Adapted from Eiko’s book, Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits
When I was in my twenties, I worked as an aerobics instructor. Over time my interests shifted to yoga and I decided to try to become a yoga instructor. But there was one thing that bothered me back then: I wasn’t very flexible. I suffered from backaches, and yoga movements were difficult for someone as inflexible as I was. Most of all, though, I wasn’t much of an example for my students. I mean, if I were looking for a yoga teacher, I certainly wouldn’t choose someone who wasn’t flexible. That’s when I launched a plan to remake my body.
I call it the Splits in Four Weeks program, and you can read all about it in my book, Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits. In the book, I will teach you how to do a pancake split, where you bring your upper body down flat to the floor while doing a middle split. The pancake split is a symbol of having a flexible body, and you can accomplish it by doing a series of stretches every day.
When I first started, I could spread my legs out pretty well, but I didn’t have the flexibility to bring my upper body down to the floor. So I started doing research to identify what stretches I needed to do in order to be able to achieve the pancake. I tried all sorts of things day after day. The method I came up with proved really popular among my students. Before long, those who had said they were so inflexible they were embarrassed to come to yoga class were instead talking about how their newfound flexibility had changed their lives.