Trying to get flexible? Don’t try too hard.
Everyone knows a good stretch is nice before and after a run, while you’re traveling, or just as a great way to break up your day. As with most things, How you “stretch” will determine what you get.
As a start, let go the idea that stretching – in a way that uses muscle to force other muscle to lengthen – leads to flexibility. It doesn’t! Static, forceful stretching has been part of the usual athletic training regiment for decades. Not any more. As with most scientific facts, facts change. Methods change with them.
Flexibility begins in your mind. If your mind thinks it needs to defend against injury – against you! – it will do that, bracing your body for impact. If you try to force your body to get somewhere while it’s in impact mode – even if you force muscles to stretch out – you won’t see lasting, usable gains.
Instead, stay easy and calm. Don’t go to war with your body. Make friends with your body. It’s great that you have these good strong muscles and joints that hold your body together and keep things working properly. The last thing you’d want is to become too flexible. Hyper-mobility in joints is a common affliction of yoga posers, and leads to all kinds of chronic pain and need for surgery.
So let your body know you’re not crazy. Put yourself into comfortable positions where you can relax, breath easy, and move gently around tight areas. If you can relax and move in this way, you’ll trigger a set of chemicals to release in your body that support a shift from defense to healing mode. Your body can relax, release, and open up for you.
You can always do your research and try to get where you’re going with the latest facts. That’s one way to do things.
Or, you can relax, feel, and get to know your body. You’ll discover that you don’t need the latest facts to find that pushing and forcing against yourself isn’t the best way, for anything. You’ll discover that making friends with your body – relaxing, feeling, and responding to what you feel – is the best way to work capably with everything you’ve got.
You’re the world’s leading expert on you, with the best set of facts there is: the direct experience of you – feeling, exploring, achieving you.
This works for everything there is. You’re going to like it. You’re going to like you.
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.
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