When you’re stiff, sometimes stretching is the solution. But it’s not always the solution.
In many cases, stiffness is a case of “muscle’s busy doing one thing, can’t do both at once.” This is very common, especially because a lot of the time we fall into a habit that uses more muscular effort than we really need. We have muscles theoretically “making coffee” that don’t need to be making coffee.
So when you’re turning your neck to make sure traffic’s clear and that annoying space between the shoulder blades isn’t helping, And when your brain turns to That Annoying Space (TAS), and says “hey, cooperate, why are you so STIFF!” all the space can say is “hey, sorry, I can’t loosen up, I’m still making coffee.” But it’s 4pm and you don’t need to make coffee. What you need to do is to make a U-turn without courting fiery vehicular death.
One of the big advantages of the Feldenkrais Method is that by helping you to recognize how you’re organizing your body, we can help the nervous system to talk to the involved muscles and bones so they go “oh… done with making coffee, now we’re on U-turns? Okay, U-turns it is.”
It’s not an instant process. But the end result is that you stay loose without having to go through a daily stretching routine, and as your ability to self-organize improves, the improvements not only become permanent, but become steps to even better organization in the future, while keeping the old patterns “filed away” for times when you might need to fall back on them.