As the holiday spirit comes upon us, stressors of all sorts manifest, and with them come surges of cortisol and adrenaline. Highly valuable in fight of flight situations (powering the body to attack or flee from danger), these stress hormones can cause damage to the body when not physically utilized. The answer; MOVE! A 10 minute walk outdoors, stretch session, run, swim, or other physical activity will burn up excess stress hormones, upregulate metabolism (to balance your intake of holiday treats), and restore a sense of personal power, focus and calm. Give yourself the gift of at least 10 minutes of focused movement every day, and notice the rewards you see and feel.
As I was packing boxes this week, on the move once again, I tuned in to one of my favorite podcast stations, the Optimizer. I was inspired by idea that "disciplined practice leads to optimal experiences and the flow state". When we lead our lives with disciplined focus, we guide ourselves to do the work necessary to achieve our goals, feel the flow state, and the exhilaration of moving forward. No one can do this for us. And the reward is invaluable. This month, reward yourself for expressions of your disciplined practice, in whatever field you are passionate about. Some of my favorite inspiring and informative podcasts in human performance and health include; Optimize, Primal Blueprint, Katy Says, BulletProof Radio, and Revolution Health Radio. The podcast app makes it easy to tune in to these stations and learn while on the move! And to enhance your disciplined practice, join me for NEW evening group REFORMER CLASSES at Malibu Fitness. Contact me for details. To your health!
Pilates = Strength + Flexibility with Control
Tues 12:15 and Wed 5:30 pm (may change to 3pm)
Only 3 spots available! $40 fee
To sign up and for more information, contact
Jennifer Beamer, 310-498-4859, firstname.lastname@example.org
As this news drops in the mail, I will be on my way back to Malibu and looking forward to sharing inspirations from my journey abroad. Group classes at Malibu Fitness (pilates with functional movement, posture work) are in full swing, Saturdays at empowering elements of moving in nature..something I did a lot of in Paris! Standing tall, eyes focused above the horizon, arms pressing backwards, we can engage in a full mind body activity on the beach, in the mountains, or around the block. Movement guru, Katy Bowman, expounds upon the power of walking in her bestseller, Move Your DNA. Try listening to it in audio while on your next walk; Katy describes how daily movement (versus "exercise") alters our genetic expression; it is a wide variety of daily movement, not exercise, that is optimal for health. For your ease and efficiency, a link is here; http://www.amazon.com/Move-Your-DNA-Restore-Movement/dp/0989653943. and Tuesdays at . As cooler temperatures approach, we enter an opportune season for walking outdoors, enjoying the
Here are a few images to inspire some outdoor walks and stairclimbing.
Looking forward to seeing you again soon. To your health!
As September brings a return to work and school after the long days of summer, it creates an opportune time to reevaluate priorities and purpose. Set your focus firmly upon what brings you happiness, health, and vitality. Be attentive to things that may distract you from your vision. With each new task or demand, ask,"Is this energy/effort in alignment with my highest goals?" With attention and dedication, we can stay focused on an energizing, fulfilling journey, despite the tumultuous events along the way.Journeys will be leading me to Paris, Sept 20-Oct 1; I am thrilled to be visiting great friends from the time I lived in this glorious city, and to be teaching and studying pilates there. I aspire to bring new ideas and inspiration home to all my students! Additional training times will be available before and after my trip, focusing on mat work and body leverage training, to empower students' self practice while I am away. Mat classes infused with alignment and rehabilitation techniques continue on Tuesdays 12:15 and Saturdays 9:15 am at Malibu Fitness; all are welcome. Stand tall, and move well!!
Fresh out of the IDEA National Fitness Conference, I am reeling with ideas and inspiration. It is an honor to have the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field of biomechanics and human movement, such as Lenny Parracino, Gary Gray(Gray Institute), Chuck Wolf (Human Motion Associates), Sue Hitzman (Melt Method), Paul Chek, and Gray Cook, and a challenge to integrate all the material into meaningful applications for my community. An overarching principle is the chain reaction of the body, rooted in the myofascial nervous system. A fancy term referring to the fact that every part of our body is connected through tissues and nerve signals. Therefore, to address a problem in the system, we must look at the way the entire body is moving and functioning. No body part is an island! As Chuck Wolf expressed today, knee motion is determined by what is happening at the ankle and hip; thus, one must address how the ankle and hip are moving in order to optimize motion at the knee. Simply replacing a worn out knee, without addressing what is happening upstream and downstream, will lead to repeated problems.
A few of my favorite cues from Chuck's lecture included, "stand tall", "shine the beacon of light" (the pelvis) in the direction you want to go, and "smash the bug" under your big toe; I will illustrate these in class, and how they lead to upregulating the chain reaction in the body. Pushing the first ray (big toe knuckle) into the floor fires up the glutes...no "squeeze your glutes" needed! As one who knows the frustration of sacroiliac pain, by focusing on getting my first ray firmly rooted in lunges and squats, my SI pain was alleviated! This is like magic. Finding the targets and sparks that naturally wake up the body to optimal movement, is extremely refreshing. This respects the incredible wisdom of the body, and nature's sophisticated intricacies that keep us moving forward, even in the presence of injury and dysfunction. And this is the key to realigning all systems to optimal movement.
I look forward to sharing this information with you.
Be well, and stand tall!
Best to all,
While moving homes can be overwhelming at times, it can be extremelly invigorating to clear out the old and streamline one's life. In the midst of my move, I had an experience which inspired great joy. Yesterday, as I donated a truck load of furniture to Grace Hopper School, I was ignited by the glowing joy of the gentlemen coming to recieve my items. I was equally elated by a sense of lightness, and freedom as I bid my things good bye. It is easy to accumulate things, and to be unaware of how they weigh upon us psychologically as well as physically. Appreciating what we have, and keeping only what is a true priority for us, physically and mentally, allows us to move forward to new ideas, opportunities and purpose. This photo of my new Grace Hopper friends says it all.
Here's to living lightly and with vitality!
Summer is officially just around the corner, and beckons us to enjoy moving in the great outdoors. Lured by the beauty of Pt Dume, I had an exciting rock climbing adventure a few weeks ago..scaling the rock wall with the ocean waves roaring behind me, this is one of my favorite activities in nature. However, this time I tweaked my ankle and endured a stress fracture. This has lead me to take some time researching bone quality and healing, and thinking about what injuries can teach us.
I came upon a detailed article, How to Speed Fracture Healing, by Susan Brown, PhD of the Center for Better Bones. It begins by outlining that our body's innate intelligence guides our bones to heal naturally, and what we do during this time has a strong impact on the outcome. She describes the physiology of heaing, including the inflammatory,reparative, and remodelling stages. The nutritional demand for optimal healing is high! To speed the healing process, it is recommended to increase intake of calories, protein/amino acids, antioxidants (to offset the free radicals created during the inflammation process), and 20 key nutrients including Vitamin D3, K2 (this is key to guiding calcium to the right places in the body--- to the bone rather than to the arteries or soft tissues where it can cause damage), B vitamins, zinc, copper, calcium, silicon and phosphorus.
I prefer to get nutrients from whole foods whenever possible, but do also take some supplements of high quality. To boost my own bone healing, I have a few favorite foods such as bone broth , gelatin/collagen , grass fed organic ghee/eggs/liver (rich in vitamin K2), coconut oil, cod liver oil, organic vegetables, omega-3 rich sardines and wild alaskan salmon. Nutritionist and Gray Institute Fellow, Brandi Marshall shared the chart below with me, highlighting foods rich in healing nutrients.
I am also trying the healing powers of comfrey root poultices and creams, essential oils, acupuncture, massage, and Kelly Starrett's voo doo flossing (on hold until I am out of the boot!). Sleep is a priority.
While each injury is frustrating, I strive find the lesson behind it. What is this telling me about where I can find more balance in my life; nutrition/hydration, movement, rest/recovery, behavior? How can I use this experience to grow stronger, more resilient and adaptable? And to guide myself and others to optimal performance in athletics and life?
The body has a miraculous capacity to heal. Injury and repair allows us to appreciate this innate power. And inspires us to explore some different movement endeavors during the healing process; here's to the pool!
Health and happiness to all,
Upon straining my ankle this week, I turned to advice from some of my mentors, including all star Lenny Parracino, soft tissue therapist, Gray Institute Faculty member and international author/lecturer. He forwarded this valuable information, outlining the discrepancies between medical imaging and symptoms/function and explaining the dangers of relying on medical imaging to unravel root causes of imbalances in the body.
While medical imaging can be a valuable tool for ruling out major disruptions in the body's structure and function, minor findings can not only be misleading but they can lead to psychological pressures leading to a cascade of often unnecessary, and perhaps even harmful, diagnostic tests and treatments. My own hip MRI's show bone on bone, cystic bone growths and joint space narrowing akin to an 80 year old. Yet, my range, strength and function are excellent. And, I am pain free.
The take home message; imaging can be a valuable tool for understanding imbalance in the body, but is often out of sync with symptoms, and may turn up findings that lead to unnecessary tests and treatments. The optimal way to ascertain why imbalances are occurring in the body is to analyze the four main components of health in one's life; movement, nutrition/hydration, rest/recovery, and behavior/thought. By examining where excess, limitations, or toxins are present in each of these areas, one can adopt lifestyle changes leading to optimal health. The body has incredible healing power. With the proper information and support, healing will be ignited.