I was so fortunate to find Functional Range Conditioning and the FR system. Developed by Dr. Andreo Spina and founded on scientific principles, I have been applying these terms and conditions to my yoga practice and teaching. After over a decade of dedicated athletic, vinyasa practice coupled with infrequent diversity of movement, I began to notice a real imbalance in my body. The irony of course was that I loved, studied, and applied the physical and mental practice of yoga to the best of my ability given the training and resources available to me. The fact remains, yoga alone is not a cure all.
Getting a shot and thinking you are ‘pain free’ is like getting a loan and thinking you have money.
– Dr. Michael Chivers
How could it be that the yoga practice that was sold to me as ‘healthy, healing, and profound’ might not encompass the benefits I was promised?
As Dr. Spina explains “There are no bad movements, just untrained and unprepared tissue”. I realized that my practice was lacking in many ways. As a dancer I had trained in all directions, often circular, fluid and with active control of my movements. As a yogi, I was frequently passively sinking into joints. At times, forced by a teacher’s hand, foot, or body weight into going deeper into a passive twist, fold or bind. Did my joints have the prerequisite ROM, maybe, but often the answer was no. I had a very hard time unpacking this because of the time and dedication I’d given to my asana practice.
Two principles that I apply to yoga now are directly from the FR system.
Incorporating CARs (controlled articular rotations) into my everyday life and prior to the physical practice.
Do I have active control of the ROM I am attempting to access, if so, is it wise to load body weight onto these joints?
The biggest takeaway from my mobility and combined yoga training is that the human body is incredibly adaptable. It needs consistent, purposeful input. I hope to marry the scientific principles of FRS with the yoga shapes we know and love.