View Full Version : Contortion

Sep 30th, 2006, 01:43 PM
This may sound very odd - but I am extremely interested in contortion - i know u have to start young to become a professional - but i would LOVE to train into the basics - and i think now is a fab time, as im getting fitter, toning and i should hope to become more flexible too - does anyone here have any ideas i could do? - there are no groups here - nor yoga classes and pilates - im a student too so it would be expensive. I know i need to stretch and stretch that little bit further each day-but does this honestly work?

HMMM - ideas and help would be fabulous please


Sep 30th, 2006, 02:00 PM
Here's some info (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contortion)ladyaprille, there are some links at the bottom. All the best! :)

Sep 30th, 2006, 09:29 PM
Rubber Ritchie! (http://www.flexinthecity.com/)

He's a vegan contortionist, we saw him last year at the London Vegan Festival - very entertaining. I should think he'll have some good info.

Oct 2nd, 2006, 12:15 AM
Wow - maybe I should be a contortionist!

I have always been very flexible - probably due to swimming and ballet and gymnastics growing up. I still swim and do yoga when I can.

Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:37 AM
I'm so unflexible. I can't even touch my toes without having to bend my back and my knees. :rolleyes:

Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:59 AM
If you were to take up Yoga, Tigerlily - it would really help with your flexibility.

Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:08 AM
I'm too shy for that sort of thing. :o I want to but I'm so uncomfortable with the idea of being with so many people. :o

Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:48 AM
Hmmmmm......well there are only usually 7 or 8 ladies in my class. Maybe you can find a Yoga Centre that has smaller size classes.

Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:42 PM
i know little about contortion, except that some contortionists have ehlers-danlos syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes your joints to be hyper-flexible...

not to discourage you at all! just know that there are some contortionists that you might never be able to match :) best of luck

Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:45 PM
wildflower u r so lucky being flexible - i wish i was!! - even just flexibility with stamina to get and stay in wonderful yoga positions - i know this wil come with losing weight.

So should i stretch until it begins to feel uncomfortable, stop, then do again the next time, and in time it will stretch further and further each time??


Oct 9th, 2006, 03:00 AM
Pretty much do that. Stretch until it feels uncomfortable, then hold it for a count as long as you can - it probably has to be at least 15 or 30 seconds to make a difference. Also, after you stretch for a bit and hold and it starts to hurt, if you start to relax and breathe, I find I can stretch a lot more (this happens when I do yoga). Do this a few times in a row, maybe 3 or 5. Then do it every other day, then every day until you are super bendy! you'll get there!

Dec 3rd, 2007, 01:20 PM
I wrote this article on contortion a few years ago that may help.

Starting Contortion by Richard Rosson (Rubber Ritchie)

July 2004

Dear Friends,

I do not wish to claim to be an authority on this subject. I am far from it. However, I have achieved advanced flexibility and managed to work professionally around Europe and appeared many times on television from the advances I have made through this experience. I hope some things in this article may be of use and/or inspiration to you.

People often ask me, ‘when did you find out you can do that?’ The answer is, I never found out. I am a freak of nurture. There is no contortionist in the world that was simply born that way. It takes hundreds of hours of training. I did not start with the intention of being a contortionist. I was practicing yoga daily for 2 ½ years when I saw a documentary about contortionists. I had never seen such a performance before but I realised that I was doing some of those things in my practice. I did some research on the web and decided I wanted to go for it.

I started at aged 20 which I think made things a little more difficult than if I had started as a teenager or younger. However, it is possible with absolute self belief and the right diet and training.

Three books really helped me with my flexibility and strength. One of them is online. The others*are called Light on Yoga by BKS Iyenger and The New Book of Yoga by the Sivananda Yoga Centre. You can buy*Light on Yoga*all over the world. I even saw it in Thailand.

Your practice should be daily. A little frequently is more effective than a lot occasionally. I would suggest stretching throughout your day. Do little stretches every time you visit the bathroom throughout the day. My regime used to be 3 hours a day (2x 90 minute sessions). Now I do about 1 or 2 a day to maintain it. I do not wish to lay out a particular program as I think different things work for different people. Try different techniques. Read as many different articles and books and talk to other bendy people about it.

You would not expect a car to run well without the correct fuel just as you cannot neglect the fuel for the human body. My advice is to cut down (preferably cut out) on meat, fish, dairy products, alcohol and tobacco. I became a contortionist from having no flexibility from following this diet. Without these things the body feels very clean and light and is able to move much more freely. Get protein from nuts, beans, pulses, seeds and*lentils. Get your calcium and iron from greens like spinach, kale and broccoli. As well as helping your training, this diet will lighten your spirit in the knowledge that you are treading more gently on the Earth. Yogis have always placed emphasis on the vegetarian diet as have the Shaolin Monks and would any of us doubt their power? Olympic champion Karl Lewis is a vegan and was so when he took the 100 metre gold medal. You will not necessarily loose weight. I actually gained more muscle training on this diet.
The lifestyle sounds extreme but if you want it enough you can do it. I had real determination. I was thinking about contortion all the time. Watch videos and look at pics on the web for inspiration. Keep talking to others to keep the inspiration up. You can do it my friends!


Dec 3rd, 2007, 07:24 PM
Hey! I am a 9th year dancer/19 yr gymnast, I was never into all the contortion and stuff but I am pretty limber enough to probably get into it. The reason they say it's good to start young is because your muscles are more flexible, notice how babies love to grab their feet. So you can get a 5 year old into contortion much faster than a 19 year old because their muscles are more limber. However that should never make you not want to do it. You need to stretch EVERY DAY, even when your muscles hurt sooo badly... Hold each position until you go numb, this is a good thing (some people say it isn't but it acvtually is.) this will increase your flexibility quicker. Also do things like if you have a washer and dryer next to each other, put one leg on the dryer (my washer is on the left side of my dryer i assume most are like this.) and put clothes into the washer/dryer. then do the same with the other leg when you take clothes out of the dryer. Also put your leg up on the counter when you are cutting vegetables (i always thought that was gross, but i usually but on a pair of clean socks.) Another thing i do is sit in a straddle and pull myself forward then bend at the knees so it looks like you are sitting in a frog like position and i watch TV like that. But one thing is if you do it you have to stick to it or you'll lose it quickly. Also i know contortionists have a lot of back flexibilty, one thing you can do if a bridge. Stand against a wall then bend backwards to a bridge and push your hands as close to the wall as you can. You can also lay on your stomach and push yourself up then have a sibling, roommate, child, friend, spouse, take your hands behind you and pull backwards.