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I’m Elizabeth Larkam. I’ve created this workshop to give you tools to help your clients who have had their quality of life disrupted by long COVID and related spike protein-induced conditions. You will learn about these types of conditions as well as rejuvenating movement sequences that will improve balance, motor control, coordination, and proprioception. I will also integrate practices to strengthen respiratory tissues and muscles in order to facilitate efficient breathing. By exploring these concepts, you will help your clients reduce the likelihood of injury and help to promote their safety, ease and confidence.
Welcome to this Pilates Anytime workshop, Effective Movement Practices for Long COVID and Spike Protein-Induced Conditions. These movement practices provide support and structure. We start with a medical disclaimer. Before beginning any exercise program or embarking on any health related regimen, seek the care and advice of a qualified doctor or health professional. The content of this continuing education presentation is intended to inform, not prescribe, and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice and care of a qualified healthcare professional.
Here’s our workshop description. Rejuvenating movement practices are necessary, but not sufficient to improve quality of life disrupted by long COVID. This workshop focuses on appropriate scope of practice movement sequences in Pilates and fascia-focused movement environments. to support efficient breathing. The practices may support ventral vagal tone, facilitating feelings of safety, ease, and confidence during activities of daily living.
This three-part workshop integrates breathing practices with movement during resting, sitting, standing, walking, and exercising. Mat sequences of gentle full body oscillations incorporate coherent nose breathing and humming to stimulate the release of nitric oxide. Movement sequences with the Trapeze Table support breathing while practicing coordination patterns that develop endurance for standing and walking. Long Haul COVID Syndrome, abbreviated as LHCS, known as long COVID, is characterized by prolonged malaise, headache, generalized fatigue, sleep difficulties, hair loss, smell disorder, decreased appetite, painful joints, chest pain, neurophysiological symptoms, and cognitive dysfunction. Up to 80% of individuals who contract COVID-19 experience prolonged illness after the virus.
Long COVID may persist for months after the acute infection. Almost half of people diagnosed with long COVID report reduced quality of life. Long COVID is not only seen after COVID infection, but is also observed in some people who have received injections. This may be due to monocyte or microglia activation by the spike protein. Long COVID is characterized by severe post-exertional fatigue.
Exercise may result in worsening symptoms. Individuals should be advised to engage in moderate exertion, keeping their heart rate under 110 beats per minute, only increasing slowly as they can tolerate safely. Low resistance exercises are preferred over aerobic exercises. As noted, rejuvenating movement practices are necessary yet not sufficient to improve the quality of life disrupted by long COVID. The informed movement practitioner working within their scope of practice is one member of a treatment team supporting the individual experiencing long COVID symptoms.
The movement practitioner aligns with healthcare professionals who advise the client on customized behavioral, lifestyle, nutritional, neurological and pharmaceutical therapies. My experience that contributed to this workshop include researching and writing the book “Fascia in Motion,” published by Handspring Publishing in 2017, and working with co-editor Madeline Black on our book in preparation, “Pilates Applications for Health Conditions” to be published by Handspring Publishing in 2023. One of the case programs that I prepared for that book was a case program on working with a client with long COVID. I’ve also spent three years, nearly three years, on in-studio and online sessions with clients who were recovering from COVID who were diagnosed with long COVID who report spike protein-induced conditions. And also, I’ve worked with clients who experience Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders, a lack of connective tissue integrity.
Structural and musculoskeletal issues that can be seen in clients who have experienced long COVID, include craniocervical instability, pelvic diaphragm imbalances, ileocecal valve dysfunction that is connected with the function of this iliopsoas structures, the fascia of the psoas is continuous with the crus of the diaphragm. This connects breathing with ileocecal valve function. A forward head posture is a common postural impairment that’s due at least in part to ligamentous laxity. This places strain on the upper cervical structures and increases spinal cord and peripheral nerve issues. A forward head posture affects rib expansion, breathing patterns, balance, equilibrium and vagal nerve tone, and digestion.
There is also a tendency towards weakness in lateral pelvic structures. This has an impact on the ability to stand with stability, to balance, and to walk efficiently. In working with clients with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, I’ve learned that many experts agree that exercise is the only treatment option for these clients who have a lack of connective tissue integrity. As noted in the case of clients with long COVID or spike protein-induced conditions, exercise must be approached with caution, recognizing it’s necessary, yet not sufficient, and that one needs to be an informed movement practitioner as part of a treatment team. Programs that develop progressive stability through sensorimotor control and strength are supported in the literature of hypermobility clients, and we can learn from this literature transferring the results of the research appropriately to our clients of interest.
Kevin Muldowney has authored the book “Living Life to the Fullest With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome,” and he presents a detailed program of structured exercises that require 6 to 12 months to complete. He recommends weekly physical therapy appointments once, twice, or three times a week depending on the complexity of the condition. It certainly may be appropriate to provide structural support to clients with long COVID to include not only movement practices, but manual therapies, fascia-focused therapies, that facilitate the wellbeing of the connective tissue. The progression of joint stability exercises includes supine, side-lying, prone, quadruped, high kneeling, and standing. We will address those orientations in our part two of the workshop, “Oscillations Rejuvenation.” The standing exercises begin with static control before they progress to dynamic movement patterns through different planes.
In our development of movement sequences for clients with long COVID, we’ll work towards the goals of improving strength and postural support of joint-stabilizing structures through slowly progressive strengthening, being thoughtful not to overload the connective tissues, not to overload the joints because coordinated movement patterns keeping the resting heart rate low is of utmost importance. We’ll emphasize slow eccentric motion end-range of control to reduce the likelihood of injury given that long COVID oftentimes affects connective tissue integrity. Avoid global range of motion and repetitive forceful exercises. Emphasize exercises that require balance, motor control, proprioception, and coordination. Correcting postural and gait impairments.
We’ll include regular endurance activities with attention to form provided that the client can tolerate the exertion and keep their heart rate under 110 beats per minute. Always necessary to be respectful of, and attend to the significance of pain signals. We’ll incorporate education as is appropriate for our scope of practice, including nutrition, sleep, pacing, and relaxation with appropriate reduction of tissue tone. We can learn from the chapter written by Graham Scarr from the book “Scars, Adhesions and the Biotensegral Body.” In the biotensegrity approach, which is very appropriate for fascia-focused mat and Pilate’s equipment exercises, we’ll recognize that a whole body approach to movement emphasizing connectivity through coordination integrated with breathing patterns are appropriate rather than isolated segments or regions. The tendons, ligaments, and the intra and extra-muscular fascial tissues are all involved in the transmission of tension to bones, other muscles upon neurosis, and the deep fascia, which are continuous with the fibrous extracellular matrix that links them all together.
The thoracolumbar fascia is, are a series of layers, is a structure that’s particularly beneficial to our work in sections two and section three of this workshop. The thoracolumbar fascia consists of three dense connective tissue layers, and is an integral component of the load transfer system of the lumbopelvic region. Each layer has a different direction of pull. The thoracolumbar fascia attaches to both the sacrum and the iliac bones, and is anatomically continuous with the long dorsal ligament, sacrotuberous ligaments, and iliolumbar ligaments. Sensorimotor control is the integration of afferent sensory information from multiple sources within the central nervous system and generation of efferent commands to generate movement.
Given that some people who experience long COVID have a disruption in this communication system, it’s always important to respect the client’s comfort in terms of the speed of the exercise or the movement, and also in terms of the frequency and duration of rests. The sensorimotor feedback includes both proprioceptive and haptic cues. You’ll find in section two of the workshop that Helia, Gia, and I work together to provide touch cues, haptic cues to guide the client. This is in section three of the workshop on the Trapeze Table. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, whether laxity or immobilization may be linked to proprioceptive deficiencies in the ligamentous-myofascial system.
And in order to address these, we’ll use the touch cues, the haptic cues, as well as the stability slings to provide support and proprioceptive feedback. The high concentration of mechanoreceptors within the ligamentous-myofascial system creates an environment of rich proprioceptive signaling for effective sensorimotor control. Here is a figure taken from my book “Fascia in Motion.” That’s a diagram of the thoracolumbar fascia showing the direction of pull of a variety of layers. Gliding between fascial structures that surround muscles, nerves, neuromuscular tracts, and other body structures is fundamental to optimal body dynamics. When a client has been experiencing systemic inflammation, over time, this will impede the ability of the fascial structures to glide, and this results in a feeling of being stuck, or a feeling of increased pain, or a feeling of difficulty moving, and difficulty moving with articulation.
The neuromyofascial system is responsible for transmitting, orienting, adapting and responding to facilitate movement, generating greater efficiency in muscle dynamics and allowing a better fulfillment of function and human adaptability. So in our work customizing movement sequences for client who have experienced systemic inflammation over a period of weeks, months, years, it’s very important to respect the adhesions that may be present between the fascial layers, and to provide, to refer to the appropriate manual therapy, the appropriate light source, the appropriate heat source that can be beneficial to them. Lateral transmission of muscle strength occurs through four different roots of forced transmission through intramuscular, epimuscular, inter muscular, and extra muscular. Oftentimes in my Pilates training, I have gotten the impression that forces are to be transmitted linearly. In footwork, you push your heel onto the foot bar and the carry slides back because of the transmission of force from the ground force that your heel has on the foot bar up to your sitting bone and beyond.
As a result of studying some of the research of the neuromyofascial system, I’ve become more appreciative of the fact that there are a variety of different vectors or roots of transmission. It’s not only linear, but also radially superficial to deep, deep to superficial, et cetera. Communication with all of our clients includes listening, respect, and validation. Pain is about more than symptoms, pain scores and diagnoses. It’s very important to acknowledge the client’s communication of their experience and their existence.
The stories that are co-created by the client and their movement teacher during the movement sessions make biological and biographical sense. People are empowered when they feel heard, acknowledged, and known. The story in the medical records may be filled with language of damage, disorders, deviations, dysfunctions. However, in our experiences with our clients, it’s important always to be present for them with a sensitivity to their condition to hear them and to validate their experience all the while providing our best scope of practice guidance. The ventral vagus nerve is a uniquely mammalian pathway.
It conveys a respiratory rhythm to the heart’s pacemaker, linking the rhythm of breathing with the heart rate. This results in a rhythmic oscillations heart rate at the frequency of spontaneous breathing. This branch of the vagus nerve, the ventral vagus nerve, originates in an area of the brainstem known as nucleus ambiguous. It travels primarily to organs above the diaphragm and interacts with structures regulating striated muscles of the face and the head. Polyvagal Theory proposes that the neural evaluation of risk does not require conscious awareness.
The term “neurodeceptive” was introduced to emphasize a neural process, distinct from perception, capable of distinguishing environmental and visceral features that are safe, or dangerous, or even life threatening. Polyvagal Theory proposes that cues of safety are an efficient and profound antidote for trauma. Safety is defined by feeling safe and not simply the removal of threat. Cues of safety need to be available and detected via neuroception. These include prosodic vocalization, positive facial expressions and gestures.
When our clients feel under threat because, or feel not safe because they are assaulted by sensations or lack of function that it’s not familiar to them, that doesn’t feel like health, then it’s exceedingly important for us to be able to create an environment where the client feels safe and they feel not only not threatened, but feels supported by the environment. The heart and other organs are not floating in a visceral sea, but are anchored to central structures by motor pathways and continuous signaling for central regulatory structures. Different fascia have different types of innervation. The superficial fascia is more related with exteroception and shares many nerve elements with the skin. The deep fasciae include free nerve endings including Pacini, Ruffini, and spindle cell corpuscles for proprioception.
The visceral fasciae have more an autonomic innervation. The various sublayers forming the aponeurotic fascia are innervated in different ways. Structural disorders of the fascia can distort the information sent by the spindles to the central nervous system interfering with proper coordinated movement. Given that clients with long COVID are likely experiencing sustained systemic inflammation, we can imagine that these structural disorders of their fascia, the disturbance of the integrity of their connective tissue system, it can distort their information regarding their confidence of knowing where they are in space. And this interferes with proper coordinated movement for standing, for walking, and for other systems of movement.
Here from my book is a table of the description of different fascia types noted in the previous slide. And of course, these slides are part of your handout, part of your workshop handout available for you to study in a time that’s suitable for you. Here we see from Carla Stecco’s book, “The Atlas of the Human Fascist System,” here, we see a dissection of the abdomen showing the various different layers of the neuromyofascial system and showing how they pass by each other. The superficial fascia, the deep fascia, the epimysium fascia. Regarding the topic of embodied movement and interoception, the diaphragm is perhaps the most important myofascial entity in the body.
It serves many significant functions including breathing, internal spinal postural support through internal abdominal pressure, phonation, expulsion, organ massage, and it also functions as a venous lymphatic pump. Respiration exerts significant effects on body chemistry and metabolic balances. The diaphragm also influences the central nervous system function and cognitive processing and can raise the somatic pain threshold, decreasing pain perception. In parts two and three of our movement practices, we will use the systems of coherent nose breathing in order to facilitate the bringing together of the heart rate and the respiration rate and to decrease pain perception. Let’s practice coherent breathing.
For this, you’ll have your lips closed lightly, your tongue resting at the roof of your mouth just behind your upper teeth, breathing lightly and easily through your nose, we’ll have a smooth arc of breathing on the inhalation for six seconds and a smooth arc of breathing on an exhalation for six seconds. And just keeping me honest, I’ve got my, the stopwatch ready here so I can count us in on the seconds of the inhalation and the exhalation, and then keeping the metronome pace, we’ll practice that. Breathing in, (all inhaling) three, four, five, six, and out, two, three, four five, six. Breathing in, (all inhaling) and exhale humming. (all humming) Breathing in, (all inhaling) and exhale humming.
(all humming) Pause. Oftentimes when I’m teaching, when I’m incorporating this in the mat classes, I will keep time with, keep a metronome time with my toes, or make a gesture with hands. But do you have comments or questions or suggestions? How-comes or what-abouts? When I hum, I feel a vibration through my body, which is really nice and calming.
Ah, Gia mentioned, ’cause I have the mic, that when she, during the humming, she feels a vibration through her body. Calming. Mm-hmm, yeah. So you can incorporate this coherent breathing that was discussed in the lecture and referenced in James Nestor’s book “Breath.” You can incorporate this in rests time between mat exercises or equipment practice. And you can incorporate this to overlay it with any exercise that lends itself well to a smooth flow. Here we see a video showing the elevation of the ribs seeing from below.
We’ve noted that with pain, inactivity and/or disease processes, physiological changes occur in the ability of the ribs, and of the diaphragm to move. Somatic dysfunction of the spine, ribs, and the diaphragm can contribute to dysfunctional respiratory mechanisms. Seen from the front, you’re looking at a video, an animation of rib elevation, recognizing that during disease process, there’s a decrease in elastic recoil of the lung. There’s a decrease in compliance of the thoracic wall, and a decrease in strength of the respiratory muscles. It would be reasonable to expect that clients with long COVID have experienced at least some of these changes in the respiration abilities.
Looking from below up into the diaphragm, we can see here in this animation that there is a, it would be as if the thorax was not a cage, but a volume, a spherical, irregular sphere with the capacity to expand anteriorly, laterally and posteriorly, which we address in our movement practices. Viewed from the rear, from the posterior view, watching the expansion and the elevation and the depression of the ribs, we’ll note that mid-cervical dysfunctions affect the phrenic nerve, that’s the nerve responsible for the diaphragm, and consequently, the function of the diaphragm. As was mentioned earlier, when there is a forward head posture that has a depressive effect on the function of the phrenic nerve that is responsible for innervation of the diaphragm. Viewed from above and behind, restriction of diaphragmatic movement will increase the venous and lymphatic stasis in the lungs and the rest of the body. So not only is diaphragmatic excursion and movement significant for the movement of your lungs, your respiration, but also the ability for the stimulating circulation and stimulating lymphatic drainage, so important when a client is experiencing the toxicity that may come about from the spike protein.
Watching for the movement of the diaphragm and of the ribs of the thorax viewed from the front alleviating somatic dysfunction in the cervical spine, the thoracic, it says thoracic cage, but I prefer to call it a thoracic basket, and respiratory muscles can improve pulmonary function. As one ages, or when one is inactive or experiencing disease processes, stiffness of the chest wall intensifies and the respiratory muscles weaken. So in our movement practices, we can encourage mobility and encourage tissue glide in a variety of different planes using touch and using small props and equipment as well as using ground forces. This will provide an easier foundation from which to strengthen respiratory muscles and tissues. The disease process brings about a decline in lung elasticity.
Gradual posture modification associated with age or with disease process affects the position of the upper respiratory tract. Respiratory functions decline, and with that comes a decline in vital capacity and gas exchange. It’s normally starting in the fourth decade that ridge cage compliance decreases, but we’re finding with clients that have long COVID at any decade, at any age, the stiffening of the chest wall will be enhanced by systemic inflammation and the difficulty to breathe easily and fully. The lungs, the heart, and the diaphragm are very closely linked. They have well-coordinated movement relationships.
When there’s an increase in the kyphotic curvature of the spine, this will provide, create increased anterior posterior diameter of the chest. This interferes with the ability of the diaphragm to dome and results in increased respiratory effort. You can get an idea from this figure that the lungs take up a lot of space within the thoracic volume, and that the lungs cradle the heart. Here you can see peeking out from behind the chest bone, the sternum, the heart being cradled by the lungs. When there’s a decreased strength in the respiratory muscles, this results in, can result in an inefficient cough that can impair the ability to clear mucus and phlegm that’s caught in the throat or the airways.
Maturation of the lungs occurs at approximately 20 years in females, and 25 years in males. The lung function starts to weaken around 35 years. So be thoughtful about these maturations, or these growth estimates. Depending on the age of the client with whom you are working, your understanding of the lung maturation may give you extra insight in how to work more effectively with clients who are teenagers, adolescents, or in their twenties, their thirties, and beyond. Here viewed from below, you see that the lungs are cradling the heart, and that the heart is asymmetrical.
As we know, it’s slightly to the left of the midline. When you see these, this photo, this figure here, this animation of the lungs and the heart, you can appreciate the importance of including in the movement practice movements on the front, movements on the side, movements on your back, movements in a variety of vectors that put gentle oscillating forces through different aspects of the rib basket in order to encourage tissue glide and tissue mobility. This figure of the diaphragm shows that when one has an appropriate posture, meaning that the volume of the diaphragm is centered above the volume of the pelvis, this will improve the ability of the shoulder girdle to ride easily on the curve of the thorax. This will improve the ability to have a well-organized cervical and head area, head and neck area, and also will improve the upper back organization in order to decrease the kyphotic posture. During our breathing practice, I suggested that you perch each one on a Balansit, B-A-L-A-N-S-I-T, and we’ve put the Balansits each on a rotator disc.
You can see that that makes our sitting into active sitting. It’s possible to swivel, and it’s also possible to rock on the Balansit. Driving down on one sitting bone, ischial tuberosity, and driving down on the other. Furthermore, the volume of the Balansit supports as you’re showing an anterior and posterior pelvic rocking, rocking over the sitting bones. And you can even get involved in creating a figure-eight, a figure-eight in all three planes with the pelvis.
The reason I suggested that we have this breathing focus sitting on the Balansit is there’s a communication, Neuro-Myofascial system communication between the tissues of the pelvic outlet, the pelvic floor tissues or the pelvic diaphragm, and the thoracic diaphragm, the cervical diaphragm and the cranial diaphragm, and perhaps also the diaphragms of the soles of the feet. So when we’re practicing our coherent breathing with tongue scrolling, we might be enhancing the communication between the diaphragms during our active sitting on the Balansit. In terms of specific characteristics of breathing, breathing supplies the body with oxygen and removes excess carbon dioxide. The breathing speed, the depth, whether one breathes through the nose or the mouth affects mood, stress level, blood pressure, and immune function. As can be tolerated, as your client can be comfortable, put emphasis on breathing through the nose.
Mouth breathing has a variety of downsides that worsen symptoms and decrease general health. Mouth breathing promotes hyperventilation, which decreases tissue oxygenation. Mouth breathing results in diminished levels of carbon dioxide, which actually is necessary in order to facilitate the transfer of oxygen to the cells. Mouth breathing decreases the ability to filter toxic pollutants from the air, and mouth breathing can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, whereas nose breathing has an effect on the system to have a tendency to decrease the heart rate and decrease the blood pressure. When you practice coherent breathing, you can use the positioning of your tongue in order to open the airwaves, making nose breathing easier, more accessible.
One way to do that is to scroll the tongue up and back to the soft palate. So you would start with the tip of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth behind your upper teeth. And then during the inhalation through the nose, I’ll open my mouth to show, the tongue would scroll along the hard palate to the soft palate breathing in, (all inhaling) and on the exhalation, the tongue would scroll along the roof of the mouth until it comes to rest on the upper teeth. And this, the motion of the tongue has a subtle, but yet palpable effect of changing the relationship of the lower jaw and the upper jaw, moving it forward in order to open the air passages that might make nose breathing easier. Good luck to us.
Starting with the tip of your tongue at the roof of your mouth behind your upper teeth. Put my phone back behind, breathing in, (all inhaling) and exhale humming, scrolling your tongue forward. (all humming) Breathing in, (all inhaling) up and back to the soft palate, and forward humming. (all humming) Your body needs a balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide for optimal function. The Bohr, named for himself, Dr. Bohr, the Bohr Effect is that when your carbon dioxide levels are too low, this changes your blood pH and impairs the hemoglobin’s ability to release oxygen to your cells.
The elasticity of lungs depends on nasal resistance, breathing through the smaller diameter of your nasal passages. Now, this fact is useful for us to take into account regarding our working with designing movement practices for clients with long COVID. Since lung elasticity is, can be decreased as part of the the symptoms of long COVID, it’s important to figure out ways through movement and through breath practices to improve lung elasticity. Now, this apparently is paired with nasal resistance that it’s more effective to develop lung elasticity when one breathes through the nose than when one breathes through the mouth. However, if the client is already impaired and having difficulty getting a full breath, they may default to mouth breathing, which could feel beneficial in the very short term, but is not so effective of long-term practice.
Well, it’s not a short-term practice or a long-term practice, but if you’re having difficulty breathing through your nose, you just want to get a breath. When necessary, back off on intensity until your body adjusts to the slightly increased CO2 levels. So if you’re exercising and feel that you can’t continue nose breathing and are defaulting or transitioning to mouth breathing, then pause the movement, pause, so to speak. Take a breath, or decrease the intensity of the activity until you feel that your system is calm, sufficiently calm, to resume nose breathing. There is a practice of assessing your carbon dioxide tolerance, which was created by a Russian physician, Dr. Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko.
He discovered that the level of carbon dioxide in your lungs correlates to your ability to hold your breath after normal exhalation. In order to assess your carbon dioxide tolerance, you would do the following, sit upright with legs uncrossed, breathe comfortably, steadily, and silently through your nose. After exhaling, fully pinch your nose, and then you would start a stopwatch and hold your breath until you feel the first definite desire to breathe. When you feel the first urge to breathe, resume breathing, and note the time. The inhalation with which you resume should be calm and controlled through your nose.
The duration of your breath hold that you measure is called the Control Pause, or CP. And this reflects the tolerance of your body to carbon dioxide. I do not recommend practicing this tolerance of CO2 to get the length of the Control Pause during your initial sessions with the long COVID client. Better to focus on their comfort, their ease, their sense of safety, their coordination, their balance, encouraging nose breathing, but don’t measure anything too early because the progress that they’ve made may be overshadowed by their concern that they have a poor score of Control Pause. A Control Pause of 40 to 60 seconds indicates normal, healthy breathing patterns and excellent physical endurance.
A Control Pause of 20 to 40 seconds indicates mild breathing impairment, moderate tolerance to physical exercise, and potential for health problems in the future. To increase the Control Pause from 20 to 40 seconds, physical exercise is necessary. A Control Pause under 10 seconds indicates serious breathing impairment, poor exercise tolerance, and chronic health problems. It would not be surprising to find that clients with long COVID or spike protein-induced conditions may be experiencing now, or have experienced in the past, a Control Pause of under 10 seconds because of the tendency of the health of the endothelium, the circulation system, to be impaired. With each five second increase in your Control Pause, you will improve your exercise endurance.
Focus on breathing less and breathing lightly. In the case of developing an efficient breathing, less is more. Less is more valuable, so you breathe lightly and easily through your nose. Over breathing depletes carbon dioxide reserves. So we will be doing a disservice to our clients if we say, “Take a big, deep breath.” I know.
We’ve been hearing this cue for generations, but it’s time now to get over it, and just get beyond it to realize that breathing lightly through the nose is more efficient in terms of the transfer of the hemoglobin into our cells. Over breathing characteristics include mouth breathing, upper chest breathing, noticeable breathing during rest, and taking large breaths prior to talking. From James Nestor’s book “Breath,” we learn about coherent or resonant breathing, which I incorporate quite a bit in my mat classes and rest cycles for COVID, long COVID clients. Inhalations and exhalations in the range of 5.5 seconds, or between 5 and 6 seconds, characterizes the most efficient form of coherent breathing. That means 5.5 to 6 breaths per minute.
A study in 2021 at the University of Padua in Italy with 24 subjects showed that during a practice of coherent breathing, blood flow to the brain increased, the body systems, the heart rate and the breath rate, they enter a state of coherence, hence the name “coherent breathing.” The functions of the heart, circulation and the nervous system are coordinated to peak efficiency, and that there are profound results even when practiced for 5 to 10 minutes per day. So you will find that in our “Oscillations Rejuvenation” practice, the entire breath score, or breath rhythm that underlies each of these different orientations of oscillation is in the range of 5.5 to 6 seconds inhalation and exhalation. We have references here regarding the release of stimulation and the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide affects smooth muscle relaxation, vasodilation, platelet function, inflammation, and pain perception. A very significant molecule.
Nitric oxide plays roles in neurotransmission and in wound healing. Blood flow is normalized in the presence of nitric oxide. This may reduce ischemic pain and inflammation. Nitric oxide’s action on physiology is highly dependent on the location, the source, and the concentration of the nitric oxide release. Site specific effects are sensed throughout the entire organism.
Humming during nose breathing exhalation stimulates the release of nitric oxide in the paranasal sinuses, and we incorporate humming at any register that’s pleasing to each individual, we incorporate humming during the nose exhalation of coherent breathing in order to stimulate the release of nitric oxide. This may be beneficial to the client with long COVID, given that nitric oxide is released into the endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels. During nose breathing exhalation, you can layer in humming, humming at any register you choose, any tone, you choose one that’s pleasing to you where you enjoy the vibration that you create. The value of humming is to stimulate the release of nitric oxide from the paranasal sinuses. This may have a beneficial effect by stimulating the endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels, and encouraging the blood vessels to relax and to improve the circulation.
So let’s hum now, breathing in, (all inhaling) exhale. (all humming) Breathing in, scrolling your tongue up and back, (all inhaling) and try a new register. (all humming) Et cetera. We have a practice of tapping, Emotional Freedom Technique tapping, in order to facilitate coordination of feelings of wellbeing and of safety. Tapping is a light, rhythmic self-touch on eight areas of the hands, face and torso that are end points of acupuncture meridians.
This information I draw from a book by Dawson Church called “Mind to Matter,” published in 2018, that you can reference in your handout references. Numerous studies have been conducted on EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique tapping since 2012 by Dawson Church and his team of researchers. He’s a doctor of psychology. Physiological measures of physical and mental health following one hour tapping sessions indicated that cortisol decreased by 37%, and participants reported a pain reduction by 57%. I begin many of my client sessions and classes with a three and a half minutes of coherent breathing, humming, and EFT tapping.
During our EFT practice, I suggest crossing the midline such that the right hand taps the left side of the body, and the left hand taps the right side of the body. This experience of these sequences, it’s practiced twice with each side getting an opportunity to be in front. And this stimulates, well, the ability to cross the midline. These sensory and motor practices are intended to decrease stress in order to facilitate coherent brain and body states. Let’s practice now EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique mentioned in the slides as a reference coming from Dawson Church PhD, who’s a psychologist who does research on the efficacy of EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping with veterans who have experienced PTSD, post-traumatic stress.
I’ve taken some liberties, no surprise to you, some liberties regarding the choreography of the tapping, crossing the midline. The points that we’ll tap are the end points of the acupuncture meridians. And first, we’ll tap with the pads of four fingers tapping on the little finger side of the hand, and then we’ll switch sides. One, two, three, four, five, six. And then we’ll hum.
(all humming) Now, crossing your wrist, crossing your forearms, using the pads of the first, of the index finger and the middle finger, you’ll tap at the inner edge of your eyebrow where the eyebrow meets the bridge of your nose. So tapping here, noticing which hand is in front, breathing in, tapping, (Elizabeth inhaling) and exhale humming. (Elizabeth humming) Keeping the current hand wrist in front, cross over even more so that you can tap on the outer corners of your eye sockets. The first two pads of your fingers. Breathing in, tapping here, (Elizabeth inhaling) and exhale humming.
(Elizabeth humming) Keeping the current hand, wrist in front, bring the pads of your first two fingers to tap where your, underneath your nose above your upper lip. Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhaling) and exhale, tapping and humming. (Elizabeth humming) Tap underneath your lip, underneath your lower lip, at the indentation of your chin. Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhaling) and exhale humming. (Elizabeth humming) Keeping the current wrist, forearm in front, tap where your collarbone meets your breast bone.
Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhaling) and exhale humming. (Elizabeth humming) And then you cross over further to tap four inches below your underarm on your side ribs. Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhaling) and humming. (Elizabeth humming) And finish full circle, so to speak. The pads of your fourth fingers tapping on the little finger side of your hand.
Now, without my voiceover to give instruction on so much, we will do this in a more flow state with the other wrist, hand in front. Now, everybody has a natural, has a thoracic rotation that comes easily, readily, naturally to you. And the choice that you make of which arm, hand, wrist, cross in front, usually reflects the ease of rotation to one side. So recognizing that we will be using the, going against the grain, so to speak, okay, noting which one is in front ’cause I have to pay close attention ’cause otherwise I’ll sneak the familiar one in. Okay.
With the inhalation, lightly and easily through your nose, tongue scrolling as you wish. Tap on the little finger side of your hand, breathing in. (all inhaling) Exhale humming. (all humming) Tap on the inner edges of your eyebrow where the eyebrow meets the bridge of your nose. (all inhaling) And exhale humming.
(all humming) Tap on the outer corners of your eye sockets, (all inhaling) and exhale humming. (all humming) Tap underneath your nose, above your upper lip, (all inhaling) and humming. (all humming) Tap underneath your lower lip at the indentation of your chin. (all inhaling) And humming. (all humming) Tap where your collarbone meets your breast bone, (all inhaling) and hum.
(all humming) Tap on the side of your ribs underneath your armpit, (all inhaling) and exhale hum. (all humming) Return to tapping on the little finger side of your hand, (all inhaling) and hum. (all humming) Rest. Another one of the breathing practices that I incorporate in my classes is practice of the Panchamukha Mudra. This balances the brain and improves concentration.
We’ll join together all the tips of the fingers and thumbs with your hands and fingers spread. This Mudra facilitates full lung breathing. Each finger corresponds to a different area of the lungs. I suggest to my clients that they create this Mudra when resting, or when practicing movements that do not require additional hand activity. Following the 3 to 5 minute practice of coherent breathing, humming and tapping, you can finish with the Panchamukha Mudra, listening to the resonance.
Let’s practice the Panchamukha breathing now. You touch lightly together the pads of your little fingers, the pads of your fourth fingers, your third fingers, your second, your index fingers, and your thumbs. You could rest your wrist, your forearms on your thighs, or you could place your thumbs at the bottom of your sternum at the xiphoid process. Or you could place your hands someplace else that suits you with respect to your shoulder girdle and your ribs. When you press the pads of your index of your small finger together, your little finger against each other, that makes a connection, or a stimulation of the lower lobe region of your lungs.
So when you press in with your little fingers against each other and inhale, (Elizabeth inhales) you practice your kinesthetic listening in order to feel the the rib ring excursion around the opening of your thorax. When you press the pads of your fourth fingers against each other, there will be a stimulation near the bottom of your shoulder blades. (Elizabeth inhales) And you can appreciate that connectivity through the Neuro-Myofascial system through your structure. When you press the pads of your middle fingers against each other, (Elizabeth inhales) this brings a stimulation to your mid-thoracic region between your shoulder blades and around the rib rings. Pressing your index fingers against each other is more stimulating to the upper lobe area of your lungs in the area of the first rib and your collarbones.
When you press your thumbs against each other, don’t hold me to it because I haven’t seen an MRI of the brain, I haven’t seen a brain scan, but we might as well believe that pressing the pads of your thumbs against each other is stimulating to the brain, and stimulates the corpus callosum, the fibrous structures that join the two hemispheres. Why not? So now, as we do the rhythmic coherent breathing, you will sort of fan your ribs according to pressing the little fingers, the fourth fingers, the third fingers, the index fingers, the thumb, and then the thumb, the index finger, the third, the fourth, the fifth. So you make your own pressure organ here, pressure module. Mm-hmm.
Here we go. Starting with the little fingers pressing, breathing in. Fourth, third, second, thumb, and all of them, and then reverse, thumb, index finger, third, fourth, fifth, and all, or some other fan that suits you. Breathing in, (all inhaling) and exhale humming. (all humming) Once more to envision and appreciate the aspherical expansion of your thorax, and humming.
The shape changing of your thorax with the rhythm, the tidal rhythms of inhalation and exhalation. When you rest during any exercise, or at any time, you could rest in a full lung Panchamukha breathing Mudra. That’s a possibility. Now, another possible practice for resting would be, or intermissions between exercises, would be to practice the Taoist Inner Smile. So you have the idea, and you actually, using the tissues of your face, you slightly lift the upper outer corners of your mouth as if to create an inner smile.
And then cast your gaze down behind the cheekbones of your face, as if to smile pleasantly in the direction of your organs, in the direction of yourself, and sustain your inner smile. Perhaps this position of the upper outer corners of the lips moving upward, perhaps. This is a, gives a signal of safety to the ventral vagus nerve improving the ventral vagus nerve tone. ‘Cause we learned in the slides that it’s very important to give each client a feeling of wellbeing and safety. Through all of these practices, movements integrated with breathing, we’re facilitating the tuning, the tuning of the client’s resonant structure.
We’ll select movement and spatial orientations that support safety, comfort, and curiosity. Enjoying movement and getting curious about its effects, or just getting curious about the feelings of it. We’ll encourage movement rhythms that support coherent breathing, we’ll encourage movement pacing and rhythm that support nose breathing throughout inhalation and exhalation, and we’ll encourage humming at any register during nose breathing exhalation to stimulate the release of nitric oxide in the paranasal sinuses. The architecture of the thorax makes it possible to modulate the breath. Breath movements can be altered according to orientation in space.
That’s why we do some movements on the mat prone, some inside line, some in supine, some in bridging, some in quadruped, and some in standing. No one’s bored here. Breath movements and rhythms respond to specific tasks, so it’s appropriate to expect that your breath rhythm can vary, can alter depending on your orientation with respect to your mat. Our movement practices can develop the ability to adapt breathing to specific circumstances. Of course, pain affects breathing movement, rate, and rhythms.
We’ll vary the spatial orientation of exercises during the client session in order to develop and support an adaptive breathing repertoire. Let’s shift our focus now from nose breathing to organization of your feet. So important to be well-grounded through the fascia, through the connective tissues of your feet, and so important to connect your feet with your entire structure for efficient ground forces in standing, balancing, and walking. We’ll turn to the book “Energetic Kinesiology: Principles and Practices” that was published by Handspring. The figure taken from the book shows the foot pad pressure sensors.
These bold and narrow arrows indicate primary and secondary foot pad pressure sensors that are located along the posterior edge of the ball of each toe, along the posterior border, and along the medial border of the lateral side of the foot. The secondary sensors, these are the smaller arrows, provide output to fine tune the output to the spinal segments and reflexes that activate postural muscles to maintain posture. So basically, we are interested in sensory stimulation of the plantar surface of the foot in order to fine tune the communication between the primary and secondary foot pad pressure sensors and the torso, the spine. Plantar fascia was found to contribute to the sensorimotor regulation of postural control in standing. Proprioception refers to our ability to determine muscle activity and joint position.
Our bodies contain a somatosensory system containing sensory neurons that respond to changes at the surface, or inside our body. The somatosensory system regulates three major functions, proprioception, exteroception, and interoception. The sensory nervous system integrates information from proprioceptors and other sensory systems such as vision and the vestibular system to create an overall representation of body position, movement, and acceleration. Here’s a figure from my book that shows a variety of stimulating foot and balance environments in the Pilates and fascia-focused movement system. I’m sure looking at many of these, these will be familiar to you, or you could get additional ideas for ways that you can stimulate your own plantar fascia and fine tune your primary and secondary foot pad pressure sensors.
From the “Functional Atlas of the Human Fascial System,” published by Carla Stecco in Elsevier Publishing in 2014, we have this photo of an MRI of an adult foot showing that the connection between the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon via the periosteum of the calcaneus is always present, but thinner, so there’s a continuity from the plantar’s surface of the foot around the back of the heel up into the Achilles tendon and beyond. The Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia may be considered one functional unit. This information that you can study on the slide in your handout comes from a lecture by Irene Davis, who is, she’s director of the Spaulding National Running Center at Harvard Medical School. And she puts forth the idea of the foot core. The foot core was first authored by McKeon in 2014.
Here we see from Carla Stecco’s book a dissection showing the plantar’s surface of the foot and the medial aspect of the foot, and showing importantly the continuation of the plantar’s surface of the foot around the heel, the rounded bone, the calcaneus, and continuous with the Achilles tendon. An anterior view of the foot and ankle shows the retinaculum at the anterior aspect of the ankle. This thickening of the fascia layers in a variety of orientations of vectors, has not only some stability characteristics, but very significantly has characteristics of proprioception. You will experience in our part two, “Oscillations Rejuvenation,” ground forces through the feet in which the back of the heel is in contact with the mat. And there’s a gentle oscillation or plantar and dorsiflexion of the ankle.
These slides, these dissections, will help you appreciate the significance of that, of those movement practices. A weak foot core results in excessive downward and medial deformation of the arch. So if when providing an assessment, a movement assessment of your client, if you notice that there’s a tendency towards pronation, maybe pronation and eversion, that could be an indication that the client is lacking an efficient transfer of ground forces through the structures of their foot up through their entire Neuro-Myofascial self. Fatigue of the intrinsics of the foot results in an increased drop of the navicular. These tendencies can lead to plantar fascitis and Achilles Tendinopathy.
In the case of clients with long COVID, they need all the efficiency in their structure that they can create and that we can facilitate in coaching them, in teaching them. So it’ll be important for us to meet together with Helia and with Gia to practice the doming of the foot to strengthen the foot core. Foot Core Training can develop foot and ankle articulation to support efficient function of the Plantar Fascia-Achilles Tendon continuity. Foot Core Training can develop coordination, strength, and endurance of what’s also known as the Janda Short Foot Exercises, which are sometimes called, quote, “doming” of the foot. This is a text description of the Janda Short foot, which is part of your workshop handout.
And Helia, Gia and I will demonstrate foot doming, and how you can incorporate it into your client practice. Let’s practice doming of the feet. Here you are with your knees bent at about 90 degrees, the soles of your feet firmly planted on the ground. Barefoot is best. Lift and spread your toes.
And then as you spread your toes, plant the soles of your balls of your toes, the ends of your toes, the soles of the ends of your toes, then have the idea that you could lift up your midfoot and pull your heel, your rearfoot forward to your toes. Slide your toes forward, lift and spread your toes. Spread your toes further, plant the soles of the ends of your toes. Lifting up your midfoot, draw your heel, your rearfoot forward. Yes.
Now, oftentimes if I cue this only with words to the client, what results is toe curling and pulling the toes back towards the heels. Now, drawing the forefoot back to the rearfoot puts the person in standing, come to stand now, and let’s try this, puts the person who’s standing, quote, “back on their heels” because drawing the forefoot towards the rearfoot, curling the toes under changes the optimal relationship of the pelvis. The volume of the pelvis should be over the volume of the feet over the midfoot and not, quote, “back on the heels.” So remember, have a seat now, when things don’t go well, blame the instructor. Well, that’s when I realized that just giving the verbal cues was not helpful. So what’s required will be to use your hands to give the client input along with your words, and then standing and doming will go better.
So Gia, I’ll come and visit your ankle and foot. One of my hands is going to cup around the back of Gia’s heel, around the Achilles tendon. And you remember from the slides that we saw and noted that there’s a fascial continuity between the plantar surface of the foot, the Achilles tendon, and goes up the leg to the ischial tuberosity. So my job with this hand is to cup the back of your heel so that you have a sensory input. And then I’m going to bring the other hand so that the area between the thumb and index finger contacts the retinaculum, the thickened fascia at the front of your ankle.
And we noted in the lecture that the retinaculum is imbued with sensitive proprioceptors that will give you an understanding, a feeling of where your ankle is in space. Now the pads of my fingers are going to wrap around your, the top of your foot to the medial arch to hold on underneath your arch. And my thumb is on the lateral, or underneath the lateral malleolus. So I’ve got a grip, so to speak, on your foot. Okay, as you inhale, lift and spread your toes.
Mm-hmm. Now, as you exhale and spread your toes, I’m going to goose the bottom of your foot with the pads of my fingers, plant the soles of your toes down, lifting up your medial arch, and encouraging your rearfoot to drive forward. So I lift up, and you press forward. And that’s what we’re doing. So now we’re gonna do that (Elizabeth laughs) a little bit more quickly.
We have doming on parade. Lift and spread your toes, spread your toes, and slide your heel forward. Continue this motion up, down, and slide. Yes, up, down, and slide. You know, it takes half a day, but pretty soon you’ll be parading on there.
Okay, now Helia, let’s do this in standing because you could recognize that, you know, doming on parade with two feet in standing, it’s not gonna happen. We have to do something else for doming with standing, same hand cues. This hand wraps around my thumb on, underneath the lateral ankle bone, the medial malleolus, the skin between thumb and index finger cups around your Achilles tendon, and the pads of your fingers are holding onto the medial aspect of your heel. Now, the other hand, pads of the fingers wrap underneath your medial arch. So I’ve got a grip, so to speak, with the backhand pressing forward and the top hand pulling up.
Now, even though I have two hands on only one foot, you do this motion with both feet without going backwards. Lift and spread your toes, plant the soles of your toes, and you lift up your medial arch. That’s it! So that your metatarsal heads lift right up off the ground. And you have the idea that your heels could go forward, and sometimes good intentions are sufficient. Having the idea is fine because it’ll translate up through your whole structure, through your legs and activate the abdominals.
‘Cause the diaphragms of the feet, the diaphragms of the pelvic outlet, the respiratory diaphragms, they all work in concert on a good day. Okay, lift and spread your toes, plant the soles of your toes and dome your feet. That’s right. Going up. Good.
There you have it, doming. (Elizabeth giggles) This figure from Carla Stecco’s “Atlas of Human Fascial Anatomy” shows the continuity from the plantar’s surface of the foot around the back of the heel and up through the lateral as the lateral and medial aspects of the leg connecting the foot through the leg to the pelvis to, yes, to the base of the pelvis, the pelvic outlet and the lumbosacral area. This shows the thoracolumbar fascia mentioned earlier in our, my lecture. And this shows the transfer of forces from say, the upper left side of the torso across the sacroiliac joints into the right pelvis and down the lateral aspect of the right leg. In part three, in use of the Trapeze Table, we demonstrate the use of this two stability slings in order to provide support in quadruped, support in supine bridging and support in standing.
Let’s take a video tour of the movement possibilities for supported standing that may be beneficial for your clients to experience after they are comfortable with the quadruped and supine and bridging material that we teach in part three of this workshop. During the Springs and Slings sitting and standing, we’re balancing movement relationships of the volumes of the pelvis, the thorax, the cranium with the tubular volumes of the limbs. The principles that I follow in order to create the Slings and Springs practices are to align the thoracolumbar junction and the sacrum in all three planes of motion, to support a neutral pelvis, neutral spine orientation perched high on the sitting bones on the ischial tuberosities, not at the back, the posterior aspect of the sitting bones, and neither an anterior rotation of the pelvis with respect to the sitting bones, but perching in a balanced, neither posterior nor anterior rotation. In movement to practice torso lateral flexion, lateral flexion of the thorax with respect to the pelvis and lateral flexion of the pelvis with respect to the thorax. We’ll have torso lateral translation, which you will see in our part three, torso rotation, torso extension, torso flexion, and torso motions in multiple planes.
You could start sitting with the sling around the thoracolumbar junction with lateral flexion side bending, and then move to lateral translation. I do not recommend that you start your long COVID clients or the clients with chronic fatigue or the clients with autoimmune dysfunction. I don’t recommend that you start them in sitting. Sitting is a very, even with stability sling support, sitting provides a great deal of compression through the structures of the, basically the whole self, concentrated or focused in the area of the lumbar spine, the sacro iliac joints, and the pelvic outlet tissues. So these are not to start with, but to graduate into.
Then we have rotation, steering the sitting bones on a couple of rotator discs, keeping the thoracolumbar junction aligned with the sacrum. So not deviating or minimize the deviation from midline organization, as one always attempts to do. And then combine planes of motion, side bending, rotation deflection, side bending, rotation into extension. There’s an anterior and posterior translation, anterior and posterior translation moving the volume of the thorax forward to the volume of the pelvis, and back behind the pelvis. There’s the translation of the thorax with respect to the pelvis on the diagonals.
Right-front, left-back and left-front, right-back. And there’s a partial figure-eight, shifting left-front, right-back, left-back, right-front. So it’s only a partial figure-eight because you don’t close the second loop of the figure-eight. And then moving your thorax in an oval with respect to your pelvis, ovalling your thorax in each direction. Then an infinity sign, a figure-eight.
And in our part three movement practice, you will see Helia in the supported sling around the sacrum, practicing creating an infinity sign, a figure-eight, that has a left-right axis. Then we have the full figure-eight with anterior and posterior articulation of the thorax with respect to the pelvis, all of which involves weight shifting on the sitting bones. And not finally, but then this, all this figure-eight exploration culminates in a full figure-eight mandala with four different axes, left-right, front-back, two diagonals of axes, and you draw with your thorax a figure-eight mandala all around the axis, a very significant body-brain, body-mind experience in terms of articulation. All of these movements are eventually appropriate for many clients who are on their healing journey with their treatment team from long COVID and spike protein-induced conditions. One just has to be sensitive to never overstaying your welcome.
Don’t do too many repetitions of any one exercise that would bring about exertional fatigue or cognitive fatigue, and sequence the material in order to encourage client success. And we have differentiated rotation, turning the pelvis, rib, shoulders, head and neck and eyes in the same direction. And then differentiating the rotations. Now changing your orientation, no longer facing the tower springs, but with your side to the tower springs and the stability sling around the thoracolumbar junction to one side. We have supported lateral flexion, keeping both sitting bones best we can in contact with the sitting box.
And then many of the movements that you have seen, and we’ll practice in sitting facing the tower, can be practiced with your side to the tower, including lateral translation. And then in anterior and posterior motion, in this case, as is shown in the video, pressing more strongly with the left lung, the left side, into the stability sling. And that would be, well, it could be useful or interesting for everybody, especially people who tend to shift right. And then thoracic translation on two different diagonals, moving the thoracic spine in an oval, in each direction of motion, and then the figure-eight mandala, but with a different support through the sling that will, in this case, it will tend to load the left side. Not always necessary to sit on a ball, to sit on a box or a rigid surface.
Sitting on a ball provides the opportunity for a movement conversation between the sitting bones, the dynamic environment of the ball, the sitting bones, and the volume of the pelvis and the thorax. Lateral translation of the sacrum and of the thoracolumbar junction, or T11, T12, in opposite directions is facilitated by the dynamic surface of the ball, pushing with your right foot, steer with your right sitting bone, aiming the ball to the left as you shift your right lung to the right. And then the rotations that you experienced earlier that you observed sitting on the box can be done sitting on the ball, but there won’t be as much rotation on the ball as on the rotator discs. This video continues the rotation, differentiated rotation, and then we leave, sitting on the box, we leave sitting on the box of the discs. We leave sitting on the ball and graduate, so to speak, with standing with a stability sling attached to the long purple springs, supporting the sacrum and a stability sling from the long yellow springs supporting the thoracolumbar junction.
And then you practice side bending as if your ear could listen towards the ground. Lateral flexion, and then followed by lateral translation, standing rotations, all the while keeping the soles of your big toes firmly planted so that you have ground forces. You could certainly apply your domed feet to these standing practices also, creating the Janda Short Foot. Standing rotation, a lateral translation of your entire structure in an arc to stand primarily on the right foot and standing primarily on the left foot. After the weight shift right and left, side to side, we’ll change the orientation with respect to the tower, and it’s a lateral shift away from the tower loading the gluteus medias area, loading the lateral pelvic stabilizers with support from the sling around the lower left rib area, and a support with the right hand holding onto a short yellow spring.
This weight shift of the entire central axis away from the tower can be followed by a single leg balance. But this is, I suppose it looks like water skiing. I’m no water skier. However, you could use some of those skills to get your pelvis cantilevered way over beyond your base of support, planting the sole of your big toe firmly to activate the deep front myofascial continuity. This continues the weight shift to each side.
And then this brings us to a couple of novel standing environments using slings, springs, in this case, at the Balanced Body Building in Sacramento, California, using bodhi, the suspension training system voting in conjunction with springs and slings. This may give you ideas for how you too can create movement environments to support your clients with COVID and spike protein-induced conditions as they progress with support from their whole integrative medicine treatment team. Over the years, I’ve been working a lot to combine, in the Pilates environment, to combine my understanding of fascia-focused movements that facilitate walking, facilitate efficient gait patterns, and facilitate balance. And finally, if you have way too much equipment and just too much time on your hands, you too can put a coralline within the frame of a reformer Trapeze Table combination and then practice your gait. Or you could just get up now and go take a walk because it’s time to thank you very much for your attention during this part one of our workshop, and to look forward to joining with you, with Helia and with Gia when we do our movement practices together.
Oscillation Rejuvenation on Mat
Let’s move to the mat now for “Oscillations Rejuvenation.” Each of these sequences will stimulate your ease of breathing in a different orientation. You can imagine that your thorax, it’s a volume. You have a volume of your thorax, not a ribcage, but perhaps more like a spherical rib basket. We’ll start with lying on the front. I’ll demonstrate some of the movement sequences and then cue you through them.
Here you are lying on your front, your bent elbow palms are in contact with the wall, with the pads of your fingers against the wall, and your fingernails aiming towards the midline. Tuck your toes under so your toes are in dorsiflexion, and so are your ankles. Now, anytime that a movement that I suggest is not comfortable for you, of course, we’ll change it so that you and your clients can be at ease. For example, if your palms are not comfortable on the wall, certainly you could have your palms on the ground alongside your ribs. If the soles of your toes when they’re tucked under, puts too much pressure on the first metatarsal phalangeal joint, as we say in the business, then instead of having your toes tucked under, you could have the tops of your feet on the ground.
One option, as I mentioned, is the palms on the wall, and the soles of the toes tucked under. And then you start a movement conversation, a longitudinal oscillation, a rocking, breathing in through your nose, expanding your ribs laterally and posteriorly. And on the exhalation, it’s a humming at any register you like. (Elizabeth hums) With each inhalation, we’ll do a different variation. For example, turning head, neck, and eyes to one side, exhale humming.
And there’ll be many variations I’ll suggest to you, including a redistribution of your ground forces hovering one leg off the ground. Now it’s your turn for these oscillations. I will cue you through them, and also come and visit you, demonstrating some of the touch cues that you can use with your clients. Come to lie on your front now, a comfortable distance from the wall so that your palms, that’s right, organized on the wall. And if at any time you find that this is not a comfortable organization for your wrists, then, of course, you can choose another one.
Something else to mention, at any time, any time is a good time to rest. Okay, so here you are with your toes tucked under, and I’ll bring the hollow of my palms to nestle around your heels. And then guiding with a very gentle push-pull, I’ll suggest this oscillation. So there’s a movement conversation between the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands on the wall, the front of your pelvis, the front of your ribs, your forearms, your elbows on the mat. Continue the oscillation, and start a coherent breathing through your nose, breathing in, (Elizabeth inhales) and on the exhalation through your nose, it’s a humming (Elizabeth hums) at any register that’s pleasing to you.
Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhales) and exhale humming. (Elizabeth hums) Now pressing more strongly with your right palm, turn your head, neck and eyes to the left. As you inhale wide to your sides, my fingers will expand with your ribs. And then exhale. When you exhale, you come back to the center, (Elizabeth hums) sinking into the mat each time, now pressing more strongly with your left hand.
And I’m encouraging an expansion excursion of your ribs towards the left, towards my hand here, mm-hmm, and exhaling humming. (all humming) Now, as you press your palms into the wall, reach your right leg far behind you. So point your left ankle and hover your right side up off the ground, uh-huh, redistributing your ground forces between the sole of your left toes, the palms of your hands on the wall. And this is multitasking, to be sure, on the exhalation. As you hum, change to the new side.
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Continue this motion. An oscillation through the soles of your toes into the palms of your hands. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. (Gia and Helia hum) And now rest.
Let the tops of your feet on the ground, rest your arms by your sides, turning your head to either side that suits you, mm-hmm, and sink into the mat. You could have the feeling that the mat is warm sand or a cushioned surface, and you resonate in the echo of the oscillation, the echo of the vibration sinking into the mat. Many more movement variations in prone where that comes from, but I’ve learned over these past three years in working with a variety of health conditions that it’s really wise not to overstay one’s welcome and think, “Oh, I can just put yet another variation in here.” But that’s not always the best. Sometimes it’s always time to respect the client’s comfort, ease, and wellbeing. Here’s the next orientation.
So roll to either side, make your way up from here, and after being in prone and expanding the, encouraging the volume of the thorax to move posteriorly and laterally. Next will be in sideline, and sideline initially with one knee on top, the other sinking your ribs, your waist into the ground, and palms on the wall. Now, this oscillation is a movement conversation that emphasizes the initiation of the motion of the oscillation coming from the wall and going through the side of your shoulder, the side of your ribs, your greater trochanter. If you would like to use a additional cushion underneath your side of your pelvis, that’s a good plan. As you inhale, (Elizabeth inhales) you’ll expand your ribs in the direction of the ground, and on the exhalation, through the nose humming, lift up your ribs and lift up your waist.
So this is a motion of lateral flexion, translation of your ribs. After this motion with one knee on top, the other will have a split stance with the legs. And then finally, we’ll go to a one in which one leg is aligned with your torso, and the ceiling hand comes off the wall and comes onto the ground. Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhales) and exhale humming. (Elizabeth hums) Come to lie on your side now.
Both knees bent, your knees forward of your hip joints, and your palms on the wall. Now, if it’s not so comfortable for you, for your shoulders, or for your wrist to have your palms on the wall, by all means, your ceiling hand could come onto the floor in front of your low ribs as it suits you here. Now sinking your ribs, your waist into the ground, mm-hmm, you start the pressure, the oscillation, with your palm pressing onto the wall, including the ground force through your shoulder, through the side of your ribs, through the side of your pelvis. Breathing in to fill up towards the ground, and exhale humming. (both humming) Change your leg position now so that the floor leg is forward and the ceiling leg is back.
Mm-hmm. And then rock on. Mm-hmm. Good, mm-hmm. As you inhale, sink your floor ribs into the ground.
And as you exhale, lift up your ribs and lift up your waist. (Gia hums) While you’re here, lift up your ribs and lift up your waist, and turn your head, neck and eyes to see the ground. Mm-hmm, that’s right. Each of these movements makes different demands on the fascia-focused conversations you have through your whole structure. Let go of the oscillation for a moment and come to bring, have your legs aligned with your torso.
Mm-hmm, right. Now we’ll have your ceiling knee bent so that the sole of your foot goes to the ground and you have options with your floor leg. You could dorsiflex your ankle and hover your floor leg up off the ground, or you could have the little toe side of your foot tucked under so that you have an additional ground force from here, and from here. That’s right. Breathing in, turning your head, neck, and eyes to see the ground, and exhale humming, (Gia and Elizabeth hum) turning your head, neck, and eyes to see the ceiling.
Continue this motion lifting up your ribs and lifting up your waist. (Gia and Helia hum) Now take your ceiling hand off the wall and put it on the floor in front of you, all the while keeping your rhythm going. And now you’ll have both hands forward with palms together and fingers interlaced. So your hands are forward in front of your low ribs, and this puts much more requirements through the ground force of your feet, the side of your greater trochanter, the side of your ribs. Mm-hmm.
(Gia and Helia hum) We’ll note that it may be more comfortable to have a head cushion to support your head, mm-hmm, if the, keeping your head and neck up off the ground is overly-demanding. Now, leave this, and come to lie on your back. Rest on your back. A comfortable position. You could have your knees bent, or your legs outstretched.
And when you rest here on your back, eyes can be open or closed as it suits you. Sink into the ground, mm-hmm, listening, a kinesthetic listening, to the echoes of the resonance, the echoes of the vibrations. And given that you’ve only oscillated on one side, it wouldn’t be surprising if you were, your proprioceptive sense was inundated with sort of somatic hallucinations that it feels as if one side is much wider, much heavier, has much more volume than the other (Elizabeth giggles) she said, unabashedly, leading the witness. (Elizabeth giggles) Come to lie on your new side now. Here you are on your new side, knees bent forward of your hip joints, and we’ll recognize that no side is ever created equal.
So if you discover on this side that it’s not so comfortable for one shoulder or one wrist, then by all means, you take a different arm position. Sinking your ribs and waist into the ground, begin the movement conversation with the ground force of your palms on the wall. Mm-hmm. As you inhale, expand your floor ribs, floor lung towards the ground. And as you exhale, hover your floor ribs up off the ground.
That’s right, mm-hmm. (Gia hums) Now, have the intention of continuing the oscillations, continuing the rhythmic motion, and scissor your legs so that the floor leg is forward and the ceiling leg is back. And I’ll come around and cradle your heel here to add to the motion, mm-hmm. (Gia hums) Add to this, pressing with your ceiling hand, and this would be Gia pressing with her ceiling hand. Helia, you’ll press with your floor hand, and turn your head, neck and eyes towards the ground so you have a cervical rotation.
(Gia and Helia hum) And then turning your head, neck, and eyes towards the ceiling. (Gia and Helia hum) Now bring your legs one on top the other, mm-hmm, bend your ceiling knee so that your foot anchors behind your thigh or behind your knee or behind your calf. And then you create the ground force conversation between the soles, between whatever’s touching the ground, really, mm-hmm. The sole of your foot, the palm of your hand on the ground, the palm of your hand on the wall, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, getting interested in the flow of movement, the rhythmic flow of movement through your whole structure, your whole field to encourage circulation, to encourage some resilience of your thoracic volumes. Mm-hmm.
(Gia and Helia hum) If all’s going reasonably well, you could hover your floor leg up off the ground. Rock on here. A dorsiflexion of your foot will make your abdominals stronger. That flexion angle will make your abdominals stronger. (Gia and Helia hum) Leave this now.
Come to lie on your back, sink into your mat. Legs comfortably, either knees bent as you have them. Another option for others would be to have the legs outstretched. For some people, having the eyes closed brings their attention to more interoceptive focus to the sense of proprioception. For others, having the eyes closed is a sense of vulnerability, or being exposed, maybe not being safe.
So either eyes open or closed, whichever facilitates your wellbeing, and your sense of ease marinating in the after-effects of the humming, the nose breathing, and the oscillations. Roll to either side ,and make your way up from there. Soon, you’ll be lying on your back, lying on your back for oscillations rather than resting. Your heels will be pelvis with the part. Say heels in line with the greater trochanter, and then bent elbow palms on the wall.
Rock on here, beginning the movement conversation between the palms of your hands, the back of the volume of your head, your cranium, the back of the volume of your ribs, your thorax, the back of the volume of your pelvis, and the ground forces through the soles of your feet. Pressing more strongly with say, your left hand, turn your head, neck and eyes to the right, and appreciating what cervical rotation, how that changes the sloshing of the fluids and the cellular communication that’s facilitated by compression and decompression. So we’ll do some cervical rotations, and then slide one leg long so there’s heel rocking that may change the rhythm because the ground force and the long lever of your leg is welcomed by many. And then we’ll change the other leg. And then we’ll give each leg a turn by itself until you have the ground forces from the sacrum, the convexity of your sacrum, and then nodding your nose forward.
It’s an unsupported cervical flexion. So a way of sneaking up onto your stealth abdominals. Who knew? Come to lie on your back now. Your bent elbow palms in contact with the wall, as long as that’s all right with your wrists, and your heels, that’s right, the soles of your feet on the ground, a comfortable distance apart.
This is, yes, as I mentioned, heels aligned with the greater trochanter. Sinking into the ground, begin the movement conversation appreciating the rocking of your pelvis over your sacrum, the rocking of your ribs, the rocking of your head, pressing more strongly with your left hand, turn your head, neck and eyes to the right, breathing in, (Elizabeth inhales) and exhale humming, coming back to the middle, (Elizabeth hums) and pressing more strongly with your right hand. So you create a ground force in order to turn your head, neck and eyes to the left. Settle the back of your ribs, the back of your lungs down on the ground. There you go, mm-hmm.
Come back to the middle now, and slide either leg out long on the ground, mm-hmm. And when your one leg is outstretched, you have heel rocking. So it’s an ankle dorsi and plantar flexion. And keep the rhythm going as you bend in the current knee and slide the new leg out long on the ground discovering that no legs are created equal, that each leg has its own opportunity to discover when you do this, to discover the, how the oscillations distribute through your whole structure, through your whole self. You take over the heel rocking now.
One way to note the differences between sides is to note the ease with which you can continue the rhythm of the oscillations while you’re transitioning from one side to the other. Now, keep the current leg outstretched, and bring your bent knee thigh to your torso. Mm-hmm, carry on here. That’s right. Now, the leg, which is to your torso, this leg doesn’t have a ground force.
So who you gonna call? It has to be, yes, a subtle, but rhythmic redistribution of the ground forces from your sacrum through the volume of your thorax to your hands. Now, continue the rocking as you slide the lifted leg out on the ground, and bring the new thigh into you, thinking like, “Whoa, where’d she go?” That’s right, mm-hmm. There you go, Gia. A little less knee bending and straightening, and more with your ankle.
That’s right, yes. Carry on here, buckle up, and bring both knees into your torso. That’s right, rock on. It’s kind of a surprise here because it’s a, you know, you don’t have ground forces through your feet. So it’s your, the back of your pelvis, the volume of your pelvis, the volume of your thorax, your hands.
Now, nod your nose downward. Bring the gaze behind the cheekbones of your face and roll your head, neck, and upper thoracic area up. Right, here you are with your abdominals and unsupported cervical flexion. Very demanding, particularly when your hands are in their current orientations. Lower your head towards the ground, lower one foot to the mat, slide it out long, lower the other foot to the mat.
Keep the heel rocking going. I beg your pardon, Gia, both legs outstretched. Bring your arms by your sides. Palms down or palms up. Keep the heel rocking going.
Exactly, there you go. I lost the plot about the cueing, the breathing. Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhales) and exhalation for humming. (all humming) You might miss it, but let go of the oscillations. Sink into the mat.
If the image of warm sand is appealing to you, that’s fine. If you prefer cool sand, that’s fine too. Or some other substance that is nurturing and supportive. Appreciating the movement, the uncued movements that coerce through your whole self during your inhalation and your exhalation. Roll to either side.
Here’s what’s coming up next. Soon, you’ll have your knees bent, feet a comfortable distance apart, palms on the wall. You’ve been here before. So what’s new now is that you’ll keep the rhythm of oscillation going as you plant the soles of your feet firmly and lift your pelvis. This will be, I suggest, not an articulated bridge, but rather a pelvifemoral motion, sure it is, a pelvifemoral motion in which your pelvis moves around the head of your femurs.
This will intensify the ground forces at the, between your shoulder blades at your mid-thoracic area, and as you push more strongly with your left hand and your left foot, breathing in, translating your pelvis to the right. Exhale humming. (Elizabeth hums) And keep the rhythm going as you press more strongly with your right palm and your right foot. And exhale humming. (Elizabeth hums) We’ll do something similar with the rotation of the pelvis and the lumbar spine.
Each of these motions of the pelvis and the lumbar area, lumbar region, changes the distribution of pressure of ground force from the palm of your hand to the back of your shoulder. And then we’ll come to a single leg bridge. You could have one shin crossed over your thigh, which gives you additional point of contact, or one leg up to the ceiling. Hours of entertainment, really. And then we’ll rest.
Okay, roll to either side. Make your way up from here, setting up for your bent knee, soles of your feet on the ground. And start the oscillation while you’re here, settling the back of your lungs. Plant the soles of your feet firmly, and pelvis up. Lift your pelvis up.
There you go. That’s right. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. If it feels to you, Gia, that this is like, “Well, I lost the plot, where’s the rhythm?” It could be that you could have your feet a little further away, but you could test out to see which is the, or you could experiment, to feel which gives you the best contact with the ground. Yeah, mm-hmm.
Rocking on here. While you’re up, push with your right hand, your right foot, and translate your pelvis to the right. Carrying on here, mm-hmm. And then coming back to the middle. And on the inhalation, push with your left hand, your left foot.
Rock on. Now, there’s a tendency here to rotate while you translate, (Elizabeth laughs) as one does. Instead, stay level to the ground, uh-huh, and have a few more rounds of these, staying level to the ground level to the ceiling while you translate. Yes, mm-hmm. You and I were speaking before we started about the hip on which you carry your two young children.
I mean, not both at the same time, mind you, (Helia and Elizabeth laugh) but still, this can bring some awareness to that, mm-hmm. Come back to the middle. Land your pelvis for the moment ’cause we have a brief intermission before the rotations. Mm-hmm. Now, plant your feet again, and lift your pelvis up.
While you’re up, press with your left hand, your left foot, and rotate your pelvis to the right, rock on here. Good, mm-hmm, and come back to the middle, keeping your knees aligned over your second, third toes. Turn your pelvis to the left, exactly, mm-hmm. Long on the right side of your waist. And come back to the middle.
Continue this oscillating. Happy to go to the right. (Elizabeth laughs) That’s right, who knew? Probably you did, uh-huh. That’s good.
And then rotate in the new way, redistributing. That’s right, turning your naval, the light from your naval, to the left. Exactly. Come back to the middle. Land your pelvis.
Keep the rocking going, but you just have an intermission from bridging. That’s good, mm-hmm. Now, having translated and having rotated, what’s next must be single leg pressing into the wall, into your feet. Hover your pelvis up off the ground, and while you’re up, you distribute your ground forces through your palms, through your feet. And hover one leg up.
Carry on here. And you have options as you’re showing. It could be open kinematic context, knee bent or knee straight. Another option is the figure-four in which you dorsiflex your ankle, and have… That’s right, mm-hmm.
Continue your rhythm as you change over to the new side, the next side, the other side, mm-hmm. That’s right, creating a leg to stand on, mm-hmm. And a foot and volumes to move from. Come out of this now. Lower your sacrum.
Slide both legs out on the ground. Rest your arms by your sides, eyes open or closed. And listen, kinesthetic listening to the resonance, the vibration. Hmm, the somatic hallucinations and the uncued, but harmoniously structured rhythm of your breathing. (Elizabeth giggles) I’m not sure if it’s harmoniously structured or not.
It could be quite spontaneous. Now, roll to either side. Make your way up from here. Here’s what’s coming up next. You have been prone, side, side, supine, bridging, what’s left?
Quadruped, but in quadruped with your side to the wall so that one leg is outstretched. Heel at sitting bone height, ischial tuberosity height, palms aligned with your shoulders. A bit of internal spiral from your humorous so that it puts, throws more weight towards the thumb. Contact with your hands on the ground. It’s a translation towards the wall and away.
So where’s the oscillation? Mm-hmm. It is a pelvifemoral motion of a medial hip glide and a lateral hip glide steering your knee forward over your second, third toes. You’ll keep your rocking rhythm going, moving your torso over your heads of your humorous, and keeping the rhythm going, bring one hand to the opposite shoulder, and keeping the rhythm going through the translation to bring one hand to your new shoulder. So here you go.
Coming onto all threes with one leg outstretched, nestling your foot where the floor and the wall meet, steering your sitting bones up and back and wide behind you, and palms aligned with your shoulders with the inner aspects of your elbows aiming towards each other. Now bending your wall knee, shift laterally towards the wall, and then extending your wall knee, shift away. This is your motion. Breathing in, two, three, four, five, six. Exhale humming.
(Elizabeth hums) Keeping your rhythm going, bringing one hand to your opposite shoulder. Breathing in. Yes, this is excellent. Bringing your chest bone up in the direction of my fingers. And exhale humming.
(Gia and Elizabeth hum) Keep your rocking going, and change palms. Breathing in. (Elizabeth inhales) Other hand to your opposite shoulder. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. In terms of a fascia-focused festival, this is one of them because you’re constantly loading one, quote, “lateral mile fascial continuity,” or the other.
That’s right, mm-hmm. (Gia and Helia hum) Now, before overstaying your welcome on your grounded knee, turn around to the new side. The new side awaits. Mm-hmm, yes, and I’m always surprised, but I shouldn’t be, that I have to adjust my distance from the wall because clearly, looking at me, you can see that one leg, by now, acts a lot shorter than the other one, in my case. Bending your wall knee, both palms on the ground, breathing in and extending, mm-hmm.
Nestling your pelvis around the head of your wall femur and snugging your wall femur head into your acetabulum, (Elizabeth giggles) as one does. Continue this rocking rhythm, bringing one palm to your opposite shoulder, mm-hmm. Exactly, and continue your breath pattern and your rocking as you change to, change the ground force, find a new palm, a new shoulder to stand on. And you’re doing a wonderful job of steering your knee over your second, third toes, mm-hmm. Yeah.
Now, coming down from there, mm-hmm, I realize that it may be useful for us, or for participants to have additional props to accompany the mat and the wall. You could, by all means, use extra cushion underneath your knee, ’cause not every knee is happy to be stood on, or, as we noted the earlier, inside line, a cushion underneath your head so that you don’t have unsupported lateral flexion. The next quadruped material is going to be like so. You’ll have one foot nestled where the floor and the wall meet. The wall leg is outstretched, knee extended.
And this time, instead of your palms being aligned with your shoulders, you’ll bring your hands forward of your shoulders so that you can press into the heels of your hands and shift your weight back, knee flexion, hip flexion, then extend your knee rocking forward, and then articulating through your ankle so that your foot comes off the wall. Now we change the rhythm a bit. Land, push, land, suspend, land, suspend, land, suspend, and continue this motion while you minimize, woo-hoo, minimize your lateral shift, bringing one hand to the opposite shoulder. Note that you’ll stand on the same side. You won’t stand on the same side, anything.
You’ll stand on the opposite hand and knee, and then shift laterally on purpose. So you can stand on the same side, hand, and knee. Now, I flubbed the cue, so let’s just be clear about this on the new side. Bending your wall knee. If it’s too soon to be jumping in your life, that’s all right.
Just bend your knee, and keep your soles of your toes on the ground. If all’s going reasonably well, land, push. So you propel yourself off the wall. Keep that rhythm going. Standing on one knee in the opposite hand, and keep that rhythm going.
Shift laterally ’cause it won’t happen by accident. You have to make it happen to stand on the same side, hand in knee. (Elizabeth laughs) It’s your turn, and I’m grateful for it. Okay, so, one leg, either one you choose, that’s right, with the soles of your toes tucked under dorsiflexion. That’s right.
And your grounded knee side can either have your foot tucked under in dorsiflexion, or in plantar flexion with the top of your foot on the ground, as is best for your knee. Mm-hmm, now bend your wall knee, rock towards the wall, and then push off the wall. That’s right. Land, push. Yes, land, push.
Exactly right. Moving your pelvis over the head of your femur. Beautiful, land, push. Yes, two more on this side. Now, whichever knee is on the ground, leave the opposite hand down, and bring one hand to your shoulder.
Land, push, yes. If we had to label this, we would say, “Oh, look at that move for the front functional, and the back functional myofascial continuities,” or the anterior and posterior oblique sling systems. Now, you will put your left hand wide to your left shoulders so that you can shift laterally to stand on your left knee and your left hand, bringing your right hand to your shoulder, mm-hmm. Yes, and it’s only in moves like this in public forums, like this one, where we make all these self-discoveries. Yes, correct.
You’re well-prepared to translate your pelvis because you practiced that in bridging. Now change to the next side so the new foot goes against the wall. Hands a comfortable distance, and then discover what’s new on this side, which is probably plenty good, mm-hmm. Steering the light from your naval in the direction of your ground force knee, yes. So your sacrum is fairly level.
Beautiful. Now, whichever knee is on the ground, leave the opposite hand down, and pick up, that’s right. Land, push. Land, push, beautiful. Mm-hmm, this is a slow motion.
We could make this a slow motion elastic recoil. Land, push, suspend, land, push, suspend. Keep a rhythm going. Plant your right palm wider than your right shoulder so you can shift laterally. Exactly.
Steering your navel towards your inner right knee, your ground force knee, land, push. You’re doing a really good job keeping your thorax well-organized. The light from your chest bone steering over your ground force thumb. Bringing one hand to your opposite shoulder so you’re standing on the same side, hand and knee. That’s right.
Last to end, last one. Let’s leave quadruped now. Probably not a moment too soon. And let’s come to standing. You’re so well-prepared, so move your mats in a bit so that you can have a good ground force with two feet on the mat, pelvis with the part, and I’ll demonstrate some options.
Soon, you’ll have your hands on the wall at, or just below shoulder height as it suits your wrists and feet, a pelvis with the part. Now, we’ll start with heel rocking. Although when one is upright, it looks more probably like heel bouncing. So it is the plantar dorsiflexion of your ankles. And we’ll keep the rhythm going.
Breathing in, (Elizabeth inhales) exhale humming. (Elizabeth hums) Inhalation as you bend your elbows, planking towards the wall, and exhalation and humming as you bounce off the wall. And then, we’ll gradually make, you’ll make your way up the wall with your hands until you find a reasonable distance to encourage thoracic and cervical extension aiming your gaze between your thumbs and bouncing off your heels. After that, we’ll come to rotations. Land, push, land, push.
And, but wait, there’s more, but we’ll get to it. So come to your planking here, planking a comfortable distance from the wall. Find the orientation, the organization of your shoulders, your hands, your feet. And begin your heel bouncing, mm-hmm. As if your heels could strike the mat.
That’s right. Mm-hmm, so your heels can touch the mat. That’s right. It’s not just only bouncing on your toes, mm-hmm. Each person will have their own rhythm here.
So you find yours, and I will not. (Elizabeth laughs) Hard for me to do, but I will not impose my rhythm. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Now, keep your heel bounces going, and find some rhythm that allows you to land and push in. Land, and push in.
Plank into the wall, pendulum off the wall. Land, push, land, push. Continue this motion making your way up the wall. Land, push, land, push, land, push, land, push, lifting your chest bone, lifting your gaze until you come to a height, and then suction your hands on the wall. Heel bounces.
Slide your hands down to shoulder height again. Translate, shift to your right, and bring your left foot towards your right ankle. Single leg bouncing here. Keep your left hand on the wall. Take your right hand off.
Put your right hand on the wall. Shift to your left. Bend your right knee, left hand off the wall. Revisiting what we spoke about earlier as the anterior and posterior oblique sling systems. Plant both hands on the wall, pushing more strongly with your left hand, your right arm comes off.
Turn your pelvis, ribs, shoulders, head, neck and eyes, heels reverberating off the ground. And then keep the rhythm going as you layer on the rotation towards your left, turn pelvis, rib, shoulders, neck, head and eyes to look over your shoulder. Come back to the wall. Close your right eye, take your right hand off. Turn to your right, your left eye looks across the midline, which is encouraging rotation to the right.
Come back to the middle, close your left eye, open your right eye. Pressing with your right hand. It’s your right eye that looks across the midline to see behind you. Plank into the wall. Push off the wall, arms by your sides, and oscillate here.
Keep your rhythm going. Your heel bounces, reverberating through your whole self, your whole structure, and then cease the bouncing. Cease the rocking. Be here now, as they say, mm-hmm, listening to the reverberations through your whole self. Thank you both so much.
I look forward to continuing. We’ll continue our exploration on the Trapeze Table next, a whole different array. See you soon.
Stability Slings on Trapeze Table
We finished the oscillation rejuvenation on the mat, and now we’ve changed to the Trapeze Table. You might ask yourself, “Why is this set up like so?” Because when one is developing the coordination, the strength and the endurance for trunk control that is relevant to gait, to standing balance and to walking, it’s really helpful to have support, support around the pelvis to create a compression ring around the pelvis, and also support around the thoracolumbar junction area.
So in this arrangement, I have two long purple springs attached to a stability sling that goes around the ASIS low around the front of the pelvis and two long yellow springs attached to the slider bar, which is secure above. The long yellow springs are crossed and attached to a stability sling that goes around the lower rib area. Yeah, around the lower thorax. There is a push-through bar, and in this case, the push-through bar is connected diagonally from above. There’s also a yellow spring here just in case you or your client would prefer to have less force through the push-through bar.
On occasion, you may have a client much stronger than I who could benefit from a red spring. The spring is on the diagonal because that gives more assistance for the bar to come up. And then a greater range of motion in order to push the bar down. There’s a foam roller behind, and this foam roller serves as a ground, a floor for the midfoot to plant against the roller. And she said, stating the obvious, there’s a reformer sitting box to provide a platform for the bent elbow forearms.
Soon, we will use rotator discs underneath the bent elbow forearms. And there you have it. You’ll be pleased to know that once you get organized in this elaborate arrangement, providing structural support, there are many things that you can do in order to provide your client with stimulating exercise that’s safe for their heart, safe for their tissues, safe for their lungs. Prior to your client having enough, please stop, so always curtail the repetitions, two repetitions before it becomes T-O-O much, okay, that way you won’t overstay your welcome, and the client will always be able to progress with frequent rests rather than lamenting that they had stayed too long with some, a fascinating sensation. After all that, (Elizabeth laughs) here’s an overview of the moves that we’ll be doing.
Rocking forward and back, moving the pelvis over the head of the femur, organizing this with pronation and supination. A lateral translation, moving the pelvis and the torso over the heads of the femurs and the humorous. Then, we’ll drive one foot back into the roller. This might, it could remind you of the time that you were in quadruped on the mat with your foot cushioned against the wall, and when we discovered that each side is its own universe. Then, we’ll progress as the client is ready to do so in a jackrabbit motion from the reformer, or a front plank or knee stretch, knees off.
Two more of these. Then you’ll progress to having the rotator disks on the box. Here’s why that is. The movements of the shoulders and the movements of the thoracic spine, the thoracic region, and of the ribs, they are all linked together in movement. So we’ll inhale a lateral translation and a side bending with hands going opposite the direction of the ribs.
Exhale, center, and inhalation. This is using the rotation of the humerus in order to encourage thoracic translation and side bending. We’ll also have flexion, which is paired with internal rotation and extension, which is paired with external rotation. Flexion, and extension. Now, these motions with the discs then can be brought into play with one knee extending, then the other, et cetera.
And some people will move to the knees off with external and internal rotation of the discs. That’s paired with spine extension and spine flexion. Now, all this work through the weight-bearing with the forearms on the discs and the forearms on the box has prepared you now to move from weight-bearing on your forearms to weight-bearing on your hands. So this box is no longer needed for us. And you have your palms on the ground revisiting all those variations.
And then you are ready to have one hand on the push-through bar. So it’s one foot and the opposite arm, adding rotation of the thorax, one foot, and the opposite arm. And just as on the mat, it gets different in terms of the weight-bearing when you have one hand and the same side leg. Prior to doing the palms on the discs, we’ll take intermissions with the cat, spine, and variations of hand grips with the cat. Finally, you’ll come to your palms on the discs moving in the direction of up stretch and down stretch, down stretch and up stretch with internal rotation and external rotation accompanying with rotation of the pelvis and the lumbar spine.
So there you have a quick overview of where we’re going with this arrangement. And now we’ll focus on the specific cues that are relevant for each person. It’s Gia’s turn now, and Gia, first you’ll come to high kneeling, and we’ll put this over the top of your head to the front of your pelvis. So you secure the sling where it’s comfortable for you. Okay.
Then I’ll cross these yellow springs, and you will dive in bringing your bent elbow forearms to the box. Excellent. The upper sling is around your low ribs, and the yellow springs are perpendicular to the ground. Your bent elbow humerus, they are perpendicular to the box also. And your knees aligned with your hip joints.
Now, begin to shift forward, turning your palms down, and as you rock back, turn your palms up, mm-hmm. Exhale to rock forward, inhale to rock back, and Helia, what I look for is to see that the client keeps their spine approximately parallel to the ground. So there’s a clear weight shift over the hip joints, and a clear weight shift over the shoulder joints. Now, Gia, continue this motion, but change up the hand pattern. So as you come forward, it’s palms up, and we’ll go to the end of the Trapeze Table, and then cite from here, we’ll cite down to note that, you can stay there, to note that there’s a sacrum and the thoracolumbar junction and the occiput, hidden by your bun here, are aligned on one axis.
And if you notice that there, it’s not you, but if one notices that there’s a translation of the pelvis or the ribs to one side or the other, then you can bring that to the client’s attention. And Gia, you have options here. You can keep the tops of your feet on the ground, or you could tuck your toes under in dorsiflexion. It will have an effect on the amount of compression on your knee joint, and also the compression on your first metatarsophalangeal joint on your big toe joint. So you can adjust that as it suits you.
Now, Helia, you stay in that orientation, and Gia, come to the center, and now it’s a translation, so shift your pelvis and your ribs to your left, turn your left palm up, your right palm down, mm-hmm, and then translate to the other side, mm-hmm. So it’s just a different plane of motion translation. Mm-hmm. Meanwhile, the sling around your pelvis and the sling around your low front ribs are giving a little boost of support and enhancing proprioception, I hope. Or that’s the intention.
And what you are looking at from here is to see if there’s a simultaneous translation, or does one side tend to go first, or the other side tend to go second. Okay, or vice versa. Now, you’ll come back to the middle, and as you rock forward, drive your left foot back into the roller so the sole of your left foot propels you forward, and then you bend your left knee, and do three more of these pressing forward and rocking back. So this is, has some relationship to where we were on the mat, on the mat rocking away from the wall and towards the wall, or for that matter, rocking side to side, mm-hmm. So there’s a clear weight shift in terms of hip extension and hip flexion change.
Now, Gia, to the new side. As you drive your left foot back, mm-hmm, and it would not be unusual, as we know, from the mat work, if when each heel appears to be in line with its own ischial tuberosity, if the client were to shift diagonal to one side or the other, and ideally, they will stay right down the middle, mm-hmm. Now, as you shift, Gia, keep your chest bone up towards my fingers, just like that. Mm-hmm. Now, I suspect (Elizabeth laughs) bending your both knees, bring them down, that it’s probably time to have an intermission with the cat because that is a lot of endurance for your shoulders.
So I’ll take the, you can keep your gear on. We’ll just put the box down, and we’ll need the box again soon. Walk your knees forward until your hands can find the push-through bar, and then losing your skirt here. Okay, now, with your pelvis supported by the sling here, nod your nose downward, cervical, thoracic, and lumbar flexion. As you rock forward, lift your chest bone, lift your gaze, and lift your sitting bones, so you’re moving in the direction of extension.
And then starting from the pelvis, curl under, shoulders a long way from your neck and your ears, and press the bar up. You can rock forward as you draw strongly from pubic bone up underneath your chest bone. Again, nod your nose downward, curl down, round down, dive down. As the push-through bar surpasses the frame, it’s taking you in the direction of extension. And then you bring your low front ribs towards your pelvis and push the bar up.
Lots more variations where that came from, but we will move right on. Okay, so now, we’ll put the box back up, and you’ll have the rotator discs on the box. So Helia, the intermission we just had, the shoulder intermission was, as you noted, a movement of the spine in the sagittal plane. And we’d be watching for the same asymmetries of lateral translation of the ribs one way and the pelvis the other way, or side bending. Now Gia, check to make sure that the disks are in the middle ’cause they might not remotely be there, mm-hmm.
And we’re looking to see that your upper arms are perpendicular to the ground, and it’s both hands go to the right, to the ocean, and fan open your left ribs, moving your ribs to the, your thorax to the left, and fanning open your left ribs. And then the other side, mm-hmm. So here, Helia, similar to the hands that we were using with the, that I used on the ribs and the mat, continue, Gia, from side to side. So except that now, you always have a sling, and you don’t need to look forward to my hands, I hope, coming around, good, mm-hmm. As you internally rotate your left humerus and externally rotate your right, that gives additional stimulation for tissue glide to the left, and then tissue glide to the right.
Now, your hands do what mine did, and I will watch from the back, mm-hmm. So side bending, translation of your pelvis, and side bending of the ribs. One more, each side, Gia, keeping your collarbones wide in the front. Yes, indeed. Now you come back to the middle, and we’ll change places, Helia, and Gia, now it’s spiral inwards with your arms, top of your head down, cervical, thoracic and lumbar flexion, mm-hmm.
And as you externally rotate, turn your palms up. What you practiced in the cat, your sitting bones go up and back and wide. And while you’re here, the front sling is reminding your low front ribs to keep a support around your thoracolumbar junction. Exhalation. This is a time-honored cue to encourage the collarbones to be wide and the upper trapezius to yield a bit.
Exhalation. That’s right, and inhalation, good. Now, let’s change places, and Helia, you can take care of Gia’s shoulders, and Gia, now you’ll drive your right foot back into the roller, mm-hmm, and pushing with your right foot, both elbows go to the left, mm-hmm, shifting that way, and then bending your right knee, and do that again, but both elbows go to the other side, which is my mistake. (Elizabeth laughs) Remember when things don’t go well, blame the instructor. Bad cure.
(Elizabeth laughs) That’s right, I said do that again, and I said, but do something else, but like, no, that’s not helpful. Okay, so alternate sides here. Mm-hmm, yeah, mm-hmm. Mm-hmm, so keeping one foot back into the roller, your ribs go right, and then you push and your ribs go left. So the same foot, different ribs.
That’s right, mm-hmm. And always on these rotator discs, broaden across your collarbones, and have the idea that the contact that your forearms, that your bent elbows have with the discs, that contact is coming from the bottom of your shoulder blades rather than your upper trapezius. Yes, now, you’ll put both knees down, and we are quite well-prepared for knees off. Okay, so plant both feet into the roller. Yes, press up onto your bent elbow forearms, and rock forward and back, yes.
Gia, it’s possible this box is too far forward. Do you think, because I mean, you can make anything work, but let’s see if this is better. (Elizabeth laughs) Okay. Because in terms of activation of the anterior oblique sling system, is this an improvement or not? Oh, good, okay.
As you go forward, external rotation, as you rock back, internal rotation, that’s good. Elbows in, palms out, elbows out, palms in. That’s right. Good-oh, okay. Yes.
(Elizabeth laughs) Yes, indeed. And then coming to join me here, Helia. Yes. We’re looking to see, Gia, that as you go forward, your low front ribs take the cue from the sling around your ribs, and they come up towards your spine and the spine between your shoulder blades comes up towards the ceiling. Mm-hmm, it’s my impression that you are pushing off a little more strongly with your right foot and shifting a little right, but that’s only because you’d already done 97 repetitions.
So come down from there. (Elizabeth laughs) Okay, it’s like, “Well, thanks for telling me now.” (Elizabeth laughs) Okay, these discs go away, the box comes off, and let’s move to both palms on the ground, that’s right, are on the Trapeze Table. And then one hand comes to the push-through bar, yes. Now, as you rock back, you bend your elbow, mm-hmm, and as you rock forward, push out. This is the motion of interest, mm-hmm.
It was my intention that the glide, the slide of the scapula on your thorax and the motion of your thorax inside bending and translation was adequately prepared by the movement on the disks. However, best-laid plans don’t always work out so well. So if your client is not happy about the shoulder range of motion here, you could change the spring, lighten the spring, and also curtail the range of motion. As the bar goes up, Gia, rotate towards the ocean. This is beautiful, but no one can see it because all the cameras are on the other side.
So soon, you’ll do the other side, and then we’ll be able to appreciate that. Good, so we will look from this end here, Helia, mm-hmm. And we’re looking to see, yes, if Gia’s pelvis stays approximately organized to midline so that the rotation, it would be as if her left lung were turning towards the ocean. Change arms now, Gia. There’s just so much to see that the commentary goes on.
Okay. (Elizabeth laughs) Yes, beautiful, mm-hmm. And as we noted during the mat, and as we’ve noted during our whole lives, no side is created equal. So if you find a sticky side, then it’s my hope that there is enough support for your structure that you’ll be able to go more slowly and finesse the motion. One more here.
This is beautiful. Now, let’s go with your palms on the discs. So we add, ’cause when your palms are on the table, that provides a fairly steady ground force. Now, we have the option of internal and external rotation spiral from your glenohumeral joints. And why not?
We’ll add another element because as you can see, these are coordinated patterns in a number of different planes. The transverse, the rotational plane, and the sagittal plane rocking forward. You’ll plant one foot towards the roller, mm-hmm. And let’s keep this hand on the disc and this hand on the push-through bar. Bring your hand a little bit wider on the push-through bar, that’s right, so that the contact of the little finger side of your hand moves along the, that ground force moves along the lateral aspect of your arm to the outer border of your scapula to the inferior angle of your scapula.
Okay, so you push into the roller, that’s right. And turn, beautiful, and bend. And that’s right. So first of all, continue this motion. You’re integrating the transmission of force through your whole reported structure from your right foot to your left hand.
Great, mm-hmm. Now, put your right knee down, keep your hands as they are, and your left foot goes back to the roller. Continue here. That’s right. Rotation, mm-hmm, and rotation, and what I find in cueing or observing these, is I usually get the best information from here, and then have to leave here and go to Gia’s side and make some recommendations.
But we don’t have a lot of recommendations to make back here, mm-hmm. Now, keep your current foot. That’s the second foot, isn’t it? Yes, so I’ll hold the bar. Look at you doing that mid-air change.
(Elizabeth laughs) Normally I ask the client to put their palm down before they hold onto the push-through bar, but that’s good. Okay, rock on here, mm-hmm. Rotation and rotation. Yes, and rotation. Mm-hmm, yeah, you’re doing a wonderful job of turning your right lung towards the left.
I’ll hold the bar, you put your left hand down. Oh, and you change feet now. That’s right, it’s change feet. Yeah, mm-hmm, and here you go. Turning around.
Good, turning end. Turning end. Turning end. A reminder that the scapula glides away from your neck, like that, and away from your ear, right. Last one of these.
Mm-hmm. Yes. I’ve got the bar. You can let go. Put both hands on the rotator discs, and it’s time to move in the direction of your downward facing dog, or to alternate between down stretch and up stretch with external and internal rotation spirals on the disc.
Just so no one’s bored. (Gia giggles) Okay, now plant the soles of your feet firmly. Mm-hmm, I know we don’t have sticky socks on you, so make sure you’ve got a ground force there. Rock forward with arms spiraling outward. Lower your pelvis so you go into spine extension, and then rock back, moving in the direction of spine flexion.
That’s right, mm-hmm, rocking forward. Beautiful, and rocking back. Are those discs, Gia, in a good place for your shoulders? Mm-hmm. Okay, good, mm-hmm.
This is excellent. You’re well-prepared for this given all of your oscillations. And one more of these with extension and with flexion. Yeah, but wait, there’s more. Now, as you rock forward, turn your pelvis, your lumbar spine to the ocean.
That’s right. And then rock back to the midline, mm-hmm, and then rotate, turning your right ASIS around to the left. Good, one more each side. Do you feel secure here with your toes? Mm-hmm.
That’s good, ’cause we don’t want anyone slip-sliding away even though the springs are present for you. That’s good. Wide across your collarbones. There you go. Bending your knees, return to the mat, set your wrists free, and this comes over the top of your head.
And then this will come over the top of your head as well. And you could return to dry land. (Gia and Elizabeth laugh) We just live through the atmospheric river, so we’re all grateful to be on dry land. (Gia giggles) Now, when we return back with you, Helia will be demonstrating all the material with the supine-supported bridge. Here you are lying on your back, or soon, you will be lying on your back with your feet on the box.
You can see that we still have the two long purple springs attached to the center carabiner from on high with the sling supporting around the back of the pelvis, around the sacrum and the lower lumbar. The long yellow springs attached to the slider bar from above, and those springs are crossed to provide support around the thoracolumbar junction. I added a yellow spring on the diagonal so that you have a blue spring and a yellow spring crossed. But of course, as is always the case, you will customize the spring resistance and assistance for each client. And that is not only a function of strength, but it’s also a function of the client’s mass, client’s volume, also of the integrity of the tissue integrity of each client.
The angle of the long purple springs on the diagonal provides a traction element to this support. So you’ll be sensitive to each client’s structure to their connected tissue integrity to recognize that for some clients, this supportive traction is welcome. They would like to take the Trapeze Table and you home with them. But for others who say, may have hypermobility tendencies, then the traction may be not appropriate for their proprioception, and their structural integrity. As you inhale, the bar provides assistance to bring your shoulder blades, the outer border of your shoulder blades away from the mat.
As you exhale, scapula glide down away from your neck and away from your ears, turning your hands around the bar. Move your upper arms next to your ears. When this is the case, there’ll be the tendency to give way to move in the direction of the ceiling with the thoracolumbar junction. Instead, nestle the back of your ribs, the back of your lungs, down towards the sling and towards the table. Now, we’ll add onto this.
As you pull the bar down, you’ll come up, and you have options, either an articulating bridge, or the same bridge that we used from the mat, which is to lift straight up. Pressing the bar further above your head, return your spine, the back of your ribs, the back of your pelvis towards the mat, and bring the bar through. You have options here of adding an exercise from upper arms, from the Pilate’s repertoire assisted flexion. As you push the bar above your head, it’s assisted bridging. As the bar goes, continues above your head, you roll down your spine, nodding your nose downward, aiming your gaze behind the cheekbones of your face.
Now, once you get up, it’s a translation. Push with your right hand, push with your right foot, shift your pelvis to the left, push with your left hand, push with your left foot, shift your pelvis to the right. So there’s a movement conversation, familiar, yes, from the mat, between the ground forces of your feet on the box and your hands in a push-pull on the push-through bar. There’s also the possibility of having a rotation of the pelvis and the lumbar spine. Push with your left foot, your right hand, rotate your pelvis to the right, and then you have a spring chorus.
So the springs make music, I suppose. Push with your right foot, pull with your left hand, and rotate your pelvis and lumbar spine to the right. Then, you can create a figure-eight, an infinity sign, organizing the ground forces of your feet and the ground forces of your hands along the bar. And after what we saw Gia do with the articulation of her ribs, you can add lateral translation and lateral flexion of your thorax. Most all of these you can practice with single-leg bridge, and Helia will make that all for you.
Okay, please, would you take this bar now? Okay. Got it. And thank you for that. We’ll see you in just a moment with Helia getting into these slings.
Now it’s Helia’s turn, and Gia and I will do the active observation and the cueing. So Helia, climb aboard here onto your knees and face the box so that we’ll put this over the top of your head. And this sling is going to come low around your pelvis for starters here. It may ride up, as I found, but we’ll come low around it. Now, when the yellow springs are rotated, this will come over the top of your head.
Your arms will come through, exactly, and this sling will snug around your lower ribs. Yep, now, you’ll come to lie on your back. Looks like an advanced yoga pose, but… With my feet up, correct? (Elizabeth giggles) That’s right, mm-hmm.
Yes. Now, the front of your heels will be on the cushioned edge of the box, and it’s probable that in order to keep this sling where it belongs, the springs will be on, around your inner thighs. So your feet might be just a little bit wider than your pelvis. So you find a place where you can feel secure. News to report?
I feel secure. (Helia and Elizabeth giggle) Okay then, good. Now, I’ll bring this bar down and take a hold of the bar with your hands wide apart on the bar. Exactly. Now, I’m going to keep my hand on the bar, at least for starters, good-oh.
And as you inhale, allow the bar to go towards the ceiling. Mm-hmm, as you do that, your scapula are sliding around your ribs, mm-hmm, and you have the stimulation of the sling around your lower ribs so that you can breathe laterally into, or move your ribs laterally into the sling. Now, as you exhale, slide your shoulders down, mm-hmm, and your hands move around the bar so that then the heels of your hands push the bar above your head. While you do that, settle the back of your lungs, the back of your ribs down, like that, towards the mat so that there’s an activation of the anterior oblique sling system. Now, keeping the back of your ribs in contact with the mat, slide your shoulders down, and broaden across your collarbones, and the bar goes up.
Mm-hmm. Leave the bar here for just a moment, and then lift your pelvis up in a bridge. Exactly. Is that all right with you? Mm-hmm.
Good. While you’re up, pull the bar down, mm-hmm, and push the bar high above the top of your head. So now it’s subtle, yet palpable. Now, the tissues of your ribs are being tugged to follow the bar, and the tissues around your pelvis are being tugged in the direction of the springs, the carabiner at the top, so you’re being tractioned a bit. Now, as you push the bar further above your head, descend the back of your ribs, the back of your lungs, the back of your lumbar region and the back of your sacrum, and then the bar bending your elbows, the bar comes through.
I got so fascinated with describing what’s coming down I got out of timing, so we’ll do this. As you exhale, pull the bar down, and pelvis comes up in a bridge. As you inhale, spine and region starts the descent. Mm-hmm, so there’ll be, continue this motion, there’s a wave-like motion through your spine that’s right, through your torso, your pelvis can start now. Delay the bending of your elbows, and as your sacrum arrives, the bar comes through, mm-hmm, so you decide, that’s right.
You can either have your arms to get a head start, and then your pelvis follows, or your pelvis to get a headstart, so to speak. And your arms follow. Do you have comments to make or news to report? The spring in the middle, is that in the correct place here, or should it be higher? I can bring it higher to your low ribs so you have a better support there.
Was it pulling you off like this? A little bit, yeah. Mm, that’s a really good point. Yes, mm-hmm. Yeah, thank you for bringing that up.
You see, I didn’t adjust the crossbar from the previous exercise that Gia showed to this one. Mm-hmm. And I see that the angle of the yellow springs is canted a little bit towards your pelvis. Mm-hmm. So it would be preferable if it were canted slightly this way.
Well, is that true? I’m not sure that it is. Maybe if I move up a little bit, then… I know, really. (Elizabeth laughs) When things don’t go well, change the environment.
That’s good. Now, you’ll lift your pelvis up in a bridge, and while you are up, translate your pelvis to the right. So pushing with your left foot, mm-hmm, and then translate, and Gia, now, we’ll go to the head end. So Helia, you continue this motion, pushing with your left foot. When you go to, there, you did a course correction.
It was my impression that when you shifted to translate, you also are rotating, which is the human condition. Mm-hmm. But as you shift to the right, when you shift to the left, the left, have the idea that your left ASIS is coming forward and up to the ceiling. Mm-hmm. Yes, and when you shift to the right, your right ASIS is going up towards the ceiling.
Mm-hmm. Is that a clarity there? Yeah. But, so you continue to watch from here, and then as you shift to the left, the left is over here, isn’t it? That would be your left.
(Helia laughs) Today and every day, your left here. So I’m suggesting that when you shift to the left… Mm-hmm. That you aim your left sitting bone towards your inner right heel. So it’s not a hip hike.
Mm-hmm. But it’s a lower side bend. Yes, like that. I see, I see. You do see.
Now, when you shift to the right, mm-hmm, press with your left foot, and aim your right sitting bone towards your inner left heel. Mm-hmm, it’s like a tilt of my hip. It is like that. It is like that. It would be, say, Helia suggested it was like a tilt, and that would be in order to counter, I’ll exaggerate a hip hike, (Helia and Gia laugh) which is much more common, but it doesn’t belong here.
(Helia and Gia laugh) Not here, not now. Some other time, maybe, but not here. Wonderful, good. Now, come to the midline, and then Gia, from the top down, give your impressions when you rotate. So now you’ll rotate, not translate, but you’ll rotate turning towards the ocean, mm-hmm, and then turning away from the ocean.
And what we’re looking for, Gia, is to organize around the midline during rotation, mm-hmm, and that can be indicative of a lot of different elements including a medial and lateral hip glide. Yes, beautiful. This side, there’s a little translation. Come and make a correction, and I’ll admire. Meanwhile, you’re setting a new record for being lifted in these slings.
(all laugh) Just bear with us, Helia. We have a lot to do here. That’s right, mm-hmm. So you can guide your right ASIS to the left, and you guide your left ASIS to the right. Good.
Coming down from here now, we’ll take a little intermission of, it’s not much of an intermission. Push the bar above your head, settle the back of your ribs and lungs, shrugging up towards your ears, and de-shrug, and coming through. Now, your dreams coming through. True, it’s figure-eight time. (all laughing) It’s like, whose dream was that?
Okay, so let’s see here. Coming up into your bridge, mm-hmm, and then organizing the push-pull with your hands, yes. This is an infinity sign, a figure-eight because with every step you take, your pelvis and your lumbar spine, they make figure-eights in all three planes, mm-hmm. And you wanted me to add the arms, or… Well, I think that you could have a more fulfilling push-pull relationship if you took the bar above your head.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm, good. You keep a hold there. Push with your left foot, rotate to the right. And what does that require?
And you can keep the bar up there. And essentially what you’re doing on the bar is… I see. These sort of shoulder shrugs, mm-hmm, yes. The more natural movement for when you’re walking.
I hope so. Just because I’m miked and Helia is not, there is, she mentioned that this is a more natural movement like when you’re walking. Yes. Should my ribcage be more in the tucked position? Yes.
The movement for the thorax is to be resting into the sling of the yellow springs. Okay. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Because… I see.
It’s, that requires an intensity of a rotation of the thorax towards the pelvis, so it does require an abdominal activation, a current, abdominal current, from the top-down. Mm-hmm. So bridging requires abdominal activation from the bottom-up, and this from the top-down. Yes. (Elizabeth giggles) There is the single-leg work now.
(Helia laughs) So bridging with single-leg comes next. Okay. Mm-hmm. While you’re up. Yes, just like that.
Alternate feet. Alternate legs, mm-hmm. Anchor, mm-hmm, yes. And put your right foot down. Now, prior to lifting your left foot, mm-hmm, aim your left ASIS towards the ceiling.
Mm-hmm. Because there’ll be a tendency if you lose the ground force, if you take the ground force away from your left side, there’ll be less stimulation to your left hip extensors, et cetera. And there’ll be a tendency to rotate towards that side. So anticipate that, aim your left ASIS to the right, and you can add the accompanying ground forces either with your hands here, or your arms above your head. So you anchor first, pull, push, lift, there you go.
Anchor, and then Gia, you are standing in the right place at the right time. Only just from a safety standpoint, if you were to stand here, keep your hand on the bar because we don’t have a safety bar and any Trapeze Table manufacturer would fire us, (Gia laughs) okay, which is, would be appropriate. Okay, so, but make sure that you can see right down the midline. Mm-hmm. Yes, it’s getting better.
And I’ve probably overstayed your welcome on this. Return to the ground. We’ll bring this through. You can let go of the bar. We’ll just note that I find from some clients that some clients prefer to have their feet on the Trapeze Table itself with the toes up against the box and they prefer this orientation.
It’s maybe not so high in terms of hip extension, mm-hmm. So that’s just an option that we didn’t explore, but we can’t keep you here all afternoon and into the evening while we still have (Helia laughs) sun. Okay, now, let’s get out of here. Pressed fully? Well, maybe.
(Helia laughs) Okay, so first of all, this is going to come away from your sacrum. You might miss it, or I don’t know. You might not. Okay, now turn to your right. Roll to your right, mm-hmm.
Oop, sorry. It’s okay. And there you have it. (all giggling) Let’s build on what we have seen Gia and Helia do. You’ll remember that Gia was doing her quadruped material in the two slings, and then Helia was doing her supported bridge with the two slings.
Now I’m using those same slings and same springs, but in a standing position so that the long purple sling is around the base of the pelvis, and the two long yellow springs around the thoracolumbar junction. Here, we’ll practice translation. So this is related to what you saw each of them practice, but now it’s time for full, well, is it full weight-bearing? No, really not full weight-bearing yet. It’s partial weight-bearing because the springs are supporting the volume of the pelvis and the volume of the thorax.
Now, organizing to the midline, there’s rotation, and at the moment, I’m demonstrating an oppositional rotation of the pelvis rotating towards the ocean and the thorax, the rib area rotating towards the camera, and away from the window, and vice versa. You’ll remember that these, the translation and the rotation, they were the preparations for figure-eights steering your knees forward over your second, third toes. There are many variations to do at the end of the Trapeze Table in sitting, sitting facing the table, sitting with the side to the table, and standing facing the table, side to the table, and back to the table. For those, I’ll refer you to the videos that I show in the lecture of part one of this session. Thank you so much for joining us, and thank you so much, Gia, and also Helia, for making it possible, really.
Just being with you, feeling your support and your interest, your fascination and your feedback, it means the world. Yes, because, you know, teaching this material through the pandemic, and teaching the “Oscillations Rejuvenation” on the mat, on Zoom, it’s so different from being with, as you know, (Elizabeth giggles) with real people, really responsive people, and thoughtful movers in the studio. So we send you our best, and hope that you will make this material your own because you own it now. This material is intended to improve the quality of life through movement of ease, breathing of ease, and calmness that may be very welcome for people who have experienced COVID, and are in the process of recovering, for people who still experience the lingering symptoms or signs of COVID, sometimes called long COVID. Also appropriate for clients who may have some chronic fatigue or autoimmune issues.
Most of all, the information is yours to integrate movement, thoughtful movement with breathing for everybody’s well-being. Thank you so much.