Wouldn't it be great if you could...
~ Enjoy long walks without feeling pain during or afterward ~ Reach down or stretch up for things without fear of pulling or straining muscles ~ Wake up without neck cricks after 'sleeping wrong' ~ Look over your shoulder, pull on a sweater, carry a bag, get out of a chair or the car, or tie a shoe without pain ~ Get back to or start a workout without injuring yourself ~ Experience energy (or a good night's sleep) at the end of a day ~ Have greater confidence in your balance, stability and overall self-sufficiency as you get older ~ Possess some self-care tools to help you relieve aches and pains, support your immune system, activate your energy without stimulants, find confidence and composure in your body in the face of stressful situations…
Enjoy living life in your body again…?
Wednesdays - 6:30pm - 7:15pm
Fridays - 11:00am - 11:45am
Whether your tension is from 'poor posture', intense exercise, repetitive use, or emotional stress, the results are the same - restricted movement, restricted blood and oxygen flow, and discomfort.
Moving your body in gentle and specific ways is the one of the simplest and most natural ways to relieve tension, encourage joint mobilization and innervate muscles that are not often used. This class integrates the mindful, flowing movements of qigong with the precision of biomechanically-based Restorative Exercise.
Not only is this class appropriate for more sedentary people, seniors, those with chronic pain or stiffness, post-trauma or surgery, but will help those who work out and work hard regain flexibility, joint mobility and nourish the tissues.
Restorative Qigong classes are $15 - or $48 for a package of 4.
Move Your Lymph!
Saturday, March 9 - 1:00-2:30pm
Tuesday, March 26 - 6:30 - 8:00pm
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in our waste disposal and immunity, and its circulation is totally dependent upon our movement.
Ironically, and unfortunately, the largest lymph node clusters are located in areas that are not called upon to move frequently in our modern day lifestyles: the neck, armpits, sternum, and groin.
I believe that a good deal of our vulnerability to colds and flu, sinus and ear infections, especially during the colder months, is due to our more frequent static positions that result in congesting these areas.
In this class, we will practice some qigong moves, self-massage techniques, and stretches in positions that allow us deeper and more specific access to these areas, as well as explore ways to continue frequent movement that supports lymph flow.
Note: Some part of this class is best done on the floor, but modifications may be made if this is prohibitive.
Basics of Gait (2 days)
Wednesdays, March 13&20 - 12:00 - 1:00pm
Saturdays, March 23&30 - 12:00 - 1:00pm
Walking is one of the most ‘whole foods’ movements we can do.
Walking nutritiously and comfortably requires that all of our walking parts are participating and cooperating with each other.
The Basics of Gait workshop will introduce you to the prime players in walking - from your feet to your rib cage - with simple exercises to both assess and encourage greater mobility.
Note: Some moves are done in a kneeling position, but this is optional.
Day 1 - Alignment and Feet
Day 2 - Knees, Hips, Upper Body
When it comes to movement, there are four things I've learned in my years as a bodyworker:
1) As our lives become more technologically-enhanced, less and less movement is required of us, and so we become less able to move. And so on and so on and shooby dooby dooby....
2) Getting more movement is usually translated as 'getting more exercise', as in, something you do outside of the rest of life. So, we do (or feel guilty for not doing) our exercises in isolation from how we actually use our bodies, and exercise our parts and systems in isolation from each other. Example: the difference between 'doing squats', and squatting as just another movement to 'do life' - huge difference to your body!
3) There's an increasing resignation in our society to the 'fact' that our decreased movement and loss of abilities are due to getting older, and, are therefore inevitable. I maintain age is a factor, but not a cause.
4) There is also an increasing sense of helplessness, frustration or disconnection when it comes to what lies within our power to improve our own health.
I've also learned that while bodywork (shiatsu, massage, chiropractic, etc) is fabulous and nurturing and can be even instrumental in the receiver's healing, it's the active participation of a person - their own movements throughout a day, every day - that creates the deep and lasting change in their bodies and their health.
What Restorative Movement is (and what it is not).
Restorative Movement includes exercises but is not just another set of exercises or routines.
1) It's an integration of 'corrective exercises' using alignment markers, and qigong* - a form of meditative movement developed in ancient China - both of which facilitate 'flow', of blood, lymph, information, awareness and bioelectric current that your trillions of cells need to function properly.
2) It's an approach to help you see and feel how and where you're moving (and more to the point, how and where you're not moving).
3) The 'exercises' are not an end in themselves - a set of movements with a quota you can check off a list - they are a means to moving more and moving more of your parts throughout all of your daily activities.
4) It's a way of exploring your relationship with your environment, and making the changes that will serve your health and encourage mobility, rather than restrict it.
4) It is not a quick fix (though any variations you make in your movement habits today, even this minute, will be of benefit)! The reality is, no one can move your body for you!
Our bodies have been adapted - literally shaped - in relationship to lifestyles that only require small parts of our physical abilities to perform. Not only does our diminishing range of motion and activity impact all of our systems and functions, we're at greater risk of injury even when we do want to move more. (I can't tell you how many people have said they've hurt themselves trying get healthy!)
Who This Is For.
Restorative Movement is perfect for you if:
~ You currently are or have been in a career that keeps you stationed behind a computer for long hours, are concerned about your posture, and are looking to move more;
~ You are reaching a point in your life where medical issues seem to become more prevalent, but are not ready to succumb to the conventional medical approach;
~ You are willing to make some changes in lifestyle or habits that you know will support your goals to feel better and include some period of time every day toward moving your body in a way that you might not otherwise.
~ You're not willing to accept age, current limitations, past injuries, surgeries, even joint replacements as having the final say in living an active, movement-filled life!
Ready to move more?
I work with small groups in classes, and with individuals in private coaching sessions.
So, how does this work exactly? Where should I start?
If you're new to this work, I recommend coming to a group introductory class, or doing a brief initial consult. If you're new to my practice, or this work, we begin with a brief initial consult to see if we're a fit.
What if I have joint replacements? Or other limited mobility from injuries, surgery, etc?
As I write above, the goal for the exercises is not really about 'doing the exercise' as much as it is about understanding how you're executing that exercise or any other activity. "Alignment markers" may give the impression of hard and fast rules your body 'should' be able to adhere to, but they're really just a framework to help us better understand how our bodies have adapted around where they don't move so well. These factors have an influence, of course, but there's always room to move a little more, to sense a little more deeply into our bodies, and modifications of all the exercises and movements are available.
What is qigong*? (And, how the heck do you pronounce it?)
Qigong (pronounced: chee - kung) is a form of exercise, evolved over hundreds of years in China. There are many styles of qigong - some used for martial arts training, some for spiritual enlightenment, and, in this case, some for healing and health maintenance. The idea is that, our life processes are regulated by the flow of qi (some generalize that as 'life force energy' - you can also think of it 'bioelectric' current) throughout the body - a flow which can become imbalanced due to tension patterns, habits, diet, unresolved emotions, etc. Moving the body in specific and mindful ways allows us to restore that flow, as well as develop a heightened sense of bodily awareness, increase joint mobility, balance, stability and reduce stress levels.
I have found it to be a perfect partner with the Restorative Exercise work ...
I'm not really in pain or anything. And I consider myself pretty active. Would this still be helpful?
If you have a body, and live in these modern times, yes! It would still be helpful!
Pain is a powerful form of your body's communication, no doubt. But, it's not the only indicator of functionality (or lack thereof)... whether you have it, or when it's relieved. The problem is, we are measuring our own functionality based on the presence or absence of pain, but also in relation to the mobility of the 'tribe' we're in - which compared to the whole of the human species is sadly lacking. And, as our lifestyles and environment requires less movement of us, it's harder to discern where our own limitations really are.
Rather than measuring your health and well-being with numbers, stats or the presence/absence of pain alone, consider four areas of basic movement that you might want to reclaim or maintain well into your old age. It's important to understand that gaining ground in any of these areas has an impact - not just on musculoskeletal function, but all the systems associated with movement in those areas: cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, eliminative, nervous/information, proprioception, balance and more.