As a pain healing professional I hear all the time from my clients how they just can't believe the body they moved so effortlessly with as a former athlete, dancer or flexible child has betrayed them. Poor body. It is always trying to help you. If you are being careless with your boundaries then it acts like your self-care police and starts shutting movements down to protect you. The body takes all the blame but the reality is that if you are suffering from painful or limited mobility then that is because your mind has been edging you on beyond your safety zones for years. That's right, you don't have a "bad back" you have a distracted mind or some poor soft tissue and nerve mobility, inadequate nutrition or circulation and a majority of the time, did things well wth power but had sloppy control or weakness in muscles. Overall, every child, teen, adult and senior needs to relearn how their body moves. We all did not get taught enough about how to pay attention to the quiet signs of imbalance between the flexibility of our soft tissues and the stability of our joints decades before pain tries to help.
Now I am not talking about that car accident or torn ACL that clearly threw off your functional forces and altered your boney alignments. I am talking about the everyday things ignored like laptops not on a platform or texting constantly or walking in flip flops or Toms shoes most of the year. I am talking about old pillows and not replacing sneakers because they still look good but have lost all the internal support and integrity.
To me, investing in a head to toe full functional evaluation is a no brainer when I see the trillions of dollars spent on trying to ease the pain and strain of saving that $350 with me but what is even more important is making sure that if you don't, then educate yourself enough to get an idea of the range of motion you have and if it is stiff joints or stiff tissues around an area that does not move very well. The importance of flexibility and stability being able to control your movement in sync cannot be stressed enough and attending classes of yoga club's quality educate you enough to will save you years of agony.
First Lesson: How to sexy dance
I want you to think of mobility and stability as dance partners in the passionate look of a Tango. Mobility is the one led through the direction while stability actually initiates the direction and the power behind it. If there is no mobility then you get a lot of force and no way to move it out. I call that "Energetic Constipation" and you can just imagine how that feels to your body joints.
If there is no stability you may have less than adequate force to move your full ability or may lose some control moving in the exact way you wanted to. I call that "Missing the Mark" so you can get by a few decades but you never actually win the rewards of the exercise. That is the difference sometimes between Olympic gold and high school standout. Over the years some people have the tissue matrix to move a lot but not the nervous system or understanding of movement enough to be very controlled. They often hurt themselves in yoga because they end up hanging on the end ranges of their joints causing too much joint play which can eventually rub the joint the wrong way or move alignments out of optimal use. So it is not the people with the stiff body's that often hurt themselves in yoga but actually the bendy ones that decide they don't need to head the cues to support themselves through muscles by the teacher.
Second Lesson: How do we move well
Most people think it is the muscle strength that determines how controlled our motions are but quality movement depends on how stable the root force is generated and how well your brain understands the messages from the body as well as the intention of your thoughts. That is why we tend to pay a lot of attention to learning a new dance move. The learning how to coordinate that dance between stability and mobility will decide if the movement will be graceful or jerky.
Mobility is very simply the ability to move or be moved freely. If you wake up one morning and all of a sudden cannot bend your knees that might be a root at the knee joints being stiff or in the nervous system being on high alert or in the muscles not having the right tissue types because of nutrition, circulation issues or injury. So it is all because you’re too stiff but it really helps to seek the support from your local Doctor of Physical Therapy because he or she is trained in determining all that stuff without the need of dangerous X rays or costly MRIs. Long story short, it is important you do not just assume it is a normal part of aging, because aging at 40 is NOT NORMAL! Don't assume it is because you’ve got short muscles and got to stretch because it may be that you already stretched the wrong way for too long and need training. It may very well be the fact you are dehydrated and do not need the pain med but rather a huge gallon of lemon water with some extra hydrating supplementation because the sugar in popular sports drinks negates the benefit of electrolytes anyway! there’s fluid in your muscles, there’s a little bit of damage there.
Get into a better relationship with your body. Yoga club is about learning how to keep oiling up the joints properly. Personally, because of the self-awareness that goes into every well-taught posture, I have a bias towards yoga being number one on that list of self-care mastery! Let's commit this month to find your yoga for your body type and personality. If you understand that then every class you attend is like making a movement supplementing smoothie!
Speaking of smoothies... Here is one of my favorites for a side in B fast or I sometimes add in my CBD oil as a mid-afternoon treat so that I can get the rest and restore shift starting in my body as I begin to unwind from an early day.
Belly G Chochoberry Milkshake
6 oz Almond Milk ( I prefer plain)
1/2 cup of organic blueberries ( best if local and in season)
1/2 medium avocado
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