Get Rid of the Overwhelm

For better or worse there is a ton of information available at your fingertips. Podcasts, google, blogs, IG, FB etc it’s endless. Yet, with all this information its easy to still not find a solution to your problem. Why’s that?

Well, it’s easy to over saturate your brain with too much info, and too many choices. Then when you go to take action you freeze, not sure which direction to go because often the information is conflicting. How do you remedy this?

By getting in touch with yourself, and truly being honest with what is important to you, and what your blocks are. That sentence took 10 seconds to write, but the actual follow through can be a soul searching process. If you are courageous here is how to start:

  1. Grab a pen and paper (or the Ignite Your Wellness Journal)

  2. Select a inspiring essential oil or blend ( I like Build Your Dream, Magnify Your Purpose, Frankincense). Place a drop of oil in your palms, rub together and then inhale in.

  3. Set your self up in a comfortable restful position. I really like constructive rest pictured below.

 Constructive rest

Constructive rest

4. While resting ask yourself, “What does my ideal day look like”. Be specific. Include, how your body feels, people you want to spend time with, work that is fulfilling, activities etc. Then expand this to the ideal week. What brings you happiness, fulfillment, how do you want your body to feel and move? What fuels you?

5. Write all this down. What you are writing is what you value, it’s what fuels your soul energetically and your body physically.

These are also the filters to decide what information to take in, and to also determine what is aligned with this big picture of where you want to go. If what you are reading or hearing does not feel in alignment with your big picture it is ok to let it go. Not all the information out there is appropriate for you. Just like one alignment cue or exercise works great for one person, and might harm another. Same is true with lifestyle, diet, work, beliefs and values. It’s what makes us human and individual. You just have to have the confidence to be different, and listen to what you need.

Repeating this meditation daily or weekly will help to keep what is important to you in the forefront of your mind as a reminder. I give you permission to let go of what doesn’t work. It’s scary to say no, but by only saying yes to what’s in alignment you will feel less overwhelm and more confident in your decisions. What does this have to do with pain? Well research says the more we are connected to our passions, and what fuels us the less pain (frequency, intensity and radius) we feel! If you want to know why just respond to this email, and I will fill you in.

In the meantime, here are some upcoming opportunities to say yes (or no!) to:

Free chemical free lifestyle class on FB with opportunity to win a essential oil Premium Starter kit

Replenish and Restore workshop 11/10 2-4 at Soul of Yoga

Release stress and reduce pain in the low back 12/8 2-4 at Prana Yoga Center

See you in class!
Warmly,

Alison

PS- looking for more tips to bring yoga off the mat? Watch this interview:




Yoga, alignment, cues and pain- What to do, What not to do.

Step inside any yoga or pilates studio, and/or gym and you will hear conflicting advice, instructions and cuing. Last week in my clinic in Encinitas, I was talking with a yogi who asked me, “How do I know what to do”? She told me that she wanted to take care of herself, she loves going to classes, but sometimes she wonders if it makes her pain worse. Here’s the thing, it could.

There are some really great teachers out there who are mindful and educate themselves on the body, movement and biomechanics, and then there are some not so great teachers. It’s easy to end up in a class with poor sequencing and cuing that primes you for injury. And, whether a teacher is good or bad, the tricky part for them is cuing for a group of students. One cue that works wonderful for one student can lead to harm in another. So what’s a student to do to stay injury free?

  1. Listen to your body. The teacher is your guide, not drill sergeant. You are not going to flunk out of class, or be expelled. If something doesn’t feel right, whether it be alignment, the speed or movement etc, don’t do it. If a teacher pressures you, leave the class. I’m serious it’s your body, you only get one, and you should never be pressured by a teacher to do something that doesn’t feel in alignment. That being said, sometimes we do need a push outside of our comfort zone, or comfortable movement patterns - so read on to point 2.

  2. Distinguishing between discomfort of a challenge and pain of injury. Learn your body’s subtle signs and signals. Is what you are feeling a challenge, or is it a strain or forcing which can lead to injury?

  3. Avoid too many poses and positions on one leg, and practicing poses in between before switching to the other side. For example, doing a string of poses with right leg forward (4 or more), then doing forward fold and down dog before switching to the other side. This just sets the body up for either SI joint irritation, or injury.

  4. Old school abdominal crunches are rarely ever a good thing. Just avoid them completely. Your discs will thank you.

  5. Slowing down is helpful. When we move through yoga postures or exercises quickly the tendency is to fall back into our old patterns of movement. This is effective if those patterns are serving you well. This is not good if you know you are trying to move differently to heal from injury or prevent one.

  6. Talk with your teacher, tell them how you feel. I love having conversations with students about my class. I usually learn something I can improve upon, as well as learn more about my students so I can better cater classes to them.

  7. Seek out help. If you are unsure if a class, a position or a cue is good for you seek out someone with trained eyes (ahem, like a physical therapist). Then you can determine exactly which poses, cues and exercises are good for you and which to avoid. This is exactly what I did with the Yogi mentioned above. She left armed with tools and knowledge about her body and practice, empowering her and giving her more confidence. Often I see a student repeating a therapy exercise another student is doing given by their PT. Avoid the expectation of that one particular exercise magically solving your pain and issues, the same that it did for your friend. I can guarantee you don’t have the same exact body, with the same exact issue. Most likely that exercise doing wonders for your friend won’t help you quite the same way.

  8. Take breaks. It’s ok to tap out. Some days you may make it through a class no problem. Other days the whole class might be a struggle. There are so many factors, time of day, day of week, nutrition, stress etc. You are not a machine that is calibrated to run the same each day. Respect that. Rest when needed. You will reduce your risk for injury.

  9. Let go of the ego on the days you feel great. On the opposite side of the spectrum, be especially mindful on the days you feel great. It’s easy to over do and pay later.

  10. You are going to work mentally. Unless it’s restorative or a mediation type class your mind is going to be involved. Avoid checking out. Yes, Yoga is about helping to achieve bliss, calmness, peace etc. but this does not mean the mind is on vacation during class. Every pose, exercise, and moment you need to be mindful.

Sounds exhausting and more confusing? Then just show up. Go to class, slow down, breath, listen to your body, stop before it hurts and that’s it.

What are your thoughts? Questions? Comment below or drop me a line!

Happy Halloween!

Warmly,

Alison

Stop! Are you making a decision based off fear??

I’m reading the book Wonder Over Worry by Amber Rae and it resonates on so many levels. How many times a day do I choose a fear based reaction vs. missing an opportunity to explore potential because I’m busy rushing around and not tuning in?

Amber writes so simply - that it’s not ignoring the fears, but first determining if they are actually realistic (not many are), and then what actions can be taken to prevent or overcome these fears. Sometimes slowing down enough to bring an awareness, and acceptance to what we are afraid of loosens their power and grip. In that moment, the mind will then begin to navigate solutions to prevent worse case scenario because after all we are human and just want to survive. In fact sometimes I imagine a worse case scenario.

For example, what if my back pain remained day after day, never to go away? What’s the worse that would happen? Not too much actually. I would have to modify things in my life yes, but life would carry on. It’s not the ideal situation, but I would still be able to be a caring mom, compassionate physical therapist, and passionate yoga teacher. When I imagine this, I begin to realize well this worse case scenario isn’t so bad after all, so I can accept this possibility. It’s ok, I will still survive and be my best me. And, then amazingly that fear diminishes, I feel more creative and actually think of solutions to prevent this worse case from actually happening, and the muscles gripping around the spine and in the hips soften.

Interestingly enough, around the same time I was listening to a podcast by Brooke Castillo and she mentioned writing down obstacles and resistance that comes up when you think of a goal or vision. She uses this practice of writing down the obstacles that come from your mind to assist with achieving the vision by thinking of solutions to these obstacles. The solutions to the obstacles will then show you the path to completing your goal.

 Embracing the future. This pic of me by Rebecca Lindsey. Taken at Ponto beach- a beautiful space to slow down, pause and appreciate life.

Embracing the future. This pic of me by Rebecca Lindsey. Taken at Ponto beach- a beautiful space to slow down, pause and appreciate life.

So much insight with both of these ladies and applicable to healing and wellness. Try it right now! Envision what your ideal day looks like and how your body feels. Write it down. Now think about your day to day. Taking the kids to school, going to work, maybe heading to a Yoga class after. Ideally how do you feel throughout the day? We practiced this method at the Ignite Retreat last weekend and the students gave great feedback to the journaling.

What obstacles and/or resistance comes up when you think of feeling your ideal way? What are your fears and worries?

For example some of mine are; I don’t have time to take care of this, I don’t have money, I’m not worthy too invest it myself. Will it heal anyways? Or, a big one I’m not enough, to invest the time, money and energy on myself. Or, who can I trust to help me? Will it really work?

When I take the time to write out solutions or answers to the above questions, then I see a clear path to healing and feeling better. My job is to help you get there. Where do you feel stuck? Email back, let me know! Let’s start to work on a solution.

For more on tips and suggestions on how to take care of yourself during pregnancy or with your baby or children watch this interview with Kathleen:


See you on the mat!
Warmly,

Alison

Yoga Wall Training! Last chance for early bird pricing.

Morning!

Just wanted to remind you the early bird pricing deadline for the Yoga Wall Training ends today! Why would you choose to take a Yoga Wall Training?

Have you ever encountered a student with a limitation in mobility, strength or flexibility? How about a student that has difficulty accessing ideal ailment in a pose? Or a student that has difficulty tapping into the parasympathetic, the relaxation, part of the nervous system? How about for yourself? Do you know how to reverse aging in your spine?

The Yoga Wall is a prop just like any other prop in Yoga. It’s useful to assist a student in achieving results they would not be able to on their own at that moment in time. Also, the therapeutic applications are endless and efficient. In this training you will learn how to teach a full yoga Wall class, as well as learn set up on the Wall and reasons why you might choose to use the Wall therapeutically in a 1:1 session.

 Yoga Wall Training

Yoga Wall Training

For example, in the pose pictured we are working on thoracic side bending, a difficult mobility position to achieve without the use of the Wall, especially while in traction!! Build your diversity as a teacher to enable yourself to help more students effectively. For more details, and to register head click on Prana’s website. The Yoga Wall is the one tool I use most frequently in my patients sessions, and for myself therapeutically. The benefit of this training is you will receive knowledge from two experienced Yoga Therapeutics teachers who have been teaching on the Yoga Wall for several years.

prana wall 18.jpg

If you have questions just respond to this email. Hope to see you in a few weeks!

Warmly,

Alison

Yoga-Wall-training