Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Often, when we feel fragile, are dealing with pain, and out of touch with previous and more comfortable ranges of motion and flexibility we stop moving in the ways we truly wish we still could. After a while, our nervous system adapts and helps us to easily avoid moving in ways that bring us into our zone of discomfort. Our minds are programmed to avoid discomfort but if we do this - cope by avoiding - we will never get in front of our discomfort and pain and things will only worsen. One of the major causes for ongoing and worsening pain and discomfort in the body is MOVEMENT AVOIDANCE.
MOVEMENT AVOIDANCE means we stop challenging our body in those ranges of motion that are most talkative to us. By avoiding movement there we consequently, over time, lose range and grow stiffer and weaker as our end ranges close in on us.
When we attempt to do work there, our nervous system amplifies discomfort and pain because it has lost confidence moving in those particular ranges. If we do nothing - or avoid - challenging those weaker, stiffer tissues, our situation only worsens over time. Rather than cope with the discomfort, by avoiding movement there, we need to practice a more useful approach!
We DO have the capacity to retrain in those weaker ranges in order to increase our capacity to tolerate and enjoy and feel good/confident about moving again into those ranges. We can then dampen our nervous systems response as we gain strength in those newly acquired ranges little by little. Those louder areas then feel more ease and become a little more quiet.
The key is learning to connect to those areas more mindfully, and practice patience. Slow progress over time is the work that will yield the greatest benefit and actually help decrease those alert signals from the nervous system when we then begin to explore with more frequency moving into that acquired range that before we lost access to.
With practice, and a new perspective on our pain and discomfort we change the narrative in how we can own our ranges of motion and even discover ways to make them more resilient to deficits as we age. Especially since our end ranges of motion are where we are most prone to injury! You can learn more about how to create a deeper connection to your body using body awareness technique through any of my yoga series classes. My passion for anatomy and its application to a therapeutic yoga practice can give you truly useful tools for increasing your ability to be mindful and in creating optimal internal conditions for living more confidently and pain free.