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yoga: just do it
One of the key principles behind The Egoscue Method is that we want to be taking each joint in our body through its full range of movement on a regular basis.
If we take each joint through its full range of movement on a regular basis, we will retain mobility in our joints and keep the amazing, interconnected musculoskeletal system functioning like the clockwork it’s meant to be.
Lots of people don’t take each joint in their body through its full range of movement on a regular basis, so those joints get locked up. When some joints get locked up, others have to work too hard (they compensate) and this is where the musculoskeletal system starts to lose its beautiful equilibrium.
You CANNOT be stiff in certain places without it negatively affecting your body.
If you are stiff, you cannot be functionally strong. There will be ramifications for your biomechanics further down the line. When your biomechanics are off, you’ll suffer pain through unnatural wear and tear.
We want a powerful AND mobile body. One is not more important than the other and one does not rule out the need for the other.
The good news is that yoga is a fairly inexpensive, easy and accessible way to begin to move each joint a little differently and to start to unlock extra mobility.
You don’t even need to even pay for a membership somewhere, you can just find some short videos online to get you started.
I hear a lot of “I’m too stiff to do yoga”. Well, so is everyone when they start! That is WHY most people start (but then they get hooked on all the other benefits too).
When you see all these bendy, pliable people doing all sorts of strange stuff, they definitely couldn’t do that when they first started yoga. They practiced and so they improved.
It’s literally the same principle behind absolutely any sport or hobby.
I couldn’t kneel on the floor, sit with my legs straight out in front of me, touch my toes or do any of the things I can now do. I found it frustrating and hard and boring all in one when I first started, but my body quickly unlocked and things became easier each time I went.
The amazing thing about yoga is that you can’t be good at it. It’s not competitive. The minute your ego tells you you’re good, you are put on a mat next to someone who is miles better than you. It’s very humbling. You can never ‘complete’ yoga and the person who you think looks so amazing, will be secretly frustrated that they can’t do ‘x’ pose.
Never be too scared of judgement to attend a yoga class. People who do yoga are generally speaking some of the kindest people you’ll ever meet, and they just want everyone to enjoy it.
I simply cannot recommend yoga more in a world where we are locked in the same positions for hours at a time. Even most of our sports are very repetitive on our joints and don’t move them through their full range of motion. Yoga does this without you having to think about it too much.
Saying all this, I don’t think that yoga is a panacea for eliminating pain. Yes, it’s an amazing tool to keep your mobile and pain-free, but lots of people suffering chronic pain can actually make some of their problems worse if they don’t understand why their body hurts in the first place, push past their limits and continue to move dysfunctionally during a yoga class.
This isn’t yoga’s fault (nor is it running, or climbing or golf’s fault), the body you are taking to your sport or hobby is causing you further pain (because you’re increasing the load and demand you’re putting through your wonky joints).
Yoga teachers are not able to assist you individually throughout a class, nor are they prescribing you moves which are bespoke or suitable to your body and its limitations.
Whilst ideally we want bodies that can move comfortably through any movement which is thrown our way, the reality is that lots of people have work to do before they can do this.
This is exactly the sort of thing I help my clients with. I can help them with those initial scary steps, when any form of movement seems to exacerbate pain and they don’t know where to start. Once they’ve unlocked a few fundamental building blocks of comfortable and enjoyable movement (and begin to understand why certain movements might hurt them), they feel much more confident moving more in a group setting without assistance.
If you’d like to re-learn the art of moving comfortably so you can return to enjoying your favourite sports or hobbies (or pick up new ones like yoga which will help keep you pain free forever!) send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss the next steps.
Moving more is always the answer, but finding the solution to help my clients move more AND pain free is what my passion is and is something I do on a daily basis.