3 Great Movement Tools to Complement your Yoga Practice
YOGA is an ANCIENT PHYSICAL RITUAL. In TODAY’S MODERN WORLD, are you giving your body a COMPLETE MOVEMENT NUTRITION in your practice?
Here’s 3 great movement tools to make your practice more holistic!
Yoga was created in an ancient world, in a completely different context from what we live today in the modern society. It’s such an ancient practice and our ancestors life was very different to the comforts we are living now. In those times, just building a home, collecting water or providing food where strong and physically demanding tasks… what we would today call a workout!
Yoga was actually more of a complementary practice to an already physically demanding lifestyle, with many different tasks that required all sorts of movement, at the contrary of today.
Yoga’s purpose nowadays is very commonly mistaken just for the achievement and improvement of physical postures, while the opposite is actually more the truth: Yoga in the end aims to get rid of the physical to elevate to a higher consciousness and union with the Divine.
Even if the physical achievements are not the purpose, we are passing through the body before we can tame the mind and only then connect with something bigger than us.
In this process, we are working with the body with asanas and what we do on the mat is part of our movement practice. And for for many people, this might even be their only movement routine.
In today’s comfortable ways of living, it’s important to give the body all kind of movement types so we can avoid injuries and stay healthy. Because we don’t move so much anymore in order to live, we must make sure we still get all of the movement our body is designed to do everyday.
It’s also interesting to see how recently many yoga teachers nowadays are getting into other physical routines besides yoga such as gymnastics, weight lifting, climbing or swimming…
Doing other activities, generally benefits also your yoga practice and some asanas may become more possible.
After practicing (only) yoga consistently for 5 years now, I am personally starting now to feel the need to incorporate different movement routines besides yoga.
I’d like to share here with you some different exercises that I found useful and that you can also start to complement in your practice, to have a more holistic and whole “movement nutrition”.
These physical tasks are important and rarely if not ever included in yoga classes:
- INTERNAL ROTATION
1 – Hang from a bar!
Hanging is almost not existent in the yoga realm! (apart from passive stretches for the hips with cords in some styles.) What we’re talking here is actually an overhead arm reach where the shoulders, elbows and wrists are positively affected by gravity. This is what our arms are actually designed to do! You can try a “dead hang” where you basically let the shoulder cover the ears, and stay for 30 secs. If you have scapular instability you can do a more active hang (bring the shoulders down and protract the shoulder blades, pinching them together). It is also perfectly OK to do a supported hang (feet touching the floor for support) while you get used to the grip and build strength/flexibility.
2 – Pulling for scapula stabilization
Hold an elastic band in both hands, wrapped around your upper back. Open your arms to the sides. From here, take your hands behind your back, as the scapulas will get closer, try to “pinch” them together. Make sure to maintain an externally rotated upper arm position.
Hold the stretched position and then bring your hands forward again, closer together to the the front, while the scapulas will widen out away from each other, rounding your upper back. Repeat for reps!
3 – Internal Rotation for the hips
Start in a squat on the heels. From there internally rotate the hip until the knee touches the ground next to your opposite foot. Pause for a sec and repeat with the other leg.
Proceed with caution here and do it only in a pain free range of motion!
Happy practice, stay safe and enjoy the journey! What is the movements you like to do besides yoga to complement your practice? I’d love to hear from you!
with love and light,