the quality of bending easily without breaking.
the ability to be easily modified.
willingness to change or compromise.
Flexibility has always been a big part of my life. I started dancing when I was two years old and I didn’t stop for the next twenty years. I would dedicate multiple hours each and every day to improve my flexibility. Any spare moment I had was used for stretching. Front splits, side splits, forward bends, back bends and legs up the walls; you would always find me in some strangely tangled position. I loved it! There is a real freedom that comes with the ability for movement; to know that you can move through any range is an amazing feeling. The power and importance of physical flexibility had always been apparent and it made me happy.
It wasn’t until an injury put a bump in the road of my dance career that I needed to learn to be flexible in another sense. All of a sudden I had to stop dancing and everything I had planned out was going to have to change. The new challenge was not how high I could kick my leg or how far I could bend backwards but how I could turn my injury into a positive situation. It was right around this time I started Pilates. I found this same quality of movement I had experienced with dancing but with more focus on control. There was a beautiful harmony between the physical practice and the mindful practice. I was intrigued. I remember thinking to myself that I might just enjoy Pilates more than I enjoy dancing. I quickly dismissed the thought remembering it was my ‘plan’ to be a dancer.
I went back to a dance class only to further injure myself. I had a choice; to either stick to what I knew with the risk of doing permanent damage to my body or go out on a limb and try something new. I chose to follow the path of Pilates and 6 years on I have never felt better. The best thing I have learnt is to be flexible with what life throws our way. We should not only stretch our bodies but also stretch our mind. We should trust our physical capabilities as much as we trust our emotional capabilities. Its important for us to know that is something doesn’t go to plan, then we can just make another plan! ‘Willingness to change or compromise’ is where the real challenge of flexibility lies. If we can take a physical flexibility and pair it with an emotional flexibility then nothing is life can bend us out of shape.
About Tahlia Ware
Since starting out as a Pilates instructor back in 2012, Tahlia has become one of Melbourne's leading instructors today. She is passionate about all things health and fitness, with a particular love for yoga and living a vegan lifestyle. Fitness has always been a part of her life, previously working as a professional dancer all over the world before embarking upon a career in yoga and Pilates. She is on a mission to motivate those around her to live happier and healthier lives, and to spread the message of movement as medicine.