Whole Body Movement

Yoga is a wonderful practice for connecting the mind and body, calming the nervous system and increasing feelings of well-being. That's what got me hooked more than 20 years ago. That high I felt after a yoga practice. And so I practiced and my mind felt clear and my heart felt open. But too much of a good thing lead me to physical imbalances.  No single movement practice contains everything and my body was craving the movements...

If you’ve been to any of my classes or workshops you’ll know that I absolutely love learning about anatomy, alignment, biomechanics and how it all relates to the practice of yoga. Over the years my understanding of the purpose of alignment in yoga or any movement practice has changed. Significantly. I recently taught a workshop on this topic as part of a 200-hr. Yoga Teacher Training program and was inspired to share some insights here. When I...

This year we decided to enter the Northwest Territories Recreation and Parks Association’s (NWTRPA) Walk to Tuk challenge as a family. With two adults and 2 kids (ages 6 and 8) we would need to each walk an average of 7km each day of the 2 months to complete the 1658 km journey (and get our t-shirts!). Less than a century ago walking that distance daily or more would have been normal but in our car-driving,...

In my recent blog posts on tight muscles not needing to be stretched and lengthened and strength-training not shortening your muscles, I mentioned that increases in flexibility or passive range of motion resulting from yoga or passive stretching practices don’t stem from increases in resting muscle length but from the nervous system being able to tolerate the stretch better. This mechanism of the nervous system is known as stretch tolerance. To recap, when you hit your...

We’ve established that a “tight” muscle is not a short or contracted muscle and that “tight” is a subjective sensation of the nervous system. If you missed that blog you can catch up here. So let’s continue and do away with another popular myth that states, “Strength training will contract your muscles and make their resting lengths shorter and therefore should be accompanied by stretching to lengthen them back out.” The previous blog described how stretching doesn’t...

I recently taught a class called “Foot Gymnastics for Dynamic Aging”. The class was designed to introduce people to the importance of their feet (the foundation of support for the rest of you, major role in balance and agility, etc.), and explain how paying more attention to our feet and giving them some movement inputs daily can help prevent the loss in balance and mobility we have come to expect is a natural part of...

If you’ve been to one of my workshops or classes you probably know that I pay a lot of attention to feet. They are the foundation that supports our entire body, our entire posture and if something is not functioning well in the feet it can have a ripple effect on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. In the body, that is. I often compare this to your house. If there is a cracking or unstable foundation that results in a...

I’m not a fan of the “Kegel” as an all-purpose exercise to help strengthen the pelvic floor. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the work of Dr. Kegel, an American gynaecologist who in the 1940s and 50s took an interest in women’s health and demonstrated how pelvic floor exercises could be used to improve symptoms of incontinence for women after childbirth, introducing a non-surgical option for treatment. He was a pioneer and an...

In the last blog post I explained why pulling your shoulders back and lifting your chest is not good advice if you want to correct your hunched forward posture. In short, I explained how these postural cues hide the issue but don’t actually address it and can even make it worse. Instead I have three areas I work on in my own body and with clients that want to work on their hyperkyphosis. All of these...