To release … such a simple concept yet we have so much trouble doing so. When teaching mobility and self-massage class one evening this week, some things have indeed inspired me to talk about how important the release is.
In horsemanship we have been told many times that “pressure motivates, but the release teaches”… Teaching horses is about applying the right amount of pressure and mostly about the timing of the release to your horse’s thoughts. That is what makes the difference between a good horseman and a great horseman.
Coming back to the world of training, we need to learn how to release our muscles before we want to contract them. We want to mobilize then stabilize. If your muscles remain in constant contraction, it becomes weak and dysfunctional. Your joints also become dysfunctional if you do not move them in their optimal range of motion. Interesting isn’t it?
Mobility, stability, strength, power. That should be our priority when we start training. The fancy stuff always seems to be what we are looking to do… I know I need to remind myself to back off sometimes … but do not let the fancy stuff get in the way of your health. Start working on your weak links first. Build your foundation and the rest will follow. Move well, and then move often. We are not looking for perfection here but we are looking for you to move well enough to stay away from injury before specialization.
Build that foundation, get screened and find out what your weak links are. This will help you reach the end goal in your sporting endeavours, your horsemanship and yes even help you improve your yoga practice and Pilates. Good movement patterns are transferable to whatever you set your mind to do. Just start slow then build on top of it.
Now please take a big breath by contracting your diaphragm and then let the air go out by releasing it 😉