Help for Upper Body Tension While You Drive

I can do a crazy amount of exercise in the car...when I'm in the passenger's seat. But in my 30+ hour solo drive this last week (#movetochange!), I had to get a little more innovative and work within the obvious limitations that come with being the driver.

Read More

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.

Read More

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. :)

Read More