In CounterFlow Yoga, we approach movement from the foundations of exercise science and movement pattern research
Integrated Movement Continuum
Part of the CounterFlow Movement System Approach
Movement happens along a continuum of development
We’ve looked at movement patterns, planes of motion, and body positions, now our final major exercise science principle that influences all our decisions within CounterFlow Yoga is what we call the Integrated Movement Continuum (IMC). This concept highlights the idea that all moves are done along a continuum of development. That is, as you get better at a movement, there is always a way to progress and achieve new gains.
The Integrated Movement Continuum is based on the idea that balance sits in the middle as the foundation of good movement principles. To achieve solid dynamic and static balance, you must first achieve a good range of motion within muscles & joints (flexibility & mobility) and have good integrity of the joints (stability). Only once you have the foundations of flexibility, mobility, and balance, then you can start working on solid and powerful versions of the movement.
Using the Integrated Movement Continuum is one way to reframe the idea of regressions and progressions of an exercise. Instead of thinking of how to make something ‘easier or harder’ you can consider how to manipulate the movement to change where it lives on the IMC. Sometimes this is a simple change in a performance variable and in some cases it will change the movement, however, when you think about changing things up in this way then your movement vocabulary will greatly increase.
A Simple Look at the Concepts
While the CounterFlow Movement System may look at these terms along a continuum, the concepts are all very basic exercise science concepts and terms. Understanding how to manipulate movement patterns and call upon each of the different concepts is the ultimate understanding of functional training and movement pattern research. (If taking that super deep div into understanding makes your heart happy, then stand by for our soon-to-launch Learning Academy because we’ll dive super deep into this concept).
- Flexibility: active and passive range of motion in muscles.
- Mobility: active range of motion of joints.
- Stability: the integrity of the joints with control of movement/position through the entire range of motion.
- Balance: the ability to stay upright or in control of body movement (includes both static and dynamic balance).
- Strength: the ability of muscles to exert a force against load.
- Power: the amount of work done in a specific amount of time (in most basics terms – resistance x speed).
Putting the system into action within CounterFlow Yoga
The Integrated Movement Continuum is part of the CounterFlow Movement Approach and is fundamental in designing our programs’ flows. In fact, this is why CounterFlow Yoga has three different programs! We realized how important it was to help people work within this continuum at a smart and well-designed pace. The below image show cases how we move along the continuum with the CounterFlow Yoga program. There will be consistent moments through all classes, yet as the program progresses, so will the demands of the movement journey.
CounterFlow Yoga | Stretch: a ground-based class focusing on slow and deliberate flows that improve flexibility and range of motion throughout the body. This is our only class in which we use props’ assistance to enhance our ability to move our bodies with ease. Class is still a flow, but a slower and more focused one. This is great for anyone who is super tight, recovering from an injury, or new to movement training.
CounterFlow Yoga | Balance: focuses on the lower end, with lots of work on standing balance, deep stability and core integration, and loads of dynamic mobility. By taking focus away from deep strength moves on the wrists (such as planks) and focusing on improving the range of motion around joints, participants have said that CoutnerFlow Yoga Balance makes them “feel taller and more capable than they ever knew possible.”
CounterFlow Yoga | Power: turns the attention to utilizing the mobility, stability, and balance developed in the previous classes to include flows that are even more dynamic and strength or power-focused. Classes move with more vigor and speed to enhance power throughout the body.
Dig deeper into exercise science concepts
Add to your library with our curated list of top reads on exercise science and movement training.
If research articles are your thing, then this bibliography style list will make you happy.
The only way to really understand CounterFlow Yoga is to just do it! Enjoy this bundle of all 3 classes.
More than just movement. More modern than traditional yoga asana.
CounterFlow Yoga is the next generation of mindful movement.