Can Smiling Help You Get Your Splits?

I think a smile can make your whole body.

Serena Williams
Photo: Annie Lebowitz

The little trick that can help your flexibility goals

We couldn’t agree with Serena more! That’s a serious shot of inspiration from one of the world’s greatest athletes of all times, who is an embodiment of strength and flexibility. Just check out that straddle.

Serena’s comment isn’t just wishful thinking. She’s onto something real that can be a game-changer with your flexibility training. There’s a definite link between your attitude and your body. A growing number of studies support the idea that a positive outlook has major benefits for your physical health. And when you’re in greater health, you’ll have more energy and motivation to train!

Sometimes we need a little boost to get going. And that spark can be as simple as taking a deep breath and letting a smile settle over your face. Our emotional states can be influenced by our physical bodies, so when we harness the power our smiles, our bodies respond. Let your smile remind you of your purpose and help you set aside any of the small things that get in the way of feeling like you don’t want to train. Maybe you’re a little tired, or thinking of all that you have to do for work, or feeling impatient because you just want to be a stretching pro already…the list can go on and on! Take a moment to pause and thank your body for everything it has already done for you, and all that it continues to do. Smile at yourself for taking yourself too seriously (we all do it!), and be happy that you can show up and put in the work.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy

Thich Nhat Hanh

When we allow ourselves to smile, it reinforces a positive attitude. This positivity will carry over into your training session, helping you develop more resilience in your training. Achieving a goal like front splits, middle split, bridge, or standing needle requires ongoing commitment and dedication. The journey towards greater flexibility, like anything in life, isn’t always smooth. When you bring your smile to your training, it can help you stay grounded and focused on the bigger vision. Each training session is a piece of the whole picture of greater well being. You are taking the time to stretch to not just get more flexible, but to improve the health of your whole body both physical and mental. It’s always easy to think that we should be ‘better,’ but really those comparisons don’t matter. Your embrace of your own personal journey is what counts. Commit to your training, knowing that with a positive attitude, a wide smile, and a dedicated practice, your goals are possible. Now that’s something to smile about!

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