I really like the apparent simplicity of how we move our bones through space and time - flexing, extending, bending, twisting, hinging, pivoting, rotating, reaching, folding...the list of efficient and effortless movements goes on and on. Or not.
As we grow, develop and establish our routines across work and leisure we pattern our habitual movements. Our natural three planes of movement, front to back, side to side and rotational may not get fully used throughout our day.
The bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons are enveloped in layers of connective tissue and fascia. I describe this in my yoga classes as a ‘spider man suits’ that hold things together, from the superficial layer, just under the skin, to really deep layers.
When our habitual patterns of movement settle into these skinsuits (causing tugs and lines of pull), functional movement tends to be compromised, efficiency tends to be reduced, and 'effortless' tends to become 'effort-full'. We lose our all-round range of motion that we had as children simply because we don’t use it.
I can see from the classes I teach that many of us have developed such constraints.
Typically a yoga posture will place us in all three planes of movements at once (think of any twisting forward hinge hip opener!) That’s one of the reasons we ought to never get bored in asana practice - there are always bones to align, joints to stabilize and mobilize, muscles to strengthen and stretch, and fascia to unwind and unbind.
I make sure that my public classes are intelligently sequenced to move the body through the three planes and develop strength and flexibility as well as balance. We focus on functional movement and a strong stable core.
Whilst we may not be able to turn back the years, we can at least recover the range of movement we once had with some really good yoga!
See you on the mat.