Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Loose As A Goose



During the month of June we’re featuring our Mysoskeletal Alignment Techniques. We’ll spend a half an hour unraveling your neck and shoulders and then finish by spending a half an hour releasing your entire back. Delicious relaxation that leaves you feeling loose as a goose for only $65.00 .

The body is a sacred garment. - Martha Graham

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yet another Barefoot Running Update!

I just finished C25K Week 4 Run 3! I'm running in my Vibram Five Finger Shoes for a total of 16 minutes now.

I was getting bored with running on our roads and tired of being chased by two somewhat agressive dogs and decided to take my run to my favorite trail today.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago when my nephew's Flat Stanley visited for two weeks. It's a shot of a bridge I run over when I run on the trail.

I am so much more of a trail runner than a road runner! I love watching how the trail changes with the seasons. Right now there are these little white wild flowers that I think of as Swiss Alpine flowers and also tiny purple wild violets sprinkled along the sides of the trail.

So am I recommending that everyone run barefoot? No. What I do think that everyone should
do is free their feet! Heck women burned their bras in the 60s! Free those tootsies for at least a few minutes a day. Take your shoes off, root your feet into the ground and give those toes a good waggle. If your feet hurt when you're bare footed then limit the amount of time you spend bare footed (inside at first) to what is comfortable. As you walk around the house notice the different textures of your floors. If you feet hurt see if you can stand or walk in a way that makes them stop hurting. Then give them a good rub and thank them for carrying you through life.

If this idea appeals to you try the toe tapping exercises I posted. You'll find them under the Posture Rebalancing area. The formatting is mess up - sorry. I'm going to fix it but just haven't had time to do so.

I'm also working on a recipe for a natural essential oil based insect repellent. What I used today worked well but smelled strong enough that I wouldn't recommend wearing it to a picnic. I'll post the final recipe once I perfect it.

Waving bye bye to you - with my bare foot. Bwahahahaha!



As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible but more mysterious. ~ Albert Schweitzer

Monday, May 23, 2011

Neck and Shoulder Release

This stretch is great for working out neck and shoulder kinks. Once you get good at it you may feel the stretch all the way up into your scalp.

Seated Form
Sit forward in a sturdy chair. You want to have between 6 and 8” between your back and the back of the chair. Your knees should be together - touching. Your feet should also be together – heels and balls of the feet touching. If you cannot hold your knees and feet together, make certain that they are as close to touching as is possible and work toward bringing them together over time.

You will rest your hands on your thighs.

• Head straight ahead, drop your chin to your chest. As long as you’re comfortable and can breathe freely allow your chin to rest there for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time. (Enough time for you to take in a deep breath and let it out again.)
• Chin still touching the chest as long as possible, slide your chin to the right in a semi circle until you are looking at your right shoulder. (Don’t allow the left shoulder to pull forward.) Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time. (Enough time for you to take in a deep breath and let it out again.)
• Lift your chin to a level position and look out over your right shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time. (As before)
• Now try to even look a little behind your shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Again look out over your shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Look down at your shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Drop your chin and roll it in that semi-circle pattern and right on up to the left side and you are looking at your left shoulder. (Don’t allow the right shoulder to pull forward.) Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Lift your chin to a level position and look out over your left shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Now try to even look a little behind your shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Again look out over your shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Look down at your shoulder. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Drop your chin and roll it in that semi-circle until your chin is once again centered on your chest. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time.
• Lift your chin and feel how relaxed your shoulders and neck feel.
*This exercise should not be considered medical advice. If you develop pain as a result of this exercise or existing pain becomes worse please discontinue using it immediately.


Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. ~ Edward Stanley

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cast off High Priced Lotions and Potions, avoid additives and save money


Simple Body Moisturizer
2 parts pure Aloe Vera gel
1 part high quality oil (I like Jojoba oil)
A few drops of pure essential oil (Lavender and Lemongrass are two of my favorites)
Mix ingredients together in a clean dry bottle with a lid. Shake until you see the oil and AV gel turning cream-like. Shake prior to each use as well.


The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hofmann

Monday, May 9, 2011

Toe Taps

This is a two exercise series. I recommend that you not do one exercise without the other. Some people will feel foot cramping if they attempt exercise two without first doing exercise 1.

These exercises came from a postural restructuring course I took along with some adjustments to include exercises I used to teach my baby ballerinas in order to strengthen their feet for pointe work.

If you think about it your posture and balance are grounded in your feet. Strong subtle feet give you a better postural base of support.


Toe Taps
Seated Form
Sit forward in a sturdy chair. You want to have between 6 and 8” between your back and the back of the chair. Your knees should be together - touching. Your feet should also be together – heels and balls of the feet touching. If you cannot hold your knees and feet together, make certain that they are as close to touching as is possible and work toward bringing them together over time.
You will place your hands on your knees, your thighs or on your hips. If you place them on your hips you should bring your elbows forward slightly and keep your shoulders relaxed. You’ll naturally tend to slump over time, try to sit tall instead, keeping your shoulders over your hips.
Exercise one
1. Seated as above you want your feet slightly in front of your knees. If you look over your knees you should see the front part of your feet.
2. Beginning with your right foot, lift your toes (heels stays on floor) toward your shin and then slap your foot and toes back down onto the floor. Repeat this action for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Your goal is to lift your toes as high as possible and slap your foot and toes down as hard as possible. The heel remains on the floor and acts like a hinge. This is more important rather than moving quickly. Your knees and heels remain in contact at all times.
3. After 30 seconds to 1 minute has passed lift your toes up as above then pivot the foot out to the side and slap them down to as far to the right as possible keeping your knees together. Then lift them again and pivot in to slap them down next to, and touching the left foot. You are moving in a half “V” pattern again lifting as high as possible and slapping down as hard as possible Be sure that all of your toes hit the ground with each slap. Again the heel remains on the floor acting like a hinge. Your knees and heels remain in contact at all times.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the left foot.
5. Repeat patterns both patterns using both feet together.
6. Remember to stay seated tall with your chin level and knees and heels together to the degree possible for your body for the entire time you are tapping.

Exercise Two
  1. Sit as above but with heels right under your knees. If you look over your knees you shouldn’t see more than the tips of your toes.
  2. Beginning with your right foot lift the heel of your foot off of the floor until you are in “high heel” position on the ball of the foot. Lower the heel next to the heel of your left foot. (Knees stay very close to each other throughout.) Repeat this movement 8 times.
Next lift the right heel off the floor until only your tip toes are on the floor. Lower it next to the heel of your left foot and again repeat this movement 8 times.
  1. Repeat the entire sequence on the left foot.
  2. Repeat the entire sequence using both feet together.
5. Remember to stay seated tall for the entire time you are tapping. Keep your chin level, knees and heels together to the degree possible for your body.

*This exercise should not be considered medical advice. If you develop pain as a result of this exercise or existing pain becomes worse please discontinue using it immediately.



Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. - Isaac Asimov

Bold

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Barefoot Running Update


I still haven't put my barefoot sandal kit together but I did manage to get a pair of Vibram 5 fingers minimalist shoes. I thought they would be warmer but alas they are not. I bought a pair of toe socks to go with them but honestly am not too fond of the way they feel with the socks. Without the socks they are great. That's an actual picture of my little hobbit feet in them.

You're supposed to ease into this barefoot running thing rather than just throw the shoes on and head out for a 3 miler. I decided to try using the Couch to 5K program since it starts with only 8 minutes of running and builds up slowly over 9 weeks.

I've checked out a bunch of C25K podcasts and these are the ones I enjoy most. Laura, the woman who cheers you on telling you when to walk briskly and when to run is from the UK. She has a wonderful accent - well if you aren't from the UK she does. If you're from the UK you won't even notice. :) I think of her as Laura the saucy Aussie - not strictly correct but Aussie rhymes with saucy while UK doesn't and I'm not schooled enough in accents to know the difference - though I'm sure there is a difference. The music changes often and is pretty motivating - well to me it is. If you're not a runner and have no desire to run you could use the Mp3s and as walking interval workouts, simply picking up your pace when she tells you to run.

At first running and even walking was very slow in my vibrams. I'm naturally a midfoot striker but it was still strange having my toes and feet totally unchained and without all that cushioning. Yesterday I did my first session for week 2 of the program - you do 3 a week - and I was finally able to cover 3 miles.

I haven't had the extreme soreness I've read about but then I'm taking a very moderate approach. What I do have is muscle awareness and if I twist my feet around, pointing and inverting and everting them I can *find* slightly sore muscles in my lower legs the day after my C25K session. It's gone by the next scheduled session. I've been doing simple foot restructuring exercises 3-4 times a week and I truly believe that they've helped.

I've finally managed to get a pretty detailed description of a few of those exercises written up and will post it early in the coming week.


One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world - making the most of one's best. - Harry Emerson Fosdick