This is Spinal Map

In order to work your core, you have to be able to feel it. 

Essentially, your core is what surrounds your spine, and so I created this somatic experience to activate not only the muscles that mobilize your spine, but also your awareness of their minute functions. 

You can practice this on it's own, or as an excellent warmup for any movement class you might want to take. 

It will change your practice. 

Enter the Matrix

I spent this week musing on connective tissue. The ubiquitous fibers within our body that both transcend and connect all of our otherwise separately defined systems. 

There are different types of connective tissue, some approaching the hardness and durability of bone, and others so fine and enmeshed that they resemble the inner membrane of a grapefruit. They serve different purposes in the body, but what they all have in common is that they link different systems ( such as muscles, ligaments and bones) together, and hold many of the postural and movement patterns that define our character and shape. 

So let's unpack this for a moment. 

What this means is that if you've been stressed out for a while, and your neck and back have been "feeling it", at a certain point, it's no longer a matter of just stretching out the muscles that got tight, because your connective tissue has begun to hold that shape. It's keeping your bones and your joints in that posture, and your standard workout isn't going to do much to change that pattern. 

Connective tissue takes a while to stretch. It's different than muscles. The world of " Harder, Faster, More" just doesn't apply here. Slow, gentle stretching, held for longer periods of time, is the way to go.

Essentially this is all about exploring the process of " surrender".

For many people, Yin Yoga is their pathway in to this realm, but it's not the only path.

I recently read this wonderful article on connective tissue stretching, which relates the technique of twisting acupuncture needles to this very process. 

Gently moving the skin to allow for a deeper muscular release has been a technique of mine for a number of years, and I am glad to have discovered the science behind it. 

Here's a 20 minute workout designed to release the deep and superficial fascia of your neck, back, and hips.

 

This workout was choreographed not only as a prayer for all of our souls in their " meat cars" but also for the political state of the nation I live in. 

What we need now, more than ever, is to find the commonalities between all of our separate definitions of self. To strengthen those ties that connect us all, and use that matrix as a vehicle to communicate peace and harmony to all living beings on this Earth. 

This takes real effort and focus, but is not impossible. 

Breathing is helpful.

 

My mission is to create a world where people are happy in their bodies.
I believe that happier people will bring us closer to a world that exists in
peace. 

Domini
 

Living in the Edge

To quote Bruce Lee:

 "If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them"

 Although this may be true, when it applies to functional exercise, you've got to be careful that you don't dislocate a shoulder while pushing those limits. 

 What that takes is developing an awareness about your alignment while stretching, a sense of balance in all directions. That muscle contraction becomes more about a muscular desire for connection. 

I put together this little sequence to push the envelope while at your desk ;) 

It's all done on a chair. 

The first video is simply me explaining the concept, the second is your 12 minutes " Living in the Edge" workout. 

My mission is to create a world where people are happy in their bodies.
I believe that happier people will bring us closer to a world that exists in
peace. 

Breathe On,

Domini

 

Triple Threat : Moving the three Diaphragms

If you have any experience with core movement at all, you are most likely familiar with the concept of the "Three Diaphragms".

For a phenomenal description of them, check out this video.  

I created this somatic flow sequence to wake these three places up in the body, and help us to discover their beautifully intertwined relationship. 

It's going to take you just over a half hour to go through the entire sequence. That includes watching the instructional video. 

Make the time. 

Your body will thank you. 

My mission is to create a world where people are happy in their bodies.
I believe that happier people will bring us closer to a world that exists in
peace. 


Breathe On

Domini

Aging Well

Joseph Pilates has a famous quote " You are only as old as your spine". 

Homedude was right. 

When we think about " shrinking" with age, what is actually happening is that as a result of constant misalignment and impact, the discs that protect your vertebrae actually begin to erode, and can slip out of place. Then the apocalypse happens... 

 

No, really. That whole "decomposing with age" thing mainly has to do with bad posture, and jamming your bones together consistently over time. 

So I put this little sequence together to help you reverse that damage, and choose the path of " Aging in to Grace and Wisdom" instead. 

The first video explains the concept, the second gets your breath in order, and the third contains the workout. It's a total of 20 minutes.

Don't be surprised if you notice a number of postural shifts from doing this. 

( oh, and nice tight abs too)


As aways, I don't live in your body, YOU DO. Please listen to it, and if anything is causing you pain, stop immediately, and return to your breath. 

Abdominal Alchemy

Abs are one of my obsessions, which is not surprising considering : 

1. I teach exercise for a living

2. I have abdominals

3. I dig exhaling, and they're essential for that. 

 

I created this instructional video to clear up a lot of misconceptions people seem to have about how to tone their abdominals, many of which can actually damage your back. 

You may want to pause the video in parts and repeat certain exercises. 

It's better to get one concept down gracefully and smoothly in the body ( notice, I never said " quickly") before moving on, than miss an essential core connection in your desire to "challenge yourself". *The key to beautifully functional abdominals is to take it slow and precise. Wait for the breath to lead you. 

*#lifegoals ;)

 

As always, I don't live in your body, YOU DO. You are the only person who truly knows if some exercise is going to hurt you. Please listen to your body and do the things that feel right and good. If something causes you pain, stop immediately. 

A Quickie for the Shoulders

Well, it's never JUST your shoulders, it's never just anything.

Your shoulders connect down through your trunk, and above them lives your neck, and a series of important muscles called the Scalenes. They're a group of muscles that suspend your shoulder girdle off of your skull somewhat like a macrame plant holder from the 60's. Think of a series of ropes suspended off of a ring, and then add a strong diagonal cord that stabilizes/mobilizes diagonally front to back and a long flat band down the back that flanks a beaded rope and you've got a visual of what's going on up there, between your Scalenes, Sterno-Cloidal-Mastoid muscle and your Trapezius, which travels down your back in it's broad, flat, diamond shape. 

Just like this plant holder, if any one of these cords gets twisted or knotted, the entire balance of this suspension mechanism goes off. 

This little series helps to restore balance all the way around. 

Carry your plants gracefully, my friends.

Fern on. 

Sole Train

The foundation of good posture involves what is translating your weight in to the earth.

If you're sitting, you'd better make sure that your ass is grounded ( and not too tight).

If you're lying down, pay attention to what has contact, and where are the spaces; you'll learn a lot. 

And if you're standing or walking, well, it's your feet. 

In many cases, humans don't use the entire sole of their foot, and that can cause problems not only in the foot, but in every joint higher than it ( so, basically, every joint in the body). 

This short sequence gives you tools to re-align your feet, and makes your legs feel great while you're at it. 

I'd also like to give a shoutout to Jenn Pilotti, whose insight in to my feet changed me forever. She also has a studio in the Barnyard, and often teaches workshops on the weekends. Check her out. 

 

Interested in teacher training in the Gyrotonic Method? Become a licensed Gyrotonic Apprentice Teacher with me this November.

For a complete list of my upcoming trainings and workshops, click here. 

Breath Based Warmup

I recorded this a while back as an intro for a movement class I was teaching. It's a lovely way to get in to your body, and could be done preceding any yoga, dance, or other type of mindful movement class. 

Or perhaps, just to begin or end your day...

Enjoying these "movement bites"? 

Check out my
 I have a Gyrokinesis Update, and Inner Space weekend workshop coming up this month and next.

It's BED!

So often, the time that we need to "Work In" the most is the time it's least possible. 

That'd be in the situation of business travel, where you're in a foreign room with none of your toys, and little floor space. Your days are not your own and you sat down for a long time to get where you were going. 

I designed this "Warmup" to use your bed ( the largest piece of horizontal real estate in your room) as your platform for movement. 

You can also do this at home. You're allowed. 

Enjoy.

The Carpal Tunnel Beast

In this world of mini-computers and screens everywhere, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is becoming as common as the cold ( and happens in all seasons)! I put together this sequence to help you keep all your options open when it comes to wrist and hand flexibility. Do it all together or in parts throughout your day whenever you feel like your hands are "getting stuck", or use these  exercises preventatively to combat future issues.