Humans are beings of movement. Unencumbered movement is essential for all activities, even sleeping. If you are unable to move around with complete freedom, how are you going to enjoy good health going into the future? If you are restricted in the most basic of movements or positions, how can you enjoy your life fully? How can you ever reach your ultimate health and performance?
BEING ABLE TO MOVE FREELY AND WITHOUT RESTRICTION IS A FOUNDATION FOR A SUCCESSFUL EXERCISE PROGRAM, AS WELL AS A HAPPY, PAIN-FREE EXISTENCE.
BEING ABLE TO MOVE POWERFULLY WITHOUT FEAR OF INJURY IS THE FOUNDATION FOR BECOMING A SUPERIOR ATHLETE, one WHO CAN TRAIN INTENSELY HIS/HER ENTIRE LIFE.
There is always some way to improve your ability to move as well as your athletic performance. Either your body can be manually repaired and tuned so that you can execute your movement with more authority and range of motion or your training can be enhanced with additional, advanced techniques to bring out the best in your body.
I have taught Martial Arts for over two decades and have practiced for almost four decades myself, and I know firsthand that I could always improve a student's performance with more athletic technology...technology that I sought out from Kung Fu Masters, Yoga Masters, Olympic Wrestlers, Muay Thai Champions, Russian Strength Trainers, National Track Coaches etc. Many pilgrimages were made to Asia to further this pursuit.
As a result, I have taught many women how to throw punches that can knock men down/out...I have taught muscle-bound men who could barely touch their knees in a forward bend to palm the floor. Neither seemed possible to the student, but, as life isn't fair, they had never been taught properly before and were convinced it was a deficiency locked within their own bodies.
Your body fingerprint is entirely unique: that much is true. Throughout the course of your life, no one has fallen down, been in car accidents, ran in PE class, played the same sports, crashed their bike, dove into the swimming pool exactly like you...so no one's body has the same mosaic of injury as you, the same patterning of scar-tissue adhesions as you have accumulated. (If the last sentence doesn't make any sense with respect to scar-tissue, you need to read the PAIN webpage).
Is your right knee as structurally strong as your left? Why isn't it? Did you injure it? Did you engage in an activity in the past that produced an imbalance in knee strength and stability? Is it safe to start a wind-sprint workout or Ashtanga Yoga practice with this knee? Will I have problems walking pain-free as I age because of this program and my desire to be healthy?
Many people begin exercise programs with compromised bodies with the intent of improving health while correcting imbalances. Most times, because of a lack of analysis and specific design for an individual, these exercise programs further reinforce the existing imbalances, ironically resulting in further injury in the future and a diminished ability to engage in an exercise program.
A rational, sequential program in Hatha Yoga can provide the exercise program necessary for this kind of imbalance correction while achieving radiant health...but who is lucky enough to find such a program where their own individual weaknesses are dealt with rationally? I have treated many clients who ironically injured themselves in Hatha Yoga programs that were started with the express intent of making them healthy and flexible.
Once in the Yoga class, the students would find that they were selectively flexible and capable of doing some of the asanas/poses well, but other asanas that challenged problematic areas of their bodies left them feeling "genetically inflexible". The irrational answer was to strain dramatically to keep up with the rest of the "flexible people" in class and then injure themselves in the process.
The good news here is that flexibility is more a question of technology and specific use than genetics. This may seem like a bold statement and counter-intuitive, but I have seen it played out as being true everytime it has been tested. With the teaching of proper flexibility enhancing techniques and massage to free up the restricted, the problematic areas of their bodies, students would become dramatically more flexible.
At the Kung Fu school where I taught Shaolin Kung Fu, Yang Tai Chi, Muay Thai and Hatha Yoga for many years, I would repeat this advice ad naseum to both beginning and advanced students:
INCREMENTAL INCREASES OF PHYSICAL STRENGTH LEAD TO POWER;
DRAMATIC INCREASES OF PHYSICAL STRENGTH LEAD TO INJURY.
This is the sanest approach to both "prehab", "rehab", and any kind of athletic training, and, yet, most people cannot discipline themselves to utilize such an approach. At my school, I would constantly have to tell new students to sit down lest they hurt themselves by over-training too early in the exercise cycle.
In a group class environment, I could only make recommendations of how a student overcome body difficulties, but could not stop the class to teach specific, basic exercises that would have addressed that specific student's issues.
It is now possible to have this kind of program designed specifically for you...one that will make you stronger, more flexible, and improve your performance in a rational, sequential fashion