Tag Archives: yoga

Mel Collie | 3 Ways To Relax

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Successfully Relax

Relax your shoulders.

What just happened then?

Did they drop, were you more aware that your shoulders were up by your ears?

Or did it not change anything at all, which is ok, there is no wrong or right.

Some of us are visual learners, some kinesthetic, some auditory, and some of us are a mixture of all of those.

Which is why, if you have ever been to a fitness class, pilates or yoga session, and were told to relax by the instructor and you found that you couldn’t, it could be that you just aren’t an auditory learner.

Maybe a light touch to your shoulders would help, maybe a cue you can imagine feeling “imagine your armpits are feeling heavy, dropping down to meet your hips”, maybe you would love to see it happen I another person and the penny would drop, you would the get it, and follow along.

If you knew how to relax you would do it, right?

 

Why would you choose to be tense, wound up tight like a spring?

Yet day to day we continue to be tight, tense, clenched jaw, tight hips, lifted shoulders.

Here are 3 ways you can un coil yourself, un wind and let go of that tension

  1. Place your hands on your lower belly, and breath in, push into the hands, push that belly out as much as you can. Pause. Then breathe out as much as you can, as the belly comes away from the hands, and towards your spine. Repeat 10 times, 4 times a day. (not only does it calm your brain, it also helps switch on your deep core muscles, a bonus!)
  2. Give yourself permission to have a walk today. Not just to work or home again, but a walk somewhere different. Maybe to the park, to the woods, to the beach, somewhere where there are trees, flowers, plants, water, somewhere you can see and feel nature. Just a few moments here. That’s all you need. If your time is short, take a different way to work or home, rather than rushing and not seeing anything,, look up, look around, take note of the tress and the sky, the clouds, the sun, the rain, the wind, the leaves. There are many studies carried out in Japan on the benefits of relieving stress by using a technique they call “Tree Bathing”, which is just walking in nature, to help reduce stress, to help manage the stresses of modern life.
  3. Sleep . Switching off the laptop/mobile/i-pad an hour before you are going to bed makes a lot of difference. It helps your brain unwind, your eyes relax, your body can begin to relax and get ready for sleep. Having a bath, reading a book, meditating for 10 minutes, all help relax the mind, which helps relax the muscles in the body.

These days we work out, we train, we push ourselves, which is good for the body and we love the results working out brings.

When we understand that working out is also a stress on the body, we can overdo training on top of an already stressed out body, we place relaxation close to the bottom of the list of things to do.

Which is a shame as we are missing out on a trick here.

Doing less, relaxing more, giving ourselves permission to have more happiness, a calmer brain actually helps us find more strength, reduce body fat and have a healthier nervous system.

Starting with the boss of your body, your brain, can be the novel way to look at working out, giving you the edge, giving you inner strength, which always shows on the outside.

Melanie Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | How To Do The Plank

Mel Collie | How To Do The Plank

Years ago I went to a Pilates class run by someone who wanted you to hold the plank for 8 minutes…and there was one person in the class who could do this..at the expense of their back though, because I knew that person, and they had back pain.

The plank is a common strength position in classes. Its ok to practice it, but only if you can maintain alignment.

Most cannot maintain alignment for more than a few seconds.

When the abs aren’t working correctly, the neck takes over.
When that happens the shoulder blades usually lift.
When that happens, the jaw clenches, if it hasn’t already…
When that happens the breathing changes, or you forget to breathe
When that happens the lower back drops.
When that happens you get back pain..
When that happens…you’ve already done too much, but if theres people around you in the class and your instructor tells you to keep going, you clench even harder and keep going.
When that happens you probably aren’t getting any strength gains where you want them – your core..

Theres so many other moves you can do for your core.

Theres so many other ways to help your inner self gain strength

Start with your breath. Its the most repeated movement you will do all day, all of your life, but most of us don’t even bother with it, as its automatic, it just happens, we don’t take a moment to consider that the way we breathe is relevant to posture, strength, awareness, reduction in pain. Surely it has to be harder than that?

Well, no not really…

Start here, and that will give you massive gains.

Then go onto your vision and balance. Both connect to the spinal cord. Massive gains here in mobility, flexibility and reduction of pain. Just with simple vision and vestibular drills.

Surely it must be more complicated than that..?

..well, no not really…

Then, proprioception and spatial awareness, improve those, your movement, flexibility, strength, power, jumps, lifts, every day life will be awesome.

Really? Surely..

Well, yes, really…

It can be that simple.

 

Mel Collie

www.posturegeek.co.uk

Want to have your posture checked over? Book your place here

I will contact you to once you’ve booked, to get a time and day you can come to my treatment room and posture studio in Llanberis, North Wales.

Mel Collie |Why Is Posture Important

Mel Collie | Why Is Posture Important & should you care?

I’m called a the posture geek, by friends as well as clients, so its without doubt I’m going to say yes, posture is important, but why is that and what happens when it isn’t, is it hard to put right?

1. Wonky spines – we’ve all got them, if you sit a lot, stand a lot (mechanics, nurses for example) then your spine is going to be a bit wonky.. You will have issues with health, as the body is out of alignment. Its not about being perfect, its about being healthy and having a life that ts without pain, but better health, a bit like having the car well tuned and noticing how well it runs afterwards, has that happened to you? Happens to me when I put air in the tyres, feels like a whole new car driving experience. The issues on our health can range from the obvious back pain, neck pain, knee pain, to digestive issues, skin disorders, headaches.

2. Knees, back and hip pain can occur when they overwork because other muscles arent doing their job. This could be because the upper middle back has been stretched by sitting at the desk, standing over the car (mechanics. standing over patients (nurses and Dr), standing a lot (postman carrying heavy post bags, shop workers) Your body needs to keep moving, the brain will find another muscle to do the job if the ones that should be helping you, aren’t working as they should. That sound a bit weird doesn’t it? I though so too, after all, if the muscles are in the body and all attached then why aren’t they getting the signal? Well, that signal to act can be disrupted by things like injury(even from an injury when you were little) over training, under training,not doing the right exercises for example.

3. Its not hard to put right, but it takes effort, like anything else in life, if you want results, you have to out in effort, there is no magic pill, unfortunately, but would life be dull if there was… However, using the nervous system is a short cut to getting good and fast results.

Something as simple as lack of rotation in the mid body can mean the knees, hips and lower back over work to replicate that movement.

How can you measure where you are right now with your lack of rotation (if you have any that is) is this link of little old me showing you something you can do everyday.

Use it before and after you train, work, run, ski, surf, climb, roller skate..it tells you that the activity you’ve been doing has affected your movement, has it reduced or increased?

For example, during a 1:1 training session, the nervous system takes a pounding as you exercise, and if you are already stressed through work worries, home worries, shallow fast breathing,  dehydrated or digestive system is affected, then you may find your muscles react, posture changes, pain happens.

If you are about to set off and do a training session, check your nervous system before (Use that video link!), during and again after. This way you can see what is and what isnt working for you,. not what someone else expects you to do, but what you can do, what your tolerance levels are for that day.

You are different everyday.

Treat yourself with the respect that you deserve, use that wisdom to have a stronger, flexible, healthier skeleton. A stronger spine with a life of less pain, more stamina and better movement.

Mel Collie

Sign up here – http://eepurl.com/zpgYf –  to get all my up to date “Stronger Spine” news. Videos, blogs, recipes, cutting edge research on how to feed your spine to make it stronger for life.

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

Mel Collie | Discover simple ankle mobility in seconds

Mel Collie | Discover simple ankle mobility in seconds

Have you seen that advert for a foot scraper? It was on a lot over Christmas, I think a company was selling them as a gift idea…for a loved one…something that looked like a cheese grater for your feet.

Maybe you never have massaged your feet let alone thought about shaving off the hard skin yourself. Why do we neglect our foundations?

And do you know, your feet are your most valuable asset, your foundation, and we all know how important foundations are for properties.

And thats where we, as adults, fall short, so to speak, we dont play anymore.
Im not going to tell you to get yourself a swing or a roundabout, though it would be fun if you did, but show you some simple ankle exercises that release jammed joints and tight fascia.

Simple exercises that take seconds, can be done at home, in the office, at the gym between sets, at the climbing wall between routes or problems, before yoga, pilates, whatever you love to do.

Just so you can imagine what area we are focusing on – put a finger on one ankle bone (the outside of the foot, not inside of the foot) move it about an inch down and 1/2 inch back towards the heel. . This is the area you are going to focus on as we do the first exercise.

a. Standing, place one leg forwards. Toes facing forward on both feet, keep a tall posture and don’t hold your breath. Gently roll to the outside edge of the foot, so the inside edge of the foot will lift. Its ok that the toes will lift, except the little toe.
The area where you placed your finger is the area you are aiming towards the floor.
Return to neutral, repeat 5 times. Then change feet.

b.This time we are stretching the same area but on the inside edge of the ankle. 1 inch down and 1/2 inch back.
Do a sideways lunge. Your focus is on the straight leg.
The area where you are focusing is the area you are wanting to stretch, so do exactly the same move as before, but its the inside edge you now want to stretch.
c. Finally, this is for the front of the foot, the cuneiform bone.
This video talks you through it, 3 – 5 reps on each side. You are focusing on feeling a stretch in the toes. Don’t do this on a hard surface, its painful ! If necessary place the foot on a rolled up towel. If your balance feels wobbly, then hold onto the wall or a chair.
http://youtu.be/p96fy34vsTE

When you’ve practiced all three mobility drills, do them often.
What happens in the ankle affects the knee and hip. Take advice from your GP if you have had an ankle injury before doing these mobility drills, just to be safe 🙂

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk