How does your bad habits get in the way of your workout?
Does tensing your shoulders or your back take away from working the correct muscles needed for the particular actions?
Making changes in your nervous system
can make a great difference in your practice.
Amy Matthews in her BodyMind Centering Yoga class at Movements Afoot led us through an awareness of how our nervous system affects our movement. We started a simple roll down observing our nerves, trying to release them and roll down with less tension. How many of us with tight backs try to push from our shoulders or neck when the back is stiff? I obtained a new flexibility and felt so warmed up.
I have been taking this to my own practice and in my teaching. As I become conscious of excess tension and release it such as shoulder tension in downward dog, the workload goes into my arms. Last week in my own practice and then teaching an advanced reformer class, I only allowed myself to move with feeling the release of my bad habits. Anytime I felt bad tension creep in, I would stop in the middle of the movement. I use breath and/or visual cues to release the tension.
I was doing footwork on only 2 red springs with myself and my advanced students. With the consciousness of staying released in unnecessary tension, it was amazing how 2 springs felt like 4. By undoing poor patterns, the workload went all in my legs.
This advanced reformer class is for dancers. It was remarkable how everyone’s posture changed. Everyone was amazed how hard a workout this was even though spent a lot of time releasing of poor tension.