Questioner: Does the amount of flexibility and the parts of the body that are flexible indicate something about the person’s mental state, their personality, or even their karmic structure?

Sadhguru: That would be a very prejudiced way of looking at life. Let’s not get into judgments about people around you. That somebody is not able to bend or sit on the floor could have many reasons. It would be obnoxious and unnecessary to judge people like that. But to look at the question of flexibility in general – a muscle is useful only if it is flexible. Wherever the body wants 100% rigidity, it produced bones. Wherever it wants 75% rigidity, it produced tendons. Wherever it wants 50% rigidity, it produced cartilages. Wherever it wants total flexibility, it produced muscles. The body structure is made up of different levels of flexibility. If every part of the body was flexible, you would sit like a bean bag.

Rigid muscles and rigid brains are no good. Only when your brain and muscles are flexible, they are useful.

Some parts of the body are rigid, some are semi-rigid, some are flexible – it is done in an intelligent manner. It should be kept the way the Creator intended it to be. A three-year-old child will be flexible enough to do any asana. You lost this flexibility because of disuse, because you are trying to save your body for the grave. You want to be in a good shape when you go, but you are not in a good shape when you are here.

If there is no injury or damage of any kind to the muscles and they still are tense and rigid, you are probably generating acids in your body. You can notice this – if on a particular day, you are in a mentally tense state, the next day you will find it much harder to bend. If the acid level increases, the muscular structure tends to become rigid.

Rigid muscles and rigid brains are no good. Only when your brain and muscles are flexible, they are useful. If you sit here joyfully, the body will not generate acids. But if you are angry even for five minutes, the acid level in your blood will increase dramatically, to the extent that it is actually poisoning you, and it is this poison that makes the muscular structure rigid. Other than that, lack of flexibility may be cultural, because you are simply not used to sitting on the floor or using your body much. In any case, we cannot judge human beings by their flexibility in the sense, “Tell me which asana you cannot do and I will tell you who you are.”

Editor’s Note: This article is based on an excerpt from the August 2014 issue of Forest Flower. Pay what you want and download. (set ‘0’ for free). Print subscriptions are also available.