I recently took a mobility training and certification called Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®). FRC® utilizes contemporary scientific research, combined with well thought-out training methods to increase ones active, useable ranges of motion by improving joint mobility, tissue resilience and strength, and neurological control.
The training challenged certain ideas I had about the body and movement, while also fully validating the overall path I’m on to expand my teaching toolkit to include, but not be limited to, yoga asana. One of my many takeaways from the training was the idea that passive techniques yield passive results.
The truth is, change is always underway whether we initiate it or not.
Sometimes it drips along, gradual and steady like a leaky faucet. Other times the temperature drops abruptly, and the pipes freeze and burst. Self directed or otherwise though, change can also create an opportunity for growth based on how we participate in it.
Think of it this way:
There’s the shape of the pose, which could be done with low to zero engagement purely by passively resting in the support of your joints and ligaments.
And there is also the activity you engage in while in the shape, by adjusting your position and actively using your muscles to hold you up.
These are two vastly different experiences!
Passively stretching muscles might feel good, and that in itself is totally valid. But it’s not actually effective at increasing your ability to use your body in that new range. It doesn’t make you stronger (and stronger does not mean stiffer – a can of worm to be opened another time). If you want to train to be able to use your flexibility, you need to train that actively.
In yoga, and in life, your growth is contingent on your courage to act. And like everything else under the sun, growth and action are a practice. They are a muscle that you can build and make more resilient. Or you can let it atrophy.
What if as the next wave of change washes over your life, you choose a different narrative, a different story about yourself? One that reflects your hopes, not your fears. One that is bolstered by rational and practical thinking, not limited by it. How do you want to participate?