When working therapeutically with students, the first thing we do is allow for relaxation. Sounds pretty basic BUT this is often the hardest part of the practice for people!!! We are programmed to "Go! Go! Go!" that we can all struggle to see the value in pausing and relaxing. True story:) The reality is however, that a relaxed body moves better and more effectively than a tense, rigid and stressed out one. So first, we RELAX.
Then we start with small movements that are in a PAIN FREE range of motion. This is crucial because pain is the body's way of telling us "Hey, something's not right." So we listen to this message and adjust the movements and poses so we start moving without pain. The VALUE of this approach is THIS is where true progress begins to happen...
When we move pain free, we begin to tap into PURE MOVEMENT and REDUCED COMPENSATION, so that only the muscles and body parts meant to be moving are moving. What is compensation??? When one part of the body is moving with pain or restriction (or injury or illness, or any other type of limitation), other parts of the body will jump in and take over in order to get the job done. For example, when we have limitation or pain in our pelvis but want to go into a standing forward fold in yoga (or pick up something off the floor...), the movement will come from the back muscles and spine instead because the pelvis is not moving as it is built to move. So, the back and spine are now compensating for the lack of movement available in the pelvis to do what it is that our brain wants us to do.
Why does this matter??? If we consistently move with this compensation throughout our yoga practice (or life in general), two things can potentially happen...(1) we do not gain any more mobility in the pelvis or flexibility in the muscles that are meant to be stretched in a forward fold, such as the hamstrings, because the back is now doing all the work, and (2) our back muscles can start to hurt! Bummer. But when we become aware of this type of compensation, we can then address it! Cool. By addressing compensation patterns in our movement, which we ALL have, we then can start to build strength and flexibility on pure movement, which is the stuff of a sustainable yoga practice, and any other activity we love to do such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking, skiing, etc.
- First we RELAX
- Then we gain AWARENESS of how the body is actually moving
- We move in a PAIN FREE range of motion
- PURE MOVEMENT is our focus
- We achieve COMPENSATION reduction
- The philosophy LESS IS MORE applies here...use the above principles to build a solid yoga foundation, allowing us to gain strength and flexibility, then move on to more complex yoga poses
This approach to health and wellness ultimately results in better overall functional movement which enhances day to day living.
Greater awareness of the mind and body connection is also developed in therapeutic yoga sessions to help awaken your own intuitive sense of wellness.
Therapeutic yoga is safe for all ages and levels of mobility.
The intent at HLK Therapeutic Yoga is to help clients progress by meeting each individual exactly where they are at in their lives. You do not have to “be” or “do” or “achieve” anything before starting yoga. Simply start from exactly where you are today.
Meet me on the mat, and see what happens…