I’m a firm believer that yoga cues don’t apply to everyone… Yes, every yoga cue has a purpose. A good purpose, even! But, in a group
Why are you asking me to keep movements small when I can move so much more?
When you’re wanting to resolve symptoms that are disrupting your quality of life, I start by looking at how the different joints in your body are moving on their own.
This gives us an idea of what’s moving well, what isn’t, and where the compensations are happening that are leading to your symptoms.
What you can do and what you want to do is the difference between your capacity and your capability.
Let’s say you’re sitting on the floor, and the instructor guides you into a spinal twist. You know the one; where one arm rests against your knee or thigh and the other hand rests on the floor behind you.
Now let’s say that you do what a lot of people do – You use the arm on your thigh to push yourself deeper into the twist and the hand on the floor to help your back sit up tall.
You have the capacity – or the ‘potential’ – to twist that far.
In other words, you can put your body into the shape that you are aiming for.
But if the instructor then asked you to remove both hands from the surfaces they were touching, your back would ‘rebound’ out of the twist and probably round a bit too.
This ‘rebound’ would happen because your spine does not have the capability to twist that far and remain long and tall under its own power.
You get good at what you practice!
Practice moving with force, compensations and rigidity, all while pushing through discomfort or pain, and you’ll get really good at that!
This is why I teach people to meet their bodies where they’re at. I encourage them to respect the boundaries that their tissues set out.
When your body trusts that you’re not going to force it to do something it isn’t ready for yet, it will soften, trust and start to give you more ease and less pain.
That’s how you can start to close the gap between your capability and your capacity, AND that’s why, even though you can move farther, I’m asking you not to!
This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen resonate with, and work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence.
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