I don’t know about you, but I am jumping for joy. I have been preparing over the past several months to put together online material that is relevant, accessible, high quality, and affordable. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I share with you the launch of my online courses!
The material I’ll be sharing with you over the next several weeks and months will cover a range of topics — everything from getting your first full push-up and pull-up to holistic lifestyle courses and a special online course for women which will be released late 2016/early 2017.
In addition to sharing this online school and course launch with all of you, I’m also going to share with you the official launch of…
…rather than create a downloadable pdf of the blog I shared with you all a while back, I decided to take the material and create a FREE course for you that you can access at any time. If you are looking to develop your upper body pushing strength, want to feel the connection between your core and your arms, or want to begin the process of developing shapely shoulders and triceps, then this is a good place to start.
More exciting news in the days and weeks to come! If you’d like to keep abreast of all that is coming down the pike, be sure to follow me on any of the social media accounts in the sidebar; or subscribe to my newsletter (I’m only going to be emailing once per week unless I have something to share that cannot wait) and receive your FREE copy of “9 Secrets to Living a Vibrant Life.”
It’s not often that I feel I can recommend a program or a teacher with 100% confidence. Truth be told, for this picky practitioner, it’s a rarity – I can count on one hand the number of people who fall into this category. Benny Fergusson, aka The Movement Monk, is one.
Benny and I began working together roughly two years ago. I had a few simple, yet complex goals:
- reduce and/or eliminate the niggling pain in my left hip from a yoga injury (you can read about that here and here)
- dive back into a movement program after three years off from rehabbing from my hip injury
- find a way to increase my flexibility again while developing strength so I wouldn’t feel like a rag-doll, susceptible to injury
I had tried various neuro-muscular therapies, physical therapy, chiropractics, different variations of yoga therapeutics, contract-relax stretching, and so on and so forth…Not one of them provided me with a platform that allowed me to safely explore increasing my flexibility whist maintaining and developing strength and stability. No other program, or teacher, at the time provided the space and support for me to explore the “issues in my tissues,” until I began working with Benny and his Embodied Flexibility Program.
Not only has my flexibility increased, but my strength has as well. The niggling pain in my left hip is nearly eliminated, and I have jumped back into a full-on movement program. Check out the video below to see the improvement I experienced in just 30-days’ time.
If you have been on the search for a program that can safely increase your flexibility whilst stabilizing and strengthening your body, I highly recommend checking out the Embodied Flexibility Program. If you have any questions about my experience, ask below or send me an email. You are also welcome, at any time, to reach out and personally connect with Benny and his Movement Monk Team via the Movement Monk website.
Before beginning a movement program, I find it important to ask why my students want to move their bodies. To me, it’s important to uncover the intention behind their motivation, much like peeling back the curtain to take a peek at the Wizard of Oz.
Once you have discovered your Wizard, your intention, your why behind the why, I invite you to take it one step further.
Add a daily intention to your practice. A daily intention invites you to connect, or disconnect, with how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Admittedly, I’m a huge advocate for using a movement practice as a means to connect.
Wait…isn’t that yoga then? Perhaps. We’ll save that for another post though. 😉
Is there something wrong with choosing movement as a means of disconnecting? There’s nothing wrong with it, but there may be a more integrative approach to disconnecting. Maybe you’ve just had an argument with your girlfriend and want to lift some heavy stuff in order to avoid feeling the hurt and anger you may be experiencing. Perhaps you’re working a job you despise, are feeling stressed out, and want to tune out that emotional stuff that’s right there in front of you. Maybe you find yourself spending your workout flexing in the mirror and showing your physique off as a means of covering up the feeling of feeling not good enough.
Would you be willing to (wo)man up and admit that to yourself? Would you be willing to make a conscious decision to disconnect? What might that look like?
Rather than blindly going in and using movement to disconnect,
- Notice how you feel and acknowledge your emotions.
- Be honest with yourself and your decision to choose to disconnect. For example, “I feel really pissed off right now and I am choosing to go lift some heavy sh&t because I don’t want to feel what I am feeling.”
- Take action and go disconnect. Give yourself permission to numb out. Notice how numbing out can feel darned good sometimes.
- Invite yourself to reconnect and do it. This is the step many don’t take. Oftentimes, people go through Steps 1-3, then go about the day because they feel better never having really given themselves permission to feel or express their emotions. Sooner or later, that choice often comes back to bite people in the arse.
Have you ever experienced a cavity? Ignore it long enough and it becomes quite sore. You see the dentist who happily gives you some novocaine and you’re feeling much better all numbed out. But, the novocaine wears off, you go home, and two days later you’re experiencing even more pain, a fever, and an abscessed tooth because the dentist didn’t address the underlying problem – he merely numbed it for you – and it got infected.
By consciously choosing to disconnect, we are giving ourselves permission to see the work that our inner dentist is or isn’t doing with us. Is your inner dentist asleep on the job? Is he/she consciously choosing to only partially do his/her job? Would you be willing to invite your inner dentist to roll up his/her sleeves and explore what fully doing his/her job – choosing to move with connection – feels like?
If you would like to begin the process of learning how to consciously disconnect or connect through movement, reach out to me in the comments below or send an email to email@example.com.
Do you wake in the morning feeling like a bear? Do you feel sore, stiff, slow, and stagnant? In this blog, I share with you three simple tips to help decrease pain, stiffness, and stagnation that you may experience upon waking. Our animal friends do them without thinking, yet we as human beings, with our creature comforts, have largely disconnected from our animalistic nature. Yes, at the base level we are animals.
What are the three things nearly every animal does upon waking that we can also do to increase our mobility, flow, and wake up feeling better?
- Move your spine. What’s the first thing a cat or dog does upon waking? They stretch and move their spine. Follow along in this video to experience five simple movements that will help you free your spine upon waking.
- Eliminate and squat while doing so. Oftentimes, the second thing animals do (at least my dog does), is go to the bathroom and empty their bladder and/or bowels. As human being-animals, it’s necessary for the health of our system to regularly expel our excrement. Yes, we need to pee and poo. Urine, when we’re well hydrated, should be clear. We should be eliminating ~12 in. of feces per day. Now, there’s a lot about what our poop can tell us about our health, but I’ll save that for another day.
Why squat? For one, it’s a primal position that we, in our Western culture with our chairs and creature comforts, have largely moved away from. When we sit upon the loo, vs squat, the colon is placed into a less than ideal position for the elimination of feces. In addition, being in a squat position naturally helps with the motility of the excrement through our digestive system.
- Hydrate. After going numerous hours without water, animals will drink and drink and drink when they have arrived to a water source. What about us humans? I daresay, there are probably people out there whose first drink of the day is a cup of coffee or tea. Why is that a challenge? They both serve as diuretics, which make us pee more, and can lead to further dehydration when we’re already dehydrated upon waking.
Begin the day by drinking and eating nothing else until you have integrated 32 oz of pure, living, spring water with a little Himalayan or Celtic sea salt into your being. Hydrating with pure, living, spring water will help plump your intervertebral discs, hydrate your tissues, help reduce wrinkles and puffiness under the eyes, as well as provide hydraulic support to the entire system facilitating ease of movement (including defecation) and well-being.
I invite you to give this practice a try for the next week. I’d love to hear how you feel after you’ve begun the process of integrating these simple animal-inspired tips into your day.
From CrossFit to kitchen mops and broomsticks, the kind of movement you do largely depends upon you. In this video, I share with you some tips to uncover what kind of movement you should do. [Am I projecting? I may very well be.] The kind of movement you should do may not be what you are thinking.
What kind of movement do you do? And, what does movement mean to you? Are you experiencing challenges deciding what to do? If so, comment below.
Where do we start when we don’t know where to start? Oftentimes, we know where we want to be, know what we’d like to do, where we want to go, but lack the clarity to know where and how to start. In this video, I share some tips to help you take that first step on your journey.
Why have we become so disconnected when we’re seemingly more connected than ever? I share my perspective here as well as 4 tips to help you reconnect.
How often do you experience yourself saying, “I can’t sleep!”? If your beauty rest resembles a scene out of the WWF vs Sleeping Beauty, read on for 8 tips to help you turn the tide towards more restorative and restful slumber.
- Limit or eliminate caffeine after 1 p.m. If you experience an afternoon slump around 3 p.m., let’s take a look at what you’re eating, your blood sugar levels, and the state of your adrenals.
- Try to avoid eating after 8 p.m. When we eat too close to bed-time, our system can be busy digesting rather than winding down for peaceful slumber.
- Since exercise tends to increase energy (unless you’re exceeding your body’s ability to adapt), keep the intense workouts to the morning or early afternoon. Practice working-in, meditation, or internal movement arts in the evening to wind down the system.
- Unplug by 9 p.m., or one hour before bedtime. Set aside quiet time away from the tele, off of the tablets, iPads, phones, and computer. Allow yourself to be quiet. Read a book, or do some artwork or writing, or work-in.
- Keep electronic devices in the bedroom to a minimum, or keep them in a different room if possible. If you cannot keep your cell phone out of your room, try to place it as far away from your bed as possible and set it to airplane mode. This will reduce EMF pollution and aid peaceful slumber.
- Check your magnesium levels. The majority of the population is deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is known for its relaxing benefits. For additional benefits, check out yesterday’s post on FB about magnesium.
- Sleep on the floor if possible. If not, grounding sheets can help. Where to find out more about them? Visit earthing.com.
- If all else fails, unplug. Completely. Go outside and spend one week sleeping out in nature. This will help reset your system to its natural rhythms.
Before you know it, you should be sleeping as soundly as the adorable shih-tzu in the photo.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty experiencing a restorative night’s sleep, let me know. I’d be happy to help.
Why do we do anything that we do? Why do we move our bodies? Why take care of our health? Why work? Why experience financial abundance? Why enter relationships?
Oftentimes, it boils down to a few things — we want to feel connected, we want to know that we matter, we want to experience freedom, support, and love in all that we do.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being naked, hungry and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” ~Mother Teresa
I understand what it feels like…
…to have nothing. To choose to leave a relationship with no sense of security. To wonder where the next meal is going to come from.
…to feel so overwhelmed with emotional pain that you contemplate hurting yourself. Or, beg for physical pain so you can be distracted from feeling what is inside you.
…to numb yourself from feeling anything. To choose to bury the pain you are feeling so that you can go about your day and do what you must in order to survive.
…to put yourself last. To give until there is nothing left to give. To feel so exhausted and drained and broken that you cry because you no longer have the strength or the energy to open that jar of pickles.
…to experience physical pain. To not be able to roll over. To not be able to do what you love. To be told time and time again that this is something you are going to have to live with.
…to feel incredibly alone. Worthless. Undesirable. Not good enough.
I understand how it feels because I’ve been there.
That woman who left a marriage with two young boys and no means of support, was me. That woman who wondered where the next meal was going to come from, was me.
The woman who contemplated physical harm was me. And, I was the same woman who buried her emotions, who sustained two devastating injuries, and who stands here before you now having made the conscious decision to change —
To live a life of freedom, of infinite support, of love.
A life by design, created and fueled by my passions.
It’s a bit of a secret, and I am going to share it with you.
Learning to love yourself as much as you want to be loved by others.
Stay tuned for the launch of the #fiercelove2016 campaign. I’m so excited to share this with you, and look forward to a select number of people joining me, as I walk beside you on your personal journey towards fierce love.
When you begin to live your life by design, listen to and follow your organic timeline, and build your life, & your business around your passions, you may notice & experience the following:
- People leaving or entering your life. Or both.
- Conscious decisions to let go of what isn’t serving you.
- A tremendous amount of freedom in being.
- Excitement. Pure unbridled excitement.
- The beautiful and painful process of bursting forth from your shell, into the nourishing, dark mud.
- Unbound joy as you burst forth into the light of what is.
- Immense focus, clarity, and creativity.
- An unwavering commitment to yourself, your passion, your mission. Psst – it’s ok to take care of yourself and to do so beyond what you thought was possible.
- Profound awareness of your innate biological rhythm and what your essence needs in each moment.
- A zest for life that draws people in and welcomes them to ask and be curious about you…sparking the life force within others by shining your own light.
What are you most passionate about? What would you choose to do if time and money were of no issue? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?
When was the last time you heard someone going all “Hulk” on some movement modality? My guess is that it may have been today. At least once. Possibly several times.
You’ll die if you do CrossFit.
Yoga is crazy.
Old-school weightlifting is so outdated.
Cardio is horrible.
Climbing is deadly.
Bodyweight training is so boring.
The list goes on and on and on. I heard it today, a few times, while in the gym training this morning. Some of the biggest modality smashers are people in the industry – teachers, personal trainers, etc. I’m guilty of having “Hulked” on a few movement modalities in the past. Now though, rather than trash a modality, I tend to view things differently. How?
One very simple perspective — people are moving.
Period. That’s it. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter to me which movement modality one picks as long as you move. Everything else largely comes down to opinion. Yes, even with “scientific evidence,” it’s still ultimately your opinion and your thoughts, beliefs, and projections about what is good, not good, crazy, and downright hilarious and outrageous.
If you feel called to prancercise, go for it. Move that body and get your horse-like gait a-going. If your movement of choice for the day is making love with your partner, beautiful. Love dancing in the kitchen with a mop? Crank up those tunes and get your dance on! Choose something you enjoy that will increase your health, well-being, and happiness.
Now, do I believe some modalities are “better” than others? Absolutely. And, that’s just my opinion.
There is no one way. There is no the way. There is only a way.
If you’re not sure where to start on your movement journey, comment below or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you uncover movement that works for you.
It’s coming…can you feel it? The stress of the holidays, the to-do lists, the go-go-go’s.
Why not learn some tools that will help you get through it all a little less frazzled and will help you jump start the New Year?
If you’ve been on the fence and curious about what it is we do here at On A Limb, now’s your chance to stop on by, learn what sets us apart from any other holistic movement and wellness studio in the area, and check us out free of charge!
Join us for a FREE info session THIS Thursday (11/6) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All ages welcome.
- Learn what holistic movement and wellness is
- Participate in a free 1/2 hour movement class
- Learn what it’s like to listen to your body and move it mindfully without counting sets and reps
- Movement therapeutics demonstration
- Learn about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and what it can do to help you
- Learn how to alleviate stress related illnesses such as anxiety and depression
- Learn how to live in the present moment, have better attention, awareness, and focus
- Improve your relationships
- Participate in a free mindful living class
We look forward to seeing you there!
Amanda & Sally
How are you at taking care of, well, you? Are you caring for yourself as well as you could be or should be? I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I fall short of nourishing myself. After mildly injuring myself last week, I found myself asking myself those questions.
If we have a bit too much go-go and do-do in our lives, then we may find ourselves setting ourselves up for the opportunity for a bit of doodoo to land in our face, our lap, or on the bottom of our shoes. When that happens, life can become rather stinky. To help keep the roses smelling rosy and the air fresh and crisp (Don’t you just love autumn?), to find more balance and nourish yourself, check out these 10 tips:
1. Drink quality water.
A lot of seemingly unconnected symptoms may be connected to dehydration. Drink water and you may find yourself feeling better. A good rule of thumb, and this is just a guideline mind you, everyone has their own unique needs, is to drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water. This is different for those who use kg for bodyweight…in that case it’s closer to a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you weigh 180 lbs, a guideline is to drink 90 ounces water. Again, this is just a rough guideline. You may need more or less depending on your body and its needs. By the way, if it’s not clear, it’s not water, it’s food.
2. Eat quality, wholesome food from healthy plants and animals.
You are what you eat. If you eat diseased animal, you get diseased animal. If you eat diseased plants, you get diseased animal. If you eat pesticide laden food, you get a toxic animal. If you eat crap, well, you get crap. Got it? It’s not necessary to be perfect all the time. Who doesn’t enjoy a treat every now and then? I’d recommend aiming to eat well and healthy 80% of the time.
Three of our favorite nourishing foods (note, foods, not meals) are the following:
- Cate Stillman‘s Boo Candy to help ward off colds and mucous
- Turmeric Milk
- Beef Bone Broth. Although I usually keep mine to the bare basics, here’s a “recipe” from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Not only are they nourishing from a nutritional standpoint, they are also what I would consider “soul food.”
3. Develop a relationship with your food.
Turn the TV off. Set the computer and iThingys aside. Put the newspaper, magazine, or book down. Disconnect from your disconnections and connect with your food and the people who may be sitting in front of or next to you. You may find yourself chewing your food more thoroughly, tasting what you are eating, getting more full sooner, and maybe, just maybe sharing a conversation. I would invite you to consider chewing your food until it is liquid or nearly so. As Paul Chek says, “Drink your food. Chew your water.”
That’s a shocker! Yes, we need sleep. Quality sleep. How well and how long you sleep for you (everyone has their individual needs), will impact your health and well-being. If you’ve been experiencing yourself short of temper, prone to emotional outbursts, facing difficultly thinking clearly, feeling sluggish in the gym…sleep, or lack thereof, may be a contributing factor.
In my opinion, don’t just move. Ask yourself why you are moving your body. What are you moving for? What are you hoping to get out of moving your body? Are you beating yourself up in the gym or doing endless hours of cardio? Are you burning yourself out? Maybe you need to slow down and invite more yin-like movements into your day. High intensity go-go, more, more, harder, harder, and faster, faster isn’t often what our bodies need. They need balance. If your life and job are super stressful, maybe stressing yourself physiologically is pushing you over the edge. Check out these videos by my dear teacher and friend Benny Fergusson of Cohesion Gym for a quick glimpse into this topic. Although I see it far less often, maybe you need to move more. If you’re finding difficultly finding balance, I invite you to reach out to a holistic movement specialist who can guide you to bring balance back into your movement and your life.
Click here for Part 2, after you watch the videos.
On Sat., Oct. 4, we hope you’ll join us for a 4-hr workshop – Mindful Movement and Handstand Fundamentals. If you haven’t yet explored movement and handstands “Gold Medal Bodies style”, or are looking to refine your technique and add to your skills, then this event is for you. You do not need to be able to hold a handstand in order to attend, nor have any prior movement experience (though it’s helpful to have some).
On Sun., Oct. 5, we’re offering a 2 – 2.5 hr workshop – Mindful Movement and Parallette Fundamentals. If you’ve been wondering what this little piece of equipment is for, are looking for a total body workout that is guaranteed to challenge your core and upper body strength all while having fun, or are a seasoned practitioner, this event is for you. You do not need prior parallette or hand balancing experience in order to attend.
By popular request, we have three different event options for you. You can register individually for the Mindful Movement and Handstand Fundamentals Workshop or the Mindful Movement and Parallette Fundamentals Workshop. Or, you can register for the full weekend Mindful Movement, Handstands and Parallettes Fundamentals Weekend Workshop.
We are offering an early registration discount for the individual workshops through Sept. 4 and a $50 discount (with no “expiration”) if you register for the full weekend. Since space is limited, pre-registration is required for all events.
If you’re curious about Daniel, check out this video where GMB provides a trainer spotlight on him:
If you’re excited and rearing to start practicing handstand and parallette training, here are two free videos to explore and play with from GMB. Or, you can come to our Intro to Movement & Calisthenics Class on Saturdays or our Movement & Calisthenics Class Mon., Wed., and Fri. beginning Sept. 3. Have fun and keep moving!