I’m too stiff for Yoga!

If I have a £1 for every time I have heard this said to me I would be rich!
Isn’t that the point, if your too stiff to do yoga you must be to stiff to enjoy life itself. Yoga is all about moving well and improving your health and wellbeing so if you are stiff there’s so many reasons why you should start doing it not moving away from it. I guess like me most people think of Yoga as a hippy, way out wacky thing with incense sticks, chanting, and eating lentils. Yes there are some styles of yoga that are very much like this however with so many styles to choose from it’s finding out thats suits you.

Iyengar yoga is more about gaining flexible strength & stability for your body. My back ground is in anatomy and physical training as well as being a dancer so the Iyengar system I found really interesting as it teaches you about how your body functions. It looks as the movement patterns your body is made to do from birth, such as forward extension, rotation, backward extension lateral movements all movements as a baby you trained to do. Just watch how a baby moves, lying on its back kicking its legs is the first stage to strengthening its tummy muscles, being able to lift up the arms and legs is no easy task but as a baby you did it so easily. Go ahead  lie down on your back and give it a try see how hard you have made it become through nurturing bad postural habits.

Then theres the rolling over and tummy time a baby does instinctively as it develops, this is to strengthen the spine. Learning to lift your head and neck up to stop you hitting your face  on the floor requires a lot of muscle activity in your posterior chain of the body( back of your body). Again give it ago now see how hard it feels.  We have become used to sitting or lounging in comfortable chairs, driving, sitting at a desk for your job. Being in a forward plain weakens the backs of your body.  As you stoop forward the spine muscles, butt muscles, hamstring which run down the back of your legs switch off more. You also loose the ability to move your pelvis, so no more dancing like Elvis without putting your back out!  Sitting compresses the spin if done regularly and poorly.  Many people I know tell me of back pain and as I chat to them it becomes apparent it’s from their job or chosen activity coupled with the poor posture that has now become a habit.

Then a baby does rocking on all fours to learn how to take body weight in the joints and strengthen the bones and muscles in the arms, shoulders, thighs, abs & back. It also is weight baring for the wrists, shoulders, knees something we should be doing regularly. I don’t mean off to the gym to lift weights I mean baring your own body weight. How many of you can no longer bare your own weight on you hands and knee or get up and down off the floor easily. When is the last time you tried? Go ahead get on the floor move around crawl them get up off the floor without using a chair or holding the wall…. can you do it?

Now,  here’s the mind blowing one. I give to you squatting. How many times a day do you squat? Think about it, how many times do you go to the toilet a day? Get in and out your car? Sit down and get up. All that is squatting however uncontrolled squatting as you will and hoist yourself up using some kind of help  and probably drop in your chair without thinking about it. Now stand with your feel apart and slightly turned out imagine theres a stool behind you and go to sit down all the way as far as you can keeping your heals downed and a lovely long spine, allow the movement to be natural. How far did you get keeping your heals down and not dropping your chest? When you come up make sure your knees are opening over your little toes and push into your heels, your buttock should be switched on! You should feel you’re hamstringing buttock doing the work, not your thighs! Now do 10 in a row, how did it feel, where did you feel it and did you keep good form? Knowing how to squat well will increase your hip, knee and ankle mobility and flexibility. It strengthens the muscles supporting your spine and your abs should switch on automatically.

Getting to know how you move brings awareness and with awareness comes mindfulness if you’re being mindful of how you stand, sit, run, move daily your will increase your health as it has a huge impact on the internal system to.

So here we go if you have poor posture  which isn’t aligned well and strengthened your insides are put under a lot of stress. Your heart can’t function correctly due yo your rounded shoulders which drops the ribcage compressing your heart and lungs, They then cannot function how they should  so your under stress. Then as your ribcage is dropping down it pushed on your diaphragm and also the intestines so your digestive system is now compromised, food cannot flow through easily as you are narrowing the passageway.  Do you get pins and needles in your arms, legs, fingers? Again poor alignment and posture is having an impact on your nervous system and even causing a trapped nerve.  Does your head sit onto of your shoulders? No really is it in line with the spine? Chances are probably not if you spend lots of time infirm of a computer or texting all this had a huge effect on your mental health to.

As we get older we look for easier ways to do things largely due to the fact we can no longer do the original activity we were born to do. Sad isn’t it. But mentally we accept it is ok to be this way. It really isn’t …. You can start working to improve the bad habits at any age, age is not a factor. Your posture will gain years on you making your birth age and you bodies are years apart. So If you want to reverse the effects act now. Heres a few questions to help you.

Do you feel tired and lethargic and have energy slumps?
Are you a little short of breath or have asthma?
Do you suffer form neck or shoulder pain?
Is back pain stopping you from doing your daily things?
How often do you notice you are in some kind of pain?
How long have you let yourself suffer?
Are you ready to change it all?

We can do a 1-1 assessment with you to get you going on your way to change, the only thing that is going to stop you is you! Let us help you start you journey to freeing yourself of pain, discomfort and being tired. In the meantime be mindful of your habits of moving or mindful of how much you are not moving.