Is Resisting Your Body a Smart Move as a Regular Form of Exercise?
I just came back from my hot yoga class which I enjoyed because I like to sweat and challenge myself. My body type needs this especially considering my very sedentary style of living. However, when I go through the class, I choose not to fight against my body one body part at a time. I like to align with my innate “whole-body ” intelligence which guides me to my best expression for each pose as the coordinated self that I am. My outer muscles can release without me loosing my skeletal height. It feels awesome and prevents body stiffness and injuries. How does this work?
Today, as we were in a challenging pose, my teacher made this comment: “Your body wants the path of least resistance, so you want the path of most resistance”. Is that necessary in order to strengthen? How much strength do we need for everyday living? And is there not a way between the path of least resistance (collapse) and the path of resistance (stiffening)?
Many people with back or knee issues are being told that their back and knees are weak and they need to strengthen them. Maybe there are some cases where that is true, but more often than not, it is misusing the body that creates the illusion of weakness.
Listen to Peter O’Sullivan in his U Tube video published on Apr 4, 2013 where he discusses cognitive functional therapy and the myth of “core stability” in relation to chronic low back pain.
Making demands on the big muscles of your back to support you when it is mostly the job of your postural muscles to do so is the real problem. Thinking that your six pack ab muscles contribute to your back stability as if they were your core muscles when they are only outer muscles, not inner core muscles is another misconception that leads to feeling that you are not strong enough for sustainable good posture.
It is my personal and professional experience that you can strengthen from the inside out working with your whole-body intelligence instead of working against it. If you actually step out of your own way when you strengthen, you develop flexible strength. When you resist against it, you develop strength alright but it is stiff strength which backfires on you one way or the other or sends you stretching like crazy unnecessarily.
It is not a question of being right or wrong here, those are two different ways to approach strengthening. However, mind and body are the two sides of the same coin and if you choose to resist your whole-body intelligence as an ongoing way to exercise, you may be building up some level of stiffness of body and mind in the process!
Whichever way you move, you help your body on some level because movement is life and it is overall a good thing to do!:)
Interested in my approach to exercising? Read my blogposts or sign up for my events from private to groups, locally or online!
Do you want to learn more about this mind/body approach to strain-free yoga? Do you want to learn how to reclaim efficient moving for balanced living? Join my FREE 6-part EMAIL SEMINAR: "How to Unlearn Habits that Create Body Stiffness On and Off the Mat"