How often do you encounter a patient with ‘tightness’ in parts of their musculoskeletal system and encourage stretching to ‘loosen’ it and improve flexibility and range of motion? How often do we ourselves practise yoga to stretch and improve our own flexibility? We use these terms glibly, because, well, everyone knows what ‘stretching’ means, right? And the answer to that question, is actually, probably not! This article is Part 1 of two, which will really get you thinking about what exactly you mean when you use the word ‘stretch’ and will allow you to do the right kind of stretches for the best result depending on the desired outcome. This article has been extracted from chapter 2 of the author’s book Yoga and Biomechanics: Stretching Redefined. Register free below (or log in if you already have an account) and you can access the article key points and other related resources.
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Jules Mitchell MS, CMT, ERYT500 is a Las Vegas based yoga educator, yoga teacher, and massage therapist. Her unique approach blends the tradition of yoga with her extensive study of biomechanics to help yoga teachers develop their craft, and empower them through education. It is her passion to share the most useful and applicable findings from exercise science with the yoga community, and to build confidence in students and teachers by giving them a well-grounded understanding of related research.
She leads her own advanced teacher training, teaches workshops and immersion courses worldwide, and offers an ongoing selection of online education and mentoring programmes. As an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University, she serves as a yoga consultant on various research studies measuring the effects of yoga therapy on special populations including pregnant women, women with depressive symptoms associated with perinatal loss, and patients with cancer. Her future research goals include studying the effects of asana on tissue adaptation, and bridging the gap between research in exercise science and the practice of yoga.
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