This is one of my favorite dance conditioning sequences that I developed to challenge balance, core and coordination. Using a small pilates ball increases the level of difficulty to maintain the lines in the lower limb and spine. Breath control and ease of movement are all challenged here. This exercise prepares for choreography and provides musicality that gets you out of your head and back into your body.

In one exercise, the following will be developed and challenged:

1. Dynamic core stability
2. Ability to move in neutral spinal alignment
3. Strong leg lines
4. Controlled, graceful ports de bras
5. Diaphragmatic breath without compromising transverse abdominus engagement
6. Thoracic extension
7. Lumbopelvic stability
8. Pelvic floor activation and endurance (hello!)
9.Musicality

And most importantly,

You are conditioning while you dance.

Dance gets you out of your head and back to your body so you can begin again.

You don’t have to be a dancer to try this out.

What dance skills do you think this will prepare you for?

Here are 2:
1. Barrel turns
2. Side tilts

Comment below to add to the list.

The Pilates Half Roll Back with a flexband helps to promote the opening of the Lumbar Spine in flexion and the activation of core musculature.

Chronic back pain is often caused by posture that is the result of weak abdominal strength which leads to an anterior tilted pelvis and arched low back.

If you sit most of the day, have tight hip flexors or just had a baby, this exercise below is very helpful to counter this postural effect.

Turn up the sound and try it out. Comment below and tell me what you think!

Realign. Strengthen. Live your Life.


Pilates Leg Pull Front with a loop band around your forearms is an excellent way to prompt scapular stability during this complex core exercise.

ūüĒäTurn the sound on, vibe with me and read the prompts and follow along!

Let me know how you feel. I personally love how it adds a challenge and improves the engagement of my scapular stabilizer muscles.

When you think of Self-Care, what is the first image that comes to mind? Is it a vacation? A massage? Time with people you love? These are wonderful things.

Self-care? Maybe later. 

Now, once you visualize these things, how quickly do you take action to make your day dreams happen? Or do feelings of fatigue and procrastination immediately derail your plans? If you can relate, then it’s likely that you are lacking in one or more of three fundamentals of Self-Care.

The 3 fundamentals of Self-Care are Sleep, Nutrition and Movement.

Catch some zzzzs

Sleep is important. When you sleep your body heals, recovers and integrates the information that you learned during the day.  Lack of sleep is a primary cause for reduced brain function. This manifests as poor short-term memory, brain fog, mood changes, anxiety, depression and reduced motivation.  When your brain is not functioning optimally, then finding the motivation to make healthy decisions is hard to find, in addition to being overwhelming.  Transformation does not happen with a sleepy brain.

Don’t skip a meal

Nutrition is important in order to feed your body’s system with the essential nutrients and minerals to survive and perform optimally. Skipping meals or fuelling your body with unhealthy options in the short, or long term can have negative effects on your metabolic rate, energy levels, body composition and stress levels.¬† Transformation does not happen with a nutrient deficient diet.

But I walked to my car.

There is movement, and then there is moving well.¬† Moving well means you’ve moved for at least 20 minutes continuously.¬† This is enough time to get out of your head and into your body.¬† Movement, no matter the method releases endorphins which are the “feel good hormones”. Healthy movement is the antidote to mobilizing fear, stimulating creative flow, improving physical strength, flexibility, brain function and more. I think that’s called transformation!

Need a vacation?

The key to understand here, is that when you are sleep-deprived, hungry and sedentary you are STRESSED. Sleep, food and movement are basic metrics to keep the body happy. If you are missing any of these daily, then the stress response is automatically triggered.  Chronic stress leads to the development of chronic illness and morbidities like high blood pressure, obesity, Type II diabetes, Thyroid dysfunction etc.

Hijack Your Stress Response

The secret to Self-Care then is making sure that your body isn’t stressed by taking inventory of the three fundamentals. Of course, there are many other triggers of stress that exist.¬† Even during other stressful events, your resilience to these factors will be highly dependent on the quality of sleep, food and movement that you’ve committed to at any moment in time.

Perspective

Self-Care doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

Simply ask yourself three questions:

  1. Did I sleep well?
  2. Did I eat well?
  3. Did I move well?

Did you?

dr.-blessyl-buan-is-a-chiropractor-dance-artist-pilates-dance-conditioning-specialist-and-mom-of-four.-she-is-the-creator-of-triple-threat-performer-wellness-for-actors-singers-dancers.-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s often during healing that self-doubt creeps in, because on the other side of healing is great power.¬† An injury or sickness is like an initiation or call to action.¬† What is required of you to make a change? What actionable steps do you need to commit to in order to change your current trajectory for the better?

When it comes to positive change, most people wish they were stronger, leaner, resilient etc. Yet, most people are happy to continue with their status quo.¬† This complacency is so common because it’s easier.¬† The truth is this:¬† It is very uncomfortable to make changes in the body. The process is gradual and the chance of quitting is high.

Success is highly dependent on how accountable you are to make it happen.

In my practice, I give my patients the tools to discover how they can layer in regular self-care to support their healing.  I even prescribe personalized exercise videos they can access via the app Physitrack on their smart devices.  Despite this, compliance is not always stellar.

Success in healing lies in how badly you really want it and how much you believe that you deserve it.

This is perhaps why the self-care, self-love and self-development industry is quite lucrative. Many of us will research, but few of us will implement. Think of the ways you avoid action to make a positive change in your life.¬† I know that I often skip going to the gym, don’t always take my vitamins, sometimes skip out on brushing my teeth after putting my kids to sleep….the list goes on and I accept the consequences.

This year however, I am taking the reigns on my accountability and making small actionable steps achievable to improve my sleep, my brain power, my creative drive, my strength and flexibility so that I can be of service to my family and to the world.

So realize this: healing is messy. It’s a stop and go journey. There will be successes and there will be relapses. It is after all, part of being human.¬† So as you continue on this messy journey of healing, just know that on the other side of it is a great story that you will one day be proud of sharing.

I can’t wait to hear it.

dr.-blessyl-buan-is-a-chiropractor-dance-artist-pilates-dance-conditioning-specialist-and-mom-of-four.-she-is-the-creator-of-triple-threat-performer-wellness-for-actors-singers-dancers.-

Dr. Blessyl Buan

Sore wrists don’t need to hold you back from your Yoga or Pilates practice.

In the age of constant smart phone use, raising young children or having a full-time job that requires the use of your hands, it’s not surprising that your wrists can hold you back when practising Yoga or Pilates. Repetitive strain can cause tension and pain in the flexor and extensor muscles that course along the forearm and control the movement of the fingers. You will also find that the muscles that control movement of the thumb are also stiff and painful. This chronic muscular tension can negatively impact the alignment of the carpal bones of the wrist, thereby reducing joint mobility.

This misalignment can be experienced as a “pinching” sensation when weight-bearing on the hand. Wrist extension is required while doing Plank exercises, Chatturanga or Downward Dog. Even more advanced asanas like Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose) or Pilates Leg Pull Front depend on strong wrists.

If you can relate, warming up can help to improve joint mobility and reduce pain during your practice. Here are 3 exercises to do before your class begins:

  1. Wrist rotations: Circle your hands clockwise eight times then repeat counterclockwise eight times. This improves circulation and warms up the joints.

2. Wrist flexor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place the heel of your hands on the mat in front of you with your hands palms down and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.

3. Wrist extensor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place your wrists on the mat in front of you with your hands palms up and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.

If during your practice your wrists are still sore, you can roll the end of your mat several times to create a cushion that will support your wrists in slight flexion. If it is still painful in certain poses, take a rest in child pose. As you continue to practice, stretch and strengthen, your tolerance in wrist weight bearing will improve. If recovery is too lengthy and you are starting to feel concerned, see your health care provider.

hand-washing

Today I treated a nurse who works in the Neurotrauma¬†unit at St. Mike’s Hospital. Her description of her duties is admiral but also stressful.¬†When you are running on adrenaline, your breath becomes shallow and your body will store tension in your upper body. Especially when you are trying to deflect the emotional aspects of caring for your patients and their family members. Take the time during hand washing to slow down your breath and luxuriate in the brief moment that you are taking care of yourself. ¬†Small moments of belly breathing are enough to give you energy and mental clarity to be your best. Realign. Strengthen. Live your Life.

Like Santa, we lift, stand for long periods of time and work around the clock.  During this holiday season, ask yourself this:

“Why am I so quick to invest in material things and not my own body?”

Being young and full of vitality takes work. A healthy lifestyle trumps depending on “good genes”. (oh yes it’s true)

Image
image taken from The Chiropractic Journal

See a chiropractor. Learn about your posture and alignment. Prevent unhealthy alignment and pain. Get on the right foot.

Dance inherently trains the body about spatial awareness, balance and the emotional connection to music.  It is the simplest way to develop your ability to listen to your body’s internal cues.

Many of my patients are disconnected to their bodies. The onset of injuries shock them, their strain is annoying and pain is an inconvenient symptom. What they don’t realize is that the body has been whispering messages to them for many years. It is only until the body “goes on strike” with a debilitating injury, that my patients start to listen then come to my office.

Move!  Fshutterstock_109846025eel joy in your movement, are you free? are you restricted?

It’s time to listen.

Look what a corset can do…. You can use your abdominal “corset”: the transverse abdominus muscle to achieve the same effect.

Photo taken from

http://pinterest.com/pin/421016265134695384/ via @pinterest

The transverse abdominus is the deepest layer of abdominal muscle and is a muscle that stabilizes the spine and improves posture. It’s a muscle that requires endurance. Pilates is a great way to strengthen this muscle.