is.
So. Will my old ragged body open up over time? Will my muscles not only become more flexible but perhaps stretch out? Am I expecting the unbelievable, hoping for the unbelievable?
Massage and physical therapist and people who have (or have not) had their body open up, share your experiences please -- thanx!