- You’ll notice that throughout this sequence we emphasize rolling up and down through the spine as opposed to the more traditional extended spine one sees in yoga classes. We prefer to do this here so as to keep the movement focused throughout the spine as opposed to in the hips (hinging with a “flat” back).
- Also, there are many ways in which to modify and progress this sequence. If you have questions about that feel free to ask us!
Readers! We want you to know about all the cool movement resources that exist out there for you. Movements Afoot has a particular in with the Pilates crowd as it is known as a “pilates wellness center.” Also, the fact that one of our favorite movement educators, Amy Matthews, is a staff member only ups the coolness factor for us. Lesley Powell, the founder of Movements Afoot, is also Read More
There has been so much controversy within the yoga community ever since Glenn Black was quoted in last week’s New York Times article. Many teachers have been outraged and offended by the article’s seemingly new revelation that a physical yoga practice can hurt you. There is a plethora of reactionary blog posts, Facebook messages and tweets that accuse Glenn Black and NYT of producing at the least a sensationalist piece of journalism and at the worst threatening the place of yoga in mainstream America and in the hearts and minds of many followers. We have completely lost patience for many of these responses as they seem to reveal a lack of critical thinking, threatening the integrity of teachers as it seems they did not read the article thoroughly before responding. It’s time to put an end to all the emotional arguing and time to address what was actually being said. Read More
We recently wrote about muscle memory. Click here to read that post. It makes sense to follow that up with an explanation for how our work can apply.
Somatic work helps to give people the freedom of choice follow the same old pattern or to consciously change.
In the physical body, someone chooses one path of movement over another because of their movement history, body type and compensation patterns. Most of the time this is done unconsciously. The problem is that because of the quick adaptation of our neural pathways (muscle memory some call it) the more we do a particular movement pattern, the quicker we are to choose that pathway over another and we lose our options over time. This imbalance eventually leads to problems and injuries. This same process applies to emotions. If we choose one emotion to react with (because of our unconscious habits and emotional history), the body quickly learns to prepare for this reaction in the future, and the faster the reaction will occur, limiting the possibility for choices.
To give a concrete example:
Unresolved emotional trauma can manifest as anxiety or depression. Breathing in someone who is anxious or depressed can be unhealthy or inefficient. Usually their breathing is so challenged, some may have this diagnosed as asthma or allergies. Serious digestive problems can also be attributed to an inability to breathe well. Short and tight inhalations, which are typical in individuals who don’t cope well with stress, lead to an over adrenalized, revved-up nervous system and aching kidneys.
So much of this can be resolved by breaking down mal-addaptive breathing patterns and finding new places for the breath to reach. In doing so, you calm the nervous system, your organs, and create a physical environment in which the body can better function and the mind can find another way to process a stressful trigger. Breaking the previous breathing pattern and finding a new way to breathe is like release the hold the anxiety or depression may have. This is how therapeutic movement that helps to facilitate awareness of breathing and the body in direct relation is fantastic for releasing stored up emotion.
On an even deeper level:
The automatic reaction resides in the nervous system and in the emotional body, the endocrine system: Our hormones. The endocrine system is a global system, meaning that the hormones are not restricted to our nervous systems, but affect our entire body! For instance, if our body releases epinephrine (adrenaline) due to fear or anxiety, this causes the blood vessels to dilate, the digestive system to slow, the heart rate to increase, the pupils to dilate, and switches our metabolism to release triglycerides (fats) into the bloodstream to be used as fuel. etc. Now imagine that every time we experience fear, all of these things are happening! This affects the health of ALL of our organs at once! Not only that, but the more it happens, the faster this response happens, and the less options for other reactions we have. Over time, this can easily tax our whole body. Another example is if we are holding stress or anger.
This is one of the reasons why therapy and movement are SO important. Our job as movement educators is to educate our clients of these dangers and teach techniques to avoid chronic stress and maintain a happy, healthy life!
Most of our clients are habitual, chronic chair sitters. They work at computers, desks, even canvases for 8 or more hours a day. Point is, these poor folks are stuck sitting for hours! Sitting for that long can feel awful and have profoundly negative effects on the body. For example, tight hips, sore backs, tense shoulder muscles, stiff neck muscles, and painful wrists. Read More
Last weekend Kim and I taught a great workshop at Reebok. Geared towards tired office workers and computer users, the information was very much appreciated and we look forward to doing it again! We realize that more people need this information, so we’ve decided to post the tip sheet we handed out. Definitely email us if you have questions, or leave a comment. Also, if you love what you’re reading think of how much better it would be if Kim and I came to your office and gave the workshop there! Contact us also if you’d like to book us for corporate classes and workshops. Read More
There has been A LOT of talk in the media about “Good Health” and how to achieve it. In fact, in America it seems to be a national pastime! Shows like “Dr. Phil” and “Dr. Oz” as well as “The Doctors” are extremely popular daytime mega-hits. Health and Diet books are also huge best-sellers, from “The Atkins’ Diet” all the way to “The South Beach Diet”. So if we Americans are so obsessed with the concept of “Good Health”, then why is it that the youngest generation, aged 0-25, looks to be the first generation that will live shorter and less healthier lives than their own parents? Read More