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  971 NW Spruce Ave Ste 101, Corvallis, OR  |  541-224-6566  |  My Account  |

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7:07 pm

The Core, Pilates, and You

from Lisa Wells

starpicJoseph Pilates was an enormously creative man.  He started by training himself, then he worked withinjured WWI vets and finally with professional dancers and the elite of NYC. Pilates created a movement and exercise lexicon that can be adapted to almost any body type to increase physical performance and decrease physical pain. Pilates exercises are great as a home workout or in a group class and are  supplement any athletic regime. They will help balance the bodies of yogis, dancers, runners, tennis players, horseback riders, golfers and athletes in general.

Whether you want to learn the Pilates lexicon more thoroughly for your personal practice or to teach, this Pilates Teacher Training is a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the practice. In addition to the exercises themselves we will learn a tensegrity-based view of human anatomy that explains how Pilates (and Yoga) simultaneously create strength and increase range of motion in the body.

The class will include supplemental functional fitness and eccentric loading exercises for shoulder and hip stability so that you can easily create a whole body workout. As you come to understand the ‘how’ of Pilates, you can become as creative as the man himself, with masterpiece workouts built from your fundamental knowledge and tuned to your or your clients needs.


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6:25 pm

Yoga and Pain

By Angela Grace

pablo-heimplatz-243278In preparation for my workshop on yoga and pain, I have been studying about the nature of pain and
how it affects our nervous system. Pain captures our attention and protects us by activating our emergency responses. That’s how is should be. We want this physiological response active when there is acute tissue trauma or any immediate danger. However, what do we do when pain remains though the threat has abated? Is there a noninvasive, non-drug mediated method to deal with persistent pain?

Our bodies are so amazing. Once your physiology has dealt with a trauma, it remembers. Your nervous system resets to detect threats more easily and activate your emergency systems more rapidly. It’s the once bitten, twice shy philosophy in action. This becomes a problem when your nervous system readjusts to make a heightened state of arousal the new normal. When this happens, your nervous system reacts to non-threatening physical sensations as if there were an emergency.

There is a way to break this detrimental cycle. The solution is to reset your nervous system, to remember that you have a physiological relaxation response that counters your fight or flight response. Your body is indeed amazing.

Two books I highly recommend are Relaxation Revolution by Herbert Benson, MD and The Open-Focus Brain by Les Fehmi, PhD. Both emphasize the power of the mind to bring about healing. Both books provide techniques for resetting your nervous system to a calmer mode and alleviating persistent pain. I also highly recommend attending talks by Dr. Kevin Cucarro. He is a physician who holds talks on pain science in Corvallis. These healers, along with many others, are voicing similar ideas. All pain is real. Pain always functions to protect. We can change our pain experience. Yoga techniques address all three elements of a pain experience.

You can completely change how you experience pain.

I am so excited to share this information. I have been using these techniques myself to help with headaches. The techniques have transformed my experience of pain.

In the Yoga for Pain Resiliency workshop, we will use simple yoga poses, breath work, and meditation to build resiliency in relating to pain. The following is an example of an open focus meditation that we will use in the workshop. This meditation is particularly helpful with headaches.

First, sit in a position that is comfortable for you to maintain for about 10 minutes. Lying down is just fine as long as you can remain alert. Close you eyes and notice how your breath moves in your body. What part of your anatomy moves first on your exhale? What part moves first on your inhale? Just notice with no need to change anything. Observation is always the first, and most powerful, step. Observe your breath for five rounds of exhale and inhale.

When you are ready, explore the following guiding questions adapted from The Open-Focus Brain by Les Fehmi, page 64. 

Can you imagine the distance or space between your eyes?

Is it possible for you to imagine the space inside your nose as you inhale and exhale naturally?

Can you imagine the distance between your nose and your eyes?

Can you imagine your breath flowing behind your eyes as you inhale naturally?

While remaining aware of the boundaries between the space inside and outside these regions, can you imagine the space freely permeating and flowing through these boundaries?

            Stay with your observations as long as you would like. When you are ready to conclude the meditation, slowly open your eyes. Move slowly from your meditation seat.


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6:51 pm

Renew your practice: The Guru Within

from the mind of Jocelyn Fultz, with the lovely guidance of Lisa Wells and Kristina Ender

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Yoga is everywhere. Even in pop culture. I saw  “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” last week. I was reminded again of  how similar to eastern thought the concept of “the force” is. Death and rebirth are explored from many perspectives. Characters struggled with destroying old and decayed ideas in favor of fresh, new ideas, some from untested or questionable sources.

 

In Sanskrit, Guru means “one who dispels darkness and brings forth to light”.  Sound like ‘the force’ to you? Luke needed Obi Wan and Yoda to help him bring out the force, but really, the teacher was always within him.  They pointed at the moon, but the student had to look to see the moon.  Similarly, if we choose to work with a guru or teacher of any sort, we are learning to listen to our inner Guru, our own voice, and what we can learn from our lives and ourselves.

 

Listening to our inner guide and following our own direction can be challenging, even at the best of times. The turn of a New Year is a sweet opportunity to refocus our minds, to be moved and inspired by our inner teacher. Practice and discipline, or Tapas in Sanskrit, are required. Tapas has its root in the Sanskrit verb Tap, which means “to burn.” You might have heard teachers describe this as a sense of heat building in the body, or Tapasya.  We can also apply this concept to a disciplined practice of listening to our inner Guru building heat and stoking the fires of our own light, or if you will, our connection to “the force.”

 

In 2018 may we practice listening with intention. Develop discipline without rigidity. Ignite our desire for our unique personal practice. Renew with vigor our lost habits and recharge from within.

 

Wishing you a blessed year.