“Muscles hold bones in place” is a common mantra I find myself sharing with my Yoga students. When there is misalignment of bones, there are usually tight, contracted (locked short) muscles winning the battle over over-stretched (locked long) muscles. When contracted muscles win, they pull bones along with them. It’s Physics!
Visually, you can see this concept most commonly in the shoulder hunch posture. Notice the chest and front shoulder muscles are locked short and pull the body forward and out of vertical alignment. The upper back muscles are locked long and are too weak to counteract that gravitational pull. Thus, the bones of the shoulder joint and upper spine get out of alignment. Misalignment reduces function and often creates pain. (Think rotator cuff injuries!)
Take this concept into the spine and you can see how scoliosis (a misalignment of the spine) has this same dueling battle. Both sides need to be addressed and that’s what Yoga does. Yoga is about balancing the imbalances in the body. There are poses that help release tight contracted muscles and poses that strengthen weak ones. Both are equally important.
Take some time today to scan your inner body and notice if you are holding tension or tightness in your neck, shoulders (Do I hear heavy purse?), back or hips. These places are where your muscles often contract and bind you, restricting movement and function. Focus on letting those muscles soften, lengthen and release.
Yes, it takes time, patience and inner work. But spending time with your body is worth it. Once you unlock the tight areas, you can strengthen the weak areas and bring your muscles and bones into better alignment. And you will feel better. It’s Physics!
Keep at it!