Is it a possibility that most of us are running on empty or completely on credit? I’m not speaking about a monetary bank account – I’m speaking to our internal energy bank account, our vitality or chi.
If we have dreams of becoming leaner, stronger, faster etc… Could it also be possible that these ideas will be more difficult to reach unless we have an internal bank full of reserve energy?
Lastly, is it possible that we may also need to address the underlying mental and emotional blockages that are unconsciously draining our vitality from “behind the curtain”?
In my experience these are all possibilities, and I have found them to ring true often. In my first offering to the CHEK community, I thought it would be helpful to offer ways I personally cultivate energy, and pull the metaphoric curtain back to look within my psyche.
Below are guidelines to using healing exercises for both energy cultivation and connecting with deeper rooted mental, emotional blockages. These are only guidelines based on my personal experience, please feel free to use whatever works well for you. Choose any of the below or make up your own as part of your daily practice.
An energy cultivation exercise is any movement that is done using your calm, slow, deep breath as a guideline for movement pace (inhale with extension, exhale with flexion). Your tongue/mouth will stay moist, not dry, and your heart rate will not increase. My favorite guideline is imagine you just over-ate at a Thanksgiving dinner. The pace of movement would be one that you innately feel would promote digestion, not inhibit it. The zone exercises at the end of Terrence Thomas’s post last week are great examples of energy cultivation exercises.
Once you’ve selected your exercise, here are seven tips to maximize the energy and healing you’ll receive from the movement:
- I enjoy bringing intention to any given healing exercise, then during the exercise having focused attention to my intention. This helps to focus the mind and is a form of meditation. Where your mind is focused your energy will follow.
- As you do these “Energy” exercises, imagine that you are breathing in a deep cooling color which vibrates with the given Chakra – 1st Red, 2nd Orange, 3rd Yellow, 4th Green, 5th Blue, 6th Purple, 7th Light purple. If you aren’t familiar with the Chakra system, you can choose any color which feels soothing and healing to you. Imagine the color infusing every cell in your body, helping you to move any blockages which show up physically as:
- Past Injury
- Current pain
- Stability issues
- Tight muscles (yang) Breathe in Yin
- Loose muscles (yin) Breathe in Yang
- Simply guess what part of you is in need of attention. This is not an exercise in thinking, it is literally an exercise in guessing. For example ask yourself this question “if I had to guess, what part of me is in need of the most attention in this moment?” Pay attention to what arises in your mind, 2 year old self, 3 year old self etc… Once you have the age or moment in time that is in need of love, literally speak to that part of yourself and give yourself exactly what you need (out loud). It may seem awkward or weird at first, but the healing here is amazing and well worth the challenge.
- Wear the color of the chakra you are working on will help to attract that specific supportive energy during healing work.
- Chant affirmations during exercise that correlate to the Chakra you are addressing. (A beautiful book for affirmations and other healing modalities is The Book of Chakra Healing by Liz Simpson).
- Focused breathing into your organs and glands during healing exercise is another way to become intimate with your self. Before exercise, quiet your mind and gently ask for guidance as to what organ or gland needs nourishment, pay attention to what comes up, then focus intention and attention towards that system for healing during exercise.
- Purely focus on the flow of breath during any healing exercise. You will notice that your mind wanders away from breath and goes into “thinking”, recognize this, smile, and bring your attention and intention back to your breath.
These can be done anytime – when you are stressed, they can be used to decrease stress, when you are low on energy they can be used to energize you, your innate wisdom will give you exactly what you need in any given moment.
We are excited to announce that Mark will be offering transformational bodywork at Ascend Body. He has a dynamic body-based approach to healing that facilitates the exploration of shadow, misperceptions and unconscious defense mechanisms -all of which are held in the body. Book your first session TODAY!
A decade ago Mark went through a near death experience which catapulted him into the depths of his own soul, the trenches of the human experience and a long expedition through the healing arts. Through his own healing crisis he learned several techniques and modalities while surrounding himself and studying with many master teachers.
Over the past several years Mark has begun to teach with his mentor Dr. Fred Mitouer in Northern California and has been traveling the world doing his healing work. Just recently he has come back from an epic journey through India and the largest slum in Africa while sharing his healing touch and years of experience accompanying people through their shadow, misperceptions and unconscious defense mechanisms, all of which are held in the body.
With his attuned touch, sense of humor and presence, Mark shares a unique technology of freedom through his bodywork—evoking, activating and connecting people to their own souls and their true purpose.
Book your first session TODAY!
Please “introduce” yourself…
I’m Jator Pierre, I live in SF, I am a health and wellness coach, etc etc etc.
My question to you and to myself is, “how do I know who I am?
Again, I’m Jator Pierre, my parents named me as such so that must be who I am!
What if I was to offer another alternative – WE have many “ideas” of who we are but we do not “know” who we are. I hear some voices chiming in already (including parts of me) “oh no Jator, I know who I am, I am divine source, and animal here having a human experience”. I have to laugh at how arrogant I can be 😉
Is it possible that who I am is beyond an idea of what others call me?
Is it possible that my name Jator Pierre is more akin to my cell phone number rather than all the parts that make cell phones possible?
My point here is just to take a snapshot of how we as human beings become very attached to ideas, and these ideas remain largely unquestioned and unexplored. These ideas also become who we think we are, and most of the ideas we will defend to the “death”.
These are mainly all satellite identifications that we create a self-image out of. My car is cool = I am cool. I am a healer = I am a healer (are you really a healer?) My car, my house, my life, my wife, my boyfriend, my body, my health, and the list goes on infinitely.
To be honest in this moment parts of me have no idea who I am, and other parts are full of ideas. More and more of me is recognizing that these are all just ideas and attachments; I can be malleable in any given moment. I can respond rather than react, I can create and choose new ideas to attach to, and can dissolve stories of the past and create a new present. Or can I? Curious about this too.
Do you have to live up to the ideas that others project onto you? Do you have to “help” others be comfortable with who you are by being who they have known you to always be?
Do you actually know anyone? Is it possible that you only know your experience of yourself around any given person, therefore you actually know no one, and how you get to KNOW yourself is through these interactions? Is it possible the people that irk you the most are actually mirrors for parts of you that you deny and or hide?
Can you become curious about your ideas?
Don’t let your exercise plan fall flat!
Monday, November 18th, 2013 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Sports Basement: 1590 Bryant Street, SF
Special Invite!!! Shane Young will be presenting his talk “7 Proven Strategies For Improving Your Health & Wellbeing” next Monday at Sports Basement.
Do you want to lose weight, gain strength and move past emotional blocks? You’d be surprised to know that it isn’t all about diet and exercise. Without incorporating these 7 Proven Strategies our exercise routines fall flat and are short lived. In order to create lasting change that will stick, we need to look at every part of ourselves. Come learn these 7 Secrets and forever transform your relationship with your body and health! Plus each guest will get a FREE ticket to try out Ascend Body’s Saturday Sweat Session, a $45 dollar value. See you there!
During this talk you will learn:
* How to take the best care of yourself on a daily basis.
* A clear system for making choices regarding your health.
* The basics behind the mind / body connection.
* How to take charge of your wellbeing.
* How to design your very own personalized health plan.
RSVP to let us know you are coming.
Importance of Breathing and exercise- Part 1
Nothing is more important than the quality of our breathing. With the way our busy modern lives are, rushing from here to there; it’s no wonder many of us are forgetting to breathe properly.
As a CHEK practitioner, breathing is at the top of our totem pole, the most important aspect of our six principles that create an optimally healthy life when practiced well.
Oxygen is more than just air; it is a nutrient for the body that creates energy. It is so important, we need it more frequently than any other nutrient.
Oxygen is paramagnetic and has a positive charge in the body, while water is diamagnetic and carries a negative charge. Oxygen would be the positive pole on a magnet and the water in our body would be the negative pole on the magnet.
If you think of the basics of an electric motor, it is a magnet that spins in a circular motion, negative over positive, creating a charge that produces energy.
Oxygen creates and alkalinizing effect on the body, which is good for most people. Not breathing properly causes an acid effect on the body. The result of an acidic nature is heat, or inflammation, which breaks the body down and causes pain.
Without proper diaphragmatic breathing, which we call 360 degree breathing, there is a decrease in energy, a hormonal shift towards a sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), stressing the system producing increased cortisol and adrenaline. The combination of these stress hormones is a continuation of the inflammation/acid/pain cycle.
Nearly every new client who comes to work with me is either a inverted breather (belly pulls in on inhale and lets go on exhale), or a shallow chest breather and the entire diaphragmatic area is compromised.
Doing a heavy dead lifts with this faulty breathing pattern and likely side effects are a blown disc, muscle strain or pooping your pants.
Just think of a girdle around your middle strapped down tight. Now imagine you’re trying to breathe fully and easily. Not likely with that girdle keeping you locked down!
Faulty breathing has the potential to cause or contribute to a number of health problems including but not limited to cardiovascular issues, increase hormonal stress, emotional stress, visceral stress and problems within the musculoskeletal system, all of the above resulting in a lack of energy.
Next time we’ll go into how breathing is intimately related to back pain…..
Eight hours a day with the dead. Wow, did I get way more than I bargained for. I recently did a week long intensive with Gil Hedley in cadaver dissection. I expected to deepen my understanding of anatomy and the working body. Instead, not only did I get an intense anatomy lesson, but a much deeper spiritual dive into the interconnectedness of all things. On the physical level, that connectedness can be represented by the fascia.
The fascia is that band or sheet of fibro-elastic tissue which envelopes the body beneath the skin called superficial fascia. Deep fascia envelopes the muscles and the other organs, separates the muscles into layers, and surrounds nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics.
The layers and intricacies are amazing and truly give you the bigger picture of why the knee bone is connected to hip bone, the hip bone is connected to the, you get the idea. Fascia is continuous upon itself and is a single unit. We like to partition the body, name certain parts. This is the diaphragm, this is the transverse abdominis. No such thing really exists, it is all one continuous fibrous bag. Even the direction of the fibers do not change between these two “locations.”
It makes us feel better to identify and partition a particular location and think we know where our pain is coming from. (more blogging on this later….)
The web is much bigger than we think.
What fascinated me the most is the layer upon layer of intricate webs as “fuzz” and Gil calls it.
Now I Really know where my elbow is going when I’m working deeply in your erectors! Lucky you!
Fascia plays a much bigger roll in our bodies than previously thought and should be looked at as a communication network. It is capable of sending nerve signals that communicate with the entire network. On a structural level, this is why when your ankle hurts, it might be coming from an imbalance in your hips. If your shoulder hurts, it might be coming from a tight SCM (sternocleidomastoid- neck muscles) and bad forward head posture depressing the sternoclavicular joint and translating out to compression at the shoulder.
And, it’s never one thing. All things work together. It’s my job as a CHEK Practitioner to root out the source of pain and start the unwinding process.
I just spent the weekend with Janet Alexander and Chris Maund, true experts in the field of human movement, putting cadaver dissection into practical use.
Focusing on the pelvis, studying very technical myofascial stretching techniques and ELDOA’s (segmental spinal stabilization techniques) from the teachings of Dr. Guy Voyer, an internationally recognized physiotherapist, osteopath D.O. and one time French national champion in Judo.
So, what is myofascial stretching and how can it help me?
Myofascial stretching it is a system to regain elasticity in a muscle by lengthening it in every possible direction simultaneously from origin to insertion.
Done properly, this is a workout in and of itself! Putting your whole body on tension, giving 100% effort for 30 seconds at a time for multiple reps.
This stretching system helps resolve postural problems and increase recovery from exercise by stretching not the muscle, but the tissues that envelope and shape that muscle, the fascia.
Many pain syndromes and countless injuries can be cured by releasing contractions and tightness in the fascia.
One way to think of fascia as a web of silly putty. When silly putty is cold, it simply breaks when you pull on it, but when warm, it’s stretches incredibly well. Think of your fascia this same way. Warm your fascia up with simple bodyweight exercises when your tissues are quite warm and pliable and then perform your fascial stretches.
According to Chris Maund, the most effective way of treating fascia, is by first treating the tight area with NMT massage, then doing the ELDOA or myofacial stretch, then back to NMT massage and again repeating the stretch. The tight and bound up tissue becomes soft and buttery and an immediate difference is felt.
For more info, visit us as Ascend Body, contact Janet Alexander in the San Diego area, or pick up the book, The Permanent Pain Cure, http://www.permanentpaincure.com/book.htm based in part, on Guy Voyer’s work.
These techniques yield amazing results! Happy stretching.
Most of us today are running on empty or completely on credit. I’m not speaking about your monetary bank account; I’m speaking to your internal energy bank account. If we have dreams of becoming leaner, stronger, faster etc… These ideas will be harder to reach unless we have an internal bank full of reserve energy. We may also need to address the underlying mental and emotional blockages that are draining our bank accounts unconsciously. Based on observations in my practice, the following has become the norm for us as a society
1. work 8-12 hour days
2. rush to and from meetings
3. rush everywhere
4. run errands
5. check facebook (every second or so)
6. check emails (every minute or so)
7. pay bills (mostly from spending money we don’t have)
8. TiVo you shows for late night viewing
9. rush on coffee, sugar and or displacing foods, because you have no time(to cook) or energy to live
10. meeting everyone else’s needs at the expense of your own
11. back breaking ass kicking workouts or no movement at all
12. 0 libido and/ or can’t get it or hold it up
13. faulty digestion
14. emotional mental distress
Does this sound familiar?
Is it possible that examples 1-10 show the complete externalization (human-Doings) of our lives and examples 10-17 are a few symptoms of this over externalization?
In my experience an over externalization of self leads to an autonomic nervous system which is sympathetic dominant (increased cortisol, insulin, adrenaline), once we become sympathetic dominant, back pain, joint pain, inflammation, irritation all increase, while fat loss, ease of life, freedom of movement all decrease.
As 95-97% of disease is now being attributed to lifestyle factors and the accumulation of stress from lifestyle, it may serve us very well to pay a visit to Dr. Quiet.
Let me introduce you to the Chief physician – Dr. Quiet
I would like you to imagine that externalization (human-Doing) in excess represents fire within the bodies of human-Beings (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual). I would like you to also imagine that Dr. Quiet represents the water aspect of the human-being, which can help to bring the fire into balance. Please notice I said bring the fire into balance, not put the fire out, this is a very important concept to understand. Is it a possibility that we must bring life into balance to create health and wellness? We can just as easily create a laundry list of symptoms similar to the above by being water dominant.
“Balance, balance, balance, balance all the time” –NG
Dr. Quiet is the home of rest, regeneration, responding (rather than reacting), awareness, curiosity, meditation, internal exploration, cultivation, parasympathetic system (GH, testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, melatonin) in essence human-BEING.
If you are fire dominant, the lower levels of working “out” you need (fire). To bring yourself into balance you will need higher levels of working “in” (water) to attain your goals (fat loss, muscle gain, reduced inflammation, pain, etc). When we attain goals at the expense of our physiology there is always an equal response in the opposite direction to bring our physiology back into balance, this check and balance system can’t be beat, it is hard wired in each cell.
Here are a few simple ways to move Dr. Quiet into your life
Below are guidelines to using healing exercise for both chi-cultivation and connecting with deeper rooted mental, emotional blockages. These are only guidelines based on my personal experience, please feel free to use whatever works well for you. Choose any of the below or make up your own as part of your daily practice.
1. I enjoy bringing intention to any given healing exercise, then during the exercise having focused attention to my intention. This helps to focus the mind and is a form of meditation. Where your mind is focused your energy will follow.
2. As you do these “Energy” exercises, imagine that you are breathing in a deep cooling color which vibrates with the given chakra (1st Red, 2ndOrange, 3rd Yellow, 4th Green, 5th Blue, 6th Purple, 7th Light purple, or choose any color which feels soothing and healing to you). Imagine the color infusing every cell in your body, helping you to move any blockages which show up physically as –
– Past Injury
– Current pain
– Stability issues
– Tight muscles (yang) Breathe in Yin
– Loose muscles(yin) Breathe in Yang
– Ask your higher self to bring your awareness as to what part of you is in need of attention (2 year old, 3 year old etc)
3. Wearing the color of the chakra you are working on will help to attract that specific supportive energy during healing work.
4. Chanting affirmations during exercise which correlate to the chakra you are addressing ,here are some examples (A beautiful book for affirmations and other healing modalities “The Book of Chakra Healing” -Liz Simpso
– 1st My body is becoming more important to me. I nurture it constantly.
– My internal mother is always here for me, protecting, nourishing, and soothing me.
– I deserve the best that life has to offer my needs are always met.
– I recognize the abundance of love, trust, and care surrounding me.
– 2nd I am moving toward a time when I am totally happy and fulfilled. Life offers me everything I need for that journey.
– I am worthy of love and sexual pleasure.
– I have a right to express my desires to myself and others.
– Who I am is good enough
– Life is unfolding as it should
5. Focused breathing into your organs and glands during healing exercise is another way to become intimate with self/SELF. Before exercise quiet your mind and gently ask for guidance as to what organ or gland needs nourishment, pay attention to what comes up, then focus intention and attention towards that system for healing during exercise.
6. Purely focused on the flow of breath during any healing exercise. You will notice that your mind wanders away from breath and goes into “thinking”, recognize this, smile, and bring your attention and intention back to your breath.
7. These can be done anytime, when you are stressed they can be used to decrease stress, when you are low energy they can be used to energize you, your innate wisdom will give you exactly what you need in any given moment.
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..
Drinking plenty of water serves as the most important foundation to maintaining our overall health and fitness. Water serves as many important functions in our body; yet, its primary role is to maintain healthy cell life. Water brings in nutrients to the cells and removes toxins and waste to be disposed out of your body.
Based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 700 pollutants exist in our water sources, mainly infested with water run off contributed from industrial agriculture practices. The following 7 tips will help ensure your body gets a good, quality water source:
- Use a shower filter head to remove chlorine and other pollutants that get absorbed through your skin and breathed into our lungs from the steamy, hot shower.
- Use a filter system for your kitchen sink, one that uses a charcoal filter so that it that removes pollutants, including chlorine.
- A good quality water will have 200-300ppm (parts per million) of mineral activity. This is indicated on the water bottle. I bet you didn’t know that information was there, did you? The best water sources are Evian, Fuji, Volcanic, and Mountain Valley Spring Water.
- Add a pinch of salt to restore mineral content. When you’re stressed, your body depletes Magnesium and Vitamin C. Drinking good, quality water helps restore those depleted minerals.
- In the morning, rinse your mouth to get rid of bacteria collected in your mouth over night, more affectionately known as what causes morning breath.
- Drink 25% of your total daily water consumption requirement to restore your dehydrated body from what hopefully had been a restful night’s sleep.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. This does not include teas, coffee, sports drinks, or juices.
So, the next time you feel you need an energy boost, find muscles cramping, or just find your mouth feeling dry, reach for a glass of water and feel mental clarity and physical energy refreshed.
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