Classes are loosely based on Hatha yoga as taught by long-time Vancouver Yoga master Halina Stepkowski. However, we go way beyond simple poses by using advanced techniques such as PNF and Active Isolated Stretching techniques in order to substantially a rapidly increase range of motion.
The first and best secret of stretching is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF). This method of stretching involves “tricking” the muscles in order to allow a joint to extend beyond the range it is used to.
Another highly effective stretching method is using the Active Isolated Stretching modality (AIS) The key to AIS stretching is repeatedly stretching a muscle very slightly beyond comfort and holding the stretch for a very short period of time
As much as it may seem intuitive to relax, it is not. Many people who try to stretch using static, passive stretch positions do not recognize the importance of relaxation. The body has a natural protective response to stretching called the Myotatic Stretch Reflex. This natural response of the body to stretching is meant to protect our joints from damage caused by moving beyond a safe range. The problem is that the less we move our joints in their full range of motion, the sooner the body triggers the myotatic reflex so that the muscle contracts to stop the motion. We need to re-train the body to delay the triggering of this reflex. The way to do this is by using the two methods of stretching described above TOGETHER with deliberate focused relaxation. By concisely focusing on relaxing while stretching, our brain will understand that we are not in danger of injury and allow us to move our body in ever greater ranges of motion.