Join me in Newberg, OR at my Mindful Movement Workshops June 24 and July 1

Do you experience pain when you move from here to there? Do you remember when moving your body was easy? You want that back, but you don’t know where to start?

If you answer “yes” to those question, you are on the right page. I am so excited to be able to share with you in a  workshop setting the secret sauce of my Intelligent Movement Forever system.  This workshop series is designed for people like you, to teach you the secrets of how to get your body moving again without pain. These secrets will help you eliminate pain naturally, feel and look younger, improve balance, stability, and mobility, stand and sit taller, and increase your confidence and well-being.

My Mindful Movement Workshop is a 2-class series. Each class is scheduled from 10am-noon at Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, Oregon. The first class is on Saturday June 24. The second class is on Saturday July 1.  You can buy the series for $60 and register in advance at httpss://www.chehalemculturalcenter.org/adult/2017/6/24/mindful-movement-workshop.

See you there!

PS. Coming Soon! My new 90-day online course, MoveEasy101, scheduled to launch late summer, early fall. Please contact me at yogawithvia@gmail.com for details and ask me about the BETA version of this course, which will start sooner.

 

Movement RX for Plantar Fasciitis & Happy Feet

Movement RX for Plantar Fasciitis & Happy Feet

Do you experience pain in your heel or the bottom of your foot when you first get up in the morning? Or when you get up after sitting for a long time? You may have an inflammation or irritation of the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and support your arch.

This condition is called plantar fasciitis. Other symptoms include:

  • Heel pain gets better after a few steps but gets worse as the day progresses.
  • Heel pain increases when you climb stairs or stand on your toes or stand for long periods.
  • Heel pain goes away with exercise but returns when exercise is over.

Why does this painful condition happen? Basically, the bottom of the foot is experiencing extreme stress, which can occur for any number of reasons, some of which contradict each other.  Examples include: sitting too much, jogging too much, high arches, and flat arches.

Medical treatments like cortisone shots or orthotics can provide temporary pain relief, but they do not solve the underlying problem.

Here are a few barefoot exercises for the foot that will provide temporary and long-term pain relief from plantar fasciitis.  You don’t have to do them all. Pick a few that you like and make them part of your daily routine. These moves are also useful for anyone who wants to start taking better care of their feet, whether or not plantar fasciitis is an issue.

If you experience any pain during these moves, back off, slow down, or stop the move altogether. Moving into pain never creates the results you are looking for.

Lifestyle Changes:

  1. When you walk and stand and sit, keep your feet parallel and pointed forward. Make this a healthy habit.
  2. Align the big toes.
  3. The shoes you are wearing can contribute to plantar fasciitis. Do you wear flip-flops? High heels? Sneakers or sandals that squeeze your toes together or have a lot of height in the heel? Consider switching (gradually) to some kind of minimal shoes that will support the healthy movement of the muscles in your feet and legs. There are many minimal shoes on the market now. I like Lem’s boots and sneakers, but other brands are great too.

IMF Archives

Standing or Seated Toe/Footwork

Easy Top of Foot Stretch

  1. Seated or standing, Curl the toes of one foot underneath you and bring the top of that foot forward. Stretch the top of the foot for 60 to 90 seconds.
  2. You may need to put a blanket or a towel between the top of the foot that you are stretching and the floor.
  3. Repeat 3 times and then switch sides.
  4. The plantar fascia will go slack and give you some pain relief.
  5. This is easy to do first thing in the morning.
  6. Explore other times and locations where this easy stretch is readily available to you.

Easy Toe Spread

  1. Stand or sit with feet parallel and about hip width apart.
  2. Spread toes as wide as you can, keeping them flat on the ground.
  3. Create space between each toe.
  4. Repeat as often as you like, with or without shoes, throughout the day.

Easy Big Toe Lift

  1. Stand or sit with feet parallel and about hip width apart.
  2. Keeping all other toes on the floor, lift your big toes off the floor and lower them.
  3. Try to keep the big toes from going sideways as they lift.
  4. If this is difficult to do lift both big toes at once, lift one big toe at a time.
  5. Repeat 6 times.

Short Foot

  1. Seated, with both feet placed flat on the floor and pointing forward.
  2. Raise the arch of your foot by sliding your big toe toward the heel without curling your toes or lifting your heel.
  3. Hold for 6 seconds, then relax and repeat.
  4. Variation: Stand on one leg and create a “short foot.”
  5. Move feet farther away from you or turn foot inward or outward, to work slightly different muscles on the bottom of your feet.

Figure 4 ankle footwork:

  1. Sit in a chair in seated good posture, spine straight, sitting on the sitz bones, not the tailbone.
  2. Breath in, Breathe out. Be aware of breath and movement throughout this exercise.
  3. Lift the R knee toward the face, then bring that ankle to rest on the opposite L knee.
  4. Thread the fingers of your L hand between the toes on your R foot
  5. If threading the fingers is too hard, just hold onto the foot.
  6. If threading the fingers is available to you, wiggle your toes with your fingers while you do the following movements.
  7. Use your hand to make 6 ankle circles in one direction and then 6 in the other direction.
  8. Use your hand to flex and point your foot/toes 6 times.
  9. Switch sides and repeat.

Hamstring Stretch:

  1. Stand with feet parallel facing forward facing a wall about 2-1/2 or 3 feet from the wall.
  2. Fold at the hips.
  3. Then bring the arms forward and onto the wall.
  4. Make sure that the fold is a hip hinge with no rounding of the spine.
  5. Feel the stretch in the hamstrings and the armpits.
  6. Bend your knees and straighten them several times.

Bonus: Footwork with Props

Consider including these exercises, using props that I have available in my IMF online store.
  1. Calf Stretch on Half Round

I added Half Rounds to my IMF store because they are a great, inexpensive tool for stretching the calves. I have two half rounds dedicated to calf stretches at home. I place one on the floor in front of my kitchen sink and one on the floor in front of my bathroom sink, so I can stretch my calves often. Lay the flat side down on the floor with the rounded surface up.

  • Place the ball of your foot on the half round, keeping your heel on the floor (if this is too big a stretch, you can place a small towel under your heel).
  • Hold the stretch for 60 to 90 seconds or more.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

I use the half round to stretch my calves when am brushing my teeth, putting on make-up, washing dishes or preparing dinner. The calves are always tight and believe it or not tightness in the calves can not only affect the hips and the knees, but also the upper back and posture. Releasing your calves will help release the entire back body line.

2. Roll Model Therapy Ball Footwork Series

  1. Have one Original or Plus Roll Model Therapy Ball nearby. Or a tennis ball.
  2. Stand comfortably in Good Posture next to a chair, stool, or wall.
  3. Breathe In, Breath out. Watch your breath. Become aware of your body.
  4. Place your hand on the chair, stool, or wall, to help you balance. Start on the left.
  5. ARCHES: Step on top of the ball in the center of your arch. Keep your heel on the ground.
  6. Breathe in. Breathe out. 8 times. Allow your foot to wrap around the top of the ball.
  7. ANKLES: Move your ankle from side to side 8 times, smashing the ball as you move.
  8. HEELS: Roll the ball to the bottom of your heel and lock your toes on the ground. Press into the ball. Then move the ball from side to side briskly for approximately 30 seconds.
  9. MORE ARCHES: Place the therapy ball at the ball of your foot, keep your heel on the floor. Move the foot from side to side across the ball 8 times.
  10. MORE TOES: Squeeze your toes into the ball making a fist with your toes. Then spread and lift all 5 toes away from the ball. Repeat 5 times. Wrap your toes around the ball,
  11. BIG TOE: Move your big toe up & down without moving the other toes for about 10 seconds.
  12. Repeat on the left side.

Summing up 

I hope these moves will give you pain relief and create healthier feet and fascia for you.

Feel free to contact me at yogawithvia@gmail.com if you have any questions, to let me know about your results, or to schedule an appointment to work with me privately.

Call to Action

I invite you to join me to learn more about Intelligent Movement Forever at my Workshop, Creating a Pain-Free Yoga Practice, at Davannayoga, Tuesday, April 11, 4-7pm. This will be my last public event of the season before I leave Puerto Vallarta for Newberg, Oregon. Catch me while you can! Go to my website calendar at www.intelligentmovementforever.com

Also noteworthy: I am early in the process of developing a 90-day online course called MoveEasy 101, which will teach my Intelligent Movement Forever approach to moving better. At this stage of the development, it would be very helpful to take to people in my market population who might resonate with the idea and help me with early planning. Contact me at yogawithvia@gmail.com or 971 708 9261 (on whatsapp)  if you would be willing to have a 20-minute conversation with me about my ideas.

7 Tips for Creating Healthy Habits

7 Tips for Creating Healthy Habits

Via squatting with a chair

Via squatting with a chair

Dear Movers,

In this column, I am going to consider with you the possibility of creating a new healthy habit and how to do that. The topic arose for me, and now for you, when I started, but did not complete a 30-day squat challenge for myself on January 1 of this year and invited my friends and clients to join me.

Because I am well-aware of the benefits of squatting, I had hoped that I could create a new behavior pattern for myself. I wanted (and still want) squatting to become a habit, like flossing my teeth. Something I didn’t think about, but I did without thought. Cynthia Allen includes squats in her list of “7 Moves You Need for Graceful Moving” and points out that “Part of our developmental and evolutionary heritage is the ability to squat” and “Squats make every other function better.”

However, I must confess that I did not complete my own squat challenge. I had even set up a private Facebook support group and 10 people did join me in my journey. But my own resolve fell apart about mid-month, with the very real distraction of my husband’s hospitalization with a serious illness.

Things are smoothing out a bit now. I think I have more room to make this commitment and I started all over again on February 1st. And I became curious about how healthy habits are created and how I could help myself and others create a new habit, whether it be squatting or another healthy habit of their own choosing. Since I teach and practice intelligent movement, I am especially interested in how to create healthy habits that support more movement and more intelligent movement. But the same steps are available to anyone who wants to create a new habit.

A habit is something acquired by frequent repetition that you do regularly, often without knowing that you are doing it. It is a routine and habitual action without resistance or second-thought. Like brushing your teeth or flossing. I brush my teeth every day and I don’t even think about it. It’s just what I do. Originally, many years ago, I started brushing my teeth because my parents and my dentist told me it was good for me. Now brushing my teeth is a healthy habit. I do it without thinking about it. That is what I want squatting to become for me.

Our brain is very efficient. The brain likes to take a sequence of actions and convert them into an automatic routine, given the opportunity. When we repeat a behavior over and over, the brain moves that activity from thinking to non-thinking (habit) to free up more space in the thinking side of the brain for creativity. As a result, we all have lots of habits, both bad and good. We probably do more things unconsciously that we do consciously!

However, any habit that we now have can be replaced by overriding or replacing it with another habit. Buckminster Fuller says “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” This promise gives us real hope that we can decide to create a new, healthy habit, and be successful at doing so.

My current goal is to make daily squatting a habit that will happen without my thinking about it. In the name of self-care and self-love, I do not recommend starting or continuing a new habit challenge if a big distraction is on the scene. This journey, this commitment, should feel like fun, not overwhelm.

How long does it take for a new model of behavior to become a habit? Recent research says it takes an average of 66 days to create a new habit. However, the actual number of days that takes will depend on the individual and on the specific behavior that the individual chooses to create. Creating habits is easier for some than others. Researchers reported that, for some, habits formed in as little as 18 days and, for others, it took as long as 254 days. It took about 84 days for participants in a research study to form the habit of 50 sit-ups every morning.

I do not know how long it will take me to automate my squatting behavior, but I plan to repeat it consciously as long as needed until it become a new healthy, unconscious habit. It looks like will power is less involved in this project than science. I need to repeat the behavior enough times for it to become ingrained or embedded in my brain. I can tell you that, as of the date of the publication of this article, my squatting behavior has not yet become habitual. However, I am very excited to notice that, as the days go by, I am much more likely to remember mid-morning that I need to squat 10 times (or 20 times or 30 times). In the beginning, I had no internal clock on the subject. Something new is happening, for sure!

Here are 7 tips for creating of a new, healthy habit that I have gleaned from my research and my experience so far.

1. Choose a Behavior

Choose a new behavior that is important you, that will make a difference in the quality of your life. Choose one new behavior at a time. Remember that your goal is to repeat your behavior often enough to embed it into your unconscious as a regular, involuntary behavior. Describe your behavior in writing. This can be very brief. “I want to include squatting in my everyday behavior without thinking about it.”

2. Identify Its Reward

After you have described your behavior, write a list of the benefits that you expect by making this behavior a habit. Fill a page. Keep this page nearby as a reference and an inspiration during your habit-creating journey. It is important to pay attention to the rewards and benefits you expect from your new habit. Each time you practice your behavior, focus on how good it feels to do the behavior. If you need to, refer to your list of benefits and then find the feeling. Having a clear reward in mind is important in the formation of a habit. Noticing how good it feels while you do the new behavior will also help make it a reality.

3. Create a Cue

Attach your new behavior to an existing habit or pattern or a time of the day that will act as a cue for you. I have attached my squatting behavior to my morning routine, after I have breakfast. If you want to run every day, you don’t tell yourself you will run when you have free time because you know that you will always find something else to do. Instead, run every day at the same time. Set your shoes at the door to remind you to run. A habit doesn’t stand alone in your brain. It is woven in with a whole network of actions. If it is repeated enough, those actions start to happen on autopilot.

4. Repeat Every Day

Repeat your new behavior every day. Preferable at the same time. Early is recommended. Otherwise the day can get away from you. Daily repetition is the most effective schedule or creating an involuntary behavior.

5. Ask a Friend or Friends to Join You

Your journey will be easier and more fun if you invite others to join you and you can support and inspire each other. (But keep going even if they don’t.) You might want to create a private Facebook group. Report to your group or your friend each day. Be accountable. Help them be accountable. When you are trying to create change, it’s more fun when you do it with others. And you are more likely to stay motivated and keep going.

6. Track your progress

It will help you to stay on track if you record your progress each day starting at day 1. I developed a Healthy Habit 30-day Calendar for this purpose and it works really well for me. You can make one for yourself. Or contact me at yogawithvia@gmail.com and I will send you a digital version to download and print. It looks like this.

Healthy Habit 30-Day Calendar

Healthy Habit 30-Day Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see I started on February 1st. I think starting on the first of the month keeps things tidy, but this is not required. I recommend logging your behavior immediately after you do it. I increase the number of squats I do, every 10 days, but that is optional. Just for fun. Post your calendar where you can see it and watch the days grow. Remember, if it takes longer than 30 days for your behavior to become habitual, you will have to use a second calendar, or third, or…. Hopefully not more, but, as mentioned above, it will depend on your personality and the nature of the new behavior.

I also recommend that you also keep a journal of your thoughts and your progress. How you feel and how you move will change over the course of your practice. Focus on the positive aspects of your journey. Expand on them. Feel them as you are writing in your journal. What we pay attention to grows bigger.

7. Notice the Feel Good

Treat your new behavior as an act of self-care and self-love, not an obligation. Take time to appreciate the benefits of your new behavior, during this habit-creating practice and later when the behavior becomes a new involuntary habit. Refer to your list of benefits often.

Become totally immersed in your new behavior while you are doing it. Pay full attention to your breath and the behavior. Appreciate how good it feels. Notice and appreciate how good it makes you feel. Remember that what you pay attention to grows bigger.

Talk generously to yourself about your new behavior. “I can do this.” “I am very good at this.” “I feel good when I do this.” “This is easy for me.” “This is fun.” “I can sustain this.” I am already reaping the benefits of my new behavior.” “I am looking forward to reaping even more benefits when this becomes my new healthy habit.” Say what is true for you right now. This kind of loving, self-talk will support you in your journey and create a bridge to your destination. On the other hand, any language of self-doubt or resistance will have the opposite effect.

8. Keep Going

If you miss a day, keep going. If you miss a lot of days, start over. If after 30-days, your new behavior is not yet an involuntary habit, start the 30-days again. Remember you desire to incorporate this new behavior into your daily life, as regular as breathing, as regular as brushing your teeth, and with little or no thought. As Christopher Reeve says: “At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.” Keep going until your new behavior becomes inevitable, and habitual!

Summary

Thank you, Dear Readers, for letting me drop into your lives for a little while. I hope that the information I shared in this column will help you get started if you want to create a new healthy habit. If I can answer any questions, please contact me at yogawithvia@gmail.com or devnew.intelligentmovementforever.com.

My mission is to help people unlock their intelligent, pain-free movement for better performance and healthy longevity. I help my students and clients pay attention to how they move and breath and nurture what works and quiet what doesn’t. I would love to hear from you if that strikes a chord.
I offer individual private sessions in my home studio in Col. Versalles, in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX and online for 500 pesos. I can also come to your villa, resort, or condominium for 700 pesos per session. Contact me by email at yogawithvia@gmail.com or online at httpss://bookappointmentwithvia.setmore.com/ to book a session or comment below.

As you and I both know, health is wealth and movement is medicine,

Yours in Good Health,

 

Via

Check out my IMF online store for Christmas stocking stuffers!

Dear Mover Lovers and Holiday Shoppers,

Would you like to give the gift of healthier movement this year? I have some ideas for you.

This year I added an IMF online store where I am selling a few items, hand-picked by me, that will support your healthy movement or….. the healthy movement of your friends and family. Most of them are small enough to be stocking stuffers, while a few will need to sit under the Christmas tree. All of them will help the user move better and feel better. What better gift than that!

Here is my list and commentary.

  1. Wearable Lumbar Stability Ball. $40.00USD. This is my favorite. My clients and students love the LSB too. My husband, John, and I developed the LSB to provide lumbar support for me while I rode as a backseat passenger on his Spyder (a three-wheel motorcycle). It worked. I rode 9,000 miles across the country and back in 2014. I’ve been riding ever since. But I would ride without my LSB. Lower back pain is epidemic. The LSB provides lumbar support whenever and wherever you are sitting: at the office, at a restaurant, on a motorcycle, etc. I’ll be you know someone who could use one!
  2. Half Foam Calf Stretcher. $11.99USD.. This Half Foam is a simple, effective way to keep stretching the caves. I have one at my kitchen sink and one at my bathroom sink, so I can stretch my calves whenever I am brushing my teeth or cooking dinner or washing dishes. My calves are addicted to these stretches, which are also good for the feet and ankles. I have a client who has completely eradicated her plantar fasciitis using the half foam calf stretcher. Stretching your calves every day is committed self-care. Help your friends and family help themselves by getting them a half foam calf stretcher!
  3. Alpha Therapy Balls. $26.99USD. The ALPHA TWIN Set is my favorite size (3.5″ diameter) of The Roll Model Self-Massage Therapy Balls by Yoga Tune Up. The Alpha Balls can be used as a pair or singly on the floor or against the wall to relieve stress, unwind knots, and loosen locked muscles. I use these therapy balls in my own private practice and in my private sessions. Your purchase will also include an IMF Guide for using the Alphas to release neck and jaw tension. This sequence is easy to learn, amazingly delicious and may finally resolve Forward Head Posture, TMJ, headaches, and insomnia. And these balls can also be used along the spine, QL, IT band, hips, butts, upper back, and other large muscle mass. Alpha Therapy Balls are the perfect stocking gift for friends and family.
  4. Thoracic Mobility Strips. $24.99USD. If you want to help your friends and family reverse postural issues with a very simple tool, consider Thoracic Mobility strips. Instructions for using the strips is included. Laying on your back with two TMC strips stacked evenly vertically along the upper back will release the upper back between the shoulder blades (scapulae). Most people hold tension in this region and it is hard to release. Help your friends and family create an environment for releasing upper back tension.release. Help them create better biomechanics in the upper back, shoulders, and down the arms. In addition to improving posture, Using TM strips also helps with breath. They are a simple tool, easy to use, and have a big impact.
  5. Plus Therapy Balls. $14.99USD. I added these YTU Therapy Balls to my online store because I had a client who had a breakthrough using these balls to release tension in her buttocks, which in turn, relieved her lower back pain. She liked them better than the larger Alpha Therapy Balls I was already selling. The Plus Therapy Balls measure about 2 3/4″ in diameter. They cover more surface area than the original Therapy Balls and add height to obtain a greater depth of pressure. (The bigger the diameter, the greater the depth of pressure.) I like the Plus Therapy Balls better than the Alpha Balls for footwork. Otherwise, choosing between Alpha and Plus is really a personal preference. If you buy both for pairs, you can’t go wrong. Instructions for footwork using the Plus therapy balls is included.

     I hope that this list inspires you to give a gift that keeps on giving, supporting your friends and family to move better and feel better.

     PLEASE NOTE: Since I spend 6 months in Oregon and 6 months in Puerto Vallarta and since I am in Puerto Vallarta right now, shopping at my online store will depend on where you live.

     If you live in Oregon or anywhere in the US,  the IMF online store is up and running while I am out the country. Just click on the buy button and follow the instructions.

      If you live in Puerto Vallarta.  I am not able to ship items internationally. But you can contact me locally. I brought a few these items down to PV so you can also purchases items from my IMF store by contacting me at yogawithvia@gmail.com. I am also selling gift certificates for private IMF sessions. Contact me for more information.

      Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you are celebrating and sending you the very best wishes for a Happy New Year. I am so grateful for my own good health and the opportunity to help all of you move better and feel better.

Health is Wealth and Movement is Medicine

Via