Yoga For Beginners: Learning Muscle Control and Body Awareness
Yoga For Beginners: Learning Muscle Control and Body Awareness
About the Bundle
The Muscle Control for Better Flexibility Video Set and ebook provides a simple introduction to muscle control exercises and how to use that muscle control to make stretching more effective. The goal isn't just learning to control muscles, but to feel them activating and also to feel the results of their activation, for example learning how to use the hip flexors to tilt the pelvis forwards or how to use the buttocks to open the front of the hip joint.
The Active Stretching Ebook builds on the exercises taught in Muscle Control and also includes a secondary routine with different actions. This routine can be used in off days when taking a rest from the main routine. It also offers an opportunity to develop further awareness and control of the parts of the body.In both cases, the routines and exercises are used to help you better learn to feel your body and understand it so that you can use the same techniques even in poses and exercises not included in the program.
Note that Active Stretching is an ebook only. However, if you've watched the videos from Muscle Control, you should have enough of an understanding to easily do the extra exercises in Active Stretching even without the videos.
Both ebooks come with plenty of pictures that illustrate the main steps of each exercise. (With a few exceptions.)
Muscle Control for Better Flexibility
My first introduction to effective stretching was via meridian yoga. The simple idea was to relax the muscle being stretched. This isn't always as easy as it sounds. But luckily I'd worked with Andrey Lappa and so had a fairly good idea of how to use gravity assisted positions to make relaxed stretching easier.
One of the things I learned to do with relaxed stretching was to create a stable foundation. That meant stabilizing some part of the body, e.g. if stretching the hips I'd stabilize the leg and move the torso relative to the leg to create a stretch or vice versa (move the leg relative to the torso.)
Later on I played with resisting a stretch and then relaxing. Part of the reason for this was that it helped me to recognize when a muscle was active and when it was relaxed. And I learned how to keep a muscle relaxed even while stretching.
Later on I played with active stretching, using opposing muscles to stretch the target muscle. And another type of active stetching where the muscle being stretched is active, but gradually lengthens while staying active.
Whether relaxing a muscle, or whether activating and shortening or activating and lengthening a muscle, all of these are elements of muscle control. And that is the focus on this book. The goal of the muscle control exercises in this ebook and optional videos is to improve flexiblity, but the side benefit is that you improve body awareness at the same time.
This program includes both a book (pdf, mobi and epub formats) and videos (mp4 files)
The book is dowloadable in PDF, Epub and Mobi format (all for one price.) The book is laid out with a description of each exercise and photographs clearly showing the different steps of each exercise. Where appropriate, targeted muscles are circled or highlighted so that you can easily understand where to focus your awareness while doing the exercises.
The instructions are designed to be simple and easy to follow so that you can focus on feeling and controlling particular muscles and then on using that control when stretching.
The main focus is on forward bending and back bending muscle control and flexibility.
The program includes 4 videos.
Video 1 covers standing hip extension and flexion (bending hip forwards and backwards.20min.
Video 2 covers lateral standing poses.25min.
Video 3 covers supine back bending for the spine and hips (including wheel pose).19min.
Video 4 covers seated forward bends and resting.17min.
Videos follow the same order as poses in the book. The explanation in the videos is slightly different than from the book. Ideally using both will give you a better understanding of muscle control and how to use it to get better flexibility.
The videos are designed so that you can watch the instruction then pause the video and do the exercise yourself. Then watch the next section (or replay a section if you need to.)
A slightly different edit of video 3 is on youtube.
Improving Muscle Control for Better Proprioception, Strength and Flexibility
I've played with active stretching in the past. It felt like it gave my stretching a little extra boost to help me break past my usual sticking points. As a result I didn't feel like I had to use this technique all the time. And so I played with other stretching and body awareness techniques.
I came back to active stretching because I lead most of my classes by example and when I injured my knee I had to figure out some way of continuing to teach while leading from the front. (I could have just talked my students through the poses but since we speak different languages, doing the class with them seems to be the more effective option.)
In many of the standing poses that I teach I found that active stretching made it possible to do most things without hurting my knee. If anything the actions actually helped it.
(That's no promise that the same will happen for you. I also went to the Chinese Equivalent of a chiropractor who "shook" my knee back into place. Plus I spent a lot of time playing with different muscle activations to help keep my knee joint in place.)
And so I went back to exploring active stretching with my students, finding different ways to effectively teach the active stretching actions. I found that the same instructions don't work with all groups and I also found out where some instructions were superfluous. I was able to make my teaching more effective which also gave me more time to include extra poses which gave a break from active stretching.
The active stretching exercises in this course focus on a few simple actions that are repeated in a number of different positions so that you have the greatest chance of understanding and experiencing them for yourself.
In all of the exercises the focus includes moving slowly and smoothly so that you have the chance to feel your body operating. This makes it easier to recognize and recreate the sensations that you need for active stretching. And it also means that you can learn to use your body with minimal effort.
The ebook includes lots of photos so that it is easy to see what you are trying to do and I've broken down instructions into parts and steps so that it is easy to work on each exercise well within your limits of understanding and ability.
The goal isn't to get straight to the position as I show you, but to be able to control your body within your current limitations so that you can then work at expanding beyond those limits.
This ebook is covered by the Leanpub Guarantee (if you buy it from Leanpub).If you aren't satisfied you have 45 days to ask for your money back. Refunds are handled manually but all it takes from you is a couple of mouse clicks and you are there.
Personally I think you won't be dissapointed. In my classes I work at making the concepts I teach easy to learn and easy to understand and you'll get the benefits of that experience in this book. And if you haven't experienced any of my work before then I invite you to check out my website, sensational-yoga-poses.com.
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