Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Book Report: Yogabody

This week’s yoga anatomy book is Yogabody by Judith Hanson Lasater.  It takes a more traditional approach to the anatomy itself, including lots of charts about muscles with origins and insertions.  However, it adds some hands-on explorations both within the text and in sections for the student and for the teacher at the end of each chapter, offering an opportunity to experience, say, how the patella moves, or to observe pelvic alignment.

The prose is clear and the illustrations helpful.  The tone is friendly rather than intimidating, even though there is a ton of information.

I would describe it as a useful reference rather than a page-turner, but it has given me plenty to think about.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Storage Systems

I have never changed a tire.  I could, probably, figure out how and I expect I would muddle through if I had to, but I’ve never actually done it.  I keep that knowledge and experience in someone else’s head.

For some people, trainers are the someone else who keep the knowledge and experience for them.  Clients show up and trainers direct them.  It’s a workable system.

However, it is possible to learn from trainers.  A good trainer should be able to tell clients what a particular exercise is good for, what pitfalls to expect, and how to avoid them.  Sometimes trainers will tell you the muscles working, by name, and may even go into exhaustive detail about insertion points, eccentric contractions, and time-under-tension.  Take what you want, or let the trainer keep it for you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"Too Much of Everything Is Just Enough" or not...

I first encountered the idea of just enough effort in Pilates, but it is a concept that also occurs in yoga and one that deserves wider acceptance.

Some of us try to skate by on no effort at all.  Good luck!  If we’re hanging out on the stationary bike and reading, if we aren’t sweating or breathless, we’re pretty much wasting time.  If we have been lifting the same five-pound dumbbells for the last ten years, ditto:  our bodies figured out how to do that a long time ago.

Then there are those of us who behave as though every workout is a fight to the death.  We must go farther, faster, heavier than ever before at all costs!  And then we wonder why we are always tired, sore, and injured.

We should aim for the sweet spot.  Yes, we want to get our heart rate up.  We want to increase the weight we lift.  We want to get more flexible, more toned, and more balanced.  But we want to use our big brains (an important muscle!) to calibrate our effort for maximum efficiency.  We want to be a little sore, but not impaired.  We want to have a good time, but still struggle just a little to finish.

Enough is the right amount.