Elite athlete yoga practice is very nice for some folks. . . on the other hand, so is flopping around. And while handstands are alive and thriving, you could say, that flopping around has become something of a lost art.
I have a lot of respect for the time, energy, stamina, and sheer will power of elite athlete yoga. But what I teach has a different goal – nervous system resilience rather than athleticism. And to that end all of us, even elite athletes, can benefit from bringing a little more flopping around into our lives.
We’re really good at flopping when we’re babies.
We roll around, we flop on our parents, we flop on the kitchen floor, on the bed, on the dog. This kind of active flopping has a sort of springiness to it that’s very important developmentally. As we learn to flop around, we also learn how to work with gravity to develop better muscles tone, better proprioception, and greater kinesthetic awareness.
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen calls flopping around “yielding” and identifies it as the first movement that we learn as infants. It’s important emotionally too, if you can’t yield in relationship (cognitively as well as somatically), it’s difficult to deepen connection, trust and intimacy.
Don’t confuse flopping around with collapsing! Flopping or yielding actually builds muscle, coordination, and an ease of movement.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to teach flopping/yielding while seated.
Hope you enjoy it!