I have been working hard in the garden recently and while digging out lots of thistles I was thinking about how similar the practice of yoga is to gardening! If we practice our yoga diligently and with patience we slowly but surely root out the knots and areas of tension which we hold hidden under the surface. If however we stop for a while they come back! Maybe not as bad as before but that slow creep of connective tissue closing aroound our joints restricting movement millimetre by millimetre.
Gardening is the same. If we work hard to thoroughly clear a patch of nettles, thistles and weeds we are rewarded with a rich soil which we can plant and grow crops or beautful flowers. If however we don't keep up this clearing with regular weeding, hidden roots and seeds will flourish and weeds will come up again and threaten to strangle the new plants we have planted.Even if we have a small patch of garden or a window box, with regular attention it can produce wonderful things to look at or eat. Left alone however weeds will grow and smother our crops or soil will become parched and dry so nothing will grow.
Our bodies are the same. If we stop moving or don't resolve long held areas of tension they will keep coming back to give us discomfort or limit our movement more and more. We don't need to spend hours every day exercising to achieve this. If we just spend a few minutes each morning to really stretch, to break down those fascial fibres which develop when we stop moving, to breathe deeply and to keep moving, we will reap the benefits. Obviously a regular full yoga practice will help keep our bodies active and alleviate the tension we all develop through everyday life. If however you can only fit in 5 minutes a day then use it wisely, practice poses which work on your main tension areas or just spend a few minutes doing slow conscious spinal rolls. Your body will thank you for it.