Now that scientific research has largely dethroned those ingrained notions of what “stretching” means, the language that yoga teachers and the media are using to describe what yoga practice does need to be put into discussion.
In almost all areas of health and specialized blogs has placed the stretching in a place of maximum importance. However, when you ask someone if they know what is taught as stretching that is outside of yoga, they rarely have an idea.
The stretching is the consistent and systematic application of various stretching techniques to have a better mobility, flexibility and body and physiological functions associated with all this. Meanwhile, yoga is a physical and mental discipline.
Every time I meet more people who when they see me stretching I wonder if that is for yoga, and I say yes, but also because I do long training routines and stretching. It is that many people enroll in yoga classes to heal their joints, have more flexibility and improve physiological issues linked in the popular belief to stretching but that do not have as much to do with yoga. These people end up being frustrated because in the absence of any other reference, they came to think of yoga as simply an elegant way of “stretching”.
A June 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Biomechanics found no differences in the muscles of people and tendons after six weeks of going to stretching classes. What we normally consider as “stretching” is not really what the musculature works, but yoga.
When I went to school, in physical education class, we always tried with my companions to touch our toes. Some could do it easily and others did not come close. I remember that the first time I wanted to do it I had the image of two steel cables along the back of my legs.
After finishing school I discovered yoga, and decided to shape my body by practicing this sport that I love and I prepared to endure any pain that came my way.
My range of movement improved, but it was through much effort – and pain, let’s say – practicing yoga on a daily basis and also, doing stretching frequently to stretch my joints and improve my flexibility. Today, in my quest to feel better and better, I began to discover that many of the discomforts in my body were not due to the blockages of energy or toxins that needed to be purified but the natural result of a “search for unlimited flexibility “What did I do doing yoga?
The importance of stretching
Training the capacity of elongation of our bodies also improves our own consciousness about our bodies, which ends up stimulating in a good way the conscience that we have of our health. That which was always very studied returns to the foreground at present, which is the close relationship between body and mind of the human being. For this reason, it is not surprising that in any rehabilitation center offers yoga and stretching to increase psychological well-being through the tension and relaxation offered by both exercises and their subsequent elimination of stress.
Currently, anyone who is engaged in the practice of a sport at a high performance level knows that the correct pressure within a joint favors its feeding and that this pressure is due to the tension of the muscles that move the joint . If the muscles are worked and remain healthy and there is balance between the different muscle groups, the joint can sustain a load of normal weight and tension to move according to each function. Otherwise, the joint will bear unilateral loads and will suffer severely deviated positions. This is why it is important to do yoga to maintain and build a better musculature but at the same time to be able to do stretching to keep those joints healthy and with good stretching rates.