I see these pictures online and feel compelled to correct them. What the original pictures are trying to say is that sometimes, one side of the body will feel tight because the other side is weak. But that’s only part of the story. If the side that feels tight were strong, it wouldn’t feel tight. It’s weak too. “Tight” is something a muscle DOES, not something it IS.
A healthy muscle can tighten, stretch, and relax. That’s what muscles DO. Strong or weak, healthy or unhealthy, functional or dysfunctional, that’s what a muscle IS. And you can stretch a “tight” muscle all day long. It might make you feel better in the moment, but it will never fix the tightness. The muscle feels tight because it is weak/unhealthy/dysfunctional, so “tight” is the only thing it can do. And strengthening is what makes a muscle strong. Stretching will never do that.
Stretching provides the temporary feel-good. Strengthening provides the fix. If you want to live without pain, you need strength on all sides. Not ironman strong, just strong enough to feel good.
There’s no such thing as a tight muscle. Tight is an action. Weak is the state of being that creates the tightness. Strength comes from squeezing your muscles, not from stretching them. In all of these pictures, you are looking at the main points of weakness in the modern sit-down, hunch-over human. We feel tight because we are weak. All 4 sides. Stand up. Move around. Squeeze everything. Stretch everything. Squeeze everything again. Functional muscles don’t feel tight unless you tighten them. They don’t stay tight. You have to squeeze all your muscles, a little bit, every day, for them to function properly. That’s #theyogayouneed
But your body is designed to heal, feel good, and function without pain for 100 years. We blame the body when it breaks down, but mostly it is the world we've created, and the way we live in it. Your body does the best it can, until it can't anymore.