We often read that in bodybuilding it is necessary to seek to develop the brain-muscle connection (mind-muscle connection) to really feel each repetition.
If the intention is laudable and very interesting to achieve good sessions, a central question remains: how to go about it?
It is therefore essential to fully understand what it is really about. Here, the muscles are the elements of the body that carry out the movement while the brain analyzes the sensations collected by the nervous system. It is a biological reflex, unconsciously the neuromuscular system works in this way.
On the other hand, the development of the brain-muscle connection is actually based on the analysis and individual perception of each of these sensations.
During my university training, a teacher told us that we must seek to pass from "these" sensations to "his" sensations. In other words, we must appropriate the reflexes of our body to enter into a more personal sports practice, what is called in STAPS a reflective practice.
So how can we concretely access such sensory-motor experiences?
We can turn to so-called self-development practices, like yoga and its derived practices.
Yoga is an activity linking body and mind through the practice of different postures, more or less physical, where breathing plays a fundamental role. Thanks to this, we will be able to channel our energies, concentrate deeply and thus feel our body as it really is. Ancient writings on this age-old practice describe yoga as a way of life that transcends physical activity.
It must also be understood that the body is not just a “machine” developed to carry out daily tasks or to achieve physical performance. It is then necessary to differentiate the utilitarian body and the performing body from the sensitive body. The first two convey a purely biomechanical image of the body, while the last gives the body a
sensitive, expressive, emotional dimension. And it is this that makes us capable of feeling and experiencing emotions, of understanding them and of analyzing our sensations, allowing us, during physical activity, to develop this mind-muscle connection.
There are a plethora of self-focused activities, and interest in bodybuilding has made sense for decades.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Colombu, legendary bodybuilders, practiced meditation daily as well as classical dance in preparation for competitions. This allowed them to focus on themselves and reconnect body and mind. To this end, yoga seems to be turning into a very interesting alternative due to its ease of access for beginners, but also thanks to the content widely distributed on social networks. Everyone can have access to simple and adaptive yoga techniques.
The practice of yoga therefore allows us to channel our energies, while teaching us to listen to our body and to apprehend it differently. The placement of the breath is as essential in yoga as it is in bodybuilding. These practices are therefore much more complementary than it seems.
And you? Ready to try?
*psssssst, our Ardor Progress outfits, combining technique and comfort, will allow you to be perfectly comfortable in your next Yoga postures!