I am a neuro-physio geek, and have been since I was a kid. I have been studying “things” about the body for about forty-five years (give or take). Even today, I average about five hours of study a week, trying to understand the what, where, why, and how of making or breaking a body.
I will try and condense down all the study I’ve done and share things as simply as I can.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
In the last post I spoke about a couple of benefits to doing yoga based movements:
“…moving better, and having more freedom of movement (believe it or not, those aren’t the same things). With more freedom of movement, you’ll find, as the tension(s) in your muscles and connective tissue lessen, you can go about the things you love to do for longer periods of time, just because you’re not fighting your own body.
Undue, or, “unnecessary” tensions are an insidious part of our lives. Compensations to how we move, sit, and stand. If our alignments and postures (which are movement specific) aren’t optimal, and are repeated over a broad time, then the body creates tension patterns to “help” us to move about in those less than optimal postures. Which creates a feedback loop, further deepening the compensations.”
Basically the body adapts to whatever you do to it over time.
Going just a little deeper with this, the first thing you need to know is that EVERYTHING you do in life creates adaptations in the body. And the more you do that “thing,” the deeper the adaptation.
If that adaptation is beneficial, or at least benign to the body, you’re gold. But if the adaptations are less than optimal, then – over time – the body creates compensatory movement, and tension patterns to make that adaptation as easy on the body as possible.
For example: if you sit a lot during the day, and have for a long time, and your posture in this position is “good” – you know – head back, chin slightly tucked, shoulders down and back. Head stacked on the spine in alignment with your hips, you probably won’t have many issues. Though there are no promises… 😉
But let’s say your head isn’t stacked over your spine and hips. Your chin protrudes out, a little, or a lot. Your shoulders rise to help support this position, your upper back rounds, also in support, as the head is heavy on the cervical spine.
Over time the muscles and connective tissue in your upper back, neck, shoulders, and chest will thicken and become denser. Over enough time, and it will limit movement, and can cause a host of painful, and debilitating issues: compressed or “locked” joints, “pinched” nerves, constricted blood vessels, etc…
And this is just one of a large host of positional problems that can arise from less-than-optimal biomechanics.
At MfM we use yoga, along with some other tools, to “combat” these conditions. We try and teach the best biomechanics we know, and also to counter-condition whatever the problem patterns, and areas.
As you counter these areas of discomfort, and disability, you’ll find that you can do the things you love to do with greater ease. Do them for longer times – with less stress and pain. And, in some cases you might find your fine motor skills will increase, and you can do more intricate work.
Of course we can’t make promises. But, I have seen it happen.
Until next time.