Forcing your back to stretch to reach your toes may feel good but it also destroys your back muscle tone.
Lengthening of your back muscles comes from freedom in the hip joints and armpits,
not from forcing the muscles to lengthen!
In this time and age, like most working individuals, you are probably busy and often overwhelmed with more work to do than you have time for. As it turns out, you have plenty of opportunities to tense up between home and work, back and forth, day after day.
Multitasking mom listening to the phone, carrying her child and cooking all at the same time
bringing in the process body distortions that soon come to feel more natural than the natural way!
By the time you feel your tension big time, if you are a yoga lover, you can’t wait to get to your yoga mat as soon as you get a chance. When you actually reach your yoga class or you situate yourself on your mat, you are so ready to stretch that nagging accumulated tension in your neck, shoulders, back, arms or legs that you totally go for it. As long as it “feels” good and you can do it, you’ll even go to the maximum expression of your pose and naturally, you’ll feel good about that accomplishment.
Butt pulled back with back excess straining. Front expansion with neck compression
or both happening at once in extreme version of warrior one
Yet, is it always a good thing to make a fire just because you have matches in your hands? Is going into the maximum expression of your pose the right thing to do for every part of your body? Is more always better? What do you think?
Of course, there is something to be said about a good spontaneous stretch. Especially if you are stretching like the cat, naturally indulging with delight into a good stretch from head to toes, upon awakening from a nap.
This organic way of stretching, which human beings are also gifted with, is called “pandiculation”. It actually starts with enhancing the tension briefly to signal the brain that your muscles are ready to relax. Then your whole body can enter into sweet delightful surrender the length of a long yawn!
Are the stretches you do at the gym or in your yoga class different in any way from the cat stretch? Do they each spread all over your body in a delightful surrender or do you actually work at them, tugging at the tension in one specific area of your body in the hope to get more length out of your stretch?
If your stretches are not a whole body experience, you may be handling your tension with the same mindset that created the tension in the first place. You usually feel good in the moment, but you are not free of the unconscious habits that created the tension which is why, before you know it, it is back again, nagging at you as you assume it an inevitable part of living this modern life.
That is how your yoga practice can feel good and still wreck your body!
What if you could discover these unconscious habits and learn how to unlearn them?
Join my blog site, attend my online or local events and learn about the B.I.A. Process. You won’t regret it!
Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis enhance their practice bypassing the intellect. She is also a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner. Faculty at Akasha Yoga Teacher Training, she runs a 12 months Mastermind for Yoga Teachers with a Vision, and a 90 Day Virtual Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body better on and off the mat. Her blog read by over 19 000 people and her webinar have an international audience. She is currently writing her book on “The Yoga of the Future and the B.I.A. Process: the Missing Link to Drop the Strain and Keep the Gain.” with BlissLife Press, San Diego California.