Thursday, October 21, 2010

Learning is Like a Sun Tan

When I get out in the sunshine, I like to stand with my face directly in the sun. I like to feel the heat and light changing my blood and my mood. I don’t have to work at feeling the good vibes or producing vitamin D, or getting color. It’s natural, and it just happens. The process of learning is very much like this. You open up to your environment, you give yourself time for exposure, and the knowledge effortlessly soaks in. You tap into “big mind,” the space where creativity, possibility, and beingness are present and interdependent.

If you want to learn something new, you just need to point yourself in the direction of that learning. You will receive the teaching just like you receive the sunlight. You get hot. You feel better. You’re drawn to the subject like a plant always turning toward the sun. There is no “small mind” reaction, no question about whether or not you can learn, what your capacity might be, or whether or not you can retain knowledge or regurgitate it. Like a sunflower, your system is heliotropic, constantly turning toward new knowledge for the purpose of being alive.

For me, Pilates and yoga, really any kind of physical activity is like getting into the sunshine. I am automatically thrust into learning mode because I am using “big mind” through observing, experiencing and acting and abandoning “small mind” with its punitive or critical agenda. Although that might seem complicated, it’s so very simple, and so very straightforward. The secret to having a great movement practice, a great life, and a great tan is exactly the same--repeated exposure in a sunny state of mind.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Breath of Life: Part 2 of 2

According to Patanjali, the founder of yoga, the benefit of the yogic breathing practices is to destroy the veil that hides us from our inner light. Not everyone includes the pursuit of enlightenment on the checklist of his or her personal aspirations, but the possibility of self-development is present each time he or she inhales.

In Dr. Fulford’s Touch of Life published in 1997 by Dr. Fulford, a ninety-one-year-old osteopath, cites a study by Henry Truby, PhD, that confirms the unique role of breath in the human experience.

“Dr. Truby completed a study of 1500 spectographic analyses, recording the moment of the child’s first cry, and followed up with studies of those children through their first seven years of maturation. In doing so, he was able to obtain the pattern of the growth and development of each child’s personality. After assimilating his results, Dr. Truby declared that he could determine, from the baby’s first breath or cry, that particular baby’s personality, its weaknesses and the degree of its health and wellbeing.”

If Truby is right, our first breath is like a fingerprint determining the swirls and patterns of our emotional life that we can then observe and transform through the remainder of our respiratory experience.

Breath is poetic—our source of inspiration—but it is also functional. Breathing is the combination of ventilation, drawing air in, and circulation, moving the molecules of nourishment and waste to and from our cells. The process of respiration is an automatic one—we don’t have to remember to breathe—but the quality and efficiency of our inhalations and exhalations can be improved through attention and practice.

From a Western medical point of view (see Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain), we can assist respiration function in the following ways:

· Reduce fear (lessening shallow breathing associated with anxiety)

· Improve relaxation (decreases O2 consumption and relaxes overused accessory muscles)

· Improve posture (creates balanced musculature in chest)

· Improve strength and endurance of respiratory muscles (increases O2 use in muscles, improves endurance and abdominal fitness, and creates greater strength for expiration)

· Improve coordination (coordinated movements use less oxygen to improve routine tasks)

· Improve overall fitness (cardiovascular exercise strengthens ventilatory capacity and efficiency)

· Reduce weight (obesity requires three times more oxygen cost for regular activity)

From an Eastern/yogic point of view, breathing practice or pranayama is an opportunity to still the mind in preparation for meditation. Prana, the first part of pranayama is usually translated as life force, which in humans roughly corresponds with the breath. When our life force is steady, direct, and uninterrupted our mind is calm and able to engage in deeper states of consciousness. Breath and meditation practices lead toward greater feelings of connection, which in turn, lead to freedom from fear and anxiety. One becomes confident, intuitive, and energized in all aspects of life.

Breathing wasn’t always the wonder that inspired the ancients to enlightenment, at least if you believe in evolution. When we made the move from the ocean to the earth, we needed to adapt from the fish bowl to the air conditioning. Gills would no longer suffice: we would need to run 150 miles an hour all the time to properly oxygenate (Eric Franklin, Strength Conditioning for Dance). Instead we needed an indoor solution and found one with the advent of the lungs and diaphragm. Unfortunately, they were not without their engineering problems. The lungs needed space to expand without organs encroaching on their real estate. The diaphragm became the holy divider motoring the respiration process and confining the organs. Also, the abdominal muscles took over for the low-lying ribs to create a flexible cavity for the organs to rise and descend.

In addition, the body can recruit any of the muscles attached to the ribs as aides des camp to the diaphragm and lungs to influence the mechanics of breathing. The table below is a primer of muscles available to assist in inhalation and exhalation. Of the more than 20 primary and accessory muscles listed in Muscles: Testing and Function, almost all have a postural component. These muscles must be able to help support the skeletal structures of the ventilatory pump and to generate pressures that ensure continued adequate gas exchange of the alveoli.

Muscles of Respiration:

Inspiratory Muscles



Levator costarum

External intercostals

Internal intercostals





Serratus Anterior

Serratus Posterior Superior

Pectoralis major

Pectoralis minor

Latissimus Dorsi

Erector Spinae thoracic


Expiratory Muscles


Internal Obliques

External Obliques

Rectus abdominis

Transversus Abdominis


Latissimus Dorsi

Serratus posterior inferior

Quadratus Lumborum

Illiocostalis Lumborum

That said, the big guns of respiration, the diaphragm, intercostals, and abdominal muscles deserve their due. The following descriptions were adapted from Trail Guide to the Body, which has wonderful illustrations for body workers of any kind. I highly recommend using visual aids while reading the information below. Note: I’ve also added some exercises (EX!) to bring the words to life. The more you can image and experience the structures and processes going on inside of you, the more possible it is to increase the efficiency of those processes and to perceive them in others.


Domed sheet of combined muscle and tendon with vertical fibers separating the thorax from the abdomen. The diaphragm creates inhalation when its muscle fibers contract and pull the central tendon down. Because the central tendon is attached to the connective tissue that surrounds the lungs, a vacuum is created in the upper thoracic cavity pulling the air into the lungs. On exhalation, the muscle fibers of the diaphragm relax, releasing the central tendon and allowing the lungs to deflate.

Shaped like: An umbrella, jellyfish, dome, liver condom

Action: Draw down the central tendon of the diaphragm, Increase the volume of the thoracic cavity during inhalation

Origin: Costal attachment: Inner surface of lower six ribs, Lumbar attachment: Upper two or three lumbar vertebrae, Sternal attachment: inner part of the xiphoid process

Insertion: Central tendon


· Motor supply: phrenic nerves (C3-C5)

· Sensory supply: centrally by phrenic nerves (C3-5), peripherally by intercostals nerves (T5-T11), and subcostal nerves (T12)

EX! Feeling the costal cartilage:

Palpate the inner border inside the front of the ribs. Let your exhalations relax the tissue so that you can get your fingers up and under the costal cartilage. For some, this might induce nausea, so be gentle! See if you can sense the vertical direction of the diaphragm fibers. After feeling your way around the front portion of your diaphragm, observe the quality of your breath for any change.

EX! Feeling the crura:

Bear down as though you are defecating. You will feel the crura pull along your lumbar vertebrae. These are the finger-like tendons that anchor your diaphragm as you inhale.

Intercostal Muscles

· External Intercostal Muscles run in the same direction as the external obliques, function to lift the ribs during inhalation, or contract isometrically to keep the ribs from collapsing in on themselves when diaphragm draws air into lungs

· Internal Intercostal muscles, run in a right angle to the external intercostals and pull the ribs together and down for exhalation. Putting on the brakes in expiration is very important in singing.

EX! Feeling the intercostals:

Lie on back with legs in constructive rest position—knees bent and resting against one another with feet flat on the floor. Breath out on a SSSSS sound, hissing like a snake. The intercostals contract as you hiss and then relax. You might feel heat inside your ribs and a profound sense of ease.

Abdominal Muscles

  • Internal Obliques
  • External Obliques
  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Transversus Abdominis (TA)

Primary function is in forced exhalation. The Transversus Abdominis is interwoven with diaphragm and has a reciprocal relationship. As the diaphragm contracts on the inhalation, the TA relaxes. As the diaphragm relaxes on the exhalation, the TA contracts. This is why many exercise disciplines encourage exertion on the exhalation, because the breath has already stabilized the organs.

EX! Feeling abdominals muscles:

Cough as though you are in a theatre. Feel the deep abdominal muscles rapidly contract. Breathe as though you were fogging a mirror, Feel how the TA accompanies all of respiration. Ujjai pranayama (ocean breath) also makes us aware of the TA.

EX! Telling the story of respiration:

Read the following descriptions of inhalation and exhalation. Attempt to feel as much of the process as you can.

When we inhale, the diaphragm and intercostals help to increase the thoracic area, creating a vacuum. The negative pressure between the pleural membranes forces the lungs to expand. Air gushes inside the lungs filling the alvioli. Oxygen, carried by that air, diffuses into the blood vessels through the alviolar walls and carbon-dioxide returns from the blood vessels into the alvioli. All this happens within the time period between inhalation and exhalation.

When we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and returns to its normal structure decreasing the thoracic volume. The internal intercostal muscles contract, releasing the ribs to their smallest state. As the thoracic volume decreases, the lungs are forced to contract. The air in alvioli is pushed outside through the bronchioles, bronchus and finally out by nasal cavity.

EX! Feeling the lungs:

The lungs are mostly composed of air 50% before inhalation 80% after inhalation. If you slap the chest the sound is hollow and higher pitched versus the abdomen where the sound is lower pitched and flat. Hold the nose, puff out the cheeks and swallow gulps of air. Do this for as long as you can, then let the glottis go. You will feel your lungs deflate.

While it is important to understand the basic structures and functions of breathing, there are many other factors that influence the quality and efficiency of our breath, such as:

· Disease: Breathing is different with chronic conditions like asthma, COPD, and exposure to pollution

· Location: altitude profoundly affects breath

· Emotion: breathing is different when sobbing, laughing, or experiencing depression

· Activity: breathing is different when meditating or running a marathon

· Autonomic vs. Somatic control of breathing: breathing is different when we’re paying attention to it versus when it’s just happening

To address these various influences, the body recruits the breathing apparatus in three basic patterns:

· Abdomino-diaphragmatic breathing (relaxed or belly breath)—pure movement of the diaphragm with little expansion in the thoracic cavity. Easy to experience supine. Can facilitate release of thoracic accessory muscles that impede thoraco-diaphragmatic breath

· Thoraco-Diaphragmatic breath—abdominal cavity fixed, expansion happens at rib cage.

o Empowered—active breathing during movement, especially when CV system is stimulated

o Constricted—chest breathing using auxiliary respiratory muscles, exhausting and stimulates sympathetic nervous system, breath this way when you’re full, strains heart because you are preparing to run

· Paradoxical—reverse breathing, feels like diving into an icy pool, very stressful gasping breath, anxiety is usually an issue for paradoxical breathers

Ideally, during movement, we would engage in thoraco-diaphragmatic breathing with particular awareness of the back body expanding upon inhalation and the rib cage releasing on exhalation. But as you can imagine there are a tangle of physical, emotional, and physiologic influences. The following exercises help to increase awareness and support for the breathing process.

EX! Lung exercise:

Upper lung—place fingers on upper border of scapula and heel of hand on collarbone. Breath into upper lobe of lung.

Middle lung—place fingers on side of scapula and heel of hand on ribs, breath into the side body

Posterior lung—bring hand behind the body and breath into the back lung

Observe which aspect of the lung you favor and see if you can bring three dimensionality to the breath.

EX! Crura conditioning: Place a rolled up towel under the crura. Start in a sit up position, visualize the abdominals lengthening as you slowly roll back. Return to the starting position and feel the abdominals shortening. Extend back and visualize the crura lengthening. Inhale rise and visualize the crura supporting the movement. Repeat four times and then rest.

EX! In any yoga posture, as, “Where am I holding? Where am I expanding?” Follow the body. When there is a disconnect, the mind/body connection has been broken.

If you’ve read and completed the various awareness exercises, you may find that your breathing has shifted. You may be more aware of your breath and you may be able to follow the breathing into the deepest recesses of yourself. The more you allow breath work into your movement practice, the more freedom and fluidity you will feel in all aspects of your life. Knowing more about the structures and functions involved in breathing will help you to visualize and embody the breathing process more fully.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Neutral Pelvis: Finding Comfort with your Curves

Remember the days of sit-ups past, where a fitness teacher instructed you to flatten your back into the mat and crunch, crunch, crunch? The reason you were told to do this, if you recall, was to protect your low back. Isn’t it ironic, then, that millions of collective curls later, we have become a nation of back pain sufferers?

So let’s examine the premise that flattening one’s back into the mat “protects” the low back, and see the logic and limitations of this method. Last week, I described and lauded the Pelvic Tilt as a means to developing a relationship with your lower abdominal region. Just as your fitness instructor told you, pressing your back into the mat does have a strengthening effect on the lower fibers of the rectus abdominus (the six pack muscle), provided that the flattening motion occurs through abdominal effort rather than pushing with the legs. For those who are particularly weak in their lower abs, flattening the low back is important and effective for developing awareness and strength. However, our culture is so focused on midriff tone that we ignored what was going on in the back body while our front body was getting ripped.

Most of our muscles work in pairs (or complexes) that aid and support movement. While one muscle contracts on one side of the body to make our bones move (the agonist), another muscle on the other side of the body stretches (the antagonist) to allow for that movement. A clear example of this is the bicep/tricep relationship in our arms. Pick up a sack of groceries, and you can feel the front of the arm contract. Now, keep holding up those groceries, and feel the back of the arm. Notice that it, too, is moving, but it is elongating to allow for the arm to bend.

Our abdominal muscles and our back muscles have a similar, albeit more complicated, relationship. When we did daily crunches with our backs pressed into the mat, our abdominal muscles were shortening and becoming tight. But our back muscles weren’t just standing at the ready—they were elongating to make space for the trunk to move. Crunch after crunch we were over stretching our low back muscles and tightening our front muscles creating a very unhealthy postural habit of tucking the pelvis in stance. Our natural lumbar curve was gradually diminishing and our spinal discs were bearing an unusual load. Combine weakened back muscles with hours of sitting at the computer and voila! Back problems.

Enter the concept of “Neutral Pelvis”—a vexing Pilates term that new practitioners have trouble understanding. Instead of doing all of that crunching with our spines in a consistently lengthened position, modern Pilates theory posits that doing those same small crunches while maintaining our natural lumbar curve allows our back muscles and our abdominal muscles to tone together as they would in stance. And, though not covered this week, maintaining a neutral pelvis throughout a variety of movements (not just endless sit-ups) provides a functional foundation for core support.

To find neutral pelvis:
• Start by pelvic tilting for a few minutes.
• Feel the outer ranges of your back arching and flattening.
• Come to the center where you are half way between your arch and your flat back.
• Place the heels of your hands on your hip bones and your fingers angled in on your pubic bone. If you are in neutral pelvis, these three bones will be on the same plane. Your fingers will not be above or below your palms. In other words, if you were to lay a pane of glass on your hip bones and pubic bone, it would be level.

Once you have achieved neutral pelvis, interlace your fingers and bring your hands behind your head (to support your head and neck). Try lifting your head, neck and chest off the mat (keeping your low ribs on the mat) and see if you can maintain neutral pelvis. If you are not used to doing this, it will seem counterintuitive, but I urge you to keep going. You will begin to feel a different sort of abdominal contraction that starts at the base of the body (the pelvic floor) and engages the muscles between your pubic bone and belly button without compressing the area under your sternum. One sign of success is that there will be an intense core sensation without restricting your breath. You will be able to maintain a gentle curve in your low back toning your back extensors without strain. And you will begin to feel this tone when you are standing and walking.

Now you have two exercises you can perform on your own to build basic core strength:
• Pelvic Tilts
• Chest Lifts

I encourage you to practice both this week in preparation for next week’s discussion of the breath.

The Breath of Life: Part 1 of 2

Once upon a time, for a very short period of time, you were alive without breath. When you were born there was a period of seconds, maybe even a minute, where you were in transition between an aqueous and an airborne state. Either peacefully on your own, or with some intense stimulation, you inhaled your very first breath. The air inflated your infant lungs like a sheet in the wind. Still high from the post-delivery adrenaline rush, you put forth your first vociferous cry: “Here (or hear) I am. “

Your parents and everyone in the delivery room were nervous or even fearful that your little blue self might not turn pink. Instead of calm, anticipation, the moment that your lungs inflated might well have been a moment of fear for your parents, which may have lead to careful monitoring of you in your crib and benign checks to make sure you were still breathing. It is interesting to consider what if any impressions you may have of your first breath, what stories you may have been told about it, and what emotions even reading or thinking about it calls up.

For most of us breath is not something we think about and when we do it can conjure funny feelings that may relate back to our first breath. Comments like “I don’t know how to breathe” or “I can’t breathe” or “I’m not sure if I’m doing it right” suggest that the intensity around our first attempt to oxygenate stays with us and informs our relationship to our life force or what the yogi’s call “prana.”

Practice Opportunity 1: Breath Awareness
Take a moment now to observe your breath. Probably reading those words produced a shift in your inhalations and exhalations to suit your image of what good breathing feels like, so see if you can go back to your regular breath. Notice where you feel movement in the body and where you feel stillness. Observe whether your breath feels easy or labored, deep or shallow, relaxed or tense. This is your normal breathing climate which acts like your personal weather channel, reporting on a second to second basis what it’s like in the emotional/physical/spiritual biosphere of your body. What did you find?

Practice Opportunity 2: Deep-Three Part Breath
Now lie down on the floor on your back. You may want a bit of cushioning under your head to promote relaxation or under your knees if your low back is tender. Let the breath roll in more deeply and feel the movement of your body in relationship to the floor. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest and continue to breathe. Notice if you are able to feel movement in both locations. Now imagine that the breath is like water and your body is like a pitcher. As you inhale, fill the pitcher from the bottom to the top inflating your belly first and then your ribs feeling a lift all the way up to the collarbones. As you exhale, empty from the top down, softening the collarbones, releasing the ribs, and gently drawing in the belly. Continue to breathe like this for a few minutes and then relax back into your normal breath.

Three-part breath cultivates awareness of how much of the body is consumed by the breathing process. When our breath is free and easy we can feel wavelike oscillations all the way to the toes. Our mind becomes calmer, and our lungs begin to inflate more fully.

Practice Opportunity 3: Pelvic Tilt with Breath Awareness
• Lie on the floor once and again and begin the Pelvic Tilt exercise you learned in the first installation of this series.
• As you inhale, arch the back creating more space below the low back. You will feel expansion throughout the torso.
• As you exhale, flatten the back. You will feel the ribs soften and the low belly muscles contract. See if you can contract the muscles inside the body (pelvic floor muscles) and along the line of your pubic bone without restricting the area at the base of your ribs or at your waistline.
• Observe the feeling of low belly contraction when you are not clenching the diaphragm area below the ribs.

Take this week to practice these three exercises and begin to make observations about your breath in daily life. I purposely chose not to talk about the mechanics of breathing just yet because I want you to rejoice in your experience. If you are around children or pets, notice how breath overtakes their body and how the quality of their breathing shifts depending on their emotions and environment. Open yourself up to rewriting the story of your first breath, shifting from anticipation to exhilaration and see what that does to your state of mind.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the mechanics of breathing and how that relates to core support.

The Pelvic Tilt: The World’s Most Underappreciated Exercise

The pelvic tilt is, by far, one of the most effective warm ups for the core I’ve ever done. I became a great fan of the pelvic tilt when I inadvertently spent fifteen minutes arching and curling my spine before a Pilates class. It is very easy to compensate for weak lower abdominal muscles by over-taxing the back, clenching the fronts of the thighs, or tightening the ribs. The pelvic tilt helps to reveal these ineffective patterns, making way for a much deeper, internal sense of the core.

Here’s the exercise:

• Lie on your back with your feet on the mat and knees in the air.
• Let your thighs soften and relax.
• Let your feet connect to the mat and ground evenly.
• Slowly, on an inhalation, arch the low back increasing the natural space between the lowest ribs and the tailbone (lumbar curve).
• Slowly, on an exhalation, flatten the back into the mat using just the muscles of the pelvic floor (the sling at the base of the pelvic bones that contains the bladder and anal control muscles) and the lower abdominal muscles between the pubic bone and the belly button.
• Continue undulating between your arch and flattened low back for several minutes until you feel the back relax and the deep core muscles contract and heat up.

The feeling of intense abdominal connection is not like the ache you might remember from doing a hundred crunches. There is a strengthening quality to the movement, but also a simultaneous relaxation of many neighboring muscles that are unneeded to perform this simple action. One of wonderful side benefits is that the more relaxed your low back becomes when you flatten the lumbar curve, the more your deep abdominal muscles have to engage. Over time you will begin to see how your low back and your belly work together to support your spine. But I digress…

Backing Into Pilates

Pain cut through the morning silence. My back ached and my left leg was lit up like a live wire. Breathing was difficult: moving, impossible. I knew immediately that I had inherited the family curse—I had herniated a disc in my lumbar spine.

It took three days before I could get off the floor and into the doctor’s office. Though my mobility had mostly returned, the pain was constant and numbness in my left foot made my gait unsteady. I was familiar with these symptoms because my mother had three discs removed from her spine in the eighties. I had watched her downward spiral for the two years prior to the surgeries and her slow post-operative recovery. This was not a future I looked forward to.

The doctor sent me for an MRI, which returned questionable results. A minor protrusion seemed present at L5/S1, but it was unclear whether the disc was pressing on the left nerve root. The doctor suggested a cortisone shot and a check up in six months. No one was mentioning surgery, but the specter of my mother’s experiences loomed large. I was only 20 and not ready for the kind of consequences she faced: arthritis, further surgeries, immobility and chronic pain.

I scheduled the shot and prayed. I hurt so much that I couldn’t carry my textbooks to and from class. Sitting was agonizing. During lectures, I would either stand in the back of the classroom or lay on the floor when I became too exhausted. I couldn’t move much, save for the hour a day I would spend swimming laps in the college pool. I was told not to do this—the side-to-side motion of the crawl would cause further injury—but I couldn’t bear the stasis. I was simultaneously fit and disabled—a very strange place to be.

Sadly, the cortisone shot offered no relief. I went back to the doctor after six months and surveyed my options. He told me I was a likely candidate for surgery. I asked if I could try physical therapy and he reluctantly gave me a prescription. The sessions consisted of electro-stimulation, followed by traction, and a few take-home exercises. Afterward, I would feel briefly elongated and then descend into ever-more intense pain. I went religiously three times a week for three months before giving up. My chart read: “Patient enthusiastic. Progress, minimal.”

At the nine-month mark, I haunted the library stacks in search of information. Statistics abounded regarding the poor success rate of back surgery. Patients who had had surgery fared much the same as patients who waited a year with no treatment. At my age, the wait-and-see approach was the obvious choice, but I was having a hard time holding it together. Without the aid and support from friends, I don’t think I could have survived.

During my investigation, I came across Joseph Pilates’ original mat series. Pilates was very much a part of the modern dance community, but was not widely known in other circles. After my first attempt at the exercises, I suffered a serious setback. Even though I had always been an active person, I wasn’t very core-connected. I didn’t understand how to use the triumvirate of musculature—the deep abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and paraspinal muscles—required to stabilize my spine. My low back took over and I strained it as soon as I attempt to perform the hundreds.

I was lucky that I had friends in the dance community who directed me to an instructor with expertise and compassion. I first studied with a dancer and teacher who had extensive experience in Pilates and Body-Mind Centering. Her approach was rehabilitative and focused on helping me stabilize my spine. Cathie Caraker was a caring instructor who encouraged me to keep moving and exploring my relationship to my body. She offered far more than Pilates—she offered movement education, which helped forge a connection with my body that would serve me through many physical passions. Within three months, I was pain free.

It was years later that I decided to become a Pilates and Yoga instructor. The “cure” that I found as a young person morphed into a deep-rooted curiosity about the process of physical transformation. During my back pain episode, friends and family were crucial support systems, but the healing journey was ultimately my own. Pain, in the broadest sense, was an indicator that something needed to shift in my body, mind, and spirit to make way for a deeper understanding and appreciation of life. I had to face my fears and take on new ways of treating my body so that it could repair itself and stay well.

With back-pain clients, I am acutely aware of the distress that comes from living life in constant suffering. I see my role in the process as part inspiration, part expert, and part witness. My work focuses on identifying clients’ pain patterns, strengthening the core and deep spinal stabilizers, and improving whole-body functional movement. My mantra is awareness—when we perceive what is going on in the body, we can relax into our strength. We not only get longer, leaner, and more supple, we begin to move with intelligence. I have seen many clients shift from disability to athletic ability in a few short months.

I encourage anyone in this situation to reach out for help. Pilates and yoga have kept me active and free for many years. They can do the same for you.