Updated: Apr 13, 2019
Ever wondered how the laziest of our domestic animals can still maintain a pretty good shape? I have. Our cat just lies around all day, eats, sleeps, eats, occasionally will venture out but even then will collapse and sleep in the garden, yet she is lean, doesn’t appear to suffer from a dodgy back or any form of stiffness and seems to have a pretty good life.
The advantage that our four-legged friends have is that by simply walking and (occasionally) running, these fundamental movements will strengthen and stretch all of the really important muscle groups: legs, core, hips shoulders, their bodies are performing the designed function to the full. No gym membership needed.
Our human form is clearly a marvellous structure however being an upright biped isn’t without it’s challenges, walking is a form of falling after all, our core isn’t working as hard as our four legged friends when we propel forward and our pelvic floor needs to resist gravity, maybe in a few more years on the evolutionary clock will iron some of these features out…
Perhaps we can help ourselves in the meantime through a fairly simple and accessible yoga practice.
Yoga is many things to many people but just considering the physical practice for a moment, such a practice will provide good strengthening, conditioning and stretching for the key areas, legs, hips, core, shoulders, spine and all the associated connective tissue.
It’s no coincidence that some of the more popular and beneficial yoga postures have animal names, downward dog, cat cow, pigeon, peacock, crow to name just a few.
Certainly, some of these postures will provide a beautiful stretch of our functional body and it is, after all, the most natural thing to do - a good stretch.
We’re not talking about a long session either, a simple set of yoga postures could be sequenced together and completed in the time it takes to brush one’s teeth. It is a great way to start or end the day and will produce some surprising results if the practice develops.
The physical benefits of yoga allow us to re acquaint with the movement and flexibility we once had but maybe let go.
If you want help in trying some yoga out, drop me a line.