AntiFragility Yoga – Overview

Humans seem to have an inherent tendency towards fragility. If muscles don’t work, they weaken. If you have a limb in a plaster cast after a break, you commonly get muscle weakening or ‘disuse atrophy’. When the plaster cast comes off you do exercises, and with activity the muscles build up again. The aging process start from around late twenties. Joints start to wear, elasticity starts to lessen. Often movement starts to lessen, and with that blood circulation lessens, range of movement starts to lessen, strength starts to lessen.

The human body is designed and built to move. Normally, health and lots of good movement go together resulting in a body that works well.

Immobility generally leads to stagnation. This is not constructive for health and robustness. Over time this leads towards fragility. This tendency towards fragility is further compounded by a range of factors, typically including:

The human body is an amazing structure with remarkable capabilities to adapt. However, those adaptive capabilities have limits. Today, those limits are being pushed. Health and well-being is more than just minimising disease symptoms – or at least, it should be.

The body will reflect what you do with it. Sit on a couch all day for 40 years drinking 12 beers and eating 12 pounds of potato chips a day – your body will reflect that. Exercise as well as you can, eat as wisely as you can, live as healthily as you can for 40 years – your body will reflect that too. It will also reflect the mental attitudes behind those actions.

If you want health, there are certain things you need to do and things you need not to do. We act – we face the consequences of our actions. Liking it or not liking it will not excuse you those consequences. AntiFragility practices are all about doing something towards addressing those factors that contribute to fragility and actively working towards robustness.

As important as it is, movement is only one component of health. AntiFragility Yoga is not limited to physical practice. Fragility in humans is not restricted to the physical fabric. There are many factors that contribute to fragility beyond the physical fabric, some personal, some societal. Typically, these might include:

With this in mind, there are a number of components to this AntiFragility Program. These included:

There is nothing new in this. Anti-Fragility Yoga is not a new style of yoga. Rather it is a set of practices returning to basics, to common-sense, to personal responsibility. If you put the wrong kind of fuel into your car – it won’t go. Not a difficult concept. Yet we seem to think we are exempt from that level of consequence. We think we can do whatever we like with our body and our thinking – and also that we have an automatic right to good health. Fundamentally, the body will reflect what you do with it (of course, allowing for conditions over which we have no control) The ethos of Anti-Fragility Yoga is built on the principles taught by Krishnamacharya, quoted from Mark Singleton’s book, “Yoga Body – The origins of modern posture practice”, Oxford University Press, 2010, p188

“A yoga practice must be adapted to suit the period, location and specific requirements of the individual. The age and the constitution of the students, their vocation, capability and the path to which they feel drawn all dictate the shape of a yoga practice.”

This is not a magic bullet, it will not heal the un-healable. Rather it will contribute to making the best use of the fabric you have, to enable and empower you to be as well as you can be – and as healthy, content and robust. As everywhere else in life, the results will be in proportion to the effort you put into it.

Achieving robustness, as much as you can do, is not necessarily a quick process – it can take years, it can be the work of a lifetime. Actively working towards it, though, is a constructive thing to do. Whether you are working towards it or not, that time will still pass. It does require an active decision to take that step to change – you can make a deliberate choice yourself, or the advancing years will make it for you as you spiral into frailty. Working towards achieving robustness does take effort, but – speaking personally – I don’t like the alternative. I want to hit old age as fit and robust as I can, and I want to be working towards that end right now.

For further information, please contact me