Stretching may not be the best place to start, when you’re looking to become free from muscle stiffness and release excess tension.
To address the problem holistically and long term, you may need to dive a little deeper …
The Link Between Postural Alignment and Joint Mobility
When your body is out of postural alignment, it can cause your muscles and fascia to hold excess tension in areas like your hips, ankles, back and neck. This limits your mobility and stretching isn’t always the best solution.
In fact most of the stretching practices you see in mainstream gyms focus only on the muscles where you feel tight.
This is an over simplistic way to relieve muscle stiffness, and can often do more harm than good, or at the very least waste your valuable time and effort.
I know this because I’ve been there, and seen many become frustrated by trying so hard and having little to show for it.
Or keep reading to learn more …
One Step Back, Three Steps Forward
I’ve found there’s an important step before you begin deeper stretching practices, to become more mobile and relieve your stiffness …
And that step is about your bones, not just your muscles.
You need to learn how to get your whole skeleton in balanced alignment when you’re doing daily actions like standing and walking, to prevent your muscles from building up tension and becoming stiff during your day.
And no you don’t actually require a chiropractor, or osteopath to do this. Most of my students learn how to do this without me even touching them via my online movement coaching.
Once you learn how to align your skeleton better, your muscles have to work less to hold you up and have a greater chance to relax and move freely.
And as a result I’ve found muscle stiffness dramatically reduces.
After this vital step, your body will be ready for a more specifically focused flexibility and mobility training program.
This Principle in Action
To help you get a visual idea of this principle here’s a short clip of me with a student of mine making some small / massive adjustments to the way his skeleton aligns during a Standing Meditation set.
If one practices any form of movement without also developing internal power, in the end one will have achieved nothing. Here’s a quick clip where I’m guiding a student through the beginnings of developing internal power. Notice how even in standing we often need to make MASSIVE adjustments to align the body to allow energy to flow and build. **sorry the sound didn’t work out, but the actions will give you some insights. Develop your internal power with the resources I share on standing meditation over at www.movementmonk.xyz Aloha, Benny Fergusson #movementmonk #zhuan #zhuang #flow #standing #meditation
As this adjustment of the bones is happening, the tight muscles in his abdomen and lower back that were in habitual state of contraction / holding on, are able and begin to learn how to relax while he is upright.
Then all you need to do is keep cultivating this memory of how to stand with better alignment into your body’s cellular memory.
Over time and practice of this principle your body forms a new habit to create more balanced and relaxed postural alignment, that applies to every moment you’re walking, standing and sitting.
So now you have another way to become free of general body stiffness, that doesn’t require painful stretching.
In closing …
I’ve found that a truly free body is built with greater awareness of the way you move in your whole life, not just in the gym.
And a very efficient way to build that awareness is through correct practice of Standing Meditation.
Re-align your skeleton and unglue your muscles + fascia with the Standing Meditation Process taught in the Tension Release Technique.
and / or …