How To Improve Flexibility
Like flossing your teeth and calling your mother, stretching is something we know we should do regularly but don’t always find the time. And when we do, it’s often a little rushed.
“I was one of those guys who never bothered to stretch,” says Mr Johan Montijano, 37, who has been a yoga instructor in New York for the past nine years. “I thought it was a waste of time.”
Growing up in a small town between Toulon and Marseille, in the south of France, Mr Montijano was a competitive mountain biker until he picked up a niggling knee problem. His doctor told him to stop cycling for six months. “I didn’t like that as a solution – giving up the thing that I loved most.”
And so he found himself trying yoga to help rehabilitate his injury. At first, he hated it. “I didn’t think it was for me.” But eventually something clicked – and it wasn’t knee cartilage. “Soon I was doing yoga every day, and I got so into it that, after a year, I decided to train to become an instructor.”
Mr Montijano is now one of Equinox’s top yoga teachers in Manhattan – a job he fits in around modelling work and looking after his young daughter.
“Stretching is a powerful tool that enables you to use your body at its full capacity,” he says. “It makes you more efficient. So if you like running, you’re going to run faster; if you like lifting, you’re going to lift heavier. Plus, it is just as beneficial for your mind; you’ll recover faster, sleep better, pick up fewer injuries.”
MR PORTER has teamed up with the health and fitness experts at Q by Equinox (the luxury gym’s online magazine) to produce a set of work-outs aimed at building a body that looks – and is – truly healthy. In this second instalment, Mr Montijano takes us through a series of stretches that can – and should – be performed as often as possible.
And yes, OK, we know you floss twice daily really. Now call your mother.
Film by Mr Jacopo Maria Cinti