I can't remember anything about the class except being the least flexible one there (by a long margin) and feeling embarrassed because I could hardly do any of the stretching exercises.
I never went back to that dance class!
For years after that I was the least flexible person in pretty much everything. Sporting teams, gymnastics, yoga classes, athletics. Any kind of exercise or movement program, I was the least flexible person there.
For years I tried to diligently to increase my flexibility. I did stretching practice every day. I tried different forms of yoga.
But I just always seemed to be trying to force tight muscles into a stretch. It never felt natural. It was like nothing in my body wanted to budge
Eventually I learned to consciously release muscle tension and INVITE my muscles to lengthen and relax.
And I started to find greater flexibility.
Through tension, and through personal patterns and habits of posture, we tend to habitually shorten and tense a lot of our muscles.
And if we don't KNOW how to invite those muscles to lengthen again, they often stay short.
And this can cause even more tension, and pull our posture out of alignment even more.
I'm not going to be dancing Swan Lake anytime soon, but my personal flexibility has greatly increased compared to how it used to be.
And more importantly, I now enjoy yoga, and find it relaxing and restorative!
In at least SOME key ways, I am actually more flexible now than I was when I was 6…