Short hamstrings, pain in my low back, worn-out knees, weak ankles, sore shoulders and neck and sleeping hands that wake me up in the middle of the night; just a little list of problems I had when I started my yoga life. One by one problems I can solve by doing yoga, Deepak promises. ,,Every cell in your body has a memory off its own. By stretching a muscle three thousand times we can reprogram that memory.”
The muscles cells in my hamstring are not flexible, because they are used to be short and strong due to all the soccer I played and all the running I have done. But I can make them flexible, just by stretching, stretching and more stretching.
Three thousand times sounds like an amazing amount, but only in the primary series of Ashtanga I stretch both my hamstrings seventy times. Within the forty three days may Teacher Training Course is lasting I already get those three thousand stretches in.
If we tear a muscle we have to stretch as well. Within thirty minutes the muscle will repair itself by putting a layer of connective tissue over the tear. If we don’t stretch, this connective tissue will be tenacious. Connective tissue normally already is tenacious, but the less we work it the less flexible it will be.
The stretching we have to do isn’t limited to our muscles. Even our tendons and bones need some attention. Tendons and other connective tissue shrink as well. If we don’t pay some attention to those, we will only get more and more inflexible.
To good thing is: within seven years (almost) every cell in our body is replaced by a new one, so the only thing we have to do is yoga to create a new body that is more flexible and stronger.