My Dance Goal Worksheets

After working with many dancers privately and in an group session over the years, it became evident that accountability is a huge determining factor on the success of the dancer.

A major roadblock for the developing and professional dancer is comparison. This is not surprising since training hours are for the most part in front of mirror.

Mirrors have a powerful influence to feed a dancer’s negative bias. This stunts a positive growth mindset. I’ve experienced this personally in my dance journey and also observe this in clinic and in the studio.

To offset this, I designed My Dance Goal Worksheets.

My Dance Goal Worksheets were designed for the developing and professional dancer who are looking to find clarity in their goals for their mind, body and dance movement. It is important to be able to track daily progress, create positive affirmations and to map out short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. This accountability is what turns the dream into a reality.

These sheets improve communication between the dancer and their conscious awareness, the dance teacher, parent, colleagues and health practitioner.

It brings the focus on what the dancer can do for themselves instead of prematurely “pigeon-holing” their baseline skills into a self-perceived trajectory.

Download My Dance Goals Worksheet Package and share with your students, friends or child!

In exchange for this resource, please take a picture of you using the sheets and post it on social using #mydancegoalworksheets and tag @drblessyl to help spread the word to other dancers who can benefit.

My goal is to create a workbook to make it easier for the dancer to track their progress. I would love to hear your feedback! Email me at info@drblessyl.com.

 

 

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.

It is often emphasized that balance is the key to good health, but really balance in the sense that all aspects in life have an equal part of your “energy pie” never happens.  The the amount of energy that you give to each part changes in ratio with each day or season of life.  For example, when I was a student, most of my waking hours were dedicated to being in class and studying. Socializing, housework, saving money, etc. took a very small portion of my energy. Is that bad? Not really. It’s realistic for that moment in time. Is it balanced? No. But was I healthy? Yes, as much as I could for that moment.

Similarly, in my phase of being a mother to two young children I am content if on top of keeping my kids  happy and healthy that I can get in two days of exercise per week, sleep 4-5 hours a night , eat regularly, connect with my husband and keep my business afloat. Isn’t that nuts? Yes! It’s hard for me to swallow sometimes, but it’s as balanced as I can be for the time being. (Also note that housework didn’t even make the list).

So really, balance is elusive. Priorities shift and chaos ensues. The key to staying afloat of this chaos is the feeling and connection with being grounded.

Grounded? What the heck is that?

I would argue that most people do not even recognize that they are not grounded. Being grounded means having complete control of your breath, not being emotionally connected to the possibility of failing and having a consistent positive outlook on life. I’m touch and go with being grounded and currently I am working towards getting back there.

For me, I know I’m grounded when I can feel the ground beneath my feet. I get this feeling after a chiropractic adjustment or a yoga/pilates class. It’s very important for you to have the kinesthetic awareness of the ground beneath your feet. It means you feel stable. This stability is both figurative and literal.

I can empathize with my shallow breathing patients who feel like a “chicken running around with their head cut off”. Their minds are racing and they feel like a helium balloon floating away, disconnecting from the earth and their bodies.

Shallow breathers, return to belly breathing

Shallow breathing happens when your adrenaline is activated. Think of your adrenaline as your body’s internal espresso machine or “Red Bull”. Inherently, we have this mechanism to react to life-threatening dangers, but in the modern world we activate this hormone to meet deadlines, apease relationships and satisfy material needs. Ideally, adrenaline should be used transiently until the resolution of the stressor, however most people maintain adrenaline levels until it turns into complete disconnection with your body and eventual burn out.

Please acknowledge this: Constant shallow breathing leads to chronic tension in the neck, chest and shoulder muscles, dysfunctional ribs and anxiety. Like hyperventilating, your head is floating away like a helium balloon. Only you can keep yourself from flying away.

Pull that string

Bring yourself back to the ground by doing the following:

  1. Belly breathing:  As you inhale, your abdomen should be relaxed and your belly button should move away from your spine. Shoulder and neck muscles should be relaxed and stop gripping your jaw, eyebrows, fist, hips etc. There’s no reason for the tension!
  2. Meditate: Visualize the connection of your feet to the ground. Imagine the helium ballon returning to the rest of your body. Use whatever imagery, (ex. creating roots from your feet into the soil) that makes sense.
  3.  Go outside. Be present. Walk barefoot and feel the breeze against your face. City people spend too much time in front of machines.
  4. Get body work. See a chiropractor, massage therapist, osteopath, acupuncture or whomever you feel comfortable to help you release tension and reconnect with your body. 
  5. Move. Take a yoga or pilates class  or move in any way that nurtures your soul. Stretch and strengthen.
  6. Practice Gratitude. Be grateful for what your daily victories are instead of what the holes in your list are that need to be accomplished.
  7.  Acknowledge that balance is not the key
  8. Acknowledge that being GROUNDED is the answer.

I hope this helps.

The perfect example of something that totally wasn't planned. When you are present, you notice the beauty in things. In my case, hearts show up in my food. This shot was taken as my husband and I went on a road trip for our 4 year wedding anniversary. A heart showed up in my take out burger.

If there is one thing that I can take away as a lesson from the year 2010, it would be that nothing is certain.  Every year I write a list of goals that I plan to achieve.  Well this year I’m not doing that. I’ve learned that in life, things will unfold at the rate that they should and no matter how prepared you are, what you envision will not manifest if it is not the right time.

This may sound a bit pessimistic at first glance, but in fact it is not. For as far back as I can remember I’ve written lists and I’ve pretty much ticked off a lot on those lists with great efficiency. Some would say that my list is quite extensive, but my “A-type” personality disagrees. Nevertheless, I’ve evolved from a rigid list maker to one that throws her hands in the air and says, “Just let it be”.

Within the past five years, I’ve experienced many transitions in my personal, family, academic and career life. That’s just how I am. Life is not stagnant and I am grateful for that. During each transition, the degree of uncertainty can overwhelm myself and the lists fly out.

Well, no more lists for me! I vow to relinquish control so that life is much more enjoyable and meaningful.

I will be present, be grateful and take a leap of faith. (I guess I just made another list).

by Dr. Blessyl Buan, Chiropractor & Pilates Expert

copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan

copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan

 

They say that you can’t truly give love to another or to your work until you love yourself.  Inner peace, joy, health and true happiness will not unfold until you make the steps to live a healthy lifestyle. As a treat for Valentine’s Day,  I’d like to share with you two personal images that have definitely opened my eyes.

Whenever I feel balanced in my life, hearts show up in my food. The above pictures are two examples of this and are NOT products of photo post production! It started when I was pregnant with my daughter 2 years ago and ever since, they show up in waves.  Now, they even show up in my surroundings.

We all have personal signs that resonate inner happiness.  For me they are hearts. 

Take care of your body. Slow down, BREATHE, take a moment to journal, DE-CLUTTER your mind and surroundings, EXERCISE, stretch, and receive BODY WORK like massage, chiropractic or acupuncture that will help you to get IN TUNE with your body.

BALANCE the mind, body and soul.

Dr. Blessyl Buan, DC1167998_healthy_lifestyle

Do the following sound familiar?
“I haven’t worked out in month. I’m just too busy.”
“I haven’t eaten a vegetable or fruit in a long time. I just need carbs and coffee to get me through”
“What’s a massage therapist?”
“The last time I got a chiropractic adjustment was 10 years ago…”

These are all very common excuses for not taking care of yourself.  Life is busy, but if you change your perspective on the value of your body and health, you will find that your schedule opens up.

Here are some tips:

  1. Think of yourself as an elite athlete or “A-list”er. Get professional help on your side. Your personal trainer, chiropractor, massage therapist, dentist, esthetician, nutritionist and more are a team to keep you  at your best.
  2. Write it in your calendar: commiting a lifestyle change to pen, or even your twitter/facebook status gets you to follow through with your plans.
  3. What’s your dollar value?: If you can spend money on your car, clothing or other material things easily, ask yourself how much YOU are worth in $$$. Compare that dollar value to those purchases and it will be an eye opener!

running-outside-with-waterbottle1

It’s easy to believe that you can continue at the same pace and intensity from where you left off last spring when you haven’t trained all winter. The weather is warmer and you may have registered for some races to motivated you.  Here are some tips to keep your goals realistic and increase activity in a healthy way.

1. Are your shoes still good?

Even if they look good they may have run it’s course (no pun intended).  Running/walking shoes should have a cushiony and supportive upper (ball of the foot part of the shoe). There should be some resistance when you bend your shoe in half from the sole.  If you can do this too easily, then you need new shoes! The more mileage you have, the more often you need to replace them. Even if you are a minimalist runner, meaning you are anti-cushioning, running footwear must still be up to date.  This will not deter your ability to feel the road.

2. Be realistic. 

If you’re a bit rusty, be honest with yourself and don’t pick up from where you left off last spring. Increase your level of intensity in a gradual way. There are many apps and resources that can help you with a running training program.  When you use an objective method to increase your running distance, injuries can be prevented. If you signed up for the Toronto Nike 15K run in June, Nike has great information here: http://content.nike.com/content/dam/one-nike/en_us/running/nwes-toronto-15k/training-program.pdf The information integrates information on how to safely increase your running distance and incorporate cross training.

3. Cross Train

Strength conditioning of your core muscles like transverse abdominus, obliques, glut medius and pelvic floor will help prevent IT Band issues, low back and knee pain that often develop from an unstable lumbar and pelvis. Remember, distance running is about endurance not power, so make sure that your muscles are ready for the distance.  Overall resistance training of upper and lower body will also improve performance.

4. Stretch it out

Working out new muscles will cause muscle soreness as your body adapts to your new activity. Stretching will reduce muscle stiffness and pain. Keeping the fascia mobile will help to prevent injury and improve motion. Also, don’t just focus on your legs.   A loose jaw, neck, chest and hand help to ensure that breathing is effortless during your runs.

5. Begin!  A body that hasn’t run in a while will think of many excuses. Just get started and remember you run for the joy.  Enjoy being outside.  Running is fun.

If you need help with your alignment. I am happy to get your body back into shape.  A body that is aligned can absorb shock better and injuries can be prevented.  Chiropractic, acupuncture, myofascial release and kinesiotape are all tools to keep you moving. Email info@dblessyl.com for more information.

Realign. Strengthen. Live your Life.

leaning-sofa-3x4.jpg

“Posture is your business card”.  I declared this statement for the first time at a workshop that I presented to actors. Later it occurred to me that the concept applies to everyone. It is now my personal motto. Similar to a firm hand shake or the tone of your voice, your posture makes a huge impact on the first impression that you make. It reflects your level of confidence and competence.  For example, at a job interview, an individual with a low self-esteem looks down at the floor with their shoulders rounded forward. An over-confident person sticks out his or her chest and stands with a broad stance. A confident person stands tall with their shoulders back.  If you were the interviewer, who would you give the job to? 

Posture and your voice:

There are times when you will need to speak to an audience.  Tension and bad posture are your worst enemies. You will notice that when you are nervous, it may be difficult to project your voice because your muscles are tense.  For your voice to work efficiently and effortlessly, your air stream needs to have a clear, unrestricted passage through the vocal tract. If your stance or posture is not optimal, this passage will be restricted and you will work harder to project in order to overcome this restriction.  

Tips to improve your posture:

Most people admit that their posture is “bad”.  Obesity, pregnancy, tight muscles, poor footwear, ergonomics, improper sitting and standing habits and simply being unaware can cause poor posture. Here are three tips to improve your posture. Firstly, imagine that a string is pulling upward from the top of your head, so that your spine elongates.  Secondly, bring your shoulders back and down away from your ears so that your neck is longer.   Thirdly, place your feet hip width apart with both feet equally planted on the ground.  If you forget some of these tips, a smile goes a long way. Even if you are not feeling confident today, now you know how to play the part. Good luck!