Move in different ways
If we repeat one and the same way of doing something over and over again, we eventually become very good at it. Does it make our practice sustainable though? In sport science the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) addresses exactly that: our bodies adapt to the types of demands (stressors) imposed on it. Hence, by doing a lot of planks for instance, the body becomes adapted to this specific physical demand, but not necessarily to other movement patterns or contexts. There are simple things or variations that we can add to change the demands, like changing the width of our arms and hands or tapping our shoulders to distribute our weight in different ways, for instance.
Nevertheless, an over-emphasis on certain sequences, postures and alignment cues is quite common in the modern postural yoga world. Sun Salutations are just one example of a sequence of postures commonly practiced that takes place on one plane of movement only, in this case the saggital plane. Thinking about sustainability in this context could mean to think about postures and sequences that move our bodies through all three planes of movement. And more than that, sequences that involve multiplanar movement. After all we are meant to move in many different ways. Yoga as a more sustainable movement practice relates to movements that we all do in real life - rotate, bend, extend, squat, curl, reach, pull, spiral, push, walk, sit, lie, jump and crawl. That is why in our classes you will find movements and movement patterns that don’t always look like yoga #yoganotyoga. Exposing our bodies to different stressors and different ways of moving makes them more resilient. And in the end we want to preserve this wonderful resource that our body is to still be able to practice yoga and move well into old age.