Many of us frequently feel tight & stiff, & believe that it would be nearly impossible for us to be flexible, or achieve good posture. Yet enclosed with our skin, we are mostly composed of water & space. Muscles themselves are estimated to be 65-75% water, while our blood is 95% water. If all of this space could be removed from the cells in our entire body, the average human body would be a three inch ball of matter. Denseness, stiffness & inflexibility are illusions when you realise that there is not much to us!
Flexibility is usually determined by the resting length of a muscle. If a muscle feels tight, that's because the nervous system is keeping it contracted when it does not need to be. A great athlete appears to move without any effort because he has so fine tuned his body that only what is needed is engaged, there's no unnecessary contraction, so his body moves fluidly. Contraction occurs when we have adopted habits or alignments that use muscles in ways in which they were not intended. To eliminate these habits, we must wake up parts of the body that are not doing their jobs & turn off muscles that contribute to poor posture habits. In YogAlign we focus on becoming aligned by teaching our bodies to do "less".
The process of yoga is about removing obstacles like excess muscle tension, or excessive worry. YogAlign is about creating a "sustainable body", the most energy efficient body possible. The same way that we are seeking to live on our planet using efficient, natural sources of energy that don't waste or pollute, we must seek out ways to conserve energy in our bodies. Those who are out of alignment & have chronically bad posture waste the lion's share of their energy because poor posture uses muscles inefficiently. When we are misaligned, we waste our precious energy stores, sap our strength, compress our joints, compromise our organ function, and in the long run, develop a life of chronic aches & pains.
YogAlign focuses on:
1. understanding how the body is supported & controlled, and
2. teaching techniques to eliminate unnecessary tension & recover natural flexibility, tone & ease. Our bodies are permeated by systems of connective tissue that align our body through a balanced, tensile force. By practicing safe & easy breathing exercises & positions, we can learn to work with this connective tissue to regain our fluidity, moving more like the water & space that we truly are.
Michaelle Edwards - Creator of YogAlign