YYoga Expands to Kitsilano

YYoga Expands to Kitsilano

In mid-June, YYoga is set to open the doors of their new Kitsilano studio. In a controversial move, the new location on 4th ave and Cypress is just 3 blocks down from the neighbourhood’s longstanding and much loved Semperviva studio.

YYoga facilities will include:

This 8,000 sqft center will feature two yoga rooms, including a 1,600 sqft hot room and our largest infrared sauna. A spacious Nourish lounge will offer organic, fresh food and beverage options to support your healthy lifestyle; including a wide variety of Organic Lives.

Unique to this YYoga is our first outdoor patio lounge! This patio lounge will be for YYoga members to relax, catch up with friends and enjoy complimentary tea in a comfortable lounge setting with seasonal coverage for year round enjoyment. Fresh mint will grow on the adjacent patio which will be used in the complimentary teas.
This center also includes air and climate systems designed for optimal air quality and maximum energy efficiency.
Classes will include: Flow, Power, YHot, YHot Expand, Hatha, Yin, Core, Pilates, and Restorative.

With a formidable schedule of daily classes (20+ per day!) and boasting amazing facilities, Kitsilano yogis will have to stop and take notice.

Will YYoga drastically affect Semperviva’s teacher and student base? I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you looking forward to checking out YYoga’s new studio? Will you surrender your Semperviva pass in and head down the street? Comment below!

CLIFF HARVEY VANCITY WORKSHOPS : “Live The S**T Out Of Life!”

CLIFF HARVEY VANCITY WORKSHOPS : “Live The S**T Out Of Life!”

Cliff Harvey (ND, Dip.Fit, HbT, Adv.Psych-K, Reiki lll) is a Naturopath, author and speaker specialising in holistic performance nutrition and mind-body-spirit medicine. He teaches people how to give themselves the chemical building blocks of health (great nutrition) and how to integrate new patterns of behaviour and actions to achieve their life, health and performance goals.

YogaFORM is pleased to support Cliff, combining personal growth with Yoga is a “no-brainer,” therefore; we thought it would be “neat-o” to offer Cliff’s attendees YogaFORM prior to his workshop!

Join us May 18th at the “Women Empowered” kick off event at Denman Cinemas, as Cliff makes is debut as my special guest at our event. If you didn’t know –  Cliff is also my Health Sponsor for the CARE Canada “Walk In Her Shoes” 101km Event in Vancouver, that I am currently gearing up for on May 20th. He will be attending and signing his best selling book “Time Rich Cash Optional.” Check us out!

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS IN VANCITY:

 

Effective Conscious Communication

Date: Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Time: 6:30pm

Location: Tides Canada – 400-163 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

BONUS: Coffee, tea and refreshments provided

Details:

In this workshop Cliff Harvey ND draws on his 14 years of clinical experience as a Naturopath and Mind-Body Therapist to show how we can create more harmonious relationships at home, at work and in any other area of life – with just a few simple intentions, tools and exercises.

You will learn:

  • The value of having Brave Conversations
  • The importance of speaking your truth
  • How to use positive framing to literally transform your relationships
  • How to create better rapport
  • How to create more mindful communication
  • A simple mindfulness exercise to reconnect to your calm centre

Additionally Cliff will outline his 4 Key Communication Skills and demonstrate a simple, effective exercises that will allow anyone, in any relationship to communicate more effectively. (Learning this simple exercise is worth the price of the workshop alone!)

 

Fight Nutrition 101: No BS Nutrition for Fighters

Date: Saturday May 26th

Time: 10am – 12pm

Location: Universal North Vancouver

Details:

In this workshop Cliff Harvey draws on over 14 years helping fighters to train and compete at their best. He has been called ‘the King of the Cut’ for his work helping fighters to make weight and enter the ring or cage in optimal condition and fuelled to fight.

Why you need to make a commitment to be a better athlete…not just a better fighter, and how you can be leaner, more effectively fuelled, and recover better year round.

You will learn:

  • Cliff’s unique 12 phase approach to eating to be leaner and more effectively fuelled year round, and before a fight
  • 5 Golden Rules for Meal Composition
  • How to optimise pre, during, and post-training nutrition
  • The safest and most effective methods for cutting weight before your fight

Living the S**t Out of Life! (An intro to Time Rich Cash Optional)

Date: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Time: 6:30pm

Location: TBC

 

Details:

Intro to living time rich, happy and free.

(Consists of talk, followed by discussion.)

 

Based on the concepts in Cliff Harvey’s best-selling book Time Rich Cash Optional: an unconventional guide to happiness.

In this talk Cliff discusses why we simply have to change the way we live and the way we treat each other, for our own health and sanity and for that of the planet.

Cliff challenges the audience to live a life of simple abundance; embrace the unconventional; and begin to spend the currency of our lives (TIME!) on things that make us happier, healthier and that improve the lives of those around us.

Be inspired, motivated and uplifted.

 

Choosing You! Connecting with your life of purpose and reaching the goals that really matter!

[Full Day Workshop]

Date: Sunday June 3rd, 2012

Time: 9:00am 6:00pm

Location: Tides Canada – 400-163 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

BONUS: Coffee, tea, refreshments and fresh fruit will be provided. Bring your Yoga mat as we the workshop will be starting off with a 20min YogaFORM Vinyasa Yoga Class to get you energized and invigorated to start off your full day of “Choosing You!”

Details:

The exercises in this inspiring, motivational and practical weekend workshop have helped thousands around the world live happier, more fulfilled lives.

You will learn:

Why being normal sucks!….and how embracing the unconventional can help you live a happier, more fulfilled life
The value of dissatisfaction and how you can use this to transform your relationship with your life
– How to identify your value set and ethos, so that you can set the goals that really matter!
– How to turn your dreams into realisable goals
The importance of mindfulness for realising and achieving your goals

Cliff will also show how you can turn negative and self limiting beliefs into positive behaviours and patterns to defeat self sabotage, and will outline his unique approach to daily intention, actions and audits so that you can stay on track!

This workshop includes practical exercises encouraging greater mindfulness, awareness and communication.

Experience the breakthrough of realising your power to choose your life of passion and purpose!
Live the S**T out of life!

FOR MORE INFO ON REGISTRATION FOLLOW THIS LINK: http://www.eventbrite.co.nz/org/2144794195?s=7951665

Cliff Harvey –  http://www.cliffharvey.com/home

“WOMEN EMPOWERED:” ON MAY 18TH & 20TH STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORLD’S WOMEN

“WOMEN EMPOWERED:” ON MAY 18TH & 20TH STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORLD’S WOMEN

“WALK IN HER SHOES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN” IN VANCOUVER – STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORLD’S WOMEN 

 

Are you walking on May 20th?

Vancouver – ” Walk In Her Shoes Campaign” team leader and founder of RUN4ACAUSE pledges to” Run 101km in Her Shoes” on May 20th 2012, supporting of CARE Canada.

To help break the cycle of poverty and in celebration of 101 years of the world’s women; Sarah Jamieson, a local coach, athlete and philanthropist has organized two main events to showcase the power behind women, benefiting CARE Canada. TheseVancouver  events include:

“WALK IN HER SHOES” 101KM VANCOUVER EVENT:

In the poorest communities around the world, women and girls are often the ones tasked to collect water, firewood or other basic necessities of life. They walk on average 6 kms a day (approximately 8,000 steps) while carrying the equivalent of a suitcase. This leaves little time to attend school, access health services or earn money to support their families. This is repeated several times in a day.

The Walk In Her Shoes Vancouver Event,  is part of the CARE Canada 4 month national campaign “Walk In Her Shoes” that kicked off on March 8th, (International Women’s Day). The 101lkm route is broken down into 8 legs/districts with 6km to18km walk/run distances markers to choose from, and Sarah is asking Vancouverites to join her and walk or run 6km or more with her on May 20th.

START LOCATION: North Shore Athletics. FINISH LOCATION: Terry Fox Memorial Downtown.

Sarah’s goal is to run 101km in one day (under 14 hours) and raise $20,000.00 in support of CARE Canada’s key projects empowering women and girls, and to bring to light the importance behind girl’s education, and the impact girl’s play in their communities. Moreover, to showcase the potential WE, as a community have towards investing in the world’s most untapped resource – women.

To bring the understanding of women home – the last 10km (91km-101km) is dedicated to, and in honor of the women on the DTES (downtown eastside). Paying tribute to the missing women that have fallen victim to sexually bansed violence, as well as to those who continue to fight for those who no longer have a voice.

“WOMEN EMPOWERED” MOVIE & SALON CONVERSATION EVENT:

On Friday May 18th, join Vancouver for this one-night screening of  “Women Empowered” & salon conversation, a pre warm up event to Vancouver’s ”Walk In Her Shoes 101km. Created in partnership with CARE and the acclaimed social documentary photographer and TED.com speaker, Phil Borges. These films chronicle 4 short vignettes (approx. 15mins each), 4 stories of 4 women, remote and mostly unknown, on the vanguard of a global shift toward gender equality. Let us take you on a journey toIndia,Peru,Africa,Ethiopia andCanada, as we showcase the power behind girls education, maternal and child health, economic empowerment and defending dignity.

Conversation is an integral part of any event; therefore, the Women Empowered” event will also include a speaker panel thematically chosen to introduce each vignette, and touch on the powerful message behind the documentary. This style is representative of a salon conversation experience, as it inspires authentic and organic conversation between the audience and speakers. After the intermission, the audience will be offered a chance to ask questions and offer feedback.

Global Panelists:

  • Aliya Dossa – Introducing “Learning to Lead.” 18 year old [email protected] Speaker, Co Founder of Youth4Tap.
  • Alexandra Borys– Introducing “Vigilantes De La Vida.” M.A Int. Relations, Project Analyst for Colliers Int.
  • Jessica Robson – Introducing “Strength in Numbers.” Leadership Director for lululemon athletica
  • Sapna Dayal – Introducing “Abay’s Return.” Executive Director of imagine1day

Local Panelists:

  • Janet Kreda – Sustainability & Community Planning for Metro Vancouver, Philanthropist
  • Loretta Cella – Executive Program Director and Founder of Passion Foundation.
  • Jordan Bower – The Man Who Walked from Vancouver to Mexico

Special Guest: Cliff Harvey, Author of ‘Choosing You!’ & Time Rich Cash Optional; Speaker, Naturopath, Philosopher, Raconteur.

“Urban Sustainability Silent Auction”, Door Prizes & Exhibit: The lobby gives rise to an exceptional space for networking and will feature a unique and authentic take on the silent auctions.

JOIN THE RUN AND REGISTER HERE:

Taking part is easy, click on Registration is and join or pledge your support! Sign up Now!  Join “PB” & JAMS: RUN4ACAUSE or create your own team if you wish and get involved in supporting the worlds women.

DISTRICT SPONSORS:

 

EVENT SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS:

Fitness Town.     Passion Foundation.    lululemon athletica & A Little More Good. Imagine1day.     Fit to Train Human Performance Systems Inc & YogaFORM.      Scott Robarts Photography.      Miriam Borys, B.Ed, Chef.    Buddha-Full Juice & Smoothies.    [email protected]Jeff Gibbs – Human Earth Photography.

STAY INVOLVED:

Follow us on facebook at our Event Page here:

Women Empowered and Walk In Her Shoes Vancouver Event

Tweet it up and Follow our Campaign at @SarahMJamieson #WIHS

 

Vancouver’s Che Baba Cantina & Yoga Studio

Vancouver’s Che Baba Cantina & Yoga Studio

There’s a new yoga studio in Vancouver that combines yoga and food! Che Baba Cantina & Yoga Studio effortlessly marries southern French and Mediterranean-inspired fine dining with Hatha yoga:

Che Baba’s yoga studio opened where Kingsway and Fraser connect in November, its cantina, which is linked by a corridor, at the end of December. It’s meant to be a place for locals to socialize and indulge in a healthy way.

Che Baba’s studio hums with an early 1970s vibe complete with heated parquet floors, textured walls and cedar accents. The cozy 28-seat cantina features a stone bar built around an open kitchen.

Gagnon said the two businesses will support each other so there’ll be no pressure for the intimate yoga studio to expand or increase its fees. It offers classes for all levels with prices ranging from $10 to $15 per session […] via Vancouver Courier

Che Baba Cantina & Yoga Studio
603 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC
Phone: 604-558-1518 / 604-558-1519
Email: [email protected][email protected]
Web: www.chebaba.ca

NEED A TUNE UP:  “Are Your Fascial Transmissions Strained?”

NEED A TUNE UP: “Are Your Fascial Transmissions Strained?”

Structural Integration has been a growing interest in North America. It’s roots stem from European descent; an evolutionary brain child of the fascial work seen in Dr Ida Rolf, the movement insights of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and the whole-systems geometry of  B. Fuller and many other influences.  Amongst, those influenced is the widely known works of Tom Myers and Chris Federick.

It should be duly notes that Myers;  started KMI (Kinesis Myofascial Integration) which continues to explore Structural Integration from the point of view of myofascial continuities.

In many articles we have taken a close look at the neuromyofascial web; the matrix provides a sliding and gliding environment for muscles, suspends organs into the abyss that is our body, and transmits nutrients and information for movement from muscle to bone – it is the “Queen bee” of our very organic structure – otherwise known as the human body. This flexible structure is able to resist great unidirectional tension forces until the wavy pattern of fibers has been straightened out by the pulling force.

Figure 1a

YogaFORM “Surprising Differences in the Fascial Strain Transmissions:”

Earlier this week on my YogaFORM facebook page I posted the photo seen in figure 1a “Surprising differences in the fascial strain transmissions,;“ to bring to light the importance of movement and the associated relationships with reciprocal movement patterns.

Using the the ASLR (active straight leg raise) shown here; as an example of this ongoing exploratory conversation piece.  The ASLR exercise is one of the 7 screening tests corrective movement coaches apply using the FMS screen.  It tests the ability to disassociate the lower extremity while maintaining stability in the trunk.  By assessing active hamstring and gastroc-soleus flexibility, we also look at how the client reacts to maintain a stable pelvis , as well as active extension of the opposite leg . It is important to note that the hamstrings and the pelvis have a high correlation together in the toe touch and the ASLR.

Taking into account the “flexibility, tensegrity and tone” of the hamstring, but also the reciprocal action of the opposite hip flexor group, as well as the lumbar and thoracolumbar fascia. This cross over affect supports bipedal motion.

“The word ‘tensegrity’ is an invention: a contraction of ‘tensional integrity.’ Tensegrity describes a structural-relationship principle in which structural shape is guaranteed by the finitely closed, comprehensively continuous, tensional behaviors of the system and not by the discontinuous and exclusively local compression member behaviors. Tensegrity provides the ability to yield increasingly without ultimately breaking or coming asunder.” – Buckminster Fuller

Sherri Leigh Iwaschuk, a renowned and well known RMT and KMI therapist/coach/movement guru/ – pick a label and she will successfully dominate any one of them; posed a great addition to our facebook YogaFORM chat .  Sherri’s commentary, “It’s also worthwhile to note that contraction of the gluteus maximus might result in as much as 85% of the force transfer to the fascia latae, leaving only 15% to the femur, etc. This is a beautiful example of how muscles attach not only to bone (periosteum) but also to fascia and other muscles; laterally and even all the way to their antagonists. (Huijing)”

Sherri’s observation is correct, even in this picture there are only a few examples of the fascia strain transmissions to assoicated muscles, but not all are mentioned. The glutes, ITB TFL, even going as far as the latissimus dorsi and it’s points of attachement to the T7 – L5 of the spinal column, as well as the thoracolumbar fascia, iliac creast and inferior ribs and it’s innervation of the 6th, 7th and 8th cervical nerves. We can even go further down the rabbit hole and then discuss the relationship and direct impact of spinal structure in this specific case of the ASLR – but I will leave it here for now!

Potential Connections with the Role of Fascia and Overuse Musculoskeletal Disorders:

Tensegrity  plays a large role in structural integration and corrective movement, as it helps to explain the instantaneous transmission of fascial strain forces against or working with associated patterns.  Peripheral or secondary effects, can be  noted in many cases of somatic trauma or overuse of muscle, fascia and the related breakdown of the systems (reduced recovery, poor re hydration and energy adaptations etc). On average, the neutral tensegrity has balanced tensional forces and  can be noted as a stable and low-energy consuming structure at the molecular level, but when strained the structure can become rigid and inefficient; which is due to pre stressing along one or more of the associated lines of forces. This reduces the adaptively of the involved tissue and can alter the movement itself – thus establishing abnormal lines of force. Furthermore, this then can lead to hypertonicity and/or hypotonicity and imbalanced movement.

Needless to say that when overused muscles, in sport or even at the “corporate” level with hours upon hours of seated, seated and more seated movement can change the  adaptability of the involved tissue, creating abnormal lines of tension in contiguous structures, that is unstable and high-energy consuming at the molecular level.

Conclusion of this conversation is that there are many factors that apply to any one movement, because movement is a sequence of reflex, reactionary processes, where there can be no isolation of one particular muscle or group of muscles. In the action of the ASLR we can see that it is a delicate balance of not only tension, force and release but also a balance of mobility and stability necessary for proper movement and activation of the lines to collectively transfer energy to all the parts that make up the sum of the whole.

Taking a closer look at the ASLR progression we need to consider mobility before stability. Improving the overall flexibility of the assoicated muscles, fascia etc, involved is our starting point. Dysfunction in motor control tends to be one of the most common causes for altered neuromuscular stabilization of the pelvis and hips. Therefore, when performing the ASLR or any movement pattern for that matter – keep the transmission strains and transfer of force in mind to the surrounding muscles groups, joints and fascia lines.

For more information on KMI:

As noted in Sherri’s informational segway via her website… “The design of KMI is to unwind the strain patterns residing in your body’s locomotors system, restoring it to its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease. Common strain patterns come about from inefficient movement habits, and our body’s response to poorly designed cars, desks, telephones, and airplanes, etc. Individual strain patterns come from imitation when we are young, from the invasions of injury or surgery or birth, and from our body’s response to traumatic episodes. Beginning as a simple gesture of response, movements can become a neuromuscular habit.” I could not put this into better words myself!

Sources:

 

Fun Events and Sales this Weekend at Hari Om Yoga in Langley

Fun Events and Sales this Weekend at Hari Om Yoga in Langley

Join us at Hari Om Yoga in Langley (www.hariomyoga.com) this Friday and Saturday for two fun, low-cost events!
Tomorrow night, Friday, April 20,  finish your week off right with “Shine on You Crazy Diamond! Yoga and Pink Floyd!” from 8pm-9:30pm, for only $10+hst!
Rock, roll, move and bend to your favourite Pink Floyd tunes. No previous yoga experience necessary! Come for the amazing playlist, stay for the laughs, leave feeling great. Must love Pink Floyd, fun, and be open to random song quotes whilst getting bendy. Bring friends and smiles.
Then on Saturday, April 21, Hari Om Yoga is celebrating its 4th Anniversary with an Open House! Classes are FREE all day! This is a great chance to try yoga for the first time, or coax someone you love into trying it with you!
See in store for great sales on your favourite brands in yoga and fitness apparel. Retail sales from 15%-65% off and 20 & 50 class cards are on sale for 10%.
Always a fun day, it’s the perfect chance to meet other students and teachers at the studio over drinks and snacks, and stock up on class cards and yoga apparel. Stop by and celebrate another anniversary with us at Hari Om Yoga in Langley! See you there!
YOGA FREE CLASS Schedule:
 9-10am             Yin/Yang with Sean
10:30-11:30am “So you think you can do Hot yoga?” with Cormac
12-1pm             Luna yoga with Julia
1:30-2:30pm    ‘Classic Rock Flow’ with Amy
3-4pm                Bhumi Earth Practice with Valeria
4:30-5:30pm     Relax Deeply with Tara
Hari Om Yoga
20230 64 Ave
Langley
 604-539-0566
BARE ALL BAREFOOT PART 4: PERFORM BETTER & BE “PARASYMPATHETIC” TO YOUR FEET

BARE ALL BAREFOOT PART 4: PERFORM BETTER & BE “PARASYMPATHETIC” TO YOUR FEET

For the past week and a half I have been re-experiencing the same physical breakdowns that have plagued my ultra running for nearly 2 years. These include:

  • Left hip hike (also known as lumbo-pelvic dysfunction)
  • Left side – minor referral in the SI Joint and glutes
  • Left  side- dislocation of T2, T8 and T10
  • Right side – Medial  “Soreness” around the right knee
  • Right minor “plantar fascitis”

Aka – a whole set of awesomeness. Now, reviewing many of my earlier posts, does this not sound a lot like breakdowns in the spiral line; which many runners and ultra linear athletes fall victim to. Most of us tend to go directly to the source of our pain, and for me this has always been the left side of my low back  everything else is really just along for the ride. However, when we follow the line itself we can see that all of these “symptoms” are merely just that – referral and energy blocked area of the larger scope of the issue; which is instability of the pelvis due to improper foot placement when running.

FACT – I am a heel striker! There I have said it, my skeleton is out of the closet. Another confession, I pitch forward and forward head carrier. You now know all my secrets. This brings me to my next food for thought on the runners list of recovery and preparation – manual therapy. I am a big advocate of RMT and FST, as it allows us A-types to chill out, focus on proper parasympathetic integration and connective tissue work to passively (but actively) break up binding in the areas of blocked energy.

Be “Parasympathetic” to Promote Whole Body Recovery:

On Friday, I had the opportunity to hop on Gael Bishop’s massage table and within minutes was literally feeling those areas unbind and release. An integrated approach to health and wellness, as well as, performance enhancement is key to any persiodized program.

How can RMT and FST assist with recovery and prepare the tissue for your next phase in training? Moreover, What general effects does massage have on the parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system?

“The purpose of massage therapy is to prevent, develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function or relieve pain (Massage Therapy Act, 1991). Massage Therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. It is a widely accepted and effective treatment for reducing stress, decreasing muscle pain and stiffness, and for aiding in rehabilitation and postural realignment.” This little snippet of a excerpt was taken directly from Gael Bishop’s website.

Gael has been in the fitness industry for over 18 years and continues to inspire her clients to achieve their goals.  Her experience as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Registered Massage Therapist places her clients in very good hands.  Gael is committed to teaching her clients to “Trust Their Strength”, learn about their bodies and discover a new level of health and well being.

The human body is a finely tuned interaction of organs and systems. “the close inter-relationship between the somatic, autonomic and endocrine systems makes it impossible for pathologic changes to take place in any one structure without causing adaptive changes in other structures.” Edner, quoted in Chaitow (1983).

The Autonomic Nervous System is a system of nerves and ganglia that act as an interconnected web or “communication highway” with the distribution and reception of predominantly involuntary impulses to the heart (beat and contractile force) smooth muscle (vasoconstriction or dilation of arterioles) and glands (increasing or decreasing their secretion).

It can further explained by looking and the two sub-divisions – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems. While the sympathetic nervous system serves all parts of the body, the parasympathetic Nervous System is confined to the head and trunk.

Generally associated with the fight/flight response by its role in sedating the body and restoring it to the resting state it was in prior to sympathetic stimulation, where the ANS is a modifier of activity; either increasing or decreasing movement to respond to external and environmental stimuli.

Massage stimulates the sensory and proprioceptive nerve fibres of the skin and underlying tissues, and that these messages pass along the afferent fibres to the spinal chord, producing various effects in any zones supplied from the same segment of the spinal chord. … Such reactions are called reflex effects. When we take into account the make-up of the fascial system, an interconnected matrix which resemble, at the microscopic level, mini tubules that send nutrients and transmit nerve impulses to every aspect of the human body and every system; therefore, the benefits of massage are great. It can not only produce a local effect but may can establish a soothing effect on the body as a whole; as it can increase the sympathetic response.

Massage also may cause vasodilation in the skin and muscles by stimulating receptors of the sympathetic nervous system. Deep tissue massage often leads to a sense of relief and peace during or after the event – even if some of the deep tissue work is painful at the time of treatment. If we (as the client) also focus on linking this treatment with deep breathing – the brain can then be signaled to secrete the necessary hormones necessary to relax tissue even further, which aids in recovery and relaxation.

“Painful, stressful, and emotional experiences all cause changes in hypothalamic activity. In turn, the hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system and regulates body temperature, thirst, hunger, sexual behavior, and defensive reactions such as fear and rage.” (Tortora and Grabowski, 1996). Therefore; it is also safe to say that the parasympathetic system is integral to maintain “being chilled out,” as many athletes tend to be very “A-Type” keeping our muscles in tune with our response systems will aid in all aspects of our performance and phases in training.

“Back’ Tracking to the LPHC:

Taking a quick review of my own personal physical stress, the lumbo-pelvic complex. THE lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC) is a region of the body that has a massive influence on the structures above and below it. The LPHC has between 29 and 35 muscles that attach to the lumbar spine or pelvis (1,2). Above the LPHC are the thoracic and cervical spine, rib cage, scapula, humerus, and clavicle. These structures make up the thoracolumbar and cervicothoracic junctions of the spine, the scapulothoracic, glenohumeral, acromioclavicular (AC), and sternoclavicular (SC) joints. Remembering back to our 4 part series “Shouldering Responsibility,” we identified that the shoulder is not solely comprised of just the glenohumeral joint, but there are 4 joints to consider.

The LPHC is directly associated with both the lower extremities and upper extremities of the body; which is why promoting the relationship that exists between the hips and the shoulders is important to note. Because of this relationship and dysfunction of both the lower extremities and upper extremities can lead to dysfunction of the LPHC and vice versa. In the LPHC region specifically, the femur and the pelvis make up the iliofemoral joint and the pelvis and sacrum make up the sacroiliac joint. With runners, and improper gait cycles, the femoral head of the femur can literally jam the hip socket and compress the joint, shortening the leg and adding compression to all the lower limb joints (hip, ankle and knee).

Collectively, these structures anchor many of the major myofascial tissues that have a functional impact on the arthrokinematics of the structures above and below them. It is no wonder that there can be no isolation of one area to soothe the pain associated with biomechanical breakdown – it is a series or sequence of release and corrective control needed to effectively “treat” my “so-called” injury. RMT and FST sessions is an integral part of recovery days and during my peak training (especially gearing up for a 101km ultra run in late May).

Connecting the Nervous System to our Feet:

One branch of the nerves found in the feet stems from the largest nerve in our body, the sciatic nerve. Hence, the importance of your peids and the appreciation of the force and loud we apply on our feet per day. We know that the hands and feet house the majority of our bone structure. Our feet come with 26 tiny bones and last week we looked at the integration of the arch (plantar fascia) and the Achilles Tendon; which act as springs in our body to effectively distribute energy and loud through human locomotion.

The sciatic nerve consists of two nerves, the tibial and the common peroneal. These nerves are tied together by connective tissue and the wonderful adaptability of our fascial systems (primarily connected to the spiral line in the case of my LPHC). The sciatic nerve sends its two branches down the leg into the foot. In the foot these nerves branch out again, with many divisions nourishing the entire area. Thus the importance of regular manual therapy on the posterior and spiral lines are integral to optimal functioning and performance output for any athlete with similar symptoms of bio mechanical breakdowns. Add in a little traction – and as they say “Bob’s your Uncle” (Bob actually is my uncle so I can this without generalizing all the Bob’s out there.”

More than Just a Reflex: “Reflexology”

If you are an athlete, make sure to ask your RMT or FTS therapist to treat the feet, or even add in Reflexology; the trigger points in the feet can also aid in more than just “muscle and tissue” release, but in identifying the areas of pain that are usually associated with organs and areas of other discomfort in the body. Hence why all these manual therapies are important at one time or another, much like our bodies, there is no isolation of one being better than the other. A unifying theme is the idea that areas on the foot correspond to areas of the body, and that by manipulating these one can improve health through one’s qi.

Around the world and throughout history, reflexology has been rediscovered time and time again. Archeological evidence points to ancient reflexology medical practices in Egypt(2330 BCE), China(2704 BCE) and Japan (690 CE). Reflexology is an alternative medicine involving the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on what reflexologists claim to be a system of zones and reflex areas that they say reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands, with the premise that such work effects a physical change to the body.

This concludes our 4 part series on “BARE ALL, BAREFOOT.” Next week we will have a 2 part series on Golf, Fascial Stretch and Stability. Get Ready to “Swing” into action!

Sources:

I Heart Handstanders: Dice and Bri

I Heart Handstanders: Dice and Bri

Dice Iida-Klein and Briohny Smyth are amazing yogis and teachers in their own rights, but together they are outstanding!

Hailing from California, they both teach out of their home studio, Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA. You can catch Dice’s classes on Yoga Glo, while Bri was most recently known for her Equinox yoga video fame, as well as her classes on Yogis Anonymous. They form the duo of Handstanders.com.

Check them out in this inspiring handstanding/partner yoga demonstration from last month. Get inspired!

Watch the YouTube video:

BARE ALL, BAREFOOT PART 3: A Review of “The Perfect Runner”

BARE ALL, BAREFOOT PART 3: A Review of “The Perfect Runner”

The Perfect Runner is a stunning film of the evolutionary process of “running” or better yet – “human locomotion” and begs the question, are humans literally born to run?

The documentary “The Perfect Runner” debuted on CBC’s “The Nature of Things” in March and naturally I was eager, eyes peeled to the screen, giddy with anticipation of hearing yet another story of “why I love running so much and why it has always felt natural to me.”

The Perfect Runner follows anthropologist and host Niobe Thompson on his own quest with the “barefoot professors”; Harvard scientists, Dan Leiberman and Dennis Bramble, who ignited a fire with the barefoot running boom that has taken over the world of bipedal endurance athletics with their theory that humans are “born to run.”

These two leading proponents of the “born to run” hypothesis, speculate that we were programmed to run before our brains grew enough intellect to know it! Let me clarify – “because the growth of the human brain proceeded after the emergence of the running body, it was not our intellect that first guaranteed our survival on the ground,” says Leiberman.

 

Bipedal Homo sapiens  – The Natural Endurance Athlete

Let’s take a peek at the mechanics of what makes us unique – The body of Homo sapiens can do two things remarkably well: stride efficiently and regulate body temperature. Leiberman and Bramble show us that the human body is loaded with specialized running features.

The human leg, from the spring mechanics of the arched foot to the neuromuscular web of the facsia lines that bind an interconnected matrix from the tips of the toes to the scalp, following the network of long tendons running up the calf and thigh, is a perfectly formed marriage of muscle and energy-returning “springs”.

The gluteus group is an area that most runners lack stability and strength in and yet (because we sit on it all day for work, humans are not meant to sit, we are meant to move), it ­ is unique to humans among the primates because it propels us forward while stabilizing our torso as we stride and progress forward. Another key mechanical asset, is the nuchal ligament (described much like a large rope) – runs up the back of the head to stabilize the cranium during running, this allows for proper head carriage during locomotion and if we didn’t have it – we would have bobble heads.

Our longer arms, in comparison to our primate cousins, are structured to swing as counterweights to our body’s motion without tiring our shoulders. The muscles of posterior chain and anterior chain, along with the deep arm fascia prevent the shoulders from wobbling all over the map, and literally hold the arms in a perfect sequence as they swing in conjunction with our stride. And then there is our elongate form – long legs, narrow hip, tall torso; which give an elite runner a stride length of 3.5 metres, much farther than any four-legged competitor.

It is relentless natural selection that has promoted the survival of runners; the Homo body form emerged rapidly in response to the changed environment, a classic evolutionary “state shift”.

The Barefoot Debate:

Over the course of the last couple posts I have outlined various reasons why being barefoot is advantageous, as well as why runners are advantageous. The vote still stands that neither one is better than the other, it just depends on your why, when and how.

Pros to running in shoes are protection from the elements and shock absorption. The cons of running with shoes are more hell strike, which actually increases stress into the body. Running barefoot has the benefits of better proprioception and body awareness during movement, research shows that habitually barefoot or minimally shod humans tend not to land on their heels, and instead strike the ground in a way that leads to reduced stress and very low collision forces. We use our natural springs.

 

“Why is one of the world’s poorest countries home to some to the world’s best distance runners?”

This is an excellent question!  In a visually stunning exploration of the human body and our apelike ancestors, we learn how for over 2 million years Homo sapiens have survived in changing environments across the globe – a world ripe with predators.

Africa, is the heart of the world’s top endurance athletes, and uniquely enough is also the birth place of human civilization. Something called the “Persistence Hunt.” The Perfect Runner features unique footage of the only “persistence hunt” ever filmed; which helps unlock the mystery of why humans made a series of paradoxical trade-offs as they evolved, losing strength and natural defenses as they became hairless bipeds on the scorched African plain.

For the past 2 million years, humans have proactively hunted for food – no surprise here. Using this practice called “persistence hunting”, hunters tracked and ran their prey to exhaustion. Yes, the cheetah may be able to sprint and out run the human, but much like anaerobic threshold training any body (man or animal) can only sustain that energy output for a certain amount of time. Homo sapiens would track the hunt and ultimately through endurance – paying close attention to sustained energy output.

On the other side of the globe and moving from one of the hottest places on earth to the coldest – Niobe travels to the most remote part of Arctic Russia, a place where running is still a way of life in the small rural villages. A herder’s life is constant movement – coined “cowboys without horses, running alongside their reindeer” over the ankle-breaking tundra.

 

Taking Cues from Natural Runners:

Niobe goes on to say – “Meanwhile, in the world of elite endurance running, coaches have been taking cues from natural runners for decades, learning from the success of the Ethiopian, Kenyan and Moroccan athletes who dominate the international top ranks. AtNorth America’s Athletics Coaching Centre at theUniversityofAlberta, a long-standing collaboration with Ethiopian runners, including the legendary Haile Gebreselassie, has insured that the rising generation of North American athletes emulates the best African runners. Coaches eschew cushioned running shoes, concentrate on foot strength, use barefoot running as a training method, and always promote forefoot-strike techniques.”

This is definitely a movie worth watching, one that even if you are not a runner, is a great tool to visually see the evolutionary process of hominid and bipedal endurance. Now, I have a hankering to go out for a run!

 

Sources:

The Perfect Runner: http://www.theperfectrunner.com/

Dan Leiberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, HarvardUniversity: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~skeleton/danlhome.html

Live Well in the New Live Yoga Studio

Live Well in the New Live Yoga Studio

Live Yoga in White Rock made an exciting change of venue this past week and students are thoroughly enjoying the new location!

Having resided in a quaint character building in White Rock for the last six years, Live Yoga turned a page at the end of March and said goodbye to their cozy studio and said hello to their new, larger, street-level space jut down the road. They will continue to offer a complete current schedule of great yoga classes, but now there is more space to really stretch out and relax without kicking the window sills!

The new studio will have someone on-site Monday to Saturday from 10:30am – 6:00pm. Live Yoga now houses a beautiful Wellbeing Shop where you can purchase a wide variety of items – from natural perfumes, to malas, and books – most of which are locally purchased. They are also selling Half Moon Yoga props and are able to order in any Half Moon products for you if not on the shelves.

Live Yoga’s goal is to continue building community and ensuring that you have a blissful yoga experience every time you come to class. All of their teachers have a very high level of training, kind hearts and love teaching yoga!

Find a full list of drop-in classes, preregistered series, and much more at www.liveyoga.ca or visit the new location (only a block away from the previous location!) at 15186 Buena Vista Avenue in White Rock.

Congratulations Live Yoga!

BARE ALL BAREFOOT PART 2: PLANT YOUR ROOTS, “PLANT(AR) FASCIA”

BARE ALL BAREFOOT PART 2: PLANT YOUR ROOTS, “PLANT(AR) FASCIA”

Barefoot running is not a new phenomenon.
It has historically been performed since the dawn of time, out of necessity rather than for recreation. Primitive man and early cultures existed without shoes and survived without the benefit of footwear. In fact, it has been common throughout history all over the world — but in the face of ever-increasing science and technology pumped into shoes, it has risen to popularity as a natural means of exercise.

In the last article we began to debate the pros and cons of barefoot running, and what frequently comes up is a very important consideration and this simple, and quite frankly, general rule of thumb – it depends on the what and why.
The movement has gained a strong following through some scientists’ beliefs that barefoot running can actually improve health in the feet, knees and hips while reducing the rate of common injuries like plantar fasciitis. I have no doubt that this is true for many; however, there are always risk factors, proper adaptations and progressions to consider, and asking the right questions – what activities do I engage in? will this improve my overall performance and health? When and where would barefoot running be implemented and when, what periodized progressions.

In my own personal athletic sphere; I find training in the gym when lifting kettlebells and performing yoga – barefoot is key to my success. I have not yet ventured to the realms of the trails or pounding of the pavement yet, but I will. Now, how about work?  My ultimate goal is to become a Vancouver Police Officer and I can say that without a doubt, barefoot options will not happen here, for 3 key factors (1) public safety hazard, huge risk factors (2) your boots are your protection, if a perp is on the ground, you don’t dive in “hands first,” and your feet are the closest piece of your body to someone on the ground – safety first. (3) long shifts and uncontrolled terrain, you never know where the day or night will take you. My point is that if you are considering barefoot options; you need to consider all spheres of your life and implement as such, with proper implementation.

The Mechanics of the Foot:

Running barefoot allows the mechanics of the foot to operate as it is designed, without restriction and it also connects the runner to the terrain, mother earth. Running barefoot forces the runner to use the foot pads on the balls of the feet when striking the ground rather than touching down with the heel, which can increase the shock absorbed by your legs and feet. A common injury seen in runners and endurance athletes is plantar fascitis.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed. Your foot is the foundation, the roots to everything else that sits above. Made up of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, our feet and hands house the majority of our bone structure.

The plantar fascia is a relatively inflexible, strong, fibrous band on the bottom of the foot that supports the arch of your foot. Beginning at the heel bone, the plantar fascia extends the length of your foot to connect with your toes at the ball of the foot and is an integral part of the superficial back line, one of our many fascia meridians.

 

Superficial Back Line

Insert anatomy 101 here: The Superficial Back Line :

Plantar Fascia > Gastronemius > Hamstrings > Sacrotuberous ligament > Thoracolumbarfascia > Erector Spinae > Nuchal Ligament > scalp fascia ( to “occipital ridge and beyond” well… to the brow bone anyways)

When we walk, weight is distributed across your feet. Any imbalances in the mechanics of the foot and distribution of weight can potentially cause compensation that can lead to injury. When we look at a dissection of this line we can see that the plantar fascia is continuous, covering and transvering around and to the heel and the Achilles tendon upwards through the calves, hamstring, deep fascia of the sacrum and lumbar, even interacting with the sciatic nerve. This begs the question – is what some call “plantar facitis” really the issue, if you experience back pain – that could be the point of origin of breakdown, or perhaps a very poor score on your ASLR (active straight leg raise) – perhaps it’s your hamstrings that are the “bain of the pain”  and not your feet. My point, is there are many things to consider here.

Many proponents of barefoot running and it cannot be jumped into quickly. Let’s look at the shoes for a moment – they allow the foot muscles to relax and exist underdeveloped. And they cushion from impact. Additionally, the bones in the foot and lower body are not accustomed to the stress of barefoot running. When you are starting out, note this.

 

The Superficial Back Line & The Hamstrings:

I find that clients and runners, who exhibit plantar fascia inflammation, also have had calf strains and tight hamstrings, or too much tone in the muscle tissue itself. As humanoids are initial response to pain is to fix and treat the pain referral point – but, remember, it’s all connected and the pain isn’t always the source of the breakdown. Moving on up the leg, try a simple multi-segmental flexion drill and trigger point to release to see if this improves the mechanics of the foot, superficial line and ASLR.

During multi-segmental flexion (toe touch) the primary line that we are asking to be lengthened is the Superficial Back Line and we know that this basically stems from the plantar fascia at the bottom of the foot all the way up to the scalp.  This teaches sensory awareness, as well as teaches relaxation of the tension in the back and superficial line and how to shift the body weight from heels to the toes in a smooth and consistent fashion.

Step One: Soft Tssue Rolling – use a tennis ball (or better yet a foot roller) and roll on the bottoms of the feet (the plantar fascia) for approximately 60sec per foot

Step Two: Toe Touch Progression (I like to start the client off with heels elevated slightly on the half foam first; which is more passive, then work up to toes elevated on the foam and a towel in between the knees for proper tracking of the knee and trunk engagement). Arms extended over head, again NO hyperextension and ensuring the client does not hyperextend the lower back upon returning from flexed position.

If the client has lower back pain or any back related injury (herniated discs, back surgery etc); then flexion you want to stay away from and extension patterning should also be considered with ANY flexion patterning  – it’s all about creating balance.

Dysfunction in motor control tends to be one of the most common causes for altered neuromuscular stabilization of the pelvis and hips and this transfers to our feet. Considering, the psoas and hip flexor group interact with flexion (point of origin of the psoas is lower lumbar, hence it will pull on the back and compress at the hip in flexion of the toe touch progression, you can modify this by performing another movement pattern – the supine  ASLR passive and active leg lowering progression.

Step one: use the foot roller or tennis ball to roll the plantar fascia.

Step Two: ASLR Passive Leg Progression and then moving to the second progression (using a hurdle or door frame). For more information on these progressions you can find a great breakdown in Gray Cook’s book “Athletic Body in Balance” or more for you clinical coaches, Gray’s  book “Movemet” looks at more the SMFA approach.

In any case, always retest and see if there is an immediate improvement in visceral pain of the plantar fascia and improved range of motion in the superficial back line. Some instantly feel release and can be able to touch their toes.

Next week we take a peek at the Barefoot Training and the neuromuscular adaptations and benefits of rooting through your feet in strength and conditioning.

 

Sources:

Dissection of the Lines “Anatomy Trains” – http://www.anatomytrains.com/uploads/rich_media/ATDiss-1.pdf

Gray Cook (links to his books and articles ) – http://graycook.com/

Fuzz: Another Reason To Start a Morning Practice

Fuzz: Another Reason To Start a Morning Practice

Gil Hedley, Ph.D., founder of Integral Anatomy Productions, LLC, and Somanautics Workshops, Inc. is an anatomist whose intention is to share a larger vision of community and relationships based upon insights drawn from self-responsible and embodied life experience.

He gives a wonderful “fuzz speech” which describes with perfect simplicity why we should all get up in the morning and move, stretch and use our bodies. Don’t let the “fuzz” build up and become permanent movement inhibitions!

Visit his website for more information about his research.

More importantly, watch the Fuzz Speech here!

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