We love a balance themed week as balance is one of those skills that can decrease over time if we don’t keep practicing. Balance is about our ability to control our body’s position either whilst stationary or moving. When are we ever really stationary? Our bodies are constantly moving in some way shape or form, even if we are sitting or standing ‘still’ . We are moving with our breath, our fluid tissues are circulating throughout our bodies and all of our muscles and connective tissues are in a constant state of tension and release – they’re ón’ all of the time! So it’s a constant interplay between stability and mobility.
Which comes first? It’s like the chicken and egg question and like this question, we can’t have one without the other. They go together. You can talk about mobility in a similar fashion as speaking about flexibility. It’s the ability to move your body through a range of motion.
Many bendy people gravitate towards a yoga practice because it is easy for them to get into the postures. On the flip side, others come because they want to be like these bendy people, or at least gain some extra flexibility. Being really bendy isn’t always best for your body, especially if it comes at the expense of stability, or the ability to control the range of motion. Think about what your goals are.
Do you want to do something because you think it looks good, like the splits? If so, is it because of the way it looks or do you think this will improve your life in some other way? How can you take the splits into your other daily activities? Will it make them better or more enjoyable? If you can do the splits, how do you get out of them? Can you reverse the exercise i.e. use the strength of your legs to get out of the splits or do you need to use your arms or contort your whole body to get out?
This week we will look at how we get into and out of poses. Can we get in and out of them using strength or do we need to rely on momentum? Are we finding a passive range for our stretching (e.g. when we use an external force to pull a body part into position like pulling your foot to your bottom with your hand when working on a quad stretch) or can we find the active range (e.g. when we pull the foot towards the bottom just with the leg strength – no hands).
For more information here is a link to Jules Mitchell talking with Charlie Reid about Yoga and Resistance Stretching. http://www.julesmitchell.com/resistance-stretching-charlie-reid/ Jules is currently mentoring Natalie and is the teacher we brought to Australia to conduct her 5 day workshop Yoga Biomechanics: Stretching Redefined. Jules has released her book Yoga Biomechanics: Stretching Redefined that provides a unique evidence-based exploration into the complexities of human movement and what a safe, effective yoga practice entails.