Website EP31

31: Tensegrity: What is it, why does it matter?

Tensegrity. A term that gets tossed around in the yoga and movement worlds, but what does it mean? In this episode, we discuss the origin of this word and how the idea of tensegrity in the body, or biotensegrity, helps us understand the tension system of the body. We talk about the distribution of stress within the tensegrity system and how an imbalance of tension results in potential injury, and how to bring our bodies back into a balanced state. Oftentimes, yoga is interpreted as being a practice of stretching (only). The tensegrity model helps explain why and how strengthening is paramount for balancing our tension system. 

In This Episode

  • What is tensegrity? (4:35)
  • Tensegrity = tension + integrity (7:17)
  • What happens when this floating joint system breaks down? (16:10)
  • “Where will a strained compression structure break? Where the strain is greatest. Where will a tensegrity structure break under strain? At its weakest point” – Tom Myers (19:53)
  • The role of the skin on the tensegrity system (22:28)
  • Correlation between cesarean section and elbow pain (25:00)
  • From Tiffany Cruikshank about tensegrity: “Net of continuous tension that creates stability without direct contact” (30:35)
  • Strengthening all sides of the joint (34:38)
  • Key takeaways: 1) just stretching a tight muscle doesn’t always correct imbalances, 2)balanced yoga practice, 3) scar tissue + tension in the skin can affect down into joint (40:02)

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