True fitness begins with the mind-body connection. Before we can challenge the body externally, we must explore the internal makeup and function of our unique body and get our mind right! Yoga cultivates awareness, which is essential to getting results.
As we settle into our daily lives, we are most comfortable with the ranges of motion we experience every day. If much of the day is spent sitting, it is hard to imagine beginning a yoga program. The answers are complex, but the short of it is that range of motion, or ‘flexibility’ as its commonly called, has a lot to do with two things: the structure of the joint and the ability of muscles around the joint to contract efficiently. Our method is designed to improve your range of motion using resistance training pronciples to strengthen weak muscles so that they can move and support our joints.
The Type of Joint.
Some joints just aren’t meant to move a lot. Structure dictates function. There is also the internal resistance within a joint to consider. Ligamentous pull, or the lack of it, and the dense internal network of fascia (the material that attaches muscle to bone) can limit range of motion. Some people are just naturally “bendy”- these elements of their anatomy are inherently longer on some people than they are on others, just like some people are taller than others. They are the ones in the front row in yoga. ☺
Bony structures which limit movement, like the size, shape, and available contact surface of a bone, can limit range of motion. Bone can also change over time. An avid runner of 35 years may never sit in lotus on the floor, and doing so might cause more harm than good. The lever lengths of your bones also matter. If you have a short torso and long legs, you may never touch your toes! Not everyone is made to be a Rockette.
As we get older, we lose bone and muscle. Strategic exercise slows this process down. Starting a consistent program that progressively works to strengthen the muscles that surround and protect your joints greatly helps you approach age with grace and strength. We all lose muscle and bone over time. No one can escape it. You can’t control is how old you are, but you can control how you address the natural process of aging.
You Never Go There!
If you run or cycle most of the time for your exercise, why would you cultivate the ability to sit on the floor cross-legged comfortably or bend over and touch your toes? If your muscles have never trained to contract that far into the joint range, the tightness you feel is actually protecting you! It keeps your joint stable and injury-free. If you desire more range of motion and more freedom, its time to train in some new positions...and you won't be good at it right away! That is why range of motion training needs to be placed in the hands of a professional.
We use resistance training principles to achieve better range of motion, as tightness in the body is actually weakness. Using various tools such as yoga blocks, yoga straps, yoga mats, the weight of the body, and many other resistance tools, we can improve the strength and responsivity of your muscles. The forces we use in our sessions are based on the intention and the goal, varying from light somewhat intense, depending on the individual performing the exercise. The idea is to strategically direct resistance into a Hatha Yoga practice, even though gravity is always pushing against us.
Many yoga practices are taught by conforming an individual’s structure into a pre-determined position in short amount of time. Given the realities of muscle inhibition, motor learning, poor instruction, and poor program design, it is a fact that a yoga practice can cause just as much tightness and weakness as any other activity. In order to get the results we want from practicing Yoga, it is important to learn about Force, how to apply it to our bodies, how to build up our tolerance to it, and how to use various resistance tools to create it.
Most of us tend to think of the body and the mind as two different things, and yet they are always connected. When it comes to fitness, having the mindset to be healthy is as important as diet, exercise, and sleep. Many times , our body to suffer the consequences of a negative mindset. You see, the body always does what your mind commands, consciously and subconsciously!
If your mind is stressed out, confused and out of options, your body becomes confused as well. It becomes chronically tight, prone to injuries and pain. That’s because the connection between your brain and your body is not something arbitrary. On the contrary, it’s your nervous system that makes the connection real. In our sessions we will teach you how to cultivate mindfulness during activity through meditation, focus, and awareness will help you expel dark thoughts, clear your mind and reset your mindset.
Whether you want to work in person with us in a Semi-Private Group Class, work one-on-one with a Certified Yoga Instructor, or go online with our Fitness Integrated Science TV subcription in the privacy of your home, your body will change with the Yoga Integrated Science Method. We can help you target vulnerable positions and help you to get stronger, feel more stable, and avoid undo stress.