Sunday, September 30, 2012

Form and Restructuring in a Chair: Arms

Sit at the edge of your chair in the form previously described. Make sure that your shoulders are directly over your hips and your chin is level.

1. Bend your elbows and place your right hand on your right shoulder and your left hand on your left shoulder. Now turn your head to the right and if necessary pull your right elbow back until it lines up with your shoulder. If it's truly in line your hand should hide it from your sight. Repeat the same thing with the left shoulder. Feel the position and any pulling sensation it creates. Keeping the elbows in line with the shoulders, slowly straighten the elbows extending the hands out to the side. Bend the elbows and bring them back in - recheck alignment - did your elbows stray in front of your shoulders on the way in? Repeat this straightening and bending movement checking each time for elbow stray.

2. With hands on shoulders and elbows staight to the side (hidden by hands) bend forward from the hips to flat back as described in the flat back post. Try the straightening and bending portion of the above exercise as long as you feel no tension or pain in your low back.

3. Seated in good alignment with your arms hanging at your sides bend your elbows while turning your palms up to the ceiling. (They should be at 90 degrees like the shape of an "L" when seen from the side. Now keep your upper arms pressed against the sides of your body open your forarms to the side leading with your thumbs. Can you open them directly to the side without altering your posture? Take them as far as you can, hold and take a few deep breaths. Return to the front position and repeat this exercise 4-8 times.

There are additional chair arm movements you can do but I'll save them for another time.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Form and Restructuring in a Chair: The Back

Once again, this can also be used by someone who uses T-Tapp workouts. It can be used to check for tight areas and open them over time. The basis of these movements is simply the ways in which ever healthy back should be able to move.

So again, sit  forward in your chair according to the guidelines of the previous posts in this series.

Place your hands on your knees making doubly sure that your shoulders are over your hips.

1. Inhale while drawing your navel back and tucking your head. Your back will round into a "C" shape. Exhale while pushing your midback forward until your back straightens and even extends a bit. Repeat this 4-8 times feeling the difference from the curved, rounded back and the straight even slightly arched back. Some of my patients and clients have told me that it's easier to exhale as you round and inhale as you straighten and they are right. I just happen to feel more when I do it the way I first described. Try it both ways and compare.
2. Re-establish your seated alignment. Drop your arms straight down, hands hanging directly below your elbows which are hanging directly below your shoulders - shoulders are right above your hips, chin is level. Pretend that you are sandwiched between two pieces of glass. You can't bend forward or back. Side to side is the only movement available to you. With this in mind allow your right hand and arm to become heavy which will pull you to the side into lateral flexion. Allow your head to follow the movement, ear dropping to shoulder. Now allow the left hand and arm to become heavy pulling you back up and over to the other side. Repeat this 4 - 8 times noticing the difference in how you feel from one side to the other.
3. Re-establish your seated form. Cross your arms across your chest - right hand on left shoulder, left hand on right shoulder. Be sure that you're seated tall and your shoulders are over your hips with your chin level. Slowly and mindfully twist toward the right and hold for a second and then reverse it and twist toward the left and hold it for a second. Repeat this 4-8 times each side noticing the difference from side to side. You may also opt to repeat this pulsing gently to the right side 3 times then the left side 3 times, repeating this to each side 4-8 times.

Finish it off by repeating the flat back you practiced yesterday.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thought for the Weekend and T-Tapp Flatback in a chair

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant - Robert Louis Stevenson

This quote is really what rehabilitative, body remodeling exercise is all about. The exercises I've placed under the "New or Returning to Exercise" Label might feel easy - especially if you're a more advanced exerciser - but over time they can really change your body. Your increased proprioception will carry into other activities you perform whether they are life, sports or fitness activities and over time the body becomes more balanced.

Learning this postural control is good for a variety of types of activities and exercise but it's especially useful for new T-Tappers.

T-Tapp flat back seems simple but is actually often difficult to perfect. If I had a $1 for every person who has sworn up and down that their back was perfectly flat in flat back position but then realized that it really wasn't after seeing a picture or catching a side view in a mirror or asking someone to check their form......well I'm not sure what I'd buy with the money but it would be a really nice treat.

So sit at the front of the chair in the same form described in the previous two posts. Initially put your hands on your thighs for support. Then keeping your shoulders over your hips slowly and with control tilt forward from the hips. Your shoulders will want to move in front of your hips but don't let that happen because it will allow your back to round and you want it to stay flat.

You may feel a stretching sensation in  your low back and upper hip area. Be careful not to over stretch that area. A pull now could be back pain later. Respect your limits.

Eventually you can do this activity with your hands on your hips. Later try taking the standing T-Tapp stance and moving into flat back while feeling the same sensations you felt in the chair. Over time you'll begin to develop a better shoulder hip connection even when doing the T-Tapp workout movements.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Form and Restructuring in a Chair: Head and neck

Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Armless chair preferred.

  • Put yourself into form ala yesterday's blog post.
  • Duck your chin forward and back a few times and let it settle into that sweet spot in the middle with your chin level. If you're able, check yourself in a mirror to be sure that your nose is pointing straight ahead.
  • First drop your chin to your chest then lift it back to a "chin level" position. Repeat and hold the chin to chest and try to feel how that position stretches your trapezius. Repeat the movement several more times.
  • Next imagine that your chin is perched on a semicircular shelf. Turn your head to the right keeping your chin totally level. Imagine it sliding along the shelf. See how close to having your nose right over your shoulder you can get. Hold the side position and feel which muscles are reacting to the position. Now reverse it and keeping your chin level turn your head to the left, again holding the position and feeling how the muscles react.
  • Imagine that your nose is a sharp tack and it's stuck in a cork board. You can't move it up, you can't move it down. The only way to get it loose is to twist it out by moving your head side to side.
  • In light of that drop your right ear toward your right shoulder, spinning your nose in the cork board. Then reverse the movement and drop your left ear toward your left shoulder. Repeat these movements a few more times. You might want to close your eyes and feel what it feels like. Which muscles can you feel reacting to this movement?
  • Finally, drop your chin to your chest again. Now slowly slide your chin over and up to the right along your chest and collar bone in the shape of a "U" until it comes up and sits over your right shoulder just like the movement where you were turning your head right and left. Bring your chin back down and again slide it down to the center and then left and up over your left shoulder. Repeat this a few move times moving slowly and deliberately and trying to keep your chin touching your chest for as much of the movement as possible. It might pull but it shouldn't hurt - if it does modify or stop the movement.
  • Finish by bringing your chin back to the center of your chest, raise your chin to level and place your head in that balanced sweet spot and feel the changes that these neck stretches have brought about.
You can use this exercise to loosen tight muscles or get in touch with your postural muscles but it can also be used to assess and improve your T-Tapp form     .

Next up: Back movement and alignment

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Using a Chair to Check Alignment

My clients and patients alike are usually surprised when the first thing I do is have them perch on the edge of a chair. The truth is that using a chair for support can be a great way to teach yourself to improve any exercise form and/or to begin unraveling postural distortion in a very gentle but effective way. It's also a great way to check and improve T-Tapp form. Finally, it can be similarly used to take the momentum out of weight training but that's another post. This is the first in a series of posts. If you don't presently use the T-Tapp method but enjoy these movements you might really click with the T-Tapp method.

So let's give it a try. Really, pull up a chair, one without arms if possible and have a seat.

  • The first thing you want to do is sit on the edge of the chair. You don't want to lean against the back of the chair because you want to force your core and back muscles to work.
  • Next, look down and make certain that your knees are right in front of your hip bones - there should be space between your legs and your heels should be directly below your knees and your feet should point straight ahead. If possible lift all your toes off the floor and place them back down while spreading them apart and reaching them long.
  • Now check your shoulders. You want them to be right above your hips. Sit tall. Make an effort to create length and space in your back. Imagine that you've slipped foam spacers between each vertebra.
  • Level your chin and look straight ahead. Alternately duck your chin back and then poke your chin forward until you find the sweet spot between the two extremes.
  • Now drop your hands to your sides and turn your palms forward. You want your inner elbow creases to be straightened and facing front, which will open your shoulder.
  • Roll your shoulders front, up back and squeeze your shoulder blades together, front, up, back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat this movement 3 or 4 times. Then reverse the movement. Make the movement big and really LIFT the shoulders. This can help loosen the fascia in the shoulder, neck and back area. Stuck together fascia is a pain generator and impedes postural restructuring. Loosening it up is a win win situation.
Now sit there and feel what being in alignment feels like. You might be tempted to vow to sit this way every minute that you sit in a chair. Been there, done that and honestly it's not healthy or necessary to get too crazy about it. Just take the time to put yourself in alignment when you think about it or when your habitual posture reminds you to do so. Putting yourself into this alignment is a great way to learn T-Tapp form but it's also great for improving your proprioception. (Your ability to know where your body is in space.)

Next up, I'll have you align yourself with the chair and work on the T-Tapp neck movements.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do You Do T-Tapp Every Day?

HMMM This is another of the questions I hear often. In a word NO and yet Yes.

No because I don't do a T-Tapp workout or even part of one every single day unless I'm doing a bootcamp. Yes, because T-Tapp linear alignment is so much a part of me that I tend to add it to whatever activity I do - even massage therapy.

I also live what I think of as a T-Tapp lifestyle. That means that I do skin brushing most if not every day. I also care for my skin and eat whole foods. When I'm working out I put myself into whatever it is that I'm doing. When I play, I play hard. Yet, I also enjoy kicking back and chilling on a daily basis even if it's just for a brief chat with DH while we dote on our animals and brush them or treat them to a round of belly rubs.

For me, a T-Tapp workout is a lot like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) - even the Basic Workout Plus. I've found that my body thrives on a mix of really tough workouts along with some more moderate and even easy workouts. A steady "diet" of T-Tapp isn't necessary or beneficial for me. Since I also enjoy other types of activities and strenuous workouts I have to be careful how I mix them. I also teach some T-Tapp movements on a regular basis during the week.

All in all I guess that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ballet Body: PS1 Weeks 1-3 Workout 2

After doing workout 1 this one surprised me. There was quite a big leap in intensity between the Basics 1 and the downloads scheduled for this workout.

The emphasis is isometric, bodyweight strength and Leah hit's the total body from just about every angle conceivable. I love Isometric, bodyweight work and never fail to get a great drenched with sweat response to it. This workout was no different. Once again I burned a dvd of the downloads that were listed on the Periodization System 1 plan rather than working from my laptop.

I'm going to actually try downloading a couple workouts to my tablet when we go on vacation. I'm not sure I'll use them since there will be plenty of hiking, walking, climbing and biking to keep me busy but I might just give one a try to see what the experience would be like.

T-Tapp Primary back stretch is a great warm-up to use before beginning these workouts and OIP and half frogs are wonderful before Leah's tough ab work. But then I think that OIP and HF are great before any abdominal work.

Coming back in to add to this review before it ever goes public. I've done this workout three times now. Interestingly enough it felt different each time I did it. The last two times I did it I was doing an early morning workout and that meant I started this workout at 4am. Maybe that's why it felt different. Being half asleep will do that. :) All three workouts that were listed for this month felt different with each repeat. It's also interesting that I felt stronger each time I repeated them and at the same time they also felt more challenging. That sounds stupid even as I read what I've typed but that's exactly what I experienced. I'll eventually get around to reviewing the third workout as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Our Green Bean Thief

We knew that something was getting into our green beans. I figured it was a rabbit since there weren't a ton missing. Then this morning DH noticed Reilly our Connemara Jack Russel Terrier rooting through the green beans and having himself a little snack. He'd pull one off and sit there happily crunching away.

He and his brother Hutch are such a bright spot in our life. Well bred, obedient beyond belief when you consider that we are NOT experts in dog training and the very best of buds.

That's a picture of the green bean thief himself. Since I tend to write my blog posts about a month in advance and schedule them to automatically post we'll be getting ready to return from Maine when this one goes up. We're taking Hutch and Reilly with us and hopefully meeting up with other family members. Sure to be a great week of balanced rest, activity and smelling the salty sea air.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Breath Of Fire

Yesterday's post made me think about Breath of Fire. Actually I do breathwork just about daily and Breath of Fire is one of my favorite breathwork practices.

Breath of fire leaves me feeling energetic and yet relaxed. Below is one of the best tutorials I've seen presented by Ana Bret one of my favorite Kundalini Yogis. The video below that one is Kurmukh another favorite Kundalini Yogi of mine. Both are different but great in their own way and very genuine.

Don't get all ooogly wooogly over the idea of breathwork. It doesn't have to be a spiritual practice unless you desire to make it one. On a more practical level, regular breathwork has improved my aerobic capacity.



Friday, September 21, 2012

Thought For The Weekend

"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us."
- Sir Thomas Brown

This quote reminds me of a few things. First and foremost my love of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, evening fires and candle flames. But also the fact that the navel center (the Manipura Chakra) is said to be the source of our fire. When balanced it can help us maintain health and I also think hold steady in our goals.

The thing about fire is that you need to feed it or it will go out. If you feed it junk wood the flames will burn high and bright but only briefly. Bank a fire properly and feed it quality fuel and it will burn predictably both steady and bright. This concept can be threaded into a lot of different areas of our life. 
What have you done today to feed the fire of  your soul?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Do You Cycle Your Exercise Intensity?

If you're like most people who are bit by the exercise/competitive exercise bug you'll probably cycle through a stage where you'll want every workout or practice session to be THE hardest/longest/toughest/fastest/most advanced session possible.

It can be a lot of fun to challenge yourself and see just how far/fast/long you can go. However a steady diet of it is, quite honestly, overkill. This is especially true if you have life committments outside of working out. I've been there and done that and missed a bit of the poetry of life while I was wedded to the gym and the almighty workout.

Lately I've been taking another approach that helps me have the best of both worlds. I cycle my workouts. My most recent cycle has been one really tough, full out slipping in a puddle of sweat session, then two almost as tough and certainly as sweaty but a bit shorter sessions. In between these I sandwich two sessions that are lighter and shorter with fun factor. Finally, I add a downright easy session - usually Yin Yoga and a day of rest. Rest doesn't mean spending the day in bed but I do take it easy. A smell the roses kind of day.

I'm loving this intensity cycling approach! I look forward to every workout and I'm reaching and surpassing the personal goals I've set for myself.

I won't lie, it can be downright scary to scale back the intensity and/or time - even for a single workout - but the benefits far outweigh any risks. Be brave, give it a try and see for yourself.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Healthy Aging: An Article and a Few Thoughts

Healthy Aging  That link will take you to and an article on healthy aging.

My day job as an RN Coordinator has taught me alot about both healthy and unhealthy aging. I used to watch the process in others. These days I feel like I'm closer to actually experiencing it. :)

One thing that I hear a lot of seniors say is; "Getting Old isn't for sissies!" If I'm honest I'll tell you that I actually shared that actual sentiment during the time when I was feeling sick and tired and sick of feeling sick and tired. (Yet another thing I hear people of middle age and beyond say.)

Having picked myself up and brushed myself off and reclaimed my health and what feels like a nice sized chunk of my youth I feel differently these days.

It's definitely true that things change after you hit a certain age. What changed for me is my ability to take my body for granted. It still loves to be used and to move and groove in the ways in which it is designed to move and groove. It will no longer allow me to abuse or take it for granted. It's as if this very smart body of mine is demanding that I treat it with the respect it would receive in a culture where aging women are revered. AND SO that is how I treat it and in return it functions and feels like a body that is years younger than its chronological age. I feel great and enjoy life to the max.

You can feel that way too. But, you have to be willing to embrace the skin you are in and care for yourself. As I've said before treat yourself like a beloved small child in need of loving care and kindness and then experience the feeling of healthy aging. Join me as we both come into our own.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last PACE Review Workout

This post was written previously but referrs to my impressions of the PACE workout program I was given to review.

Despite having a really long day yesterday I did manage to get my workouts done. As planned I did BWO+ and Week 2 Day 6 of PACE. The workout was a new one! This surprised me and pleased me. Unfortunately the disk skipped.

I don't believe it was the fault of the dvd but rather the fault of the portable player on which I was playing it. In honesty it crossed my mind to just use it as an excuse and not finish but I didn't give in.
Instead I attempted to the best of my ability - and the ability of the dvd player - to recue the part that had skipped and pick up where I left off.

When it skipped again during the last section I couldn't manage to cue it properly and after a bit of frustration just decided to repeat the first section, since the movements are the same and beef up my performance to take it to a level 9. That worked well enough and I finished in good form and at a decent heart rate.

This workout had a lot of getting down on the mat and then getting back up again. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. It just goes against the grain of what I typically think of as aerobic workouts - even interval aerobic workouts.

So today is a rest day and then I'm supposed to start again tomorrow. EXCEPT that I'm going on retreat for the weekend and won't have electricity. I will be able to do T-Tapp but no PACE. Well maybe late on Sunday when I return. I could probably write down the next PACE workout moves and try to find time to do it on Saturday but packing up your life and bringing it along is really not what retreat is all about. LOL So at most it will be T-Tapp BWO+. I make an exception for that workout because I feel that it opens me energetically and that does fit in with the concept of retreat.

Real Time Notes: And THAT was the end of my PACE workouts. I, in fact didn't find time to do T-Tapp at retreat. I returned home with my head buzzing with new ideas I needed to process. I continued to exercise regularly but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't convince myself that I should pick back off where I left off with PACE.

I think that my PACE experience might have been different had I not tried to mix T-Tapp in. That said, it must be noted that I obviously missed my T-Tapp and Egoscue workouts enough to want to mix them in. So clearly doing PACE alone wasn't enough for me.

At some point I might use some of the remaining workouts as cardio days or on days when I'm short on time. If I do I'll review them. On second thought because it has a lot of body weight movements built in it's a hard workout to potentially add on. I would think it would be much better added to a weight day than as cardio. I also want to take the time to write down a bit of info about the contents of the Set because it is a very complete set.

During the course of my body my DH did comment that my body, especially my arms were beginning to become muscular. I over-build muscle at the drop of a hat but not from T-Tapp so the PACE exercises were certainly doing what they say they will do. Other than that I can't say much about results - I didn't follow the PACE diet.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Myoskeletal Alignment

If you're a massage therapist you need to know that this is an amazing method. I'm certified at the advanced level and I still go back to the books and DVDs in order to deepen my understanding of the human body, how it tends to go out of alignment and how best to coax it back into alignment.

If you are a potential massage client - mine or someone else's you need to also know that this is an amazing method!

The well aligned body always functions better and usually has less pain than the body that's out of alignment. Below are a few videos that better demonstrate my point. Enjoy!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

PACE Week 2 WO 5

This post was written previously but referrs to my impressions of the PACE workout program I was given to review.

Yep, another repeat from last week. It's very hot here so it would have been a sweaty workout no matter what but it ended up being doubly so. I finished up with a little T-Tapp floor work. I always figure that floor work won't be too bad since I'll be on my back - WRONG! Very intense.

You know you've worked out when you take a cool shower and you're sweating in the shower and you get out and you're still sweating - 20 minutes later!

Real Time Notes: I don't think that the extra sweat was a function of overtraining but the short post and the fact that I did carry on with my T-Tapp  bootcamp past 4 days could definitely be an indication. It was also a very busy time for me and I probably wasn't getting as much sleep as I needed, which back then was more than normal.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Don't be Afraid to Give Yourself the Best

"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for." - Maureen Dowd

I used to be the ultimate bargain shopper and to a degree I still am. These days however I'm just as likely to pass up even the biggest bargain as I am to spend what some might term a small fortune on a single piece of furniture, item of clothing or pair of shoes. Sound like a contradiction? It really isn't.

I've just become more mindful where it comes to what I buy. If I'm looking for a certain item and it goes on sale I'll snap it right up but I won't buy something simply because it's a good deal. On the other end of the spectrum I'll buy a premium item if I know that it's something I'll really enjoy - or if the person I'm buying it for will enjoy - especially if it's a style that's timeless and will be around for a long time. Odd as it sounds switching to this new way of looking at things has actually saved me money in the end because I buy less over all. I'm more willing to wait for exactly what I want and content to settle for quality over quantity.

This philosophy can also march right into pretty much every aspect of your life and will have similarly positive benefits.

Try this simple exercise. Check out ever shoe or piece of clothing in your closet and decide which ones you positively love wearing. Which outfits make you feel like a million bucks? HMMMM How'd you make out with that?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ballet Body: The Basics 1 Downloads

I'll admit that I was a little nervous about trying these downloads. I had read a review that said that they were tougher than the Ballet Body DVDs and I found those to be a decent challenge.

I think that the review either got it wrong or was talking about other downloads from the Periodization Series. These downloads, while not end up dead on the mat where challenging. I think that they felt less challenging than the BB DVDs because the dvds each work a single body area, Lower Body, Core or Upper Body for the entire workout while these downloads work the entire body in a series of separate downloads - one download for each body area.

There are a lot of form tips and reminds and I appreciated that. There was music in some of the clips while at least one was just Leah's voice over. All were done voice over style.

I set up my dvd to do legs first, then abs and finally plank/arms. I was glad I arranged it this way because there were some nice finishing stretches after the arm section. This ended the session quite nicely. Because of the different segments and I guess the concentration required, the time seemed to fly by. There were times in each segment where the working area felt challenged but not to a degree that caused me to lose my form.

I want to try doing this workout after I do PBS and a set of Organ's in place. Leah tells you not to use other methods and I respect her reasons for stating this BUT I seriously think that PBS and organs in place would both warm up the body and wake up the muscles in which Ballet Body requires awareness.

The second and third Ballet Body workouts are made up of different downloads. I'll review them when I get a chance to try them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ballet Body Periodization System Guide 1

Important! Count your files!! Being totally new to downloaded workouts I assumed that all of the downloads would be included in the email links that are delivered to you with this set. Well, I guess not. So far 5 files were not included. Leah sent two on her own after noting that two hadn't been included. I requested two I found missing and she very quickly responded by sending links for them. Last week when I started creating DVDs for the next month I found another file missing. I immediately emailed Leah - twice - and have yet to hear back. I guess my luck has run out and I'll be paying for the file if I want to use it.

Downloading files takes time. Checking to be certain that you've downloaded them all takes more time. I honestly don't think that you should be expected to cross check files from a list though that would be one counter check. If you purchase a product the product should be complete with minimal effort on your part.

This is a 24 week Ballet Body Periodization System by Leah Sarago. If that sounds familiar it's because she designed the Ballet Body DVDs that I just reviewed.

This system is different than the DVD workouts I'm used to. It is totally downloadable. It comes with a PDF containing the schedule for three workouts a week for 24 weeks. You can buy the downloads for $3.99 each (discounts for multiples). If you choose to purchase what Leah terms the "Ballet Body Fan Club" you will receive an official Ballet Body tank top, a 4GB USB drive, a reusable shopping bag and the ever coveted tape measure. Most importantly you will receive 15% off all future purchases. That's in addition to bundle price discounts! There's also an opportunity to receive a weekly recipe and download, news, specials, I think a download on your B-day. I'm not sure how all that works.

The downloads come in your Inbox as links in an email. They're quite easy to download and are MP4 video files. The idea is that you can work off your computer, ipad, android tablet, or possibly compatable TV? They play just fine on my computer and I believe that they'd download easily to my android tablet. I decided to try turning them into DVDs. It was time consuming but the kind of time consuming where you can walk away from it and accomplish other things while making the magic happen. (I cleaned my windows - the ones in our house not the computer program!)

It was a two step process. First I had to take the downloads listed for the first day's workout and convert them for burning to a DVD. I used Windows live movie maker. Then I just burned the dvd.

I used the first one I burned tonight and it was great! It played straight through but each individual download was chaptered automatically.

I'll review that dvd, which consisted of what is called the "Basics Series 1" in a future post - maybe  tomorrow if I have time.

Coming in after having done more than a few of these workouts and having thus far followed the proposed schedule as planned. I put this in the last review I posted but wanted to add it to this post as well .

If my memory is correct these sections were originally a subscription where you received a download weekly or maybe two weekly. Then Leah strung them together into this periodization schedule. Two of these sections together wouldn't be bad - you could get through them. It's when they're strung together that they start to feel like repetition overkill.

Leah is in different outfits and her hair changes from section to section. This means that sections were filmed on their own. I wonder if she ever did this entire periodization schedule as written, running through each workout without stopping?? If she did I wonder if she was sick of repeating things to death? HMMM something to ponder.

The question of finishing the entire schedule has been posted at Video Fitness more than once. I can only remember one person posting to say that she finished the rotation not once but twice. When you consider all the members that purchased it I was surprised by this.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PACE mixed with T-Tapp: It's a Boot Camp

This post was written previously but referrs to my impressions of the PACE workout program I was given to review.

Today I did my fourth day of BWO+. That's going to be enough of a Boot Camp for now. I'll move to every other day and mix in floor moves on the days I don't do BWO+

I also did PACE Week 2 workout 4 this evening. Yes, it was again recycled from week 1. I'm hanging in to see what happens on week 3. I know I could preview but I'm trying to let this unfold.

I also finally found the time to do Ecoscue and boy did I need it. Now I'm relaxed and feeling balanced from all that activity throughout the day and I know I'll sleep really well tonight.

Real time notes: I can tell by my irritation that I was overtrained at this time but instead of resting I just had to throw Egoscue into the mix! I don't believe that this schedule would overtrain me these days but back then I was still pretty exhausted and didn't deal well with too much high intensity activity. I was pushing my HR for PACE and I just can't help working deeply with T-Tapp and the combo along with a very busy schedule and not enough sleep was clearly sending me over the edge.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Flow and Yin: A balanced Yoga Practice

Flow and Yin: A Balanced Yoga Practice with Donna Helm-Yost is a DVD I purchased used and forgot all about! Tonight I really needed some Yin Yoga and for whatever reason pulled this out to try. (This review - like most of my others - is being published a couple of weeks after I actually did the practice and wrote these notes.)

Wow! I can't believe that I never even tried this gem. I can't speak for the flow practice but the Yin practice was just what I needed tonight.

It's about 74 minutes long. Donna is instructing a relatively large (as video classes go) class. Her manner is calm and she presents more variations for each pose than I think I've ever seen in a Yin practice. I really like the fact that she did a lot of shoulder poses. It's rare to see shoulder poses in the Yin media I've been exposed to. If you know of another practice where it is prevalent please list that practice in the comment section.

The practice flew by even though a few of the poses were challenging for me to hold for the full 5 minutes due to where I was in my head tonight. Donna is delightfully down to earth and while she -like many Yin instructors - does a lot of talking throughout the practice her talking is more about the pose and staying in it than it is philosophical or "out there." There is gentle sitar music playing in the background. To me is was a perfect backdrop for her instruction.

I'm usually not a big Yoga Flow fan but I enjoyed the Yin part of this practice so much that I'm motivated to give the flow section a try as well.

I was going to simply add this to the comment section of this previous post on Yin Yoga but I enjoyed the practice so much that I felt compelled to create a second post and simply link to the other.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What would you like your life to look like?

Our Lupines are one of the enjoyable parts of my life.
I can count on them emerging and being quite
beautiful each spring into summer.
I written about that question lately but I still ask myself this on a weekly basis. I guess more importantly what are the things you love about your life and what don't you want your life to look like?

Intend to allow the things you wish weren't a part of your life to drop away while really paying attention to the things you enjoy about your life - make the enjoyable parts of each day the centerpiece. Then sit back and prepare to be amazed over time.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bouncing Ball Ballet

I found this clip on a website called Bounce2health. It immediately put a smile on my face. Now that's what I call pumping lymph!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thought For The Weekend

"Other people and things can stop you temporarily. You're the only one who can do it permanently." - Zig Ziglar

Do you ever start off after a goal like a house a fire (another of my grannies sayings) only to suddenly lose steam and peeter out. (yeah that's her saying too)

It happens to me too and it used to really upset me. I take a different view these days. Consider this, if you know yourself and you know what you really want out of life do you think you'd peeter out on the way to achieving it? I don't think so. So when I peeter out on a goal I examine whether achieving it would have really taken me a step or two or three in the right direction and you know what? Most times it really wouldn't have. So peetering out is a kind of gift because it allows me to re-examine where I am and reset the wheel of this great big old boat I call my life into a better direction.

The cool thing about that is you don't waste any time berating yourself or second guessing yourself.

My challenge to you today is to consider your life and times when you set off toward a goal but then peetered out. Was there a reason why that goal wasn't right for you and if it was is there something you could do to make it work if you gave it a second shot? Then if you really want to have fun use the saying "peetered out" a few times while talking to people and watch their reaction, depending upon their age they might not even know what you're talking about. HA!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

T-Tapp then PACE

This post was written previously but referrs to my impressions of the PACE workout program I was given to review.

I got up at half past obscene o'clock and did BWO+ this morning as planned. I never tire of this workout. I can always count on this workout for a good old sweaty wake up.

Then tonight I did Pace Week 2 Workout 3. It was another repeat. Week Two hasn't been in the same order as Week 1 but the workouts are repeats. I kept telling myself that it shouldn't bother me. I've done T-Tapp BWO+ more times than I can count. Back when the Firm first came out I did FirmVolume-one 6 days a week for something like 2 years! Maybe it's the fact that it's because it's the same 8 moves repeated for 30 seconds each, with the entire sequence repeating 3 times? Whatever the reason the repeat left me feeling a little miffed.

I can't help wondering why they didn't just give you one dvd and a list of how to rotate the workouts. I guess that wouldn't look like you were getting as much for your money? Oh well, it could be that weeks 1&2 repeat and then weeks 3&4 are different. I guess time will tell.

Real Time Notes: I'm cracking up as I cut and paste these old entries from my journal. Though I couldn't see it then I can really tell that I was starting to burn out. Adding T-Tapp - as strenous as it is for me - was clearly the last thing I needed to do. By doing it I turned what was designed to be used 6 days a week into a workout that probably should have been done no more than a couple times weekly. This took place during the time when I was still pretty tired but trying hard to come back - probably trying too hard. Getting up at half past obscene o'clock was the last thing I needed. This is why keeping a workout journal is a very good thing. You can look back and learn from your experiences.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ballet Body: Upper Body

This is the Ballet Body Signature Series Upper Body Workout. It's a 45 minute workout, done in voiceover that is divided into Mat and Standing sections and includes a final stretch. The Mat section is a variety of planks and pulses to hit the upper body from many angles. The Standing section uses light handweights and will be felt primarily in the upper arms and shoulders. Leah doesn't do much biceps work and she basically states on her website that this is because she is aiming for ballet arms not He - man arms.

The planks are quite shoulder, elbow and especially wrist intensive but if you really listen to your joints and take rests where you need to these areas will become stronger over time. My right wrist is still not 100%, probably 99% but not 100%. It feels great after this workout, though during the workout it felt more challenged than my left wrist.

The stretching section, while not terribly long is quite thorough and leaves you feeling refreshed rather than over worked. As with the other DVDs from this series I feel like I might gain additional insight into the workouts if I eventually repeat them. I'll add to this review when I do. Below is a youtube clip of the video that shows you some of the very unconventional exercises it contains.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Combining Pace with T-Tapp Day 2

Today I did Pace Week 2 workout 2 and followed it with T-Tapp BWO+.

This post was written previously but referrs to my impressions of the PACE workout program I was given to review.

I so wish I could find time in the morning to do both of these workouts back to back without cutting myself short on sleep but I doubt it will happen.

Today's Pace workout was another recycled workout from week 1. I'm starting to wonder if they will all be repeats but in a different sequence. I would not be happy about that if I had paid for the set.

I find it interesting that I don't mind doing BWO+ over and over and over......but the thought of doing the same 6 Pace workouts in different orders over 6 weeks sets my teeth on edge.

The other thing I've noticed is that Rob, the trainer who leads each workout gets out of breath at the drop of a hat. He sounds like he's beginning to suck a little wind even after just introducing the moves for the upcoming workout. If they filmed all the workouts back to back that could be why he sounds like this. It still comes off as a little strange that the lead is slightly out of breath after 1-2 minutes of minimal exercise while speaking.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ballet Body: Core

This is the Ballet Body Signature Series Core Body Workout . This DVD is 45 minutes long, done in voice over and hits the core from just about every possible angle. You begin standing during which there is a balance aspect to some of the movements. Then you move to the floor where you hit the core from just about every angle you can think of. You end in a 6 minute stretch. That sounds short but the stretch is actually so well designed that it feels perfect when you're actually doing the entire workout.

Once again I tried to approach this as a beginner. Leah's beginner schedule has you take all modifications and do half the reps. Unfortunately, their weren't many easier modifications given and since I wasn't always sure how many reps we would be doing I didn't know when the halfway point came in many of the exercies.

The day after I did this workout I could tell I worked my lower and outer abs in new ways. I wasn't sore but was aware of those muscles. I don't consider it typical of ballet type workouts. It's also not filled with traditional ab exercises. Because it is so different I'll probably do it again at some point in the future and add more thoughts to this review. Below is a youtube video that shows some of the exercises used in this dvd.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Starbound Rebounding Review

I really enjoy rebounding when we have a stretch of weather that makes getting outdoors tough. I honestly can't say that I've ever used it for a long enough stretch to see how it might change my body - shape or strength - good or bad. Rebounding is an activity that maximizes lymphatic movement and I'm totally into "pumping lymph."

Starbound is probably THE dvd I pull out most often. I have both the original VHS version and that DVD version. I prefer the DVD because it's chaptered. It's also a DVDr (purple on the back) but has stood the test of time. It still works pefectly and I've had it quite a few years now.

The original VHS was filmed in 2001 so it is dated. I consider it a blast from the past. It's set in both a resort and a sanctuary spa and that really appeals to me. The music is composed and performed by Tarisha and the Leela Groove Crew and sounds about like the name would imply- Mellow and foreign folksy. Michele Wilburn leads the workout in voice over. It contains 2 hours of exercise but you aren't meant to do it all at one go. The cover picture of Michele on a rebounder is not in the actual workout.

The DVD is divided into "Zones" and each zone is chaptered. The zones are "Foundations" or foundational moves and form, "Warm up" - this one contains a lovely meridian balance bounce sequence, Bounce Target Zones - aerobic, Sculpt - gentle , this is the zone I least use, Pure Spirit - efficient but complete stretch and relaxation.

This DVD - or I should say part of it because I pick and choose among the various zones - never fails to leave me feeling nicely worked and relaxed and balanced. It's  great to use on alternate days with a very intense demanding workout.

Michele's website has a rather frantic feel about it. That link should take you to the USA ordering area. I recently found and ordered a used copy of the book used on for $0.99 plus shipping. I paid significantly  more for the VHS and DVD but I've used it enough that I feel I've gotten my money's worth.

Editing this to add that I've been doing sections of this workout strung together as a cardio. I've really been enjoying it! It's gentle enough that I can work really hard of the alternate days without overtraining but this workout still leaves me standing in a puddle of sweat.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

PACE Week 2 Workout 1

This post was written previously but referrs to my impressions of the PACE workout program I was given to review.

Today I did the first PACE workout for week 2. I got a good sweaty workout in short order. This workout was a repeat from week 1. I'm not sure if that will happen often but I thought I'd mention it since I assumed that each workout was different.

I'll be moving these workouts to evenings. I tend to try to be quiet when I do them at 4:30 am and then I don't jump as high as I might if that wasn't a consideration.