Imagine waking up and feeling like you did 20 years ago. No aches and pains, no stiff joints. Just fluid movement in every part of your body. Well, would you believe me if I told you, that it’s not an impossible dream? And no, it’s not your age that’s standing in your way. In fact that only plays a small part in the process of losing mobility. So what is it then? Why do we grow old inside our bones, joints and muscles?
Largely it has to do with our lifestyle. If you’re spending 8 hours a day in a chair, the body begins to adapt for chair living. Collagen is laid down only where it is needed, but in a chair the body mainly needs collagen in the hip flexors, making the fronts of the hips tight and the butt muscles very weak. This is often the cause of lower back problems and knee issues. When on
digital devices, the head doesn’t stack over the shoulders and the chin protrudes, causing pain in the upper back and neck. And the shoulders roll forward and internally rotate, rarely moving into external rotation, creating imbalances that are incredibly uncomfortable.
As a yoga teacher it’s my job to help people stay mobile and agile and for the above NOT to happen to your body!
Therefore, everything I share I first look for evidence that can back up my claims. So I did my regular geek fest strategy, reading paper upon paper. However, I was shocked into silence (a rare event for me), when I started to understand how passive stretching has no scientific basis, and is entirely ineffective. You can imagine my shock; my livelihood is based on being a
yoga teacher that puts people in poses that are primarily, passive stretches. So what else does the research say about staying mobile and limber into ripe old age? Is there any hope?
The good news is that there is a lot you can do to stay mobile. Here are my favourite tips to make stretching more effective than ever!
Age is NOT the enemy, it’s a lack of movement in a variety of directions. The people who don’t move, age faster! Keep moving in loads of directions and with strength. Take up dynamic yoga, rock climbing, dancing or anything that makes you move out of a chair position and into your fullest potential.