Harriet, is a health and fitness fanatic with her own dieting blog, she enjoys yoga, running and mojitos in the sunshine. Every sport demands flexibility; short, taut muscles are more prone to tearing or becoming damaged. Although yoga focuses on achieving muscular strength and power, it’s about achieving it in the right way and getting your body working in harmony. In weight training and many other types of exercise, the muscles are isolated and worked out individually.
With yoga, the muscles are worked in tandem with each other; this not only provides the perfect base for strengthening them, but elongates them at the same type which increases flexibility and suppleness. This improvement in flexibility is highly desirable for sportsmen as it decreases their risk of injury and increases their capacity to train. Perhaps the benefit that yoga is best known for is its innate ability to relieve stress and tension and help with relaxation. Many classes include a specific section at the end for relaxation, following an invigorating workout, thereby allowing the best of both worlds.
Yoga theory dictates that the mind and bond cannot be considered in isolation; one being balanced inevitably helps the other. Yoga has been shown in countless studies to reduce anxiety and stress whilst simultaneously boosting your mood and overall well-being.
Certain types of yoga have more emphasis on the breathing and relaxation element than others.
As an overall mind-body exercise, it’s impossible to extricate the benefits as they are all inexorably linked. Since I have been starting yoga I suffer no more from pains on my back, my shoulders, my neck or my knees.
There are many methods and ways to help you relax that include meditation, yoga, massage, classic music, a bath, etc.
It is very true that the state of stress and tension has lots to do with your mental or psychic state of mind. And the other reason why I am bringing this subject to your attention is certainly not to ridicule or demean the practitioners. Though I will mention about the bones and cover some physiological subjects, I do not intend to provide a medical explanation such as how the muscles are constructed and how they work. To make our body parts move we need the muscles that pull the bones using the joints as the pivotal points. After recognizing these figures, I hope you will have a much bigger appreciation for the complexity of our body construction and respect for what we are.
Unless you already know the mechanism of standing, I suggest that you will read this page and appreciate the delicate and precise body mechanism that is required just to stand. So, you may not notice or be aware but we sway in our quiet standing despite in a small range. This is my theory and I have not contacted any medical staff to support my thinking but I am pretty confident that I am right about this. Let us assume my hypothesis is correct and move on to the subject of how we can improve flexibility.
I am not discussing about his doping problem here but rather about the way he built himself up with his body and the way he ran.
Let me add one interesting point about these athletes as I clearly remember the specific reaction I had to them. Related to this I can also say something similar when I watch, though not too often, the kata competitors. OK let’s go back to the use of the backbone for the speed and creation of the beautiful body motion. Now you will probably say, “OK I understand that it is important that the backbone to be flexible. For the last movement, bending forward and backward, I will not recommend a cheetah or a dolphin. I present that the body- muscles of most of us have been solidified or tightened up to an unnecessary (almost unhealthy) degree. What I am proposing in this article is that we need to train the joints particularly those of the backbone to relax and make them more movable. ASAI on What influence did White Crane kung fu style have on karate?Mark Holland on What influence did White Crane kung fu style have on karate?ASAI on What is Bunbu Ryodo? Achieve calm with a positive mental outlook, do that by consciously not judging people or events; we cannot change the way people think or behave, but we can change the way we respond to them . Reading inspirational books books by Napoleon Hill who wrote about the body-mind connection, 75 years ago. Lie down with your head on your folded arms, as if on a pillow, and concentrate as in Shavasana. This is recommended for use when the student of Yoga experiences fatigue during any of his exercises.
The anterior and posterior stretching offered by the Snake Pose are said to be ideal spinal exercises, preserving or restoring tonicity in the spinal column and nervous channels. When your head and neck are slightly raised, plant your hands on both sides of the abdomen. It is suggested that the Snake Pose be practiced for at least a month, by which time its effects should be felt. Les cookies nous permettent de personnaliser le contenu et les annonces, d'offrir des fonctionnalites relatives aux medias sociaux et d'analyser notre trafic. En validant, je certifie sur l'honneur avoir visite recemment cette adresse et que cet avis reflete ma propre experience et mon opinion authentique.
Dordogne, Charente-Maritime, Gironde… Un petit viron dans le sud ouest avec nos membres Diamants !
She is the director of Satya Live Yoga and specialises in online yoga courses to help people find their own home yoga practice. However, traditional stretching exercises are often tedious and even worse, not usually sufficient to do a really good job. This can indeed build strength but can also lead to overworked, tight and shortened muscles which are more prone to injury.
In one study, after eight weeks of practicing yoga there was a demonstrable increase in flexibility by as much as 35%.
Advocates therefore believe that in order to perform at the very top level physically, it’s necessary to be relaxed, calm and at ease. And by helping to instil a sense of disciple and achieve a quieter mind, it’s also been linked to an improvement in physical conditions such as lowering blood pressure.
This does not mean it is just for those who are less fit; the New Zealand rugby team practice a type of yoga which is renowned for relaxation, helping to improve mental strength and removing stress. But whether you are a top-flight athlete looking to crank up your training even higher, or whether you have a long term chronic disability and want to introduce some physical activity into your life, yoga is suitable for everyone and can deliver a range of benefits. Thus beautiful music, a pleasant scent and a scene such as beautiful beach or mountains will help you relax. I will soon be 67 years old this year and I do not consider myself to be flexible but I am more flexible than most of the students who are much younger than I. Some people tried to compare our body to a complex racing car or even to something more complex, a jet plane.
I believe there is a definite reason that is more than just aging or natural biological cause. When you fall from a horse or a bike you may have a spinal cord injury and some unlucky people may even have suffered paralysis under the neck which will disable you from walking.
Most of us have no recollection of how we tried to stand up and to walk when we were a baby. If any of the readers are into medical field or an expert in kinesiology I wish to hear from them.
Before we jump into the subject you may say, “I do a lot of warm ups and tried even yoga (or whatever) but I am still inflexible. Most of the calisthenics and warm up exercises we do focus on the hip joints and the shoulder joints.
Many of the readers remember them as they competed in the same races and in fact the 100 m final at the 1988 Summer Olympics was one of the most sensational sports stories of the year. You can clearly see that it is contracting and expanding the backbone and using it to accelerate its running. But how do I get my backbone loose?” As I stated earlier teaching the exercise in written words is extremely difficult and could be misunderstood. You know how a snake moves and you need to imitate the moves by bending or curving the backbone. I stated that we had learned this state when we were a toddler as we learned how to stand up and walk. We find a few experts in all fields including the sports, martial arts and other arts such as singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. You may not believe in my method or not even be convinced if it works but isn’t it worth giving it a chance and try once or twice?
One of the foremost ways of achieving calmness and serenity is by sitting quietly and paying attention to ones breathing, the mind cannot hold more than one thought at any one given moment.
Either we can be offended and ruffle the sea of calm we have built around us or we can choose to understand that this is the other person’s way of expressing himself. Avoid jogging as it is harmful for women reproductive health, While walking outdoors, you are surrounded by nature and breathe in fresh air, unlike a walker in a gym who breathes stale, recycle atoms, The more we are amid nature, their healthier we are. Inhale, and gradually raise your thorax and the upper part of your abdomen by increasing the angle between your hands and rising shoulders. I also worry about all the bills every month, then my kids and even about my pets.” It is true that most of us are living in a very stressful society and a world filled with tensions that bring us stresses. I am not bragging about this as I consider the degree of flexibility I have should be one of the requirements for an instructor.
You can google on this subject and go through many pages but I bet you that you cannot find a ready-made answer to this question. I will present a physiological explanation that a non medical person like myself can explain.
It is only one of the abilities that is required in the martial arts and you can improve it if you know how.

However, to our surprise we discover that most of us do not know or have the accurate knowledge of how our body is constructed, unless you happen to be in the medical field or in some science field.
You may think of someone who is flexible but categorically do you not agree that babies are flexible? When I started my sport science and kinesiology study on my own, I came to realize one very unique thing about us, the human beings. As we get better with the controlling of our balance the sway minimizes to a level the people around us including the person standing next to us to notice.
This is the key point and I wish to explain further but I need to ask the readers to be patient. You remember a famous actor Christopher Reeve who suffered quadriplegia in 1995 and died in 2004 at the age of 52. Can your method help?” My quick answer is yes and I will share the basic concept of how to work on your body to make yourself more flexible. You will swing your arms around and rotate your hips or bend forward and backward, for instance.
Yes, each bone should be moved in all directions as we incorrectly believed having the solid (rigid) backbone was good for walking.
I remember that we, as we watched them on TV, were impressed with the strong run by Johnson (left). I must coach you in person to show you the fine details but I will give you a couple of hints as it is not difficult or mysterious.
It is not very easy to do this and it will tell you how flexible or inflexible your backbone is. So, if we are thinking about our breath, going in and out, then other thoughts are absent from our mind. Murder and psychological thrillers may be exciting but the content may be retained in our subconscious, long after we have put the book down, It is scientifically proved that unhealthy and depressing thoughts coming after seeing horror films makes our immune system and our heart cells get depressed.
Then stretch your hands and legs out fully, and permit the power of gravity to take over the weight of your body as you relax every voluntary muscle. By lying passively on the right side, you favor emptying of the stomach and make breathing movements easier. She is a dedicated teacher, authentic and compassionate, who puts her heart and soul into every class. We have so many things we have to worry about and pay attention to just to survive a single day.
In addition, moving your body is good method to relax and I am sure you have found it from your karate workout.
I feel something needs to be done so that more karate practitioners will gain the needed flexibility. In addition, not only I will explain why it is difficult to relax our muscles but I will also share with the readers a simple and easy exercise to increase your flexibility. When you compare this with the number of 37 trillion, a jet plane seems to be only a crude toy.
Even if the injury is not that serious we see many people in a neck brace most of whom suffered from a car accident. From then on you can stand firm and you will be able to not only walk steadily but also to run.
Please note that this article’s object is not to provide a “how to” instruction but rather the concept of this unique approach. Well, once again you may question “What’s wrong with that?” Yes, balancing a baseball bat was easier than stacked wine glasses. He was fast as he had the leg and the upper body muscles to run fast but his running was never beautiful.
He looked like a run-away two ton truck coming down a street and it certainly was not beautiful in the way he ran.
Carl Lewis was smooth and fluid in his running but sorry to say that his running form is no comparison to that of a cheetah. Yes, if you can move your backbone in a similar manner, in other words, in an up and down motion but it must be done slowly. So we over compensated with our body which was flexible then by solidifying the ligaments of the backbone into almost one unmovable unit.
I believe I found a method to make all of us gain the true flexibility that only the experts enjoy. As well as the complete Samui map, in this section you will also find detailed section maps of the busiest areas of Samui, the surrounding islands and a map of the whole Kingdom. In practice, it has been found that sleeping in this manner generally inhibits dreamsand nocturnal emissions and improves digestion. Gradually relax every muscle of the body by concentrating on each individually, from the tip of the toe to the end of the skull. One excellent method is progressive muscle relaxation which is a systematic technique that was developed by Dr. These things are important but today I am going to shed a different light on the subject of relaxing.
I did not learn (or the master was unable to teach me) the technique of a punch using Ki but learned how to relax better. I am very confident that my method will help you not only in your karate training but also in your daily life. If one can do a split he or she can kick high, then that person is considered to be flexible. We cannot see the bones and the internal organs thus they are there but they are not to your conscious mind. In other words we walk with two legs while many of the mammals such as dogs, cats, horses, etc walk on four legs. There are many mechanisms in the body that are required to make adjustments and to maintain that balance. These are not directly connected to the subject I am covering but I just wanted to stress the fact that our head is heavy and that balancing it on top of the spine is not an easy task and in fact it requires a technique like a trick. They may give you a warm up so that they will reduce injuries during your physical exercise like karate.
Three days later, Johnson tested positive for steroids which resulted in his disqualification and Lewis moved up and was awarded gold. We kept this process with the backbone for so many years we forgot how to loosen the vertebrae. When the core is relaxed, the mobility at the shoulders and the hip joints will be bigger which will result in an easier ability to relax those areas. A short period of sleep becomes the equivalent of a longer sleep for recuperative purposes. Exercise absolute resignation of will by trying to forget the existence of your body and detaching yourself from it.
Then I started to practice under Master Asai and learned how to be more relaxed by observing his moves and techniques. At the age of 22 he now complains he is stiff and he cannot touch his feet with his hands with his legs being straight. This is a separate subject but it is healthier and better if we try to “ride” on this swing or sway rather than to stop it. Let me ask you which is easier to balance a bat which is one piece like you see in the photo (above right) or if the wood had, say, 20 pieces that are connected by the joints. It must be firm so that it can support the upper body as well as the heaviest part, the head. You can get personal instruction from me if you participate in one of the seminars I give around the world. Unfortunately, those exercises will not give you the real relaxation of the body that is needed to bring the fluid movements in your techniques. I practice several kobudo weapons and one of them is the 9 chain whip and the backbone reminds me of that weapon (below right). I get very excited and emotional about this subject so I can talk about the importance of the backbone for hours. By having our core, the backbone, so rigid, it affects our entire body, almost all the muscles in our body being tightened up. Once we learn how to relax the body core and the major joints it will be much easier to relax the rest of our body.
Deep breathing, exercise, pranayama, and asanas are excellent for remaining healthy and stress-free. Hold this posture until you feel restored.Medical authorities have confirmed that the Shavasana pose brings about a fall in the blood pressure and pulse rate and establishes an even rate of respiration. He discovered that a muscle could be relaxed by first tensing it for a few seconds and then releasing it afterward. I know we are doing the stretches in our karate training, yet with all those exercises of stretches and loosening up, why did we remain somewhat inflexible? I will ask you to be the judge and evaluate my presentation and see if you agree or disagree.
The following information may not be necessary for the beginners and even intermediate but definitely is for the advanced students and practitioners. As we have been doing this “trick” called walking ever since we were one year old, we do not think this is an amazing or a unique act. What they are missing is more attention to the backbone that is, for most people, more solidified than necessary, meaning the ligaments or the discs between the vertebrae have been deactivated (or prevented) as flexible joints. I am sure most of the readers know that the backbone is curved in a shape looking like an S from the side even though we have an incorrect notion of it being completely straight. It was invented in 1943 and has sold more than 300 million units during the 60 years since its invention. In addition, by relaxing our body core we will be able to manage our muscles and to achieve the fluid movements in our techniques. If this pose is kept for more than ten minutes, the deepened respiration and lowered circulation in the brain will probably bring about a tendency to sleep. As you practice this pose, you will feel the pressure on your spinal column gradually working down the vertebrae until you feel a deep pressure at the coccyx.At first, concentrate on the posture. Dr Jacobson’s technique involves learning to monitor tension in each specific muscle group in the body by deliberately inducing tension in each group.

You may think it Is impossible for us to get this wish, but my answer is “It is possible to be as flexible as Master Asai”.
I jokingly used the word trick but when you think of what we do it is really a difficult technique. I am selective with the students and the tuition is rather high as it will be a one to one personal lesson. I picked this illustration as it is shown with the skull on top showing that the backbone is supporting and balancing the heaviest part of our body which is like balancing a baseball bat or a set of wine glasses on top of your hand. So, when he lost to Johnson in the 1988 Olympics we were “disappointed” as we wanted the “beautiful” runner to win. It is also listed as one of the “Century of Toys” by the US Toy Industry Association.
In other words, we tend to be tightened up almost always because the muscles are always being pulled or affected by the core. This tension is then released, with attention paid to the contrast between tension and relaxation.
Today I am happy to share the concept and the idea of the method which I call body-core relaxation. The degrees of flexibility may vary depending on the individual but, becoming more flexible is not impossible at all, once you find how to truly relax your body. In fact, it takes months before a baby can walk in a steady manner from the time it learns to stand up.
So, imagine if what you are trying to balance was made up of, say, five or six wine glasses. These days because of the convenience of cars and other transportation vehicles we walk much less than say 100 years ago. For instance, we, the Japanese used to sit in seiza all day long in our house as we did not have a chair there. No matter how fast they can move, I do not see the beauty in it even though we must not look for it in kata.
Though we have a stressful society the deep down cause for our inflexibility is not from the outer world but rather inside of our body. The exact number is not important for our discussion as you are not taking a test for your biology class.
So, our knees were accustomed to being fully bent or extended so doing the bunny hops did not cause us any knee injuries. Lewis does not have the huge thighs nor big upper body muscles but he looks like he was swimming or gliding through the air. I concluded that unless we learn or regain the flexibility of the core, the backbone, our body muscles will remain tensed most of the time. In contrast to the pressure which you felt as you entered this posture, you will experience a feeling of relief along your spine as you lower yourself. I am pretty confident my method will help and the result will affect (of course positively) all of your movements in your daily activities. But I knew my teacher, Tetsuhiko Asai who was featured in the prominent Japanese karate magazine, Karate-do for his flexibility. Now it is recommended to take 10,000 steps a day that originated in Japan in the early 1960s. Now the Japanese life style has changed and only a few of them would sit in seiza in their house.
I will not post an illustration of the snake bones but an idea of a snake becomes important when I explain exactly how we need to do the flexibility exercise a little later in this article.
This asana should not be utilized by women during menstruation or advanced pregnancy, or by men suffering from hernia. Japanese researchers led by Dr Yoshiro Hatano determined that if they were to increase their steps to 10,000 steps per day, the result would be healthier, thinner people. I hear that the bunny hop exercise was banned in the Japanese elementary school because so many students complained of the knee problems. By observing the backbone illustration I hope the readers get a better feeling about how this bodily structure is constructed or assembled.
Both of them were tops in the world in sprinting but it makes that much of a difference in the body motion.
Persons with a weak physical structure should approach this asana slowly and drop it if they find it too arduous. What is more important is the bones between your pelvis and the head, the vertebral column or commonly called backbone or spine.
It was a very popular and common exercise to strengthen our legs not only in the sports activities but in the general PE classes in our school days. Let’s review again, there are 7 pieces of vertebrae, your neck, to support the head, 12 pieces for the upper torso and 5 for the lumbar area, totaling 24 pieces of movable bones. You must remember Johnson was good only in the 100 meter sprint and his career was very short.
But did you notice that this baby would be swaying and you were worried it would fall down? When you were a baby you might have walked only a few steps but you must have increased the number of the daily steps into maybe thousands quickly as you grew older. The top seven in the neck area are the easiest ones to move around but require the most care when moving about as you could easily sprain your neck because your head is heavy.
But, why did we feel his running style was beautiful and “right” when we did not with that of Johnson? It usually consists of 33 vertebrae but what is important is the upper 24, articulating vertebrae that are separated by the discs. By moving too quickly or too suddenly it could easily cause this sprain as you might have experienced in the past. Lewis made a big impression on us because (my personal theory) he did not solidify his upper body like Johnson did. Even if the baby could keep standing it does not look steady at all and not like an adult who would be.
This is only my assumption but Johnson wanted to build the big and heavy upper body with two strong legs. For instance the skull is made up of a large number of small bony plates but they are fused together like a single unit so they do not account as the joints we are looking for. There are seven (7) vertebrae in Cervical curve that is supporting your head in your neck area.
You could get a sprained back from bending forward and trying to pick up something very heavy. Instead of focusing on the body muscle coordination, he probably did a lot of weight training to make him “strong”. Just think   we are carrying the heaviest part of our body, our head which is on top in this balancing act. Further down, there are twelve (12) thoracic vertebrae, the upper part of your backbone between the shoulders and the back support of your rib cage. A simple act of just standing is indeed much more difficult than balancing a baseball bat or an umbrella on your finger. Finally in the lower back above pelvis we have five (5) lumbar vertebrae where many karatekas complain about a back pain. For a child to be able to walk fast and run is very exciting and some of you may remember the pleasure of running when you were a toddler. On the other hand, Lewis was also in the long jump (lucky for him) in which he needs to bend his back and use his backbone power to jump, thus he did not think of solidifying his body with a lot of weight training. If you do not remember then you can watch a toddler playing and they are all running around and smiling. It could be done not only because he had the strong legs which I am sure he did, but more importantly he could summon all the muscles of the body in harmony to realize the maximum result.
Instead he probably relied on his natural talent and trained to coordinate all the muscle groups in his body leveraging the strong power generated by his backbone. This can be done only if all the joints are lose and movable and in addition, if they are controllable and manageable. This approach, I believe, kept his motion natural and also beautiful which harmonized with our unconscious mind that resulted in pleasure and big admiration. It is made up of many pieces and they are connected by the discs or more accurately the intervertebral discs.
Each disc forms a joint and it allows a slight movement of the vertebrae, and acts as a ligament to hold the vertebrae together. We stiffen our body especially the backbone as it is much easier to control if it does not bend or sway. So, every time we stood up or even when you are sitting up, we learn to tighten our muscles and the ligaments around the backbone to keep it stiff so that it will remain a solid stick or pole rather than the flexible one. I believe this conscious effort to keep the backbone steady along with the natural process of body formation at the young age results in the inflexible body. If the children either play a lot outside the house or happen to work in the field with their parents they can keep higher degree of flexibility.
I suspect the people in the 19th century were more flexible than the people in the 20th century like us, most of the readers. You can do the similar moves with the lower back, for instance, you can bend your upper body forward and back then to the sides. I believe the tendency is still growing more prominent since the children of the 21st century tend to stay inside the house a lot longer forwatching TV or playing with computer games. Their body stiffens up more as they do not move their body in the dynamic ways as the children of the past centuries did. Try this from a sitting position and you will find how flexible or inflexible your thoracic vertebrae are.

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