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Muscle Control for Better Flexibility

Deliberately activating a muscle and deliberately relaxing it are both elements of muscle control. And that is the focus of the exercises in this ebook.

The Heart of Flexibility and Strength

Whether you are working to improve strength or working to improve flexibility, muscle control is at the heart of both. 

With better muscle control and better muscle awareness it can be easier to improve both strength and flexibility.

And one way of looking at flexibility is that it is being able to be strong even when you are in a position that is weak or “stretched out”.

With the exercises in this ebook you’ll first learn how to activate and relax muscles. At the same time you’ll be learning to feel when particular muscles are active or relaxed.

Then you’ll practice using that muscle control in the yoga poses that follow.

The poses progress from easy to hard so that you can work at gradually improving your muscle control.

Ebook

You get the ebook in three formats (pdf, epub and mobi). The routine is divided into four parts with each part building on the next.

You can do the four parts in sequence for one routine.

The sequence of exercises is designed to make it easy to learn muscle control, so that you can use it in the poses that follow. 

  • Part 1 covers standing hip extension and flexion (bending hip forwards and backwards
  • Part 2 covers lateral standing poses. 
  • Part 3 covers supine back bending for the spine and hips (including wheel pose). 
  • Part 4 covers seated forward bends and resting. 


Where appropriate, targeted muscles are circled or highlighted so that you can easily understand where to focus your awareness while doing the exercises.

The instructions are designed to be simple and easy to follow so that you can focus on feeling and controlling particular muscles and then on using that control when stretching.

Optional Videos

The optional videos cover the same exercises. 

  • Video 1 covers standing hip extension and flexion (bending hip forwards and backwards. 20min.
  • Video 2 covers lateral standing poses. 25min.
  • Video 3 covers supine back bending for the spine and hips (including wheel pose). 19min.
  • Video 4 covers seated forward bends and resting. 17min.


The videos are designed so that you can watch the instruction then pause the video and do the exercise yourself. Then watch the next section (or replay a section if you need to.)


Effectiveness?

If you've been working on relaxed stretching for awhile and hit a plateau, you may find that the muscle control techniques here help you bust through your plateau. 

If you are just getting into "relaxed" stretching, you may find that the exercises in this book helpful because they help you learn to feel when your muscles are relaxed (as well as when they are active). 

You may also find that if you rhythmically activate and relax the muscles you are stretching you can make your "relaxed" stretching a more comfortable experience.

Even if you aren't too worried about getting more flexible, but do want a deeper experience of your body, muscle control is one way of focusing your mind within your body. 

The sensations created by activating and relaxing particular muscles give you something to focus on feeling and controlling. And if you work at transitioning smoothly between these two extremes you may find that muscle control has a similiar affect to focusing on your breath. 


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05/18

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