Tag Archives: mel collie pilates

Mel Collie | Posture and your extensors

Mel Collie | Posture and your extensors

Posture is affected by stress, sitting, sports, nutrition, thoughts, depression…so many things..and how you can help correct it can be a long process if you are looking at an exercise program. This, however, doesn’t replace exercise, thats still very important as we are creatures of habit and sitting is one of those, we sit more than we exercise, and the extensor muscles that keep you upright get weaker in tone and fail to help keep our bodies upright with good posture, affecting breathing, digestion shoulders, abdominals, legs and feet…

How you can switch on the weaker side of your body by simply doing a balance challenge test and using your proprioceptive system?

Put one foot in front of the other, feet in line, perfectly, stand tall, arms out like frankenstein, be safe in your balance and eyes focus on a point in front of you.

Close eyes, and where do you notice you are swaying too…this is the weaker side in your inner ear possibly

So..this is what you do next…Happy practicing and enjoy your results

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

 

Mel Collie | 2 Reasons to Stop doing Crunches (and what to do instead)

Mel Collie | 2 Reasons to Stop doing Crunches (and what to do instead)

Ok, my last post was on adrenal fatigue…and one of the things that makes us tired is over training at the gym, usually because we’ve bought into the marketing idea that flat abs will make you happy, more desirable and sexy…

So, if you believe that to be true (it isn’t by the way) I would love to share some facts with you about crunches..

1. You can do loads of them , many about 22,000 of them, which burns a pound of fat, thats all. How long does it take to do that many crunches? You tell me…I can’t be bothered to even work it out. However, a point of your lovely fat contains 3,500 calories. Still doing crunches?

2. Ok..you’ve got a LOT of time on your hands. But, heres the thing, this is time you could spend doing other stuff that actually makes you happier which = improved self esteem, and when your self esteem bank account gets a boost, it tends to mean that the next time it gets a knock back, you won’t feel it as much because you’ve got some reserve in the bank account, hugely powerful stuff when you are worried about what other people think of you and your body.

3. Sit ups can give you neck ache and back ache, when done badly. I recently had a couple of friends staying for a couple of days and one of them had a baby recently, 3 years ago in fact. Her line alba hadn’t yet knitted back well (Google: diastis recti, it will tell you all you need to know)  and she was doing a well intentioned Pilates class twice a week, but at a big brand name gym in a class with lots of people, it hadn’t really helped her out, she’s now considering surgery. . I spent 2 years going to similar classes in a gym. You won’t get individualised attention. It isn’t geared towards that. She wasn’t to know, not her fault at all. I know physics and chiropractors recommend Pilates, but also know that they have clients coming to them with pain from going to Pilates sessions at gyms because of the amount of people in each class who have certain things going on that a one size fits all class won’t be covering. Crunches will not help a post pregnancy belly at all, it will create more problems for the muscles and pelvic floor, find someone who has been on a specific course on the issues that need to be addressed. Check out Hypopressives, a brilliant way to get the body back to alignment

So what can you do instead if you are a lover of sit ups?

Theres so many exercises, my top favourite is to learn how to breathe from your lower belly first to reduce cortisol levels , which when elevated, sit in the belly tissue, so you can exercise harder for longer, but if you are stressed, and have a continual high stress lifestyle , you may just find that belly fat sits around you for a lot longer than you originally intended. Breathing and doing less, working out smarter, not harder, is the key, which means a change in mindset, and that isn’t easy.

It may be easy to accept it, realise it, but then to actually implement it and stick to it is the hardest bit. You need to check yourself every now and then, make sure you haven’t slipped back into old patterns.

Exercises that you can do instead of loads of crunches are (and remember , always, with each repetition, to be in the moment and fully focused , as when you do that, you are sending signals to your brain about alignment to help each rep be very effective. Reps done without focus, when the mind wanders to other things because you are bored, then your alignment suffers and your results will reduce. True story!) :

Side Planks

Push ups

Burpees

Mountain climbers

Handstands

Cartwheels and many variations of them

Kettlebell swings (or use a dumbell)

Jumps

Go for a walk everyday, get outside and breathe, get some sunlight on your skin and get some laughter and love in your life

That doesn’t mean, if you don’t have one right now, that you should look for the perfect partner, but look inside yourself for your own self acceptance, do the exercise that you love to do, not whats trendy or what others are doing, it might not work for you.

Find your own blueprint, then you may find that you choose what foods and what exercises make you feel awesome, you choose to nourish yourself, rather than beat yourself up.

Mel

x

Helping women be themselves and love who they are in her 1:1 studio in Llanberis, North Wales, UK. By appointment only.

 

 

Mel Collie | Can You Relax Away The Belly Fat?

Mel Collie | Can You Relax Away The Belly Fat?

Did you know, theres a hormone called Cortisol that increases in our bodies when we are more anxious, worried, stresesd, sleep less?  Did you know that stressing when you are eating is like eating with a bowl of soup laden with cortisol?

That means, if you are on a diet, and restrictive eating, and hating it , you are more than likely to find that results are slow coming, that belly fat isnt budging.

How can you lower those cortisol levels? Try these 2 simple ways…

 

1. Relax (I know, you dont have time and relaxing is for wimps…)

A couple of years ago, I went through a relationship break up and  wanted to go away for a while. I chose to jump in at the deep end , going on a beginners weekend silent meditation retreat in Devon at Gaia House that a friend recommended.

It was bliss….just what I needed.

Fear puts us off doing so many things doesn’t it? For me, the silence aspect meant I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I quite liked that! Especially as you were sharing a room with 2 other people, if I didn’t like them I didn’t have to be nice all weekend…as we were all being quiet, and all there with the same aim. meditation doesnt have to be like that though, it can be choosing to do something you love every day, like taking 10 – 20 minutes to go for a walk, play a musical instrument, have a bath, read a chapter of a book, have a nap, go for a massage.

2. Eat. Take your time eating …it can take time to prepare meals (the prep time is also like a meditation, calming, social, methodical), but it can take a few moments to demolish, watching the TV, looking at a lap top, texting , driving. .not noticing the food we’ve just eaten.  Instead, take 20 minutes and chew the food really slowly. Look at the food on the plate, notice the colours, the textures, when you chew notice the flavours, the spices, the textures.

 

Choose simplicity : )

By taking time to calm down, to find how you would like to meditate you give yourself permission to be just you for a moment, you can pick up your worries and stressors afterwards if you feel like you cant live without them and need them.

That is your choice. We all have a choice what to pick up and what to put down.

Some choose to meditate quietly every day for 15 – 60 minutes, morning  and evening, some feel they can’t start their day without this routine or the day becomes a tangled mess.

No, don’t you think that they started their routine somewhere. They didn’t jump in at 60 minutes of silence and just have a clear mind.

They probably don’t ever achieve a clear mind, it’s always jumping about.

It takes practice, and practice always stays at just that, practice, you don’t want to reach perfection, as no ones perfect, maybe in your mind you think that other people are because you see yourself as not quite there yet and judge yourself.

You don’t want to be perfect.

(Get used to that thought….)

You just want to released from what isn’t serving you right now, the baggage you carry everyday thats weighing you down and making your life not as amazing as you would love it to be, as you can make it be.

So, start slow and small, just one step, with the mindful eating, watching yourself, watching your habits.

We all learned how to drive in a car park or a quiet side road, not on a busy Motorway on a  Monday morning, That would have put you off and the Insurance company would have had heart failure : )

Take time to focus on something as simple as your breathing during the day, at your break times at work.

Notice how you feel.

Notice how you are just here in the present moment, not the past, not the future, just now.

Notice that you are not lacking a thing.

Notice how you don’t have to acquire anything.

Notice that you are already right here where you need to be.

Notice that if your mind wanders that it is OK

As soon as you notice it has wandered, you are back here in the present moment, and you can address it and focus on your breathing again, simples!

Theres no judgement, there’s no telling off, there’s no shouting and feeling you are wrong, there’s just you and your breath.

Enjoy your stillness and calm.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | What to do when your left shoulder hurts

Mel Collie | What to do when your left shoulder hurts

So your left shoulder hurts, you think thats the problem and so you have it looked at, do exercises, but it still hurts.

Do something different, change what you are doing, a bit like changing your diet if its not working for you, you change a few things, tweak it.

A little suggestion for your left shoulder – look at your right shoulder.

What do you do with your right wrist, elbows, shoulder position when you are at the laptop, when you type, when you rest it on the table, when you hold your mobile, when you try a text. By doing corrective exercise on the side that hurts can work for a while, but you could find that after time, the original pain get worse or comes back, it can be called impingement of the shoulder for example.

When you are working on the painful left side, what happens is that you are sending messages up the nerves to the left side of your brain – the cerebellum area to the right cortex, which will improve pain if you have it in your right side.

So in a nutshelll, look at the other side to improve the neural connection to the side that does hurt.

Sounds wonky doesn’t it, its the kind of difference in my Corrective Exercise Program

If you are a little further afield and can’t make it to my posture studio for a different, neurological way of looking at your posture and “fixing” pain, then download your copy of my program.

Mel Collie

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Check your own posture

Mel Collie | Check your own posture

This very simple exercise to help you check your spine, ribs, shoulders and pelvis is the bird dog or the Superman, its known as both of these, and can be made really hard if you put a wooden dowelling rod on your back so it touches the back of your head, the middle of your back (bra line for girls, heart line for guys)and the sacrum and tailbone. The only gaps are at the neck and the lower back.
As you move you keep the post on this line, you will realise if your hips move, the post will fall off…so focus and connect traction on how you move and what is moving will be highlighted.
Don’t forget to breathe and smile, your face tells a story of what you are doing to your brain.
Visualise that you are lengthening your spine through your fingers and toes as you lift them and reach.
Its not how high you are going with the limbs, but what you use to get there, so start small before you jump in and think you can do the whole thing and have to start agin. When you train with bad posture, your brain remembers this and will repeat it, so start as you mean to go on.

Mel Collie
Pilates & Level 4 Kinetic Chain Assessor
www.melcollie.com
www.posturegeek.co.uk