The world is currently in the grip of a major health crisis. The corona virus has caused more disruption than any other event I can remember in my lifetime. Staying healthy right now is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but the more we worry about getting sick, the less capable our immune system is to deal with the virus.
The trouble here lies with cortisol, often called the stress hormone. Cortisol inhibits your lymph system which is a key player in fighting off viruses, so in order to stay healthy in stressful times, stress management is a really powerful tool. Here some of the tools for stress management I’ve found work best for me and my clients.Read More
Last weekend I was lucky enough to train with the Russian martial artist and systema master Vladimir Vasiliev alongside other teachers and students from all over the UK and even further afield. The workshop was looking at ‘the Structure of Systema’, for two days we practiced some of the fundamentals of the enigmatic martial art.
One of the most inspiring ideas for me came from a few words Vladimir said as we were working on walking relaxed centered way. He would demonstrate with a student in the middle of the hall, talk them through some of the Systema breathing principles and say “Okay, now move”. The first few times as the student began to walk he called them back, “No no, you took a step. Don’t step, just move”…
Alot of body work, yoga and exercise largely focuses on the soft tissues of the body – stretching and strengthening the muscles, releasing the fascia and even massaging the internal organs. Whereas the bones, the underlying structure of the body often get less attention. They can be more difficult to sense, often deeper under the skin and often culturally considered inert, associated with death as opposed to the lively nature of flesh. An awareness of the skeleton however, in particular the joints and the blurry boundary between muscle, connective tissue and bone can have huge benefits for health and movement.
I sometimes think that one of the reasons the ecological destruction of this planet has been allowed to advance this far is that as a species we have become largely oblivious to the reality of the world around us. In fact maybe this ignorance could go beyond enabling the degradation of our habitat to being a driving force behind it. Read More
“Proprioception:- from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual”, and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement” – Physiology of behaviour.
Despite not being in my word processor’s dictionary, proprioception is perhaps our most ever present sense – were you for some reason floating weightless in a pitch black, silent, dark and scentless chamber you would still be receiving constant sensory feedback from within your own body. We could not function without it and yet we take the fact that we can feel our own body’s internal movement very much for granted. Research is beginning to show however that some of us are much better at it than others. Also that some of us are much more adept at feeling some parts of our bodies than other parts, and that we can even lose this sense completely from some parts of our bodies. In fact most people today suffer from some degree from what Thomas Hanna called ‘sensory motor amnesia’ or the loss of the sense of what it is we are actually doing with ourselves. Read More
“Put your feet in the air and your head on the ground, try this trick and spin it, yeah? Your head will collapse… there’s nothing in it and you ask yourself ‘where is my mind?’” – The Pixies.
Or even what is it for starters? The word we use stems from the old english gemynd meaning thought or memory. Today, however, the word has perhaps taken on more responsibility. In the Oxford dictionary mind is described as “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.” To me the subtle but key part is that of the minds ability ‘to think, and to feel’.