DSL’s 10 Common MYTH-Conceptions
of How the Body Works
— or Doesn’t Work —
in Yoga, Health &
Here is a List of my most recent concerns with much of what is being taught in the realms of stretching, fitness, health, yoga and bodywork, and various therapeutic modalities:
1. Restoring “Lost Elasticity” in MyoFascia
Muscles, Tendons & Most Ligaments Are NOT Rubber Bands. … If they were, they’d be, for the most part, useless. What we feel/think of as being “elasticity” is an illusion. Awareness of this Reality and how muscles & fascia actually work is a NEXUS of our Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial connections. This Nexus can, literally, become a focal point of our Meditative Awareness while doing yoga of all kinds.
2. Yoga Compresses the Joints…???
Ida Rolf, founder of Rolfing®, was much inspired by yoga. Yet later in life, she claimed yoga compresses joints, then stopped recommending it. (!!!) And for many people, Ida was exactly right. Yoga certainly DOES compress the jiont so MANY people practicing many systems of yoga. So What’s The Reality? What can you do about it? The Answer becomes a Major Key to integrating body & mind.
3. “Tight Fascia” Causes Postural Distortion
Fascia is a VERY important organ, as are all the others. Yet various attempts to assign it characteristics it does not have are everywhere in yoga, bodywork and other therapies. For Example, fascia is not a significantly contractile tissue and therefore can NOT cause significant, direct changes in posture or structure. In and of itself, it does NOT significantly interfere with movement, either. Such misunderstandings can and very often DO lead to significant errors of diagnosis when doing postural & structural evaluations. How do you figure out what’s true about (or not), and what to do with, fascia?
4. “Strong Muscles” Are Necessary for Great Posture
If true, why do little children sit and stand so straight without ever having gone to a Yoga, Posture or Pilates class? Effortless Great Posture is primarily from Releasing & Coordinating the Natural Forces already built into your human body by Nature, before birth. Learn what these forces are and how to work with them.
5. Pelvic Tucks “Protect & Strengthen” the CORE
Tucking the Pelvis, Scooping the Sacrum, Dropping the Sit Bones, Flattening the Lumbar Curve, or similar instructions, are among the Health Care Tragedies of the 20th Century. This action, in whatever its variations, creates many neuromuscular pressures & compressions on spinal discs, hip & knee joints, and other problems. It can cause sciatica pain and many other problems. You’ll quickly see how dangerous tucks are and why.
6. Many People Have “Too Much Lordosis”
Many people have a deep curve in their lower back, assessed as “excess lordosis” in the lumbar spine, or “swayback.” Yet very often, this is an ILLUSION, in fact, in many people, it is the exact opposite. Flattening this “curve” can become a Big Problem for muscles, nerves, fascia, vertebrae, discs & your well-being. For those relatively few who DO have a true case of too much lordosis, the way to solve that problem is NOT what we’ve been taught.
7. Muscles Are Yang, Fascia is Yin (as in Yin Yoga)
Fascia might well be relatively “Yin” from a certain point of view, and it is, compared to muscle fibers, quite static in its actions. Yet healthy muscle cells can, at will, change from being like a willow tree (yin) to an oak tree (yang) smoothly and instantly, and back again, and throughout the full spectrum in-between and to either extreme. Paradoxically, muscles are VERY sensitive to BOTH yin & yang stimuli. Yet many people with Chronic, Excess Muscle & Nerve Tension (C.E.M.&.N.T.) are stuck in “Oak-Tree-ness,” in need of TRS (Tension Release Strategies) such as Let-Go Yoga and/or Yin-style Tai Chi to restore their range of change in muscles. Treating muscles as if they were only yang, and only responsive to strong stimulus is an important error in physical and mental well-being.
8. “Tight Muscles” Are Healthy Muscles: The Hard Body Mythology
Being “stuck” in Oak-Tree-ness is part of Hard Body Mythology. People do many things to get “toned up” and firm up their muscles. Yet too many are actually “tonusing up” — which is actually the accumulation of Chronic, Excess Muscle & Nerve Tension — and get the opposite of what they intend, resulting in even more C.E.M.&.N.T. than they already have. So what’s the BIG and Important Difference between TONE and TONUS?
9. “Weak Muscles” = Bad Posture, Dysfunction & Pain
Most therapy, and much yoga, Pilates and personal training, tries solving many issues by “toning” or strengthening allegedly “weak” muscles. Yes, it sometimes works, but very often not for reasons people think. And strengthening muscles before they have been Relaxed & Lengthened is often at GREAT long term costs. Yet those long term costs often take YEARS or even DECADES to show up. In reality, and very often, it’s really Pseudo-Weakness: muscles being out of balance (what physical therapist s call Active Insufficiency) and exhausted. Learn how to Think Structurally with BIO-Structural Analysis: It’s about Short & Long Muscles, NOT Weak & Strong!
10. People Need to “Learn How” To Breath Properly
Many people teach or learn techniques to improve and deepen their breathing. Better Breathing is, of course, a great thing to do. Yet very often, without knowing it, people set up a “combat” between different muscle groups, especially their diaphragm and abdominal muscles. Doing so actually increases stress and tension in their bodymind. So something’s missing: FIRST, learn to Release the Natural Forces within the body that automatically produce proper breathing. THEN you can introduce enhanced and/or more aggressive breathing techniques.
Thanks for Reading & Take Care,
David Scott Lynn (DSL*)
*DSL = Your Hi-Touch Up-Link to the Inner-Net
Inner-Net = Your Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal System
Therapeutic Let-Go Yoga and The DSL Method of
Yoga/Bodywork/Whole Health Therapeutics: