6 degrees of freedom, is the foundational groundwork that embodies the ideology behind Prasara Yoga, Intu Flow and Free to Move styles of movement culture, founded by Scott Sonnon. An ancient health discipline forged in an era of need for a modern longevity discipline.
Intu Flow (Free to Move) and Prasara Yoga were designed around the “health first and forever” philosophy through an innovative approach called Circular Strength Training (CST). A model that focuses on “prehab and post-rehab,” which consists of movement patterns that promote pain free mobility, dynamic flow yoga and natural athleticism, based on the three Rings of the CST System. In this article I present to you 2 of those rings and next week we will discuss the entire CST systems with all 3 rings.
RING 1: INTU FLOW
This flowing, intuitive harmony of simple movement, structural body alignment, and simple breathing, assesses and addresses areas of weakness. Intu-Flow brings needed nutrition to connective tissue to “oil the joints”, and revive natural abilities and movement. Intu-Flow provides.
- Deep relaxation and tension release
- Increased focus and concentration
- Enhanced joint mobility and sensory awareness
- Superior athletic performance
RING 2: PRASARA YOGA (6 DEGREES OF FREEDOM)
Prasara Yoga is a form of movement which incorporates yoga poses, connected with simple breathing techniques. It is the union of body and mind through structure, breathing and movement to release one’s fears of the self in order to get out of the way of body and mind, in order to release one’s true natural flow. Prasara provides counterbalance to the body through dynamic flow, thus compensating for positions adopted during daily routines or prior activities. Prasara represents the 3rd mode of Hatha yoga, incorporating both Asana, or postures, and Vinyasa, or breath linkage. Prasara’s “flow” moves the body through all “Six Degrees of Freedom” – its full potential grace as a three-dimensionally energetic being:
- Heaving: Moving up and down
- Swaying: Moving left and right
- Surging: Moving forward and back
- Pitching: Tilting up and down
- Yawing: Turning left and right
- Rolling: Tilting side to side
The Myths of Yoga
One of the main questions I am when I present people to YogaFORM is the same question I an asked when I explain Scott Sonnon’s approach, experience and background is ;“How is Prasara different than traditional yoga?” . My answer is always the same… ” let me ask you this first; what does the word or meaning of “Yoga” mean to you?
Yoga isn’t a “thing,” it isn’t a form of “exercise” (at least it didn’t start out that way over 5,000 years ago). Yoga is a way of life and the translation of the word, means to “unite.” I know this is big statement to make, but if we are to make “healthy living” a lifestyle we must continue to look at the whole picture, not as isolated events. Yoga, meditation, movement – are ways of life – not just things to get fit or keep fit. Another misconception about Yoga is that it’s about flexibility or “stretching.” Yoga isn’t about flexibility. It’s not even about stretching. It’s about removing the restrictions to your natural mobility, strength, power, stamina, and energy. Scott calls this our 6 degrees of freedom. Yoga is about all of these things, and so much more. It’s a way of life.
To bring about equilibrium to the mind, body and spirit; Yoga looks to both internally and externally create unity with your environment; therefore; Prasara, Intu Flow and Free to Move theories refers specifically to the integration of movement, with breath, with structural integrity in movement. In essence; it is not different, it is merely an approach that has evolved to address the needs of our community. It is a joint by joint approach to exploring range of motion, restoring function and stabilization to a body through time.
How can 6 Degrees of Freedom & The Free to Move Methodology Benefit You?
‘Yoga” is a vehicle from which you experience flow of movement and breath, an unbinding of biomechanical and emotionally charged restrictions to work towards your unlimited potential.
In corrective movement we place a high emphasis on identifying and addressing dysfunction and compensation in the body that arises from altered movement causing de stabilization, reduced mobility and tension in tissue health. Most often, I find myself re educating my clients on the neuromuscular adaptation of the integrated systems and one large factor – motor control. Because yoga is tool to be used to explore your interal and external environment it can play higher emphasis on the brain to body connection and the time required to process and adapt to better movement mechanics.
One of the largest benefits of Prasara Yoga, Intu Flow and Free to Move methodologies is the high emphasis on joint by joint movement, and the foundation of restoring movement, and reducing compensation through compensatory sequences in a class or client hour. In a client hour you have a 10min window for warm-up, therefore, ensuring that your movement drills are targeted and specific is the key to this style of movement culture. There is also a high degree of technical linguistic representation used in the course/class format, so that you can connect with your audience.
FREE TO MOVE
“The journey is what brings us happinessnot the destination”- Dan Millman
Leading the classes was “Movement Guru,” as I call him is none other than Aaron Cruz, a leader in movement culture. His awareness, passion for his community and technical representation is by far, what makes him a success and a favorite amongst his clients. His energy is fluid, consistent and embodies a flow that can be felt when he walks into the room.
I attended several classes at Wolf Fitness Systems in Salinas California in February and ALL of their classes (Free to Move, Bootcamp, TacFit, Workshops) all incorporated a high degree of movement mechanics by focusing on the Big Three – Structure, Breathing and Movement – not only is emphasis placed on control of joint mobility, but integrity of how each joint connects to the other. Understanding this is the first step to breaking down compensated patterns, and uploading patterns of motor control for improved tissue health, muscle function and reflex stabilization.
“Impacted: I’ve learned to heal my past injuries (spinal pinched nerves, torn muscles) get in the best shape and health of my life, through mobility, yoga, clubbells and kettlebells. Wolf Fitness Systems blessed me with the opportunity to share this wonderful gift with the willing and determined. The clients I have trained inspire me and continue to. This is why I love what I do and everyone I can help live happier and healthier….even if its just a lil help “ – Aaron Cruz
Yoga Flow Video here: http://youtu.be/T2czPxABKc8
The Science Behind RNT (Reactive Neuromuscular Training) – Motor Control
Motor control is an area of natural science exploring how the nervous system interacts with other body parts and the environment to produce purposeful, coordinated actions, but it is rarely used outside of human kinetics classes, athletics or the clinical practice because it can be very overwhelming to teach to the average person. The way I like to introduce this into a YogaFORM class or corrective hour is by addressing the body as the hardware, and the brain or “motor control” is the software. We need to de-install the software that is causing you to perform slowly, and reduce system health and upload new software that can promote your hardware to work more efficiently.
In a study done by the NCBI, titled Motor Control Theories and Their Applications focused on a study on the stages in motor learning in a yoga setting based on recent developments of the notion of synergies and the equilibrium-point hypothesis (referent configuration). The principle of abundance and the principle of minimal final action form the foundation for analyses of natural motor actions performed by redundant sets of elements. Two main stages of motor learning are introduced corresponding to (1) discovery and strengthening of motor synergies stabilizing salient performance variable(s) and (2) their weakening when other aspects of motor performance are optimized.
In another study titled; The Plasticity of motor control systems demonstrated by yoga training, the static motor performance was tested in two groups with 20 subjects in each (age range 17 to 22 years, and 5 females in each group). Tests were carried out at the beginning and end of a 10 day period.
The test required being able to insert and hold a metal stylus within holes of varying sizes for 15 sec. Accidental contacts between the stylus and the sides of the holes, were registered on a counter as errors. During the 10 days one group (the yoga group) practised asanas (physical postures), pranayama (voluntary regulation of breathing), meditation, devotional sessions, and tratakas (visual focusing exercises). The control group followed their usual routine. At the end of 10 days the yoga group showed a significant reduction in number of errors (Wilcoxon paired signed ranks test), while the control group did not change.
Our earlier study showed a similar improvement in children (9-13 years). It was interesting to note the same degree of plasticity in motor control systems in young adults. The implications for rehabilitation programmes have been discussed.”
In short, those who practice and lead a way of life that promotes the 6 degrees of freedom, mental fortitude and movements that help to restore function and improve tissue health, will lead a healthier and balanced life. The joint by joint approach places high emphasis on myo fascial lines and then understanding that “our bones should float;” or as Scott mentions in his indepth CST course that our connective tissue is the key towards unlocking the potential within our movements.
This style of movement and yoga in general can also be most beneficial for those who suffer from movement disorders, as it allows the space to explore function and control through a therapeutic approach that encourages nurturing, discipline and self healing. This data shows the benefits seen in populations with Parkinson’s, MS, turrets, and epilepsy show significant improvement to stability and mobility in the ankles and hips, as well as spinal orientation, tissue health and qualitative improvements in posture and control of breath in movement.
- Intu Flow & Prasara Yoga – http://www.intu-flow.com/
- Wolf Fitness Systems: http://lead-the-pack-fitness.com/
- Plasticity of motor control systems demonstrated by yoga training. : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8063362
- Yoga & Physical Therapy: http://www.omicsonline.org/2157-7595/2157-7595-2-112.pdf