17 Sep Aqua Firma and Resistance Bands
This morning, I was experimenting with 31 #ResistanceBand arrangements for my Aqua Firma class! ✨
In yoga, we don’t have many loading options. It is typically our bodyweight or a light prop, such as a yoga block. Moreover, yoga asana has relatively very little pulling actions. A traditional yoga practice does a very good job of strengthening our bodies’ “pushing” muscles, but fails to strengthen the opposing group of “pulling” muscles.
This inherent strength imbalance is not a shortcoming of the discipline but is simply the nature of a mat-based practice that does not utilize objects that are pulled, resulting in a functional strength imbalance in many yogi’s bodies (especially the shoulders) that increases their long-term risk of injury.
I love using resistance bands in my Aqua Firma practice as they provide me positive adaptations to load, which then prepares me for more challenging yoga postures. They also provide more consistent feedback especially during the eccentric phase of movement compared to free weights. This decreases discomfort and mitigates the risk of injury.
As we know, human movement is very complex. Every part of our body is an integrated and functional unit. By applying this line of thinking to my practice, I am able to explore dynamic and variable movements across many planes of motion while using resistance bands on the board. This provides me proprioceptive feedback, develops my strength, motor control, neuroplasticity, biotensegrity among many others.
As a teacher, the instability of the board plus the use of resistance bands are also effective tools for me in working with students who lack body awareness, have a history of pain or injury, are hypermobile or are even stiff or tense. I am able to easily change the loading variables to meet each of my student’s needs and achieve progressive overload and eustress.
Perhaps, my favorite among all is the external feedback that’s provided by the board and resistance bands because it makes me cue less as they immediately tell my students what to do and which muscles to engage or relax before I could even tell them! 🤭😜😁