Science of Stretching! HOW...WHY???

Updated: Jan 27

Gravity Yoga® or Targeted Mobility Training is a mat-based, targeted mobility training method that assists students with tight hips, locked up backs, and screaming hamstrings. (so that is everyone - LOL) Targeted Mobility Training assists movers to radically change their flexibility, range of motion, and mobility. Who doesn't need that. This practice uses gravity and time against passive tension to melt into various poses. It is not about the pose - it is about each persons individual practice. I will look different then you and that is perfect. Each person can personalise their practice for themselves. The position is held for 2-5 minutes. Trust me - this is a mind game right here. SO WHY? We hold for longer times in the poses to truly change the length of muscles and fascia. (I will get into more detail about this right away- science- so cool)


Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege and challenge of learning and understanding the science behind this practice. This was my first yoga training and I have always been passionate about movement - balance in the body and mind, Yang and Yin, stability complementing mobility, flexibility flirting with strength, core working with peripheral. LOVE IT. This program, designed by Lucas Rockwood, took me towards that next level of balance. Truly teaching me how to find more flexibility safely and strategically in my body. Opening my hips, hamstrings, shoulders, back, and even more. WHY - freedom of movement.


The practice has 3 main principles to follow:

1) Wet Noodle - love it - simple and to the point. Letting gravity and passive tension to pull you deeper into your pose.

2) 4:8 Breathing - 4 counts inhale through the nose - 8 counts exhale through the mouth. WHY? To stimulate a strong Parasympathetic Nervous System response. (rest and digest) This reduces the heart rate, reduces activity in the skeletal muscles, and improves digestion. This in turn relaxes the stretch reflex. FABULOUS. The natural need for the body to fight stretch turns off and the muscles, and fascia can truly be changed in length and shape - BRILLIANT.

3) Meet or Beat - here is the real catch and the mental struggle of this practice. These poses are held for a full 2 - 5 minutes depending on the pose and your focus. Yes - your focus. It is not a small task to hold a deep stretch for an extended amount of time. The stretch must be PASSIVE and the use of gravity will gently sink the body deeper and deeper in passive tension. This still takes a gentle energy and can cause a tremble or shake in the muscles as you deepen into the poses.


FACTS


1) You CAN increase your flexibility at any age

2) Flexibility gains do not happen without targeted training

3) Current sports, life routines, exercise routines, and habits are probably making you tighter

4) Stretching reduces adhesion's - stretching greases the body

5) Passive tension over time lengthens fascia and muscles, increasing range of motion

6) Longevity


In general, our lifestyles make us stiff. Desk jobs, computers, phones, time in cars, many of our sports; all lead us into overly tight bodies. Many forms of fitness training - while fabulous, fun, and necessary; still make us more stiff.


SO LETS CREATE MORE SPACE IN THE BODY WE LIVE IN


Fascia is SMART! It heals well, it is highly visceral with a high blood flow and nutrient supply. Muscle and fascia can change shape and length. So lets capitalise on this and start to open our bodies!


HOW OFTEN?


Targeted Mobility Training is a supplementary exercise. It is designed to complement your other activities. What does that look like? 75% is the sport your train, 25% is targeted mobility training. Once a week - a one hour practice. Then - 15 minutes of key targeted muscles you KNOW are an issue or are overly tight from our sport. This is not a practice to do early morning, or before your specific training. It is to be done after your specific sport training or late evening. It causes you to relax, to be tired, to be open. To practice this before your sport will hinder your performance. WHO SHOULD PRACTICE GRAVITY YOGA®? Anyone wanting to perform better in their sport OR individuals wanting to move freely in their bodies! That is ME thus why I started this journey for myself to compliment my PILATES training and just to feel more open.


CLIMBERS - open hips, open hamstrings, open shoulders and back.... you need it all!

DANCERS - well that goes unsaid

CROSSFIT - want that ass to the grass, the ability to get low and press deep into your squat!?!?

GOLFERS - rotation - need to swing - then the mobility in the spine is KEY

RUNNERS/TRIATHLETES - ok - you know your hips and hamstrings are screaming tight


WHAT DO WE OFFER AT MOBILE FITNESS AND PILATES?


1) WORKSHOPS: Online ZOOM or in person at the location of your choice. We can come to you or you can come to us. 2 hour workshops to learn the basics of key poses to include into your own 25% practice

2) WEEKLY PRACTICE: Join us online in ZOOM on a SUNDAY at 7:30 pm for your one hour practice. Can't attend - request the recording to practice on your own time. Join our MF Membership Program. We will send you 2 - 4 recordings a month depending on the package you purchase.

3) PRIVATES: Online ZOOM or in person at the location of your choice or in-studio here at Mobile Fitness and Pilates. We will design a program that includes learning the practice, and then a mini program with the specific poses to benefit you directly.


CONNECT with us directly at mobilefitnessandpilates@gmail.com for more specific information or to set up a meet and move.










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