Thoughts

Lululemon’s Christine Day Named CEO of the Year

Lululemon's CEO, Christine Day. Source: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/23/ lululemons-christine-day-first-woman-named-ceo-of-the-year

On the heels of consumer backlash about the Ayn Rand-inspired quotation that appeared on some Lululemon bags (see story here), Lululemon has made the news again this week as Christine Day was named CEO of the Year by Report on the Business (and the first ever woman to do so!).

The Toronto Sun reports in an article this morning:

Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s Christine Day has become the first woman to be crowned chief executive of the year by a leading business magazine.

Day was chosen for “her ability to create a remarkable bond between the brand and its ultra-loyal fans,” the Report on Business said Wednesday.

Since Day joined the company in 2008, Lululemon has gone from a niche Vancouver startup specializing in yoga wear to an international lifestyle brand
worth nearly $5 billion.

Day has a knack for building strong corporate cultures and cult-like followings around consumer goods. Prior to Lululemon, she spent 20 years at Starbucks, where she held several key management positions.

Day – wife and mother of three now living in Vancouver – has a BA from Central Washington University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Last year, the magazine named Quebecor’s Pierre Karl Peladeau, Wind Mobile’s Anthony Lacavera and Shaw’s Jim Shaw CEOs of the year. Past winners also include  Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne and Fairfax Financial’s Prem Watsa.

 

A “HIP” Guide to Happier Movement: Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS)

Over the course of the last several weeks we have looked at specific muscular imbalances pertaining to the “HIP” and around the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip joint, as well as outlining each group of muscles and how they relate to a Yoga practice. Most commonly, muscular imbalances contribute to habitual overuse in isolated joints and faulty movement patterns, creating repetitive micro trauma, dysfunction and chronic injury.

As we continue to delve down the rabbit hole, in today’s article we feature the Lower-crossed syndrome (LCS). LCS is a postural, structural breakdown affecting the lower kinetic chain (lumbopelvic hip complex, knee, and ankle). Keeping in mind, that when one joint is compromised there are changes in functionality to all the other related joints.  In this case the hip-to-knee-to ankle relationship and associated muscular slings and fascia lines.

A visual representation of the LCS can be seen in figure 1, which is a classic example what you might see in a student or client exhibiting LCS.  The student presents an anterior pelvic tilt, which increases lumbar lordosis (swayback), and compensated with weak abdominals muscles. Kinaesthetically, the student will usually experience chronic low back pain, possible piriformis syndrome and possible anterior knee pain.

In LCS, the patterning of muscle imbalances will often lead to altered movement patterns, which we commonly see when the student is engaged in hip extension, hip abduction and trunk flexion.

This style of structural breakdown can develop when someone sits for long periods of time; leaning in a slightly flexed position…and in our society this is very common with our corporate age of technology. This causes the erector spinae and entire posterior chain to continually contract to hold the body’s weight upright while the constantly flexed position shortens the muscle length of the hip flexors.

Over time this causes theses muscles to adapt and  then shorten in length and tighten. LCS can also cause tightness in the adductors, external hip ligaments (TFL),  piriformis and even the glutes, making it difficult for the student to practice seated posture and spinal rotation (especially in the thoracic spine).

This coupled with reciprocal inhibition (the antagonists) are then lengthened and weakened, due to an unnatural compensation pattern induced by the effects LCS. These antagonist muscles include the gluteal group and the abdominals.  Remembering back to our earlier post called “BREATHE DEEP FOR INSPIRATION” we looked at the relationship and balance mechanics of what Tom Meyers described as the 4 pillars of proper posture and breathing mechanics; which then permits the diaphragm to lift the base of the ribcage upwards establishing energetic dynamics of the pelvic girdle and aids to properly pressurize the pelvic cavity and integrate the pelvic diaphragm and floor.

So how do we know if we suffer from LCS, and how can it be prevented?

First off, never self diagnose, seek the expertise of a professional in bio mechanics; like a physiotherapist or movement coach.

Secondly, the assessment should focus on a postural analysis, muscle length and strength screen and the testing of movement patterns for asymmetrical breakdowns.

If you do have students in your class who have been diagnosed with LCS, here are a few things to consider:

  • Suggest myofascial release for tight muscles before the class
  • Segmental facilitation – a movement coach can offer sequenced corrective movements
  • Tight muscles – add in movements that target the classic tighter muscles to increase
    tone and mobility
  • Strengthen the weakened muscles – add in postures that reflect strength holds for
    increased stabilization and joint integrity
  • Focus on retraining of Lumbo –pelvic hip complex movement patterns – this is usually
    done in a 1 on 1 private class
  • Postural and behavioral modification – usually done in a 1 on 1 private class

The key to sustainable pain free movement and balanced bio mechanics, is through prevention. Yoga is an exceptional way to connect with your inner physical self, achieve balance and equilibrium within the mind, body and spirit. Take the principles you learn on your mat and transfer those practices off the mat!  A 5 min Yoga break from your office is a great way to bring the zen-mode ambiance to work, home or playtime.

Seattle Pastor Says Yoga Is Demonic, Sinful & Warns Christians To Reject It

Pastor Mark Driscoll from the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, says in his blog, that “yoga is a religious philosophy that is in direct opposition to Christianity”. Because of this, he believes that “yoga cannot be simply received by any Christian in good conscious”.

[source: christianyogamagazine]

He goes on to say that yoga is downright demonic and he compares it to being as bad as adultery:

There is nothing wrong with stretching, exercising, or regulating one’s stress through breathing. But when the tenets of yoga are included, it’s by definition a worship act to spirit beings other than the God of the Bible. By way of analogy, there is nothing inherently wrong with intimacy, sex, and pleasure. But when the tenets of adultery are included, it’s a sinfully idolatrous worship act. A faithful Christian can no more say they are practicing yoga for Jesus than they can say they are committing adultery for Jesus.

What do you think about the Pastor’s beliefs? Let us know in the comments below! Also check out this WholyFit video demonstrating “no-nonsense mind-boy exercises without ‘chanting’ or other ‘non-biblical’ practices”:

Restorative Yoga and Therapy Teacher Training Starting January!

Dan Clement, source: http://www.indigo yoga.ca/yoga-instructors.html

Love yoga? Want to share your practice with others? Have a special interest in restorative yoga and therapeutic techniques?

A specialized training program with Open Source Yoga (Registered Yoga School with the Yoga Alliance) will begin in January. This part-time weekdays evening course will focus on
empowering teachers to work with private clients and small groups in a home yoga studio setting.

Teachers in training will employ holistic biomechanics to work structurally to heal common injuries to the shoulders, hips, knees, wrists and neck. The balance of the course will cover all areas of yoga alliance certification standards at the 200 hour level, with components of restorative yoga for stress and illness, Ayurvedic diet, as well as Thai Massage and development of a home business plan.

Dan Clement and Carol Wray will be leading the training from a working home yoga studio. They are both very experienced teachers with extensive training in structural therapy, restorative and yin yoga, as well as micro-business development.

200 hour Therapy and Restorative Training
Dates: Jan 10- April 19 2012
Weekday evenings (Tues, Wed,  Thurs 6pm – 10pm) part-time @ Panorama Ridge, Surrey B.C.
Course cost: $2700, includes texts.

To Register: Please contact Dan Clement at [email protected] or http://www.opensourceyoga.ca/ and an application will be sent to you.

A “HIP” Guide to Happier Movement: The SI Joint

Tying in the last 2 articles towards happier hip movement, we dive further down the proverbial yoga rabbit hole to look at pelvic rim imbalances and possible sacroiliac pain and how to progress experientially towards a sequence of adaptive yoga moves that have the potential to reset our SI joints to their natural pain free position. One of the most common structural breakdowns I work with is often a “misaligned’ pelvis and lower back pain.

Over the years more and more SI joint dysfunctions or “issues” seems to be “recurring,” especially in women. Whether this is due to the shape of our pelvis, the draw and trend of Western Yoga or the tendency toward long loose ligaments we don’t know, or perhaps even some other stress patterning effects- including an unbalanced or improper yoga practice, women seem more susceptible to hyper-mobility along with SI joint dysfunction. Even though there is a joy in flexibility, there needs to be a balance of tone, flexibility and stability if we are to be “pain free and live a life of symmetry.

There are a number of theories about the details of the pathology related to the SI Joint disorders , however in yoga over stretching is often a key indicator. Strong ligaments hold together the SI joint, the only way to move it out of place with yoga is to overstretch those ligaments and if we stretch more on one side then the other, or more anterior (hip flexors) the posterior (hamstrings) this can throw off pelvic stability. Our bodies move through recruited sequencing of muscles, and therefore, when one set or group of muscles is “too flexible” it throws off the sequencing of the entire mechanical chain.

The cardinal symptom of SI pain is an ache on or around the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS). The PSIS is the rear-most point of bone on the pelvis. However, it’s very important not to confuse what we are calling SI pain with other types of back pain, because, in most cases the “pain” referral point, is only where the energy gets blocked, but the structural breakdown that is causing the mis alignment is usually located some where else  in our mechanics and this takes time to determine.

Sacroiliac Joint Anatomy 101

The sacroiliac joint is where the sacrum bone and the ilium bone join one another, Your sacrum is located at the base of your spine and  is comprised of five vertebrae that have fused together during development to form a single bone roughly the size of your hand. Each half of the pelvis is composed of three bones, the ilium, the ischium and the pubic bone, that are fused together during development. The sacrum sits between the left and right ilium bones and bears the weight of the spine, kind of like a wedge.

The SI joints main function is to distribute this weight with equal balance to each hip and to each leg, and the energy  then makes it’s way down out through the feet to the earth via our muscles (to put it into simple terms).

There are many working parts to the hip and SI Joint, some of the ligaments that stabilize the SI joints cross directly over the line where the sacrum and ilium meet. Those on the front are called the ventral sacroiliac ligaments, and those on the back are the dorsal sacroiliac ligaments. Other strong ligaments (the interosseous ligaments) fill the space just above the SI joints, holding the ilium bones firmly against the sides of the upper sacrum.

Corrective Strategies & Tips:

First, identify the balance of flexibility in the hip joints by extending in all the anatomical movements of that joint. This should be done by a health professional who can assess bio mechanical breakdowns and asymmetries via a selective assessment.

Secondly, work towards establishing stability and tone in the pelvic floor and trunk, learn the ins and outs of balance and breath work for proper intra abdominal pressure, then establish if you require mobility or stability in the hip flexors,  the hamstrings, gluteal and lateral muscles of the hip.

Thirdly, modify your asana practice. As  a general framework for understanding which poses contribute to helping you relieve pain, these poses traditionally fall into 4 categories:

  • Careful with backbends: (Reclining Hero Pose) can help by directly pushing the top of the sacrum backward into place, as well stretching the anterior chain.
  • Modify your Twists and Rotational Poses: wrong twist can easily make matters worse. Gentle movement and transitioning from pose to pose by rotating one side of the sacrum backward and the other forward.
  • Try One Sided Poses: Reclined postures that focus on one side at a time, can create more symmetry by focusing the adjustment specifically on the joint that may be out of alignment, so that the ilium shifts in the right direction relative to the sacrum.
  • Practice Postures that Spread the Sacrum: By applying lateral pressure to the hips, may help by opening the top part of the SI joint space, as well as postures that spread the sacrum wide and relieve pressure to the lower lumbar spine.

Next week we Continue our series to Happier Hips with the pelvic rim and stability!

Anusara Shakes Up as Three Top Teachers Resign

Last week, three senior Anusara Yoga teachers, Darren Rhodes, Christina Sell and Elena Brower, all announced their separation from the trademarked style and its founder, John Friend.

Christina Sell, on her personal blog writes:

I think the most accurate way to explain my choice to resign my certification has less to do with dharmic differences between the two communities of which I have been a part and more to do with my own personal dharma; of how best to aim my teaching in the years to come. […] So we are clear: I love John Friend. I love Anusara Yoga. I love my friends in the system. My students continually inspire me beyond belief. I hope I have been super clear about that. I keep repeating it. It’s the truth. I have benefited form my involvement with the organization and the method in so many ways.

And:

So, having said that, a bit more of my personal process that might fill out the story goes like this: Over the last few years a very subtle yet strong and consistent interest has been rising within me. I started to realize that I was interested in yoga in general more than I was interested in Anusara Yoga in specific. I have never been an Anusara purist, as anyone who reads this blog knows. I like it all. I practice it all. (Okay, well, not all of it, but A LOT of it.) In fact, over the last 5 years since I moved to Austin, I have probably been practicing asana more outside of the Anusara yoga system than in it. Not by design or by intention but simply in an organic way of following my curiosities and inclinations and finding good teachers who
could and would help me with my practice, regardless of method.

In an interview with Waylon Lewis from Elephant Journal, John Friend comments on the trio’s departures:

Yes, 3 top level certified Anusara yoga teachers resigned within the last week. Without any context or insight into this matter it might seem like there may be negative turmoil in the Anusara kula.

However, I have been in regular communication with these 3 teachers, who are also my long-time friends, and this was a move to maintain their own personal integrity and the integrity of Anusara yoga. All three of these teachers have evolved their own styles over time, and now are wishing to be artistically independent.

We all openly talked about it, and so we are supporting each other in our own unique yoga styles.

 

A “Hip” Guide to Happier Movement: The Hamstrings

A “Hip” guide to happier movement continues, and this week we take a look at the hamstrings. As we know, the hip flexors and hamstrings are two groups of muscles that need to work in symmetry, in order to maintain proper balance, distribute load and stability through the pelvis. Many believe, or look at yoga, as merely a means of increasing flexibility, and that the more flexible you are, the less susceptible to injury you will be.

Way too often I find students moving into a posture while trying to achieve a version of a certain posture exerting too much force than their muscles can bear, thus “cranking” into it and moving beyond their normal range of mechanical alignment. When it comes to postures involving the hamstrings, this is all too common.
The truth is, sometimes being too flexible can increase your chances of sustaining an injury, as the muscle and associated joints are now in a constant state of  slack and with this comes instability of the joint, thus stability needs to be ascertained. This is the dynamic duality of our systems. Where there is an increase in mobility – there needs to be an equal force of stability to create symmetry.  Yoga is about achieving a balance between flexibility and strength, and mobility and stability.

The Anatomy:

The hamstrings groups is comprised of four muscle parts ; the first two are the Biceps Femoris (long and short head). The biceps femoris’s function is to flex and laterally rotate the leg and extend and laterally the thigh. The short head has it’s same origin at the lateral hip joint, then only crosses the knee joint and functions to flex and laterally rotate the leg.

The Semimembranosus originates in the ischial tuberosity and inserts into the medial tibial condyle. The Semitendinosus muscle also originates at the ischial tuberosity and inserts into the upper part of the medial surface of the tibia and medial tibial condyle. Both these muscles, extend the thigh and flex and medially rotate the leg.

The ideal length of the hamstrings is achieved at 80 – 90 degrees of hip flexion, which most often is questioned because students get wrapped up in “what the pose should look like,” rather then what their bio mechanics will and should allow. Where the emphasis is then placed on becoming too flexible in order to achieve the pose; however, when we push too hard into a pose, the tension has to be re distributed somewhere and this energy is most likely going to pull at the musculotendinous junction or strain at the hip and knee joint.

This can then not only lead to injury, but to faulty movement patterns that will persist off the mat. Remmber the fascia systems? When we change one meridian line, we uniquely impact them all. As I mentioned in the previous article pelvic alignment plays a crucial role in balance, load distribution and locomotion; therefore, when we think about how many  muscles stem from the ischial tuberosity, you can see how critical it is to focus on balance and symmetry of mobility vs stability and flexibility vs strength.  Two of the main joints at the pelvis are referred to as the sacroiliac joints. When the hamstrings are stressed some students can exprience hip, as well as knee injuries. Tightness in the low back can also contribute to excessive stresses on the hamstring attachment as well, or lack of hamstring mobility.

When working with hamstrings in any health modality, always remember the hamstrings are never alone they are part of the posterior muscular chain, the back line of the fascial system and are a huge primary mover of many movement patterns; therefore, respect the hammies and your mechanics within postures.

Some tips to avoid over stretching and creating better balance mechanics in your postures:

  • Always Aim to Keep Your Pelvis Level
  • Practice your postures only within your natural alignment (no cranking ~ leave this for hitting trails on your mtn bike)
  • Keep the thighs active and engaged
  • Distract at the hip joint
  • Bend the knees if needed, especially if you are a beginner
  • Work within your genetic limitations
  • Use props; such as blocks and straps if needed
  • Stretch your hip flexors
  • Listen to your body, never work through pain

Now hit the mat and enjoy!

Why So Yoga Slow?

Source: http://theyogalunchbox.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/13-balloon-lonely-girl-sad.jpg

It’s pretty obvious – attendance in studios is down right now. Typically fall marks an upswing in numbers, but instead many studios are marking much smaller class sizes than normal. Workshop numbers are down and 30 day challenges are a fraction of their usual sizes. Students aren’t purchasing class cards or memberships as quickly and teachers aren’t being followed with their usual gusto.

Many studios are feeling the pinch of a lack of students. It’s only normal to wonder why this sudden failure to launch. Vancouver Yoga Review readers – I want to hear your thoughts!

Is it the weather? Vancouver had a pretty terrible summer, followed by a lovely September. Maybe it is taking longer than normal for everyone’s schedules, and love of sun and outdoor BBQs, to normalise?

Is it the economy? Are you worried about how much you’re spending on “leisure” activities like yoga?

Has yoga finally reached its peak? Perhaps Vancouver’s ferocious interest in yoga has obtained its ultimate height and is now resting comfortably on a plateau?

Or maybe students have learned all they want to learn from local teachers? Are you looking for more variety of instruction? Less variety maybe? Or has the accessibility and affordability of online classes dampened students’ interest in live class settings?

Is the collective unconscious in Vancouver, one which has been engrossed in a love of all things yoga for many years, starting to head in some other direction? Engrossed in politics or end-of-times worries?

Of course I’m not suggesting yoga is dead. Quel horreur! Nor am I indicating that classes are empty – for some studios the difference is a matter of a few heads. Some may not be feeling or admitting to a difference at all.

The vibe is different this fall. I’m not the only one feeling it either. I have posited many questions. I would love to hear your thoughts Vancouver Yoga Review Readers!  Why is this fall so Yoga Slow?

The Psoas Muscles: A “Hip” Guide to Happier Movement

Lately, the psoas has been getting a lot of attention, and for good reason. Many hip imbalances and structural breakdowns  in the body stem from unbalanced hips. Let’s take a deeper look at the psoas, other wise known as our hip flexors. One of our body’s most dominant muscles…

Whether you suffer from a sore back or anxiety, from knee strain or exhaustion, there’s a good chance that a constricted psoas  muscle might be contributing to your discomfort or impeded performance.

Starting with a small anatomy lesson, the psoas is roughly triangular in shape,  the top of the psoas attaches along the five vertebral bodies starting at the last thoracic vertebrae (T12) and continues to attach L1, L2, L3 and terminating at the next to last Lumbar vertebrae L4, completing one side of the triangle.

From the ends of this side, we create two more sides that slowly come together and attach at that spot on the femur. Because of its triangular shape, it allows for a lot of movement or lack of movement, as well as load distribution. Therefore, its no wonder the unique shape can a different and profound effects on the spine, and therefore the body.

So where does the psaos make an appearance in our yoga practice?  In yoga, the psoas plays an important role in every asana and is crucial for balanced alignment, proper joint rotation, and full muscular range of motion, as well as posture and human locomotion.

In backbends, a released psoas allows for extension and lengthened muscles at the hip and supporting proper extension of the front thigh (quadriceps group), which allows the leg to move independently from the pelvis. All yoga poses are enhanced by a released, rather than shortened psoas from back bends. The psoas muscles are commonly used in forward bends as well, which recruits to pull you down and forward. All too often people rely on their arms to pull them forward.

This group of psoas muscles are also used in every standing posture to stabilize the upper and lower half of the body, because of its role to help regulate balance. Our center of gravity is housed at the top of our sacrum and navel area and, what would you know the psoas, just so happens to pass on both sides of this hip bone so it helps regulate balance around our center of gravity which is where movement comes from.

The thighs can’t fully rotate outward unless the psoas releases and thus any posture that requires any rotation needs, psoas extension (warrior series, triangle series and half moon to name a few).

Getting in touch with this deeply buried muscle can be not only a humbling experience, but one of much growth. The psoas, the fascial system and deep diaphragmatic breathing are linked, and along with improving your structural stability, developing awareness of your psoas can bring to light fears and visceral blockages of long locked energy blocks in the body, which results in unconscious physical tension. We know that the psoas runs through the diaphragm, and with improper breathing this can tighten and restrict the psoas muscle, as well as, when deep breathing exercises commence it can release tension and improve blood flow as well as much needed stress release where blocked energy can start to move around and be released, both physically as well as emotionally.

Therefore, the next time you roll out the mat for you practice, give your psoas a little extra TLC and asana time and see how much better your body flows from one posture to the next and much better your hips feel!!

Ode To A Great Cup Of Tea

Source: http://www.sreducation.ca/everyday-sred-tea/

It’s cold and rainy outside. I’m at work early snuggling with the studio cat Charlie. I had a hot cup of coffee this morning on the way in, but realised as I was making tea for the students upstairs (soon to finish class), there is not much better on a cold rainy October morning (or evening for that matter) than a large, hot, flavourful cup of tea.

I just finished reading Taya’s article this week about Libre Tea Glasses and decided to continue with the theme of the marvelous brilliance of tea!

At the studio I work at (Hari Om Yoga) we provide complementary herbal tea to shoppers and students. We regularly stock tea from David’s Tea (multiple locations) and Tea Time (North Vancouver). Among my favourites are David’s Tea’s Pink Flamingo, Crème Brulée, Baked Apple (ohmygodsogood!) and Exotica. From Tea Time, their Honey Lavender, Corsican Pear, Blueberry Bang and Rose Petals blends rock my socks.

There are many reasons tea is a beautiful thing. It smells delicious. It looks delicate and heavenly. Dried tea has a beautiful sound when shaken in the bag before steeping. A nice cup of tea smells and tastes so brilliant. Good tea is worth discussing. It creates community and better health. Tea feels good to drink – promoting warmth, comfort and balance. It’s hydrating after a yoga class. Tea can lift your spirits or provide grounding, depending on your mood. Have I mentioned it tastes great?

I could go on and on about the marvels of a great cup of tea on a cold, rainy day. Instead, I’ll finish with an anonymous poem that sums it all up perfectly:

When the world is all at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea.

There is magic in its fragrance,
There is solace in its taste;

And the laden moments vanish
Somehow into space.

The world becomes a lovely thing!
There’s beauty as you’ll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.

Meditation & Fibromyalgia: Access Your Inner Qi

Conventional yoga wisdom holds that nothing prepares your body for meditation as well as a regular asana practice. Why? Beccause it allows you to connect mind with body, it is even more significant when our body is in a state of discomfort. When we are atune with our how our body moves, responds and feels, we are much more atune preventing stress and relieving physical stress caused by everyday activities.

Last week we introduced the linkage between fibromyalgia pain and fascial therapy and this week we continue to look at holistic approaches to reducing the pain associated with fascial discomfort and “dis-ease” that the medical community is still identifying.

One of the best forms of therapeutic movement is the slow and steady stillness found in a Yin Yoga practice and meditation. Meditation is key because its rooted are found in becoming more aware of balance and symmetry in our body and in our surroundings.

Let’s recap the physcial practice of asana; Yin and yang are relative terms, not absolutes. It’s certainly true that whenever we move and bend our joints in yoga postures, both muscle and connective tissues are challenged, and thus we begin to work in a more unified fashion.

Yang tissues (like musculoskeletal) are more fluid-filled, soft, and elastic; whereas, yin tissues (connective tissue, as in ligaments, tendons, and fascia) and bones are dryer, harder, and stiffer.  Extension style movements that focus on muscle tissue is yang and movements that focuses on connective tissue is yin. As is with all unique mechanics, connective tissue is different from muscle and needs to be conditioned differently.

When you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time, the body will respond by making them a little longer, offering the benefit of additional fascial tensegrity.  This has been found to be a great form of holistic treatment in people with fibromyalgia and other fascia diagnosed syndromes.

Because yin is an asana practice rooted in “stillness” when we incorporate deep meditation, the ancient affects of relaxation, restoration and rejuvenation can be felt throughout the body and this aids in the release of necessary hormones stimulated through deep diagphragmatic breath. Deepak chopra once said, “ In moments of chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”

As we know Yin is the Tao style of Asian Yoga decent,  closely realted to Tai Chi and  accessing the “qi” (pronounced chee) a connection to our “prana” or life force.

Chinese medical practitioners and yogis have insisted that blocks to the flow of vital energy throughout our body eventually manifest in physical stresses; that is linked to “syndromes” like fibromyalgia. Therefore, the combination of slow, steady stillness in meditation really does help us reach down into the body and gently stimulate the flow of qi and prana through the connectiv tissue. Both Yin Yoga and meditation serve as a unique tool for helping you get the greatest possible benefit from a yoga practice.

Fibromyalgia & Fascia: Their Common Ancestory

Fibromyalgia and the Fasical Link

There are several theories about why Fibromyalgia occurs and the best approach for treatment. Significant evidence exists for central sensitization in fibromyalgia, however the cause of this process in fibromyalgia-and how it relates to other known abnormalities in fibromyalgia-remains unclear for the most part.

Many beleive that fascia and  fibromyalgia have a common thread in dysfunction due to various common symptoms and how pain “feels” viscerally.

We know that the fascia system is the body’s protective barrier , the connective tissue and the primal web that supports responses like “fight or flight”. Therefore, when stress is high, our immune system ends up running on auto pilot and/or we when we experience trauma in our lives, its no wonder our central nervous system can switch  into permanent “fight or flight” mode and our body ultimately begins to suffer because of it.

Fascia is like a web that surrounds the bones, tissues, organs, and blood vessels throughout the body , from scalp to toes, head to feet. When the body has a heightened sense of immanent danger or risk of further stress,  we constantly try to protect ourselves from further stress; therefore, its no wonder we don’t feel well, we don’t  digest food as well, we experience a disruption in our sleep patterns ,we experience extremely tense muscles, have a hard time concentrating , and much more.  We are distracted from optimal wellness and the feeling of equilibrium .

Recently, I have been looking at the similarities in myofascial pain syndrom (MPS) and certain autoimmune “dis-orders” or “dis-eases” as the medical community likes to classify, like fibromyaligia.  Symptoms of MPS and fibromyalgia are very similar, making it difficult for medical professionals to properly diagnose many people.

So what are the common signs? The most common sign of myofascial pain is the presence of palpable trigger points in your muscles and around trigger points. Trigger points are areas of extreme tenderness and sensitivity, and usually form in bands of muscle underneath your skin. They are similar to the tender points caused by fibromyalgia. Often, pain is felt in an area distinct
from the trigger point that is actually affected – this is called referred pain. As we have observed before,  bio mechanical breakdowns are much the same. The referral pain or trigger point is usually not the cause of the actual injury – it’s just the breaking point where energy is locked and tends to break down.

So what does this pain feel like? The pain of myofascial syndrome is typically a dull ache,  but can also produce a visceral reaction of throbbing, stabbing, or burning sensation around a given area. Inflammation and dysfunction of the fascia may lead to understanding the common threads found in fibromyalgia, and how we approach treatment. Expanding our knowledge in this area could significantly expand treatment options to include manual therapies directed at the fascia such as massage therapy, fascial stretch therapy, rolfing, foam rolling and transformational biomechanics.

Chris Frederick,  the Director of sports and orthopedic rehabilitation at the Stretch to Win Center™, and CEO of The Stretch To Win Institute for Fascial Stretch Therapy™ Training” explains “t’s best to find a Functional Medicine/Naturopath who treats a lot of patients with this problem so that you become part of a team of professionals that helps your client. In my experience, this has resulted in dramatic improvement such that the client can tolerate stretching & other exercise much more.”

Over the course of the few weeks we will look at different options for helping combat myofascial pain and the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Sources: Chris Frederick: Stretch to Win Institute  http://www.stretchtowin.com

THE RADICAL ROAD OF A SPIRIT JUNKIE

to heal is to make happy. Spirit is in a state of grace forever. Your reality is only spirit. Therefore you are in a state of grace forever.’ ~ A Course in Miracles

 

On Monday night I was joined with many friends and like minded powerful women as we sat and listened to Gabrielle Bernstein tell her personal journey on her North American book tour, “Spirit Junkie.” An event held at the Planetarium and hosted by Conscious Divas, a local company that holds “Dive Date Nights” and events that empower young women to follow their dreams share and tell stories of life, success and well… everything! And as always, the universe seems to unfold when it is needed most.

Touted as a role model for Gen-Y women, Gabby’s writing sets a vibe that draws you in with a down-to-earth tone and she speaks to you almost like a loving sister imparting wisdom for inner peace and joy.

So, how does a New York City publicist and party girl turn into an urban go to guide and inspirational guru for the next generation?

Part memoir and part guide, In her new book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, Gabby shares her personal story of how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. She has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high and In 2005 she became a student of A Course in Miracles.

Spirit Junkie is Gabby’s second book of brilliance, “Add more ~ing to your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness was her first, and since then she has been guided to teach those spiritual principles to the next generation of seekers. Spirit Junkie is her personal story that acts to instruct us all on how to “expect miracles” in our own lives, and to Be the Change, by Be-“ing” the Love throughout our own lives.

One of the topics Gabby spoke of most was her delight in dropping the “f” bomb – FEAR. The most important lesson is that we have a choice to live in fear or love. When we make the decision to project our fears onto the world, fear is what we will experience, its that simple. When we begin to shift those fear-based perceptions to love, then miracles occur and we start to make changes that affect the rest of our lie decisions.

I highly recommend this book, as well as checking out her numerous online websites that give you the opportunity to download meditations, inspirational vlogs and of course connect with other hip and fab women co-mingling in what Gabby calls – Power Posse’s!

Gabby Bernstein ~ http://gabbyb.tv/

Her Future ~ http://www.herfuture.com/

Conscious Divas ~ http://www.consciousdivas.com/

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