3 Reasons I Learned Why I Should Stretch My Yogic Body

Stretching is one of the key factors that can MAKE or BREAK your body's ability to perform any fitness task or do a day-to-day activity as simple as getting out of bed without struggling or in pain.

I do Yoga because I love how my body feels after practice.

Since I started doing yoga there are a lot of things I discovered about myself. I begin to understand my own body and listen to it. I was able to know my inner power and what it can do. And I am always amazed at what it does now and how it does certain things that it wasn't capable of doing when I was in my 20s.


As a Yoga Practitioner, I realized that yoga is not ALL about the pose. It is about doing the RIGHT pose. I also realized that EGO is not my best friend but rather my biggest enemy. Doing what it takes to do a certain pose regardless of the method I used to achieve it could yield a negative impact on my body. Hence, it hinders my body's ability to do what I want it to do when I choose to take a shortcut. Thus, injury is not just a consequence but may cause permanent damage to my physical body.

As a current YTT Trainee at the Yoga Goddess Academy, we study about the asanas and the Sanskrit terms that go with them. But it's NOT all about it either. We also need to know the science behind it to be able to accurately and knowledgeably teach our students correctly and safely. It is our clear intention to be mindful and to use accurate, precise and clear words or terminology when cueing the poses we want our student to do to avoid confusion that may lead to injuries.

Knowing the science behind the practice of yoga is an essential part of learning the principle of yoga.  It is important for the yoga teacher to have the technical know-how to competently and genuinely teach yoga to warrant positive and specific results to their students.

The Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga is an essential part of the YTT curriculum for a reason. YTT at YGA provides comprehensive learning and application to Yoga Teacher Trainees to be able to attain a certain level of proficiency in the practice and teaching of yoga. We don't only focus on yoga poses and how to teach them but to back them up with science-based philosophies that can help us become competent, effective and confident Yoga teachers.



One of the things I learned about Anatomy and Physiology in YTT is that... whether you are a seasoned yogi or a new yoga practitioner, your body knows and feels the benefits of stretching. This particular element of the practice is not just part and parcel of yoga but an essential element of the practice that helps yoga students and teachers carry out an attainable, safe and effective practice. Without stretching, the body's ability to perform to its full potential can be jeopardized and recovery from injuries can be long and hard.

3 Key Important Benefits of Stretching to the Yogic Body

FLEXIBLE BODY

Our body is not just a framework made of bones, skin, and muscles. Its different parts are made to perform different functions and tasks to accomplish specific actions. And yes, it can do incredible things that can surprise any human being given the proper discipline. Amazingly, it is meant to do what the mind and soul want it to do to achieve its highest being.

Knowing the complexity and basic structure of the body's organs and internal systems are fundamental in the practice of yoga. And for yoga practitioners and teachers alike, this is a very important consideration to enhance their practice. The ability to know the different types of joints and range of motions can help students avoid injuries to keep them safe.

Stretching as part of the Yoga practice enhances the practice itself and helps increase flexibility.

Knowing the body's Anatomy and Physiology, therefore, gives the yoga teachers the right judgment to design sequence and flow that can help their students become flexible in a safe and cautious manner.  It can also help them gain the optimum result that they need or looking for from the practice.


STRONG BODY

Your body is amazing and it can do a lot of things that you can't imagine. You can push it to its limit but you have to build on it. Imagine those people doing the American Ninja Challenge. Are you not impressed at how these people can do such incredible and death-defying stunts like they are some kind of superheroes? The thing is, they are just as normal as we ordinary people are. The only thing special about them is their ability and will power to train their brain and body to build on the strength they need to get where they want to be. The rigid and long hours of training they put in to build a strong body is what set us apart.

The study of Anatomy and Physiology in YTT exposes us to the internal working of the body such as - the bones, and the internal and respiratory systems. These organs and systems that are affected by the asanas and the flow are important pieces to consider in teaching yoga so that we can teach competently, effectively and safely.

Building a strong body is the foundation of safe and well-balanced yoga practice which can be achieved through stretching.

The body's ability to do simple to complex asanas is achievable with proper stretching exercises.  Since stretching lengthens muscle tissues and increases flexibility, it allows the body to perform asanas that build strength. Stretching also provides the body with a greater range of movements making the practice more effective. It helps lessen the chance of having injuries.


HEALTHY BODY

Learning the Anatomy and Physiology in relation to yoga practices is as important as understanding yoga as the union of mind, body, and spirit. You cannot take one or the other. You cannot separate them from one another. And You cannot choose which one you want to focus on or take seriously.

Anatomy and Physiology taken together will give you a clear perspective for the body's function as a whole. Without knowing one from the other, it is impossible to understand how to deal with issues like pain, functionality and a bunch of things related to the body's ability to perform effectively and efficiently.

Stretching keeps the flexibility of the muscles making it healthy and strong.

A strong body with strong muscles can tackle the simplest or the hardest asanas safely and effectively. When you call on the muscles to perform a certain activity and they are weak and unable to extend all the way, injury is inevitable. Without prior stretching, we are putting our own body at risk for joint pains, strains and muscle damage.

Stretching helps warm the body up before any physical activity. This decreases the risk of injury and muscle soreness. It deliberately lengthens the muscle in order to increase its flexibility and joint range motion which is an important part of any form of exercise or rehabilitation program.



My yoga journey started over 5 years ago. It was the best decision I made for myself. It made a great impact on my life not only in the physical aspect of it but in my holistic view of my fitness journey as a whole. At 54, I feel more in tune with my body than when I was younger and I feel stronger than ever.

When I started with yoga, I can barely touch my toes. But with regular and consistent practice, my body got stronger and became acclimated to difficult poses. My body became flexible and so now I cannot just touch my toes but I can do inversion as well.

Yoga for me is now a way of life. I breathe yoga. I live yoga. And I will continue to practice yoga because I just love what it does to my body, my mind, and my spirit.


----------------------------
Author's Note:

This blog post is part of the homework for my 200HR Online Yoga Teacher Training Course at the Yoga Goddess Academy.


0 Comments