Recently I had the honor of meeting Phil Wharton, one of the geniuses in the field of stretching and mobility.
I have been fortunate to study or meet many teachers who are absolute masters in their fields including Steven Covey, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Tony Robbins, Tony Schwartz, Jim Loehr, Eckhart Tolle, Jerry Lynch, Nick Saviano, Ron Rebhuhn, Sean Achor, John Sarno, John Wooden and many others…
Add Phil Wharton to that list.
This guy is it when it comes to state of the art stretching and what it can give you:
Freedom from muscle and joint soreness
Greater range of motion
Release from pain and functional limitations
Improved physical and mental performance
Balanced emotional state
A stronger, more powerful spirit in confronting the day
Before meeting Phil, I’d been disheartened by stretching and had stopped because it wasn’t working.
It isn’t that I wasn’t functioning. I can play singles and doubles for six days in a row in a National tournament. But after playing I spend days sore and stiff.
Don’t tell me to get real. You are 65. What do you expect? I expect to feel good, that is the bar I set for myself.
Now I get it. Phil Wharton, the genius, has made it clear.
Every time I stretched—the normal way—I was fighting my muscles. I was creating resistance.
For two weeks I have been doing lower body stretches the Phil Wharton way, and the difference is dramatic.
Getting out of bed in the morning feels easy.
The first few steps are relaxed and free.
Bending over the sink to brush my teeth is effortless.
I bounce down the steps.
Never a noise or grunt when I get up off a chair.
Just ten days.
Today I started the neck and back stretches.
At the same time I happened to be reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which is all about resistance. This book also has expert written all over it. A must read for anyone who has tried to do something and crashed into a wall. Dieting, exercise, writing, painting, starting a new business, calling a new contact, trying to make a date.
Resistance is THE force that keeps us from going from the old story to the new story. Resistance keeps us from doing the things we know we need to do to live the life we want to live:
Things like stretching
Taking a deep breath
Reading a story to our children before bedtime
Skipping that piece of bread
Taking the stairs rather than the escalator
Acting on the inner voice message.
Resistance is the possible foe that may be hiding on your path.
Jim Loehr calls resistance the Wild Boars.
Before the War of Art, I thought the opposite of growth was no movement or atrophy. No!
The opposite of growth is resistance.
When resistance is alive, there can be no growth.
When growth is happening, there is no resistance.
That is the battle.
The Wharton method of stretching is about going to your edge and then pulling back, just a little, from that edge. And then gently going a little farther. And then letting go.
Don’t create resistance.
Relax into the resistant spot in your stretch.
Don’t fight it.
Let it go.
If you don’t resist the resistance, there is none. Relax into resistance and you will be able to stretch your muscles and yourself.
How can you recognize your own resistance?
It takes the form of:
Doubt of outcome
Loss of faith
Telling others to do what it’s obvious they should do
What to do when you feel Resistance?
Write your old story, your bad story, the story your are living that is no longer serving you. The story of can’t. The story that’s holding you back. The story of resistance.
Write your new story. Your new story is where you want to go. The new story is the you you want to be. The new story negates the old story. Just the act of writing the story you want to live can negate resistance.
Old Story. New Story. Change.
What do you have to lose?