Monthly Archives: May 2015

Mel Collie | Its not a hamstring stretch..but it works…

Mel Collie | Its not a hamstring stretch..but it works…

I hate forward bends, always have. I cant touch my toes, you would think I could really, being a Pilates teacher and all that. However, my mind also works over time, I’m always reading, learning new things, have an inquiring mind, also prone to stress and worry. This affects my muscles, fascia and structure, breathing and worry lines 🙂

So I have to watch it, and have learned to look out for my signals. Now, because Im a busy chick, \i like results, fast, and thats why I love this little magic trick on the fascia, however, breathing slowly and deeply also helps you relax and “stretch” hamstrings, it also helps prevent groin strains too believe it or not (true story!)

Although this isnt a stretch, it does release the tightness in the back of the legs. It works by doing a fascial release technique on the superficial back line which runs from the top of the head down the back, down the legs and under the feet.
You can have tight hamstrings from sitting, being stressed, always on the move, being a runner, having tight hips,shallow breathing and an anxious mind…even something like a low self esteem or lack of confidence can affect tightness in muscle.
I’ve also put this video in my new Corrective Exercise project, you can download Phase I now here from my website. There will be 3 phases, the first phase is all about inner range holds and how to use your vestibular and proprioceptive system to help you have more stamina and strength.I also talk about changing a few things in your diet to help your joints feel a lot less stiff.
Phase II is all about the vision, and more dynamic exercises using a stability ball I also talk about the hierarchy of threats to the brain. Phase III is all about taking all those moves and going a bit further with strength and balance as you progress.

Heres the hamstring video link…remember, it only works if you practice it often.

Happy hamstrings 🙂


Mel Collie | Your Brain Tells a Story

Mel Collie | Your Brain Tells a Story

Most of us have a mobile, laptop, i-pad or something similar. Not that Im going to give you a lecture on posture, though I do help fix peoples posture and bad backs, I am going to shine some light on using the computer and our past stories.

When we are looking at the screen our eyes, narrow, our inner corners of our eyes become stronger, telling our brain that our world is only as wide as the screen. This reduces our movement and range. Our brain believes what our eyes are telling it, it has to, it relies on the messages the eyes send back in order to ensure that you don’t over do a real with your arms or you might hurt your shoulders.

Does that make sense?

So, your brain creates limitations around what it is used to, and this shows in the way you move and feel. Your joint mobility, flexibility and strength.

A child from an unhappy home harbours those memories as they grow up. The brain is like a computer, it doesn’t forget anything that it believes is a threat to your survival.
It remembers the “don’t do that” or the “you are too stupid do do that” or the ” you will never be good enough” or the ” keep out of my way”.
Without even realising it, as an adult, your responses to people around you will be affected because your brain remembers.
It creates the story and plays it over and over.
The amygdala is the alarm bell, it holds the stories, as your brain sees it, its recalling them to keep you from doing any damage, from threatening your survival, thats why we can lose strength and feel like curling up when stressed.

Your brain is like velcro for bad news, and teflon for good news, its hard wired for suffering. So much so that its how we live our lives, barely seeing the happiness in every moment we have, always looking for the next new shiny object to make us happy, when the happiness can only happen when we look inside of ourselves.

So, be more aware when you are next anxious, in pain, feeling depressed. Your brain is uncertain of the future, of whats going to happen next, its searching (its searching Google if you like!) for all the past experiences that it can relate to. Its slowing you down ultimately, so you find it hard to find a solution, stops you from getting out from under the duvet and living life to the full.
Nowadays we numb it, through food, alcohol, Facebook.
Im not going to tell you to read positive quotes, but instead Im going to do what is so simple, I think Ive emailed you about it before

Thats it
Just breathe into your lower belly for 1 minutes a day x 10.
the oxygen will tell your brain its not under threat, and will calm down the nervous system.
We need oxygen to function, and its reduced when we are anxious, we breathe into the upper chest then, its shall breathing, our brain worries we are under threat of survival, it closes you down, slows you down.

Its part of our survival programme we created for survivors of abuse to boost self esteem, wellness, fitness, a holistic approach. You can find out more about this amazing programme here.

Mel Collie

Mel Collie | Esther Rantzen & My MOT

Mel Collie | Esther Rantzen & My MOT

My car had to be fixed, or there was no car, no mot no driving.

It made me realise that even though life chucks you all the crappy stuff its down to you to react how you choose.

You can have a tantrum and throw the toys out the pram, stamp the feet, have a screaming rant, have a few drinks and a whinge.

They all raise the blood pressure, increase a hormone called Cortisol which increases belly fat and increases sensitivity to pain, so joint pain, back pain can also increase at times of stress, worry, anxiety. Many years ago, stress was the thing that kept us alive, running from the lions and tigers, hunting them down for something to eat. These days its the opposite and is slowly making us sick and tired. Stress can come from the memories we harbour and relive, opening a gas bill, from a demanding job or heavy training regime, lack of sleep, dehydration, a poor diet, constant negative thoughts, poor posture. (and many more!)
Stress is a big buzz word these days.

Its easy for me to say “step back and see it for what it is, accept it, realise and release it” but all of that can take time, some people never release worries and fears, old beliefs, because they don’t realise how stuck they are, or that their beliefs are the very things holding them back.
My “realisation” or little spiritualisation/break down happened a few years ago when a relationship broke down and I was heartbroken enough to have a long weekend away in a silent meditation retreat, it was pure heaven, loved every minute…after spending the whole of the first morning in tears. (silent ones…)

I learned the value of silence, breathing, relaxation and looking after myself, so I could be there for others, but, above all, I could be strong enough for me.

One thing you can do right now that won’t cost you a thing (don’t panic, we aren’t going to meditate, though we will talk about that in another email ) is this(you are pretty switched on so maybe you’ve done this already) Start a diary, or , in the one you already use, write 3 things you are happy about, 3 things you have around you that you are grateful for.
My 3 would be..happy I had the ways and means to pay for the MOT, happy that the guy who did the MOT has a bad back and will now be a client of mine ( I help people with back pain too..) Im happy that the sun was shining, the blossom tree next to the garage was in full bloom and I could see those colours.

Simple things we see and do everyday we take for granted are those very things we don’t see anymore. Does that make sense?
As human beings we live our lives, we gauge our life by suffering and pain, its how we have evolved. We tell each other about the crappy day we had at work rather than the great things that happened, because we gossip, chatter, judge each other, but how different it would be if we did the opposite.
I can’t see that changing in my lifetime, but I can make little changes to my mindset, which changes my day and how other people speak and act towards me, which helps shape my life.

What are your first 3 things? Would you make a new list everyday? Try it for 7 days.
Let me know how it goes, if you notice any mindset changes.

Mel Collie