It is hard to believe it is already the last weekend in September!
The month seemed to fly by!
Do you identify September as a studious month? I was always excited to get back into class in anticipation of learning new content. Starting a new school year always meant new pencils, binders and back to school clothes!
Now as an adult learner, likely just like me, take this opportunity to up your knowledge on your own anatomy and biomechanics with this next installment of Physical Activity QuickPlays.
I'll take you back to the classroom this week and share a little basic science with you. Pull up a desk chair and let's dive in!
Now after watching the video, you'll never think about movement the same again.
No need to know all the muscle names - piriformis anyone?! Instead, you are more aware of how your body moves during exercise and day to day life!
If you are looking to dabble in some extra movement this coming week, please join me next Saturday in person at Yoga Within Edmonton. The workshop, Feeling Your Yoga, is a merge between a group yoga class and a yoga therapy session. It will give you a chance to sample what it is like to use yoga in more of a therapeutic way. Hooray! I'd love to work with you in a small group setting!
You can learn more here and register here.
With that, keep your week focused on moving your body…whatever is the best way for you!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. If you have missed my other Physical Activity QuickPlays videos, here is a link to the playlist.
What if I asked you to swim across a lake?
What if I asked you to ride your bike across the country?
What if I asked you to walk to the next major city?
What if I asked you to [INSERT a physical activity that requires a tremendous amount of physical and/or mental rigour]?
By simply reading these questions, you may already start to feel in you body the physical or mental or emotional responses that may come as you bump up to a challenge.
This is normal.
Our exceptional home, our bodies, have many built in automatic responses that protect us from harms way.
As you think about each question, maybe one seems interesting or intriguing. Or maybe all of them result in some fearful self talk. Something like, "I can't do that!"
Now imagine the questions if the context changed.
What if I asked you to swim one length of a pool?
What if I asked you to ride your bike to the corner store and back?
What if I asked you to walk to your local park?
What if I asked you to [INSERT a physical activity that requires a reasonable amount of physical and/or mental rigour]?
Did that feel better?
It is easy to forget that context matters.
Case in point….
A couple weekends ago my family visited the local aerial park. It has threes levels of obstacles to maneuver while being anchored into a harness and clicked onto a guide wire.
We've gone a couple times before and this time both of my boys reached the height requirements to do the entire course. My oldest, Liam said, "Mom, let's go to the top to start."
Not thinking much of it, we trekked to the top and clicked on the top wire. We took time to check all the obstacles and found one that seemed like a good place to start.
Liam clicked over to the obstacle (a stepping stone like walk across to a cargo net climb) and he breezed across with no concern.
I moved over my clamps and stood at the edge, ready to go.
All of a sudden my feet would not move. As if two cinder blocks were attached to the bottom of my feet.
My legs began to wobble as my feet stuck in place.
My heart rate jumped and I could feel my chest start to rapidly vibrate.
My hands became sweaty and my hold on the clamps felt moist.
I was 15 metres up in the air and my body would not let me move!
I stood there for what seemed like an hour and finally my son made his way back to me and we decided to go down to the second floor.
The trepidation slowly seeped out of my body and I was ready to try an obstacle (on the lower level!)
As my obstacle practice grew, my confidence grew (that I wouldn't fall off the structure). I no longer had the fearful thoughts or physical responses.
Fast forward to the end of our time, Liam and I went back up to the highest level. Low and behold, my feet moved and I traversed over multiple obstacles.
So what happened?
I allowed myself and my brain to first acclimate at the lower levels (i.e., a different context). I practiced and increased my confidence before I could try a higher obstacle.
Nothing like a real life scenario to remind us to start small and build on success!
Insight to Action:
Take a few moments to think or write down the answers to these questions.
Feeling, whether it be a physical sensation or an emotional response can provide SO much information about our context. Want to dive deeper? Join me on October 1 at Yoga Within for the Feeling Your Yoga Workshop. This two hour workshop helps tune your awareness and deepen your practice by witnessing what signals your body shares with you. Register here!
Want an individualized experience? Reach out to me directly - email@example.com - to chat about a tailored one-on-one approach.
Stay well and happy moving,
Today I want to share the story of Regan (named changed for confidentiality) and how she is experiencing the unexpected.
Regan is a 40 something desk jockey who plays recreational soccer twice per week, resistance training once per week and runs in the river valley once per week. She initially came to me to help with her right knee that she had surgery on about 5 years ago. At the end of January, we started a concerted effort to work on posture and neck/shoulder pain as her knee pain was resolved.
Her desk isn't properly set up for work due to it being a make-shift set-up while working remotely. She complains of lots of chest tightness, shoulder and neck stiffness and poor posture.
We have been doing a lot with her breathing. Back in the Spring, she only started breathing through her nose for the first time and finds it to be very calming at bedtime to focus on nostril breathing. Her awareness to her own breath has increased and has noticed a distinct limit in her ability to breath with her right side of her body (e.g., the right ribcage and lung).
As the months have past, she began to note that her shoulders and neck felt good and the work with the diaphragm has her thinking about the role her breathing has on how her upper body feels.
Unbeknownst to her, the breathing work was able to bring awareness to what is and is not feeling good in her body particularly when trying to force herself to push through movements.
We have also discovered that when we support her lower body, she is able to breath with more ease. How cool is that?! She was shocked the impact a yoga block and yoga strap helped her breathe better.
Who knew that the breath was SO powerful?!
It is always with us every moment of our day but how much do we really pay attention to it?
Regan is keen to continue to work on her breathing as she is finding benefit in so many aspects of her life.
One of the books I read over the summer was Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. In his book he dives into his own personal experience and the historical background to breathing. Nestor presents a variety of ways to breathing and the rationale for why one would try the techniques. What fascinated me the most was the relationship to our tissues and how they change when we alter how we breath.
We can change our breathing.
Let's not forget our breath.
If you want to have some fun exploring, I would be honoured to support you. It doesn't have to be only breathing as our bodies are so connected every which way. I've got private virtual sessions open for the Fall on Friday mornings. We can start with one session to explore and I even have five and ten session packages available.
Let's experience the unexpected gift of our breath!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. If you want a visual, here I am talking about the three part breath, one way to start working with your breathing.
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this private blog. ~Lisa