The most common comment I hear from people and friends around me when they talk about joining their first yoga class is “I’m not flexible though”. It’s kind of like starting to take guitar lessons and first warn the teacher that you can’t play the guitar.
Some people are born more flexible than others, but most people work hard to become more flexible. Some people have more space to develop their flexibility while others are structurally built in a way that doesn’t allow for as much stretching of the body. Either way, flexibility is a continuous process for pretty much all of us - just like any body training activity is. And also… not that much happens once you manage to reach your toes - you just touch the toes!
One theme I like to come back to in my practice and in my teaching is balance. Being super flexible is not always a good thing as it can put way too much pressure on joints and the body in general. Flexibility always needs to be balanced out with strength! I will be forever grateful to the teacher that early on in my practice advised me to reel in my flexibility a notch and instead work on engagement and activation of the muscles.
Wherever YOU are in your body and in your practice, that’s where you need to work from. And they only way to know where that is, is to listen to the body. What someone else looks like (on Instagram or on the mat next to you in class) have absolutely nothing to do with your body or your progress. You step onto that mat for you, to arrive into your body and to honour whatever sensations and movements the physical body will offer you in that particular practice.