Tuesday, September 1, 2015


The practice of yoga and doing stretches are very effective ways of discovering our imbalances.  People are created with different builds and bone lengths which means joint flexibility will vary greatly between individuals.  However, our personal flexibility can vary greatly between two sides or our top vs. our lower section.  During our daily regimen we may hardly notice the flexibility differences between our dominant side and our non-dominant side, especially if we have been sedentary for a fairly long length of time, hunched over a desk, particularly.  Mother nature didn't design us for computers and desk work!  When I recently went back to college for three years I had tons of homework, so not only was I slumped over a desk during classes, but also slumped in this position at night sometimes until midnight.  There are areas of our body where the pain and problems of a muscle imbalance do not present at the muscles which are too tight and lack good flexibility.  Yes, sometimes the pain is present from this imbalance in a totally different area.  These are hidden trigger points, and they will refer their pain elsewhere.

Practicing yoga and stretching are two things that can help us diagnose our imbalances.  As we stretch out areas that have long been jammed up and inflexible, usually there is a 'domino effect'.  In other words, the stretch may loosen a specific point in a muscle, but not yet loosen the entire 'anatomy train' of muscles that are tight areas that link to other muscles or other fibers of the same muscle.  As we continue stretching in your daily workouts, this 'anatomy train' will eventually release itself totally and we will have restored range-of-motion.

On another topic, I would like to provide a hint for easing the work load of the wrists when holding some of the yoga positions.  Our wrists are not accustomed to dealing with the body's weight bearing down on them in so many of our poses.  Not only should we flex them back and forth after the pose, but it also helps to grab the wrist that had just sustained the load by encircling tightly with the fingers of the other hand and shifting to and fro so that we are stretching the soft tissue (muscle and fascia) back and forth over the hard tissue (bones and ligaments).  This is a little hint I give from thirty years of doing hours and hours of massage on clients.

Happy stretching....

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