Month: January 2017

Tension, Compression and the “Hard Stop”

Tension and compression are concepts in the yoga world, taught and made widely known by Paul Grilley.

Tension is the muscular effort, the muscular edge. In order to build a muscle to strengthen it or lengthening it for flexibility, you have to go beyond to see or feel results. There’s “give” and room to go deeper with consistent practice.

Compression is the way your bones and body are built, causing a hard stop, bone to bone where there’s no more room, its just IS.  The way you are built determines your fullest expressions of any given pose.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BO74ujFALHy/?taken-by=theleighryan

With tension, we can push, go beyond and get out of our comfort zones. This tension can happen on the mat in physical practice and off the mat, if life situations. We can see, feel and experience personal growth or a deeper expression of a pose.

In compression, the hard stop, it can feel damning, almost, to have to accept that your fullest expression won’t ever change.

Sometimes, in life, we feel the hard stop.  More often than not, its the story we are telling ourselves versus the reality of the situation. When you feel bone to bone in a pose, it takes a strong mind to be fully there, at the “end” of the pose. At the end of the pose, using your breath, you can experience all the pose has to offer. It’s said that in the compression (and the absence of pain), that energy and prana are being stimulated even more!!

I’ve been feeling the hard stop lately, a “life” compression.  Where it really feels like a ceiling, a wall, bone meeting bone, no more.  But if I look at the idea from a yogic perspective, there is opportunity by simply being “in it.” There is room to explore whether or not it is actual compression or is it the story I’ve created. There is room to grow if I allow energy to flow here, versus looking at it like a kink in a hose. There is room to flow in the space where it feels like nothing is flowing. Finding my breath in the space where there’s nothing more to do, fix or change.  Can I just BE with everything the pose or situation has to offer?

My next step? Harnessing the energy.  Finding another path to keep going and growing.  If you are in this place right now, I invite you to do the same.  Look at the compression as a place where energy flows, where you can be fully present in the situation as it is; feeling and experiencing it  instead of letting it feel like a reason to stop, either stop practicing the pose or stop chasing a goal.

Have you ever felt tension and compression, on your mat or off? How do you deal with working with the compression?

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The Whole30 Challenge – Guest Post!

Have you ever reached a point where you just wanted to push a reset button for your body? Maybe you ate too many sweets during the holidays, maybe you indulged in one too many glasses of wine, or maybe you don’t feel great from eating too much processed food. Whatever your reason, you know that what you put into your body directly affects how you feel. When we don’t eat the right foods, we get sluggish, our brains get foggy, and unfortunately sometimes our pants get a little too tight. By cleaning up the way we eat, we can reverse these effects and feel better from the inside out.

WHOLE30

If you’ve never heard of Whole30 before, it is a 30 day eating plan that helps to reset your body through nutrition. It is designed to help you overcome cravings, repair your digestion, and determine how certain foods affect your body. Sometimes we eat foods that throw our body out of balance, and we don’t even realize it! By eliminating these foods for 30 days, we become more in tune with our bodies. Then, we learn how certain foods really make us feel after we slowly add them back to our diets.

HOW IT WORKS

For 30 days, we will eat only real, clean, whole foods. Meats, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats…all of the GOOD stuff, and none of the junk. We will NOT eat added sugar or sweeteners, alcohol, grains (including oats and corn), legumes (including peanuts and soy products), dairy, white potatoes, carrageenan, MSG, sulfites, or “Paleo junk” like grain-free brownies. We want to reset our bodies, not find ways to give in to cravings!

You can find more detailed info on the Whole 30 website. I also highly recommend the book It Starts With Food, to give you more insight into the program.

THE MEAL PLAN

I’ve eaten Paleo-style foods in the past, and I’ve even started the Whole 30 a couple of times before. I’ve found that is the biggest predictor of my success is how well I plan in advance. If I don’t have a meal plan in place, or don’t have my fridge stocked with “approved” foods, I will fail. If I have junk food easily accessible in my pantry, I will fail. So I know that I need to have a plan that keeps me 100% on track. Here is my meal plan for week 1:

I also will be prepping as many meals in advance as possible. Chopping veggies for snacks, making salad bowls for when I need to grab and go, and throwing crockpot meals into a freezer bag so I can prep dinner as quickly as possible during the week (super important when I have a 4 month old attached to my hip!).

In addition to hitting that reset button on my nutrition, why not also reset my body and mind at the same time — with 30 days of yoga? Check out Leigh’s post on yoga, the Whole30 and mindfulness in our daily life. She will post short yoga practice videos, varying in style, for you to try at home.

Want to join the group? Click here! We would love to have you join us for the next month.

Amanda Seghetti is a fitness professional, social media influencer and mom of 3 based in the Denver area. Go check out her blog, Phoenix Fitness and give her a follow on Instagram.