Meet the Bendable Body Team and discover True Flexibility Training in the video above. Scroll down to see a video created for you to self-stretch at home or anywhere.
How bendable is your body? True Flexibility Training magically restores the mind, body and soul
The first time Sita Hagenburg heard about flexibility training was in a seminar at a yoga center in Santa Barbara, Ca. At the time, she was a monastic at the Vedanta Temple and one of the other nuns was suffering debilitating physical problems due to multiple sclerosis.
“Everything that was said about the body, how it worked, and how it could be corrected resonated with me and I knew we could be much more proactive about her treatment,” she recalls at the Bendable Body studio in New York City. After just a few sessions in this revolutionary field and witnessing some major results, Hagenburg left Santa Barbara to pursue flexibility training – founding Bendable Body with her two partners John Kelly and Chris Renfrow.
“True Flexibility Training is unequivocally transformational,” she says. “I see it everyday. After our Flexibility Experts have finished stretching a leg or an arm on a brand new client, they are usually shocked. But the shock quickly dissipates to an unexpected joy at how good their body feels. We hear things like, ‘my shoulders are so relaxed’… ‘I feel like I am floating’… ‘The pain is gone’… “I could go for a run right now”… and for all of the yogis out there, ‘I can get deeper into my pose.’”
She goes on to explain why the body can transform. True Flexibility Training redefines flexibility because it focuses on the fascia rather than just on the muscles and joints. The stretch happens during a movement, rather than in a static pose. It doesn’t feel like any other form of stretching or exercise — it’s a unique experience that targets fascia – a tissue very few people know about or focus on.
“The first time I learned about fascia, I was not only intrigued, but the concept just made sense. Once you get what it is you can see how it is impacting our health on many levels,” recalls Hagenburg. “It was one of those moments where I felt like a missing puzzle piece was filled in.”
Fascia is the web-like tissue that connects all other tissue in the body — the bones, the ligaments, organs, tendons, skin, fat — everything. In its healthiest form we move freely and without pain and sickness. Over time, everyone’s fascia becomes matted and stiff. This often happens as a result of injuries, trauma, or simply because of our modern lifestyle. We sit too long, we don’t use our body’s full range of motion, we make too many repetitive movements, etc. Our fascia responds to this by becoming stiff and unbendable. Since fascia connects all other parts of the body and surrounds the muscles, when it becomes stiff, your muscles become weak and inflexible. It’s like you are wearing a fascia straight jacket!
Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Goddesses Never Age, and Making Life Easy is a devout client with Bendable Body and sees a remarkable change in her own body.
“As a result of removing the dense fascia from my body, my sleep has vastly improved as well as my digestion and general overall comfort with moving my body. In fact, right hip limitation and pain that I’ve had for 30 years is now a thing of the past. I am amazed at how effective and fast this work truly is,” remarks Northrup.
Hagenburg also loves the fact that True Flexibility Training is a total body-mind-energy healing system – something she studied for 14 years as a monastic in Santa Barbara. “In the same way that acupuncture stimulates the flow of Qi through the body and increases your physiological health, so does stretching the fascia along those meridian lines,” she explains. “For example, when you stretch the anterior lateral thigh, generally referred to as the lateral quadriceps (which the stomach meridian traverses), it can improve the health of your stomach functions and also associated ailments like allergies.”
“The change that has happened in my body that I have wanted for so long, has encouraged the concept within me that there is change available in all areas of my life,” says Mary Regency Boies
To learn more about Bendable Body Private Sessions, Workshops, and Classes visit bendablebody.com. Subscribe to their email list and get “Your Weekly Bend” delivered to your inbox every week. These short and simple stretch videos are a free and easy way for you to start experiencing True Flexibility training right now.
True Flexibility Training focuses on the limiting factor — the fascia. We start with a muscle in its shortest position, contract it (or resist) to engage the surrounding fascia, and then lengthen it to get a deep stretch. We also make the opposite movement to immediately access and build new strength in the muscle. As you improve the flexibility of your fascia, you free muscles that were perpetually bound. Your body releases tension and relaxes, you develop new levels of strength, your alignment improves, you move easier, your energy levels soar and your yoga gets better.
Tom Myers, the leading world authority on fascia and author of Anatomy Trains has done the Bendable Body session with a Flexibility Expert and says, “the actively loaded eccentric resistance moves that constitute the majority of their work coordinate nerve, muscle and fascia in a very satisfying way.”
Learn the basic principles of True Flexibility Training and a short stretch routine to increase your metabolism and burn calories while you shred fascia:
[Editor’s note: The Bendable Body team trained under Bob Cooley, who is often credited for bringing forth the resistance flexibility training movement. You can read more about Bob’s work in The Genius of Flexibility.]