The Health <==> Fitness Spectrum in Yoga & Exercise
The DSL Method of Yoga & Bodywork has a strong focus on reducing or eliminating yoga, stretching or exercise injury. This is done in part by putting a strong focus on the HEALTH end of the Health <==> Fitness Spectrum.
Here is the Simple Version of the Spectrum:
FITNESS = SECC: Strength, Endurance, Cardiovascular & (gross motor) Coordination
HEALTH = TSRS: Tension & Stress Reduction Strategies
HEALTH in General: Activation of Physiological Processes (Parasympathetic & Polyvagal nerve system) supporting Relaxation, Rest, Regeneration, Repair
The DSL Method of Let-Go Yoga focuses primarily on the Health side of the Spectrum. Yet doing so builds and supports a strong, solid and … HEALTHY foundation for the Fitness side of the Spectrum. For one thing, it heals reduce exercise injury and other similar events.
This is not to say Fitness — SECC — is a bad thing. Yet fitness exercise — even aggressive forms of yoga such as Power, Ashtanga, Iyengar, etc. — tend to increase tension in the muscles, even if one is becoming more flexible. Yes, that’s paradoxical, but very common.
Therefore, if there is not a strong focus on relaxing the accumulated tensions in muscles, the muscle eventually becomes somewhat or fully dysfunctional. Much exercise injury is only because the muscle has contracted and tightened up too much.
And no, your muscles do NOT have to be “tight” and “hard” to be healthy and strong. That false idea is part of the Hard Body Mythology so prevalent in society today.
Here’s more DETAIL on the Spectrum:
It is ironic that much of the exercise injury I’ve encountered in my 35 years in therapeutic practice (since 1981) has been people who were VERY focused on Fitness (as I’m defining it here), and much less on HEALTH.
An older version of my Health <==> Fitness Spectrum: