Fitness vs. Health
Tone vs. Tonus
Why Focus on Injury Prevention
with Let-Go Yoga?
Let-Go Yoga is David Scott Lynn’s system of low-intensity, Therapeutic Yoga.
Here is the Core Reason for what we’re doing with DSL Let-Go Yoga.
It is a well-established fact that a large number of Americans are in a state of excess sympathetic overload in their nervous system. This is an over-activity of the Sympathetic Nervous System, responsible for the Fright, Freeze, Fight or Flight, activities. It’s the Emergency Management System of your human bodymind.
When activated, the sympathetic system moves the body into a heightened state of readiness. In doing so, the parasympathetic system is turned DOWN.
Yet the parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulating the self-healing processes of the body.
So if they are doing yoga for FITNESS, it is probably WAY too aggressive if they want to stay healthy. They are in probably great need of yoga injury prevention.
To be clear, yoga CAN be practiced with FITNESS in mind. In that case, proceeding with higher levels of intensity is appropriate. However, like ANY form of exercise, the more aggressively we use our body, the more likely we are to sustain some sort of injury.
Ironically, in my forty years in Private Practice of bodywork & yoga therapy, it is my Most FIT Clients who have the most aches & pains, and dysfunction.
On the other hand, yoga can be utilized as a tool or process for enhancing physical and mental health. In such cases, the objective is more toward deep relaxation and increased internal self-awareness. Turning OFF the sympathetic system is far more beneficial than doing things that turn it ON.
In such cases, a much lower intensity of yoga is more than warranted. And lower intensity yoga is far more helpful in building the health of the body than is high-intensity yoga.
Sabre-Tooth Tigers Replaced
By Cyber-Tooth Tigers
Your system works fine if you get plenty of rest and regeneration in between emergency events. In earlier times, people probably had a lot more time in between the Sabre-Tooth Tiger Attacks or whatever the danger of the day or week was. Sabre-tooth tigers died out about 10,000 years ago. But today, many of us are more subject to CYBER-Tooth Tiger Attacks, instead.
According to scientific medical research, the constant, low-grade stressors & strains of daily life on the bodymind never really let up, not even when we are asleep. The over-activity of this nerve system leads to slow, incremental breakdown of the various systems: muscles, glands, organs, vessels, connective tissue, and so on.
The nerves themselves, of course, with constant stimulation, suffer in the long run, too.
Getting TONED Up?
Or TONUSED Up?
It is also known that most people, if they “work out” at all, spend most, if not all, of their time, focusing on strength, endurance & cardiovascular building types of activities. They go to the gym to get “toned up.” Even in the recent, modern trend of far more people stretching or practicing yoga, the systems more often preferred by the New Majority of Fitness Buffs, including many yoga practitioners, are those that focus on “strengthening muscles” and “building endurance” and cardiovascular fitness.
We know this because many of the yoga studios who DO focus on the less aggressive forms have lost a lot of business to the newer, more “workout” or “fitness” oriented systems.
I have, of course, nothing against getting stronger and more durable. And I believe that yoga IS, or at least can be, a great way to achieve this. (I recommend Matt Furey’s Hindu Fitness, bodyweight exercises, similar yoga, though more aggressive.)
(Matt Furey is called “The Zen-Master of the Internet.”)
HOWEVER … There are many ways to get fit and strong. Yet there are fewer commonly known ways people can actually reduce the stress & tensions accumulating in their bodymind. Those who feel they can get rid of stress via intense exercise are correct only up to a point. Yet this is somewhat of an illusion.
Chronic, Excess Muscle &
Nerve Tension & Stress
When working with some of these Most Fit People, and you feel how tight and hard their muscles are, you realize that some of that stress might be thrown off by exercise. But much of that stress remains, stored in the form of Chronic, Excess Muscle & Nerve Tension & Stress (C.E.M.&.N.T.).
People THINK they are getting TONED up. But in reality, this is at least somewhat superficial. They are in actuality getting TONUSED up.
TONE: A healthy state of the muscle.
TONUS: Nerve charge to the muscle, creating muscle tension.
These two phenomena, Tone and Tonus, are very related but significantly different things. TONE is great, but Too Much Tonus is a disaster waiting to happen.
And Too Much Tonus is what you get by most of the activities and exercises, even many yoga forms, available and performed today. It could even be argued that the more tonus (tension) you get, the less tone (healthy state) you have.
Too oversimplify, TONUS is increased by any repetitive action of any neuro-musculo-fascial unit. That tonus is increased if the repetitive action is of higher intensity, of higher frequency, and if other background stresses are involved at the time.
And it is far more likely that if, and/or when, a person suffers long term chronic breakdown of one or more of their various bodymind systems, it will be from excess stress & tension, i.e., tonus, and not from too little muscle tonus. Many people who are very fit, with lots of muscle tonus (tight muscles), are no where near as “healthy” as they think.
That very tension, what they think is “tone” in their muscles is what is going to “get” many of them in the long run.
While I do, again, think it is important to focus some attention on tonusing of muscles, I believe MOST people should be more focused on tension reduction and de-stressing of the body.
The little-known Secret is to increase Tone while decreasing Tonus.
This is a Primary Focus of Let-Go Yoga.
I am going to go into far more depth on this issue in future blog-posts, and in my various articles, reports, e-books, and such on this website.
For now, though, I want to point out that there is an ironic development here. …
That is that many of those people who are doing yoga are doing it so aggressively — going too deep, too fast, too intensely, or with certain specific movements, and with not enough internal awareness — that many of them are literally suffering from the way they do yoga.
I have a growing list of Clients from L.A. to London who have been doing or teaching yoga for years and are (or were till they met me) developing tension (tonus) patterns leading to, or already accomplishing, breakdown of various systems of their body. They are developing aches & pains, restrictions of movement, loss of coordination, and so on.
They are stunned to discover it is the way they’ve been doing yoga that is the source of their challenges, of their aches & pains, of their dysfunctions.
To solve this problem, I have, over the years, developed 12 Simple Steps and 12 Basic Principles for practicing physical / mental yoga helping people maximize the results they get, while minimizing, if not eliminating, the potential injuries occurring all too frequently in the practice of yoga.
The overall system is called Let-Go Yoga.
It is focused on Reducing Tonus while Increasing Tone. And rather than further activating the sympathetic (fight or flight) nerve system, it focuses on activating the PARA-sympathetic nerve system. That system controls rest, regeneration, self-healing, and your immune functions.
THAT is what you want to focus on IF your health & well-being are your top priority. For some people, that is far more important than “getting fit.”
And the same principles will help with Yoga Injury Prevention.
The Let-Go Yoga method helps build internal sensitivity and produces deeper relaxation than more aggressive yoga, and more effectively activates the self-healing processes of the parasympathetic nerve system.
Thank You for Reading!
David Scott Lynn (DSL*)
* DSL: Your Hi-Touch Up-Link to the Inner-Net*
* Inner-Net: Your Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial Network