|January 25, 2013||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Anatomy, Jean Hoiland, Uncategorized||
This morning my mom shared her “aha” moment from the previous weeks yoga class. Once she mentioned it I realized she had been standing a little taller and practicing tadasana at home. Turned out she finally found her lumbar curve, after decades of it being MIA… and low and behold when I turned her sideways there it was.
A well aligned spine is a beautiful sight, each curve properly in place and in balance. The heart centered over the pelvis.
You may be wondering what the big deal is….well…let me tell you…it is a really big deal. Proper alignment, posture and form are essential for spaciousness, ease and freedom in our bodies. It can be oh so elusive to attain, but once we feel it, we want to shout from the roof top “eureka, I’ve got it”.
It’s kind of like mastering a stick shift. When our gears are out of alignment we are stiff and jerky, sometimes stalling out. Once mastered the ride becomes smooth and exhilarating.
Regaining homeostasis is a liberating feeling. My mom succeeded in undoing decades of patterns and habits and in doing so she looks taller (not easy at 5′ 1″) and younger (she already looks at least 10 years younger than her real age). She no longer appears to be perpetually practicing first position, toes out heels in, clenching her butte-cheeks, locking up her pelvis and reducing her lumbar curve.
She has found space and freedom for movement. Her pelvis has begun to release and her practice is unfolding.
As her daughter I am elated and greedily anticipating at least two more decades of her presence in my life. As a teacher I feel relief that my efforts and persistence are not in vain.
I am hopeful that perhaps my mom’s propensity to fall on her face (literally) has ended. I asked her if she felt more balanced and she responded yes. There is still a long way to go but with this new found freedom she will no doubt feel more confident to pursue more challenging postures.
There may still be hope to free her shoulders and see her in a handstand in the next few years 😉
Do not burst my bubble…I can hope.
|August 29, 2012||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Anatomy, Jean Hoiland||
Diastasis Recti is the separation of the abdominal muscles (specifically the rectus abdominus or 6 pack muscles). It is caused most often by:
- Weight gain in the abdominal area
- Growing uterus during pregnancy
- Doing abdominal exercises incorrectly – NO MORE CRUNCHES!
If the issue is not addressed it can lead to back pain. It occurs equally among men and women. For women it is usually known as the “mummy tummy” and for men “guy gut” or “beer belly”.
Our abdominal muscles serve several purposes. They support the spine and our posture and they hold our internal organs.
Desiring a flat toned belly is not such a vain thing after all. There are definite benefits to getting rid of the bulge. Closing the gap in the 6 pack takes more than one session. It can take up to 16 weeks, but you can start feeling results within 2-4 weeks. If you have a severe diastasis you may need one on one help developing a home practice, make sure and find a knowledgeable instructor to help you.
It’s time to get off your butts and bust a gut instead. It is essential to learn proper technique when doing abdominal work so as not to cause or exasperate the issue. Correct technique will properly flatten your belly and trim your waistline while strengthening the hips and stabilizing the pelvis.
I recommend The Postpartum Abdomen Support from Scott Specialties. It is available at Amazon and reasonably priced under $25. There are many other abdomen support belts for both men and women. If you have a touchy back you might want to consider getting one and learning some proper core strengthening exercises.
It’s easy to check for diastasis recti. Here’s how:
- Lie on your back with your feet on floor and knees up
- Bring your knees above your hips and then curl/crunch up
- If you see a pronounced ridge that runs from pubic bone to sternum the length of your belly you likely have it.
Now what are you going to do about it? Well if you are motivated and can follow instructions you may have good success by ordering the Abmat on Amazon…and there is always the “Restore your Core” class Monday morning at 9:30am and Tuesday evening at 6:00pm at Intent Yoga.
|November 9, 2011||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Anatomy, Holistic Healers, Osteoporosis||
a message from Fae Swetz
For the osteoporosis patient massage has different advantages and disadvantages. Massage will more than likely not change any calcium uptake or bone density. There is also the possibility of fracture if there is overpressure from the Massage Practitioner. Caution is always key for the Practitioner.
On the other hand, massage can be beneficial for osteoporosis patients and is not necessarily contraindicated. The appropriateness of massage is determined by the fragility of the individual. They key to massage for these patients is comfort massage. The front (chest, anterior neck, and abdominal) muscles are often very tight and hard due to hyperkyphosis (also called Dowager’s hump) while the back muscles are stretched and irritated. Massage can definitely offer relief of these symptoms even if it can’t reverse bone degeneration.
What to expect:
A massage client with osteoporosis can expect their comfort to be of the utmost importance. In the session, their positioning is enhanced with pillows. The massage practitioner will start with slow gliding massage called effleurage and if it is indicated will go on to a slightly deeper kneading type massage called petrissage. A practitioner should never use deep tissue massage on a client with osteoporosis. Always have an ongoing exchange of information regarding pressure of the massage with the practitioner.
If an osteoporosis patient is considering becoming a massage client and is unsure of their fragility, they should consult with their doctor first. Massage therapy is not is not a substitute for medical examination or medical care. Any client should always consult with their doctor if there is any question regarding their health.
Always make sure a massage practitioner is professionally trained, has a license, and is a member of a massage or bodywork association that offers liability insurance.
Fae E. Swetz LMP
Family Care for You
Part of the Intent Yoga and Healing Arts Collective
|September 22, 2011||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Anatomy, Jean Hoiland||
Hip, back, shoulder and groin pain are common complaints yoga teachers hear from students. As instructors working with a group of individuals we do our best to accommodate and adapt the practice to those attending: and we truly believe yoga is a wonderful practice for keeping us calm, fit and youthful. The problem is far too many people take up yoga at the advice of a doctor or chiropractor or when the pain has gotten so great you are willing to try anything. Not only do you wait until there is clear and present danger you may wait to show up only minutes prior to the start of class expecting yoga to be your miracle cure.
Years of poor posture, bad alignment and unhealthy habits can certainly be corrected through yoga. What many fail to realize or commit to is that there needs to be consistency and routine. Showing up once every few weeks while great, we would like to see you be as dedicated to your own health as we are as teachers in helping you.
Yoga is meant to be therapeutic and customized for the individual. Not all poses should be practiced by all students. For instance if you are someone who is already super flexible with joints bending in the opposite direction of everyone else in class, I got news for you, you do not need to become more flexible. Strength should be your focus and yoga taught by a skilled instructor can create functional strength while maintaining your flexibility. Stabilizing the joints is extremely important in order to avoid injury.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is “I can’t take yoga cause I’m not flexible”. What did that person just say, are you kidding me. It’s true, I have heard that more times than I care to count. If you can barely bend over to tie your shoes then you need a few specific stretches to help alleviate that stiffness.
A private session can really help improve your practice, posture and address your individual aches and pains. A personalized practice can be created for you by an experienced instructor. It doesn’t take as many sessions as you think and in 10 minutes key exercises if done regularly can greatly improve your recovery from injury or degenerative disease.
Give it some thought. I am happy to meet with you. My hours for private instruction are:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 6:00-9:00am
Tuesday and Thursday between 10:00amd and 1:00pm.
Jean Hoiland RYT200