Understanding Yoga and Pilates
What is yoga?
The word ‘yoga’ means union or more accurately, intimacy. As we lean into our breath we notice how the inhale and exhale are part of a whole, not two disparate events.
We move through the physical shapes of yoga postures, informed by the breath, and even notice how the quality of our breath makes us feel. Anchoring attention intimately to breath leads us out of the thinking mind for a spell and into sensory perception in the body. If you do this consistently for sustained periods of time, you feel happier, less burdened psychologically, more relaxed and aware in mind and body, and up your chances of better all around health.
It is common knowledge that a mindfulness practice is effective therapy for stress related conditions including tension headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and so on. The practice of yoga poses is mindfulness in motion, intimacy with your authentic self.
Here’s a flow sequence I made for you, intended to support your sporty endeavours.
Scroll down for more yoga videos to practice with!
What is pilates?
Developed by founder, Joseph Pilates, Pilates teaches you to move more efficiently, and thereby improving strength and reducing the likelihood of injury through very specific postural alignment. This is done by first, differentiating neuro-muscular facilitation to re-teach the body what muscles need to engage to initiate movement, then integrating these improved movement patterns into more complex exercises.
Studies show that those who experience back pain most often do not engage their deep postural muscles first when initiating movement. This is critical in maintaining joint integrity, particularly for heavy lifting or repetitive tasks. Pilates helps to train your body to move effectively and efficiently, making it a fantastic means for rehabilitation, injury prevention, as well as an intelligent exercise regime to support your active lifestyle.
How does it work?
A sound yoga/pilates movement retraining program reteaches ideal joint alignment while engaging the whole body.
In your one on one session, movement patterns that are causing injury, pain or discomfort are retrained while incorporating breath and whole body awareness.
Why Yoga, Pilates and RMT?
The melding of massage therapy, yoga and pilates creates an ideal balance of a medical model of healing with remembrance of our wholeness. Attitude brightens and sense of wellbeing improves, which creates a foundation for a healthy body. When the patient actively participates in the healing process, body awareness, postural awareness, physical strength and tissue responsiveness improves. Subsequent massage treatments are more effective, likelihood of future injury diminishes, and management of current conditions is expedited.
Yoga is for skinny bendy folk, not me!
I sure would like to say, “No, no! This isn’t true!” But alas, the yoga we see in media is truly for skinny, bendy people, absolutely elitist and inaccessible to many.
However the value in a yoga pose is not in achieving the external form. Key actions from deep within the body that may or may not end up looking like a yoga pose are where the benefits lie. If you simply remain anchored to your breath, intention and will, you access greater strength and control in your body. You will be amazed at how accessible yoga actually is. Let me help you navigate your practice.
Massage Related Links
Restriction throughout the muscles of the hip and pelvis can lead to low back pain. Simply put, our muscles are happiest, and work most optimally when the joints they hug are in ideal posture. Ideal posture for the low back is a gentle concave slope. Every time you bend over to pick something off the floor, do a kettle bell swing, lunge forward on a tennis swing, this ideal positioning is compromised when the hip muscles are too short. The back muscles have to work extra hard as they have to contract in a lengthened and compromised position, putting greater strain on the ligaments, muscles and discs.
Here’s a 30 minute practice with the intention to maintain range of motion through the hips. It is not a beginner practice, in that there isn’t a great amount of detail in the cuing. If you are able bodied however, I think you will enjoy and benefit from doing this practice a few times a week.
More yoga videos at Eden Therapy youtube channel
Here’s a good article on why one should receive regular massage when training for an athletic event.
Here is a little video I did for you to help keep your shoulders healthy. It is just one piece of the puzzle. More to come. Please let me know how it goes!