The physical positions, pleasurable and firm, are executed in a choreographic way, without repetitions and linked by movements of transition. In the first stage, the physical positions develop body awareness, motor coordination, and the elasticity of the tissues, articular flexibility and muscle tone. With regular practice, in order to progress further, you will learn how to keep the positions stable, comfortable and aesthetic: the breathing must be conscious, deep (abdominal and complete) and rhythmic (regular), while you localise your consciousness, focus on mental images, colours and sounds, and maintain a deep feeling of intention and a strong sense of purpose.
Muscular tension and energy When we practice the physical positions, they unravel the complete picture of our muscle and articular limitations. Many of these limitations are a result of tensions.
The phenomenon of muscular tension The muscles have a great capacity to contract. Each and every stimulus captured by the senses produces a reaction of contraction on our musculature. When we interpret the stimulus as a threat to our integrity, our muscular network contracts, building a protective shield with the aim of reducing the impact of the intimidation on our vital areas.
Partial contraction Once the threat ceases, the muscles return to their point of rest, partial contraction or muscle tone, which is the ideal stage for the muscles to initiate a contraction immediately after receiving a sign from the nervous centres. In complete relaxation, the muscle would take too long to react to the stimulus, placing survival in risk.
Stiffness However, if a threat is present for a long time (months or years), the muscle tone gets deformed, leaving the tissues retracted, stiff and the muscles lose the ability to return to the level of rest or partial contraction.
Tiredness and pain This way, we deteriorate our flexibility, the flow of blood in the muscles, the reflexes, the sensory perception, increasing the accumulation of toxic products on the cells and predisposing the muscle network to tiredness and pain.
The origin of threats
Fear The vast majority of the chronic muscular tensions have their origin in fear, a basic, instinctive emotion, crucial for the evolution of mammals. The function of this feeling is to scan the environment in search of real or imaginary threats.
Education In Man, this emotion is trained through education, and conditioned and improved regarding the norms and rules of collective life. Some people express mostly reserve and opposition, while others express courage and trust. Many factors determine their behaviour: the place and time, family values, ethnic values, genetic aspects, among others.
Training These factors shape the way each of us interprets the flow of life events. If we regard them as threats, we will be stiff. If we regard them as part of our training to continuously improve, we will fell at ease. After all, what really matters is the way we see reality, not reality itself…
The energetic cost of muscular tensions
Stagnant energy Hypertonic muscles, with too much tension, demand a continuous flow of energy to keep their retraction. Energy poorly channeled. which remains stagnant, directed to maintaining the shield of muscle armour, with the purpose of self-defense. The trouble is that 90% of the threats exist only in our imagination. Because our energy is limited, we feel continuously tired and a permanent sensation of physical, emotional and mental impotence.
Western model We spend years focusing exclusively on work, the need of acknowledgement, security and comfort, decades of a life-style that tends to anxiety, dispersion, and lack of inner bodily communication. The consequence of this model is that our intercostal muscles, the extensors of the spine, the anterior and posterior muscles of the thighs, nape, back, face, arms, and other, fell a chronic lack of rest, of a healthy tone, relaxed and comfortable. This condition affects the breathing, flexibility, concentration, sleep, humour, leading us to a low quality life, without the perception of value and priority.
adapted text from Joris Marengo’s blog: http://blogdojojo.com