Vigorous rounds of deep inhalations and exhalations filled the small Storey Fitness Studio last weekend, the sound of driving chanting music and voices of coaches Chris Tai Melodista & Jared Tavasolian powerfully encouraging us onward, despite our fatigue. Though I was merely breathing, the volume and pace of my breaths led me to feel that I was sprinting for my life. After multiple rounds of this intense work, we plunged into a bath of ice water, testing our ability to withstand extremes thorugh our mental focus. I was learning the Wim Hof Method.
Wim Hof, a Dutch "daredevil", has been called The Iceman due to his ability to withstand extreme cold. Through his training in extreme temperatures and intense breathwork, he has upregulated his immune function, blood oxygen content, and resiliency to stress. More about his work, and the science behind it, can be found at; http://www.icemanwimhof.com/innerfire.
My personal case study of one, resulted in a deep sense of calm, relief of pain and inflammation, heightened mental acuity, joy and mental presence. The day was fatiguing, but left me revived and in a high performance state for the week. When I practice the Wim Hof style of breathing during my High Intensity Interval Training, I feel my legs moving easily beneath me and I achieve higher speeds with seemingly less work. While I am a novice at this, I do feel its benefit and am grateful for the intensive focus Jared and Chris provided. The workshop inspired me to infuse the work into my daily life and teachings. Joseph Pilates was a strong believer in the power of the breath to achieve high mental and physical states. He called it the, "Internal Shower", and began his matwork with the vigorous breathing of The Hundred exercise. While we are all aware of the essential quality of breath to our lives, we tend to live within a small, contained amount of it. A study of the Wim Hof method amplified my breathwork practice and I am eagerly bringing this forward to my students.
And, while it's not a plunge into an ice bath, my daily dive into the cold ocean is a definite endorphin boost. Try adding deep breaths and a 30 second cold shower to your daily routine, and let me know your results.
Here's to upregulating your health,
This month I was fortuante to host a workshop with dancer, movement teacher, and health/wellness coach, Niedra Gabriel. Having studied and taught around the world, Niedra brought a summary of her current thoughts on detox, hydration and remineralization to our group in Malibu. Following Niedra's presentation and explanation of the scientific principles behind the techniques, all attendees were alive with questions and hungry for more. A weekend workshop is in development.
Niedra described how to work with different types of water for different results. Purified distilled water is the most pure clean water available and will have a cleansing or rinsing effect on the body. It will dissolve waste and inorganic elements out of our tissues, so drinking distilled water for cleansing effects is very therapeutic.
Water bubbling up from the earth is rich in dense minerals, however, subsequent transport, filtration, distillation, and storage processes lead to essentially "dead' water, deplete of minerals. Minerals such as magnesium, sodium, chloride, and many others, are essential to life; cell signaling/communication depends upon the electrical (ionic) charges of minerals in solution. Bone and tissue health depend upon the correct composition of minerals in the blood and fluid systems. Hormone regulation, muscle activation, nervous system function, and essentially all life processes, depend on a delicate balance of minerals in the body.
One simple way to add minerals back into filtered/distilled water is with Celtic sea salt (choose the dark grey kind) or Himalayan salt. A pinch of either in a liter of water can help remineralize your body and lead to enhanced uptake of water into your cells. Without it, you may be losing much of the water you drink, leaving you essentially dehydrated. Niedra likes this source of ionic magnesium and trace minerals (it is believed 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium). Many forms of magnesium are of too large a particle size to be absorbed effectively by the cells; therefore this ionic source, or a transdermal spray are recommended.
One of my favorite hydration habits is drinking two glasses of warm water with fresh squeezed lemon on waking. The body has been working hard to process and detoxify all night long, and a lemon water "internal shower" is a refreshing, energizing way to start the day.
Niedra showed us other hydration ideas, including a beautiful blue green algae water (I will start mine tonight), and shared many ideas about detox including saunas, skin brushing, gu sha, and a vodka skin cleanser (yes, vodka!).
Many thanks to Niedra for her generous sharing of her lifelong studies and wisdom. Stay tuned for information on upcoming weekend workshops. Enjoy the hydration and revitalization.
More information about Niedra's work and events can be found at;
Upgrade your Potential your Vitality and your Joy of Life
Using simple yet profound home protocols.
Would you like to
Detoxify and rebuild?
Increase your flexibility.?
Reduce inflammation and pain?
Increase your energy and vitality,?
Rejuvenate your face? your skin?
The protocols covered in this talk/workshop will enhance the above and more -
I will be hosting this workshop with health and movement dynamo, Niedra Gabriel (30 years in the health and fitness industry).
Niedra is back on the mainland after three weeks of intensive study, detoxification and healing with leading toxicologist, Dr. Cassar in Hawaii.
Niedra will be giving a workshop in Malibu to share her latest simple yet profound techniques.
Join us Wednesday February 17, 6:30 - 8:30pm for an evening of up regulating / up spiraling.
To rsvp , call Niedra Gabriel 805 535 8968 .
Address will be disclosed upon registration.
FB : Niedra Gabriel coach
Do you want to feel vibrant, heal painful joints, think with clarity, and have enduring energy?
Bone broth can kickstart your process.
Upon hearing Dr. KellyAnn Petrucci's interview with Dave Asprey on my Bulletproof podcast station, I am compelled to write an entry, once again, encouraging all to consider adding bone broth to their diet. My own experience has been illustrative of the tranformative power this brew.
Following my professional dance career, I found myself in a state of overwork and physical breakdown. I would wake in the mornings with brain fog, depression, pain that felt like knives driving into my hips, and instability so grave I was not sure I had to calculate how to walk across the room. I felt like a jellyfish with no stable internal structure. My fascia had broken down. At the age of thirty-nine, my highly demanding physical schedule, and inadequate nourishment (I was eating plenty…but not the fats, cholesterol, and protein that I needed) had led my body to say, "no more". With the guidance of my mentor, Lenny Parracino, I learned about the healing power of bone broth and collagen, healthy fats, and a diet steeped in the principles of Dr. Cate Shanahan's, Deep Nutrition.
By incorporating bone broth into my daily diet, along with more healthy fats and grass fed protein, over a period of months I began to emerge from my broken state, and within a year I was transformed. I was elated to feel my body return to a state of agile strength and elasticity. My mood rebounded to my normal positive, highly motivated self. Clarity of mental focus and highly diminished pain added to my joy.
This miraculous transformation is one I am driven to share and hope it may inspire others to heal themselves. Our cells are hungry for proper nourishment. By eliminating toxins and returning to a diet based on whole foods, held sacred by our ancestors for their healing properties, we can reboot our health from within. An incredibly powerful healing resource for the gut (gastrointestinal integrity is foundational to all health), brain/nervous system, bones, joints and soft tissues, bone broth is a simple, delicious food that I cannot recommend highly enough. Enjoy the transformation you can create within yourself.
An excerpt from an article by Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Idea Fitness Journal, Sept 18, 2015, highlights how we can change our brain function and structure through movement:
"Exercise has shown tremendous promise as a neuroprotective intervention (Fleshner et al. 2011; Head, Singh & Bugg, 2012; McEwen 2012). Research has identified several ways that exercise protects the brain from stress—and even reverses the effects of chronic stress on the brain (Stranahan & Mattson 2012; Rothman & Mattson 2012). Exercise increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which maintains brain health, supports brain growth and combats the negative effects of stress. Exercise seems to enhance BDNF specifically in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, the two regions most susceptible to stress-related damage. Exercise also triggers the brain’s self-repair processes, which may help reverse any stress-related neurotoxicity. Finally, exercise activates the brain’s stress-calming system, releasing a neurotransmitter called GABA, which helps restore balance in the autonomic nervous system. When we exercise regularly, we naturally engage all of these neuroprotective processes. Over time, exercise can create a “stress-resistant” brain that is less sensitive to threat and recovers more quickly from stress (Fleshner et al. 2011)."
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, email@example.com
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!