My Go-To Exercise For... Most Things :-)

Where do you start if your back is bothering you? If you sneeze when you pee? If you have TMJ? If your quads won't ever relax? If your hips feel wonky? If you're digestion is off? If you have low energy?

Well, there are LOTS of things to do and there are many places to start, but one of my favorites is with the psoas release! 

Before I go on, let me remind you that right about now (Noon PT) I'm on FB hosting a live conversation about 3 Reasons Exercise Isn't Getting You Better (just click here to join on in).

So about two years ago I wrote a blog post about the psoas (pronounced so-as) release. It has been my most popular post ever since. Month after month, it gets the most hits. And not just that, but I've gotten a little reputation for exploring the psoas.

I know most of you on this list have signed up since I wrote that post, so I want to make sure you are in on this panacea of body love.

Here's an exercise descriptor:

And here's a link to that "famous" blog post:

The Psoas Release: An Essential Experience

This release is a part of ALL of my courses (and given to almost all of my private clients), because I find it to so be so beautifully subversive. It stands against a culture of go-go-go and a culture of sit-sit-sit. Since much of our body troubles are about repetition (of movement habits and mental habits), anytime we can give the body a differing experience is an opportunity to invite in some healing.

Let me know how you get on with it! And if you have any questions, won't you pop on in the private The Resilient Body Facebook group  and let me know? I'd love to have a conversation with you there!

Give the psoas release a try and consider what it would be like to make it a regular part of your movement practice.

I'll be doing it, too!

Get Too Big for Your Britches (aka Work Your Glutes)

Sure, I don't have the potential to have something big and round on my rear. But I do have the potential to have something modest and round, something other than flat. For my whole-body health, it's essential that I exercise that potential.

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Breathing Tips

I am fascinated by the breath, by it's complexity and simplicity, by the way it mirrors our inner world and the way it can impact our entire nervous system.

Most of us, due the the lifestyle habits we have - anyone on a device right now?! ;) - have limitations in our shoulder girdles, chests and backs that alter our breathing mechanics. 

The good news is that we can start working on that immediately. I made you a quick video to help you get started:

I hope you enjoy the video and enjoy your expanded breath. :) 

Should You Be Activating Your Core?

Have you been told to keep your core engaged? Maintain some activation? Pull your naval to your spine? Maybe for spinal stability or to build abdominal strength?

Almost two years ago I wrote a post about the problem with sucking in the belly and I explore how its roots are egoic. The post had traction everywhere - it's my most viewed post and was really my launchpad into the world of alignment and natural movement. You can read it here.

One of the things I teach is a belly release exercise (something to be done occasionally), but I also teach a relaxed belly for everyday life, which is a little different.

In the belly release, you are focusing on letting it all hang out with the primary purpose of getting your stomach out from up in your diaphragm and exploring the tension we hold in our bellies. In a relaxed belly, we're letting the core behave reflexively. Instead of telling it what to do, we let it respond to the loads we give it.

This week, a student in Launch Your Resilient Life asked how this compares with advice she's been given in yoga to keep some slight engagement and to draw the naval to the spine. 

Here's my response:

I think a lot about what it means to that we don't often KNOW what we are doing with our bodies and even when we DO know what we are doing, we don't know WHY.

We've are naturally indoctrinated by our culture (look thinner, dammit!) and we are given watered-down fitness/exercise/movement advice (naval-to-spine always) and we end up forgetting to think critically about what we're doing or haven't been taught how to think critically.

I know this is hard with the belly. We have SO many feelings about our bellies and what happens, or doesn't happen, inside them.

Does this resonate?

Are you willing to explore changing your mindset about what your belly should look like and should be doing in order to allow a more functional, healthy process to exist?

No matter what, I encourage you to play around with NOT sucking in (really - can you let the upper belly go? the lower? the right? and the left?) and seeing how the core responds to movement without you consciously deciding how much effort is required.

If you want true, reflexive, functional core strength, that's your place to start. 

Restorative Exercises for When You're Stuck in a Chair

For those times you find yourself stuck in your chair but want to move more and continue to support your whole body health, I offer this video of seated restorative exercises. Go ahead and take 15 minutes and bring some life into that chair pose you're in. :)

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