How Kinesiology can improve your practice!

Red Hot Yoga’s Jane Beevers talks stretching ahead of her Kinesiological Stretching Posture Clinic.

There are many different ways we can develop flexibility in soft tissue of muscle: static stretching, ballistic (dynamic) and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation – more commonly known as the “contract and release” or “contract and relax” technique). Other soft tissues, including skin, tendons, connective tissue and fascia, are also more extensible when heated as they are thermo-elastic.  Nerve receptors respond to changes in muscle length and tension, sending messages to the brain.  When we delve into the science behind “stretching” we might find there is actually a wealth of conflicting information regarding whether we are truly increasing muscle length, or whether we are in fact increasing our tolerance to stretching as we increase our range of motion. Our sense perception when we “stretch” tissue has a lot more to do with the brain and nervous system than we might realise, and this is a huge topic.

Kinesiological stretching in it’s simplest description is where we take advantage of the fact that muscles perform more than one action.  Developed by Paul Zaichik, it uses a system that creates “leverage” before going deeper into a stretch, called the “target” (deepening Range of Motion).  These moves are actioned in a 1 – 2 second approach, which Paul Zaichik claims avoids the stretch reflex (a muscle contraction’s response to stretching). Simply put, less activation through the nervous system.

As someone who has practised these techniques, I can safely say they do work, and are very effective.  Much like PNF, which stimulates the relaxation response, gains in flexibility are palpable in just one session.  In our Hanuman workshop, we’ll be very specifically working with the hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes and adductors, combining PNF with kinesiological stretching techniques.

Whether you’re interested in working towards your front split, or you’re simply looking for other ways (including passive stretching) to release tension around your hips – maybe you’re a runner, hiker, climber or perform other activities that leave you with tightness around the hip joints and thigh – this workshop is for you.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Jane Beevers teaches Bottle Rocket; Red Hot & Hot Flow classes at Red Hot Yoga – for her teaching schedule this week click here.

Jane is leading a number of exciting workshops this spring – as well as her Kinesiological Stretching Posture Clinic on 9 March, she’s returning with her sell-out Handstands for Beginners workshop on 27 April and, in June, her popular Shoulder and Hip Mechanics workshops.  To find out more or book on to any of these workshops click here.

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