Exercise & Fitness

Our Dream, Your Dream

Hello Everyone… As our Indigogo Campaign is gaining momentum, please check out our video if you haven’t already and help us inspire change.

Inspiring Change in our lives…

To be more than what you already are, whether that is to have well developed muscles, nice abs, to fit into your favorite pair of jeans with ease, or to have less back pain and more vitality: it’s your DREAM that will really get you there.  Your goal or dream and how that dream will ultimately makes you feel is what we’d like to guide you towards.

Check this out…. take a moment and feel into each of these two statements:

“I want to loose weight because I feel fat and want more attention. I should go back to the gym, everyone at that dinner party looked better than I did. My best friend just lost a bunch of weight, I should too.”
“My dream is to feel strong in my body. I feel good about myself when my pants fit just right. I feel a sense of satisfaction after a good workout. My body looks and feels damn good!”

This is what one of my mentors calls “using the carrot” to get where you want to go, or “using the stick”. Are you drawing yourself towards looking and feeling better?  Or are you using your will, and beating yourself there? Which are you???
The choices that you make using “the carrot”, instead of “the stick”, are deeper, and bound to last because feeling good, well,  just feels good. Whipping yourself into what you think you should be, isn’t very fun and is bound to fail or result in some sort of misery either physically, emotionally, spiritually.

When you are walking towards change and start to see that change, whether you realize it or not, you are affecting change in others. In that regard, you can think of your dream to feel good, as supporting someone else’s dream to feel good. Isn’t that awesome?!  That change in you affects the grocery store clerk, your parents, your partner, the people you work with, and on and on. Inspire yourself and… inspire others.

What if you found your dream, or deeper connection to why you want nice looking abs, slim fitting jeans, more muscle or a healthy back?  That is why I dreamt into expanding Ascend Body… to inspire more and more people into health and wellness who are truly living their dream.

It’s my experience coaching people that when you stay connected to your dream, the choices that you make naturally fall into alignment. I’ve seen amazing progress in the people that I work with, they are my inspiration! Living their foundational principles:  eating, moving, breathing, thinking, sleeping, drinking.
I want people to recognize the feeling space of health and wellness. We want to help you uncover and breath life into your dream.
Please attend our workshop on Mandalas and goal setting.

To me, it’s like this… find your dream and live it, make choices towards it and, it just so happens it comes with nice muscles, great abs and/ or jeans that fit great.  Feeling good from the inside out!

Please support our Indiegogo Campaign as we move towards our dream of inspiring more and more people’s health and wellness through our community outreach programs.

In health,
Shane and the Ascend Team

The Snail

The snail has become or has always become my power animal. i have had a love affair with snails since childhood (2), i used to run around at day care and look for snails to get off of pathways to save them from being crushed by all that walk the path, including my self. fast forward to today.. the snail to me has become symbolic of my journey, or at least how i feel about my journey in this mom

The snail carries his home with him wherever he goes.. to me this represents learning to LOVe all of me, i carry it all wherever i go as well.. The more i integrate and LOVe all of me the less co-dependent i am on others to meet my emotional needs. This can create freedom from judgment, ownership, guilt, resentment, shame, blame, fear etc.. In essence i learn to LOVe the house i have created for myself, i become less likely to look to others to fill my perceived conscious and sub-conscious needs, which creates freedom for all of us to be more authentic, and move with less fear.
The snail moves slow, which to me represents the abilty to be aware and present in each moment.. to breathe.. to observe.. to respond.. to choose.. to be open to the surprises that come each day.. one can still MOVE fast, to be a snail is to be observant and mindful within, no matter the situation presented.
Lastly, the snail lays a smooth substance to glide over all surfaces, to me this represents the ability to navigate any terrain presented in my life knowing there is always a smooth substance of LOVe guiding me, and if i so choose, i can focus on the smooth path to navigate even the most challenging terrain..

Is your shower making you sick? by CHRIS KRESSER L.AC

The quality of our drinking water is a major determinant of our health and wellbeing. It is important to consider not only the presence of pathogens or contaminants, but also the routine addition of chemicals that may cause us harm. Chlorine is a chemical typically used as a disinfectant in public water supplies as an effective way to reduce the level of pathogenic bacteria in our drinking water. (1)

Unfortunately, this chemical, and other common chemical disinfectants, may have a damaging impact on our bodies’ beneficial bacteria as well.

When chlorine is used as a water treatment, it combines with organic matter to form compounds called trihalomethanes (THMs), also known as disinfectant byproducts. One of the most common THMs formed is chloroform, which is a known carcinogen. (2) Other THMs formed include the di- and trichloramines formed when chloramine is used as a disinfecting agent. (3) These compounds are toxic when consumed, inhaled, or applied to the skin.

Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water have demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. Several studies have found that communities using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers. (456) THMs from chemically treated water have been associated with a variety of poor birth outcomes, such as spontaneous abortion, birth defects, and low birth weight. (7) Chlorine and chloramine vapors are associated with greater risk of asthma, and may damage the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract. (8) Free radicals in chlorinated water have been linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries. (9)

While there hasn’t been substantial research on the topic, it’s reasonable to assume that chlorinated water adversely affects beneficial intestinal flora. Chlorine is a powerful antimicrobial agent, and is an effective pesticide against many different strains of bacteria. (10) The compounds in disinfected water may be able to reach the gut not only through our drinking water, but also through daily showers and baths.

A recent post at the Food Renegade blog (11) brought this disturbing theory to light, not only highlighting the harmful effects of chlorinated drinking water, but emphasizing the possibly greater effect that showers and baths could have on our intestinal flora. As we know, there’s a strong connection between asthma, acne, autoimmune conditions and the health of our gut flora. We might speculate that dysbiosis induced or made worse by excess chlorine exposure could contribute to these conditions.

Showering and bathing in chlorinated water may expose us to even more chlorine and its byproducts than drinking this disinfected water.

While our bodies can filter out much of the chlorine from our drinking water, the THMs and other disinfectant byproducts we inhale during showers and baths may be much more harmful, since the chlorine gas we inhale enters directly into our blood stream. (12) Therefore, even if you filter your drinking water, the amount of toxins you are exposed to from your daily shower or bath, through inhalation or skin absorption, may be cause for greater concern.

Research has demonstrated that the cancer risk associated with chlorinated water may actually be due to showering and bathing, rather than drinking the disinfected water. (1314) This suggests that many health risks of chlorine may be specifically related to dermal and inhalation exposure. In fact, the chloroform dose from a single, ten minute shower is equal to, and possibly greater than, that from the average two liters of water ingestion on a daily basis. (1516)

Therefore, the filtration of your shower and bath water may be even more important than the water you drink.

Chlorine filtration is fairly simple, provided you use some level of technology to remove it from your shower or bath water. There are resources on the Food Renegade blog about where to find chlorine-filtering shower heads and bath filters. (17) This includes the Rainshow’r Shower Filter and the Crystal Ball Bath Dechlorinator, both sold by the Radiant Life Company.

I’d like to point out that chlorine isn’t in everyone’s water supply, but there is another disinfectant that is also of concern. I checked my local water company’s website, and discovered they use chloramine (chlorine + ammonia) to disinfect the water supply. (17) Chloramine exposure may be even more damaging to the lung epithelium than chlorine, and may release ammonia as another toxic byproduct as well.

The filters that remove chlorine don’t necessarily remove chloramine.

Chloramine can be removed for drinking water purposes by a carbon block or activated carbon filter that can be installed on a kitchen faucet. Also, both chlorine and chloramine can be removed for bathing purposes by dissolving Vitamin C in the bath water. One 1000 mg Vitamin C tablet will neutralize chloramine in an average bathtub. (18)

There are no shower filters on the market that completely remove chloramine. (19) There are, however, whole house water filters that remove chlorine, chloramine, and other contaminants.   Unfortunately, they’re quite expensive and thus may not be an option for many people.

Vitamin C shower filters may be a good choice for those looking for an inexpensive way to reduce the chloramine (and chlorine) content of their showers. Vitamin C is an effective dechlorination agent, removing up to 99% of chlorine and chloramine, and vitamin C filters are much less expensive than the whole house filter featured above. The disadvantage to using them is they’re not as durable or effective as a whole house filtration system, and you would need a separate filter for each shower outlet in the house.

Other simple methods to reduce exposure to chlorine and chloramine include: taking shorter or less frequent showers, avoiding excessively hot showers (since high heat increases the amount of steam), and shutting the water off while soaping up. These techniques will help decrease your exposure if filtration or dechlorination is not an option.

I recommend you check with your local water supply company to determine what disinfecting agents they use to sanitize your tap water. You can then use that information to make a decision about which shower filter is most appropriate for you and your family. Until we know more about how chlorinated water affects our health, and especially our beneficial gut flora, it seems prudent to keep chlorine and chloramine exposure to a minimum.

Jator Pierre Posture 3

Posture: The WE (water | Earth) Approach Part 3


Sitting at my computer writing this blog I am very conscious of my posture.  Do I have my neutral lumbar curve = check, is my thoracic spine in proper alignment = check, do I have my head and shoulders in alignment = check.  I run this tape loop in my head at all times.  As my own posture has normalized I have found less need to run this loop during my daily activities but the need is always there when I am in an ergonomic environment that my body was not designed for = cars, couches, desks, computer, sending texts on the phone etc… “We are still cavemen, just wearing suits and driving cars!” – Paul Chek    Without conscious awareness of your posture it will be almost impossible for any trainer, coach, practitioner, P.T, O.T to get your system to change.

A suggestion I use with my clients = purchase an alarm clock or anything you can set to go off every 15 minutes during the day, each time this alarm goes off it serves as a reminder for you to check your posture and realign yourself (make sure your coach has taught you how to do this, do not try to align your posture based on your ideas of what good posture is, this will usually serve to deepen the issue), try to hold your posture until the alarm goes off again, before you know it your new posture will be the norm and you will no longer feel like a “robot”.

Our current environment (city living) can encourage visual dysfunction.  Reduced color variety, changes in depth of field (loss of distance vision), and the increased exposure to close-up working environments such as computer screens, cell phones, tablets, have all contributed to poor posture secondary to visual inadequacy, while at the same time creating a boom in the business of glasses, contact lenses, and corrective eye surgery.

Moving your body can help improve posture, but this needs to be done with awareness of biomechanically sound posture.  If you are not into working on “posture” at Ascend Body, cool, other forms of postural training include Tai-chi, Qi-gong, and Yoga, but these must be taught by a very skilled practitioner and it is my belief they should be taught 1 on 1 or very small class with others that have similar postural faults.  If taught in this manner not only will you improve your postural awareness, you will also start to harvest your vitality (energy, qi, prana, life force) and begin to let the body truly heal, reduce stress and inflammation.

Our environment is literally polluted = toxic water supplies worldwide, toxic air, toxic soil, electromagnetic pollution, out gassing from industry, homes, automobiles, this literally overwhelms our hormonal and immune system.   In fact electromagnetic stress alone has been shown to disrupt cell communication which can lead to many health issues.  Posture reflects the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states of health, again, just a reminder that it will be highly unlikely to get good results helping your clients address any physical issue unless you are taking the entire stress load on the body into consideration.

www.chekinstitute.com “10 Tips for Healthy Ergonomics” – Paul Chek

Posture 1 Jator Pierre CHEK 4 HLC 3

Posture: The CHEK Approach Part 1

Posture is quite an important topic, it is however much more complicated than we are lead to believe.  A great starting point to address posture is looking at it mechanically by performing an in depth assessment, then prescribing specific corrective stretches, mobilizations, and exercises to address any imbalance or dysfunction in the body.

Why is this merely a starting point?  I believe human beings are much more than muscles, tendons, joints, organs, glands and skeletal structure.   When we walk into the doors of ASCEND BODY how many of us truly leave behind our emotional, mental, and or spiritual stressors?

Is it a possibility that these stressors can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our workout programs?  I believe it is a possibility.

Over the next few months I will discuss the CHEK approach to posture.  We will look into the importance of postural alignment, different forces at work which create certain postures, and possible unseen forces that influence posture.

These blogs are not to say that the CHEK approach is best or that there are no other ways to address these issues.  This will simply be a sharing of what I have learned over the past twelve years studying myself.

Jator Pierre


Primal Movement Patterns

In everyday life, we perform very natural movement patterns…that is, unless you’re just lying on the couch all day. Our 6 primary movement patterns are exhibited and performed with little conscious effort. They are: Push, Pull, Bend, Squat, Lunge, Twist and Bend. In order to optimize these primal movement patterns and limit exposure to injury, it’s important to ensure you’re performing these movements correctly.

In Paul Chek’s book, “Movement that Matters,” he refers to the proper form for performing these movements. Most importantly, he emphasizes this insightful thought: It’s not simply pracitce that makes perfect; instead, “Perfect practice makes perfect!”

Developing the neuromuscular response to how we move is an engrained process that’s very much a part of us, just as is our DNA and Fingerprints. You may not be aware of faulty or unorganized movement patterns that create harmful neuromuscular response patterns between the muscles and the brain.

As a CHEK Certfied Instructor, reviewing primal movement patterns to ensure they’re performed properly and the correct neuromuscular responses are created is part of the training session. Did you know that the body remembers that last few reps of a particular exercise? If not performed correctly, you could be creating a disruptive response during your exercise regiment. However, if performed correctly, you’ll be able to move throughout the day pain free, limiting your exposure to risk of injury, and feel a sense of vitality through your natural movement patterns.

Now…get out there and move like your body is intended!