So Last Friday morning I was out with 2 friends doing some MovNat playing up in Belper, hanging around on the goal posts, balancing and jumping in the woods, climbing through the trees at low height, as I still not released my fear of heights.
One way was easier to climbing through from tree to tree, so we decided to experiment going the other way, my friend Becky was successful, although she is good at climbing trees, my turn................
So I got to the bigger gap where the opposite way you can grab on to the short dead branch to help lever yourself into the tree, but I was only using one hand and short amount of time with weight on it..................
So I had one hand on it trying to get across the gap to the next tree, so I decide to put to hands on it to swing across, with Becky going "I don't think it will hold your weight Em" I either said out loud it will be okay or I was thinking it in my arrogance...........
Next thing a loud crack............... and I knew I was making my way to the ground, full of holly leaves that were pricking me earlier, that wasn't my thought, my thought was as I was falling which part of me is going to hit the earth 1st, which part is going to hurt the most! That second seemed to take along time!
So my butt hit the ground 1st followed by my shoulders, with my head hitting rather lightly compared to the butt and shoulders.................
So my hands went on autopilot activations, from the start the diaphragm to the end before I even moved as I knew my body was in shock and pain, which I only felt when I got up, I made sure I had some belly breaths beforehand and I got up slowly and I could feel the sacrum into my butt complaining and my left shoulder.
On getting into the car and driving home I knew more activations were required over again with sensations that were coming up............... getting out of the car opening the gate was sure interesting and plenty of neural pain sensations going on in the buttasna............. getting back in the car the same to drive down the yard to park it............
So I sat in the car and activated whilst my visual field was under stress to shift that impairment that was causing more stress on the body from the accident, which made getting out the car easier.
I was going out to Derby Climbing Unit that evening so I wanted to be able to move better for that and myself........... so I spent all afternoon moving into positions that caused me pain and activated, which was painful through the whole sequence every time I found a new painful movement, but knew it was working.
I walked my dog and found I was better for moving so I definitely went out to watch the bouldering competition at the climbing unit, taking my carob and banana smoothie for dinner. By being out and moving and staying upright definitely helped things shift, as I was concentrating on the climbers and the moves they were doing, some were amazed that I was mobile from the fact I said I fell that morning!
I am mobile and still healing 2 days later, but most of the neural pain in the butt has shifted only on some movements it still goes off, shoulder is so much better and the simple fact is it is down to the activations that Doug Heel, Be Activated, taught me and softening to the pain ( I am still learning to do!) instead of running from the pain, I breathe into it with deep belly breaths.
So for any injury that has happened I highly recommend to get doing your activations if you have been seen by me, it will drop your body into the healing state instead of the stressed state. I have no bruising, it was a heavy impact and no swelling all thanks to doing the activations.
I didn't realise that one day I would be rescuing my own ass with the activations, but sure am glad it's on autopilot! Lesson learned in that situation! ;)
I only found out about L'Eroica Britannia the week before it was happening, as I heard my brother talking about it and my dad sent me the link saying I might be able to do the Be Activated treatments there. I already emailed Tom the hero maker in charge of the volunteers and I met him on Saturday at L'Eroica for the volunteers briefing, which Tom informed me I could help out at Hartington food stop, awesome. So after that I went for a walk into Bakewell town and it was busy with tourists, L'Eroica cyclists and festival goers. On the way back to the festival ground I accosted a gentleman who had a bandaged knee and asked if he was doing the ride tomorrow, to which he said he was doing the 55 miles and I mentioned what I did with the treatments and said to meet him later at his tent for a treatment.
I went off around the handsome vintage stalls, enjoying the beautiful relaxed atmosphere in the gorgeous sunshine with the beautiful vintage bikes and people around. I came upon the Clif Bar company who's products are vegan and organic although they are awaiting the certification for the UK, they seem a real ethical company from America with their employees and helping local communities, I was very impressed with their products and ethics especially about the GMO issue. So I caught up with the gentleman I was going to treat and also worked on his mate too during the beautiful warm summers evening.
On Sunday morning I was waiting give my brother, Hayden, and his friend Ben a lift to L'Eroica, putting their Peugeot bikes in the back of the Volvo estate on top of my couch and set off to Bakewell arriving at just after 8 am. by the Pimms bus bar for their mates to turn up as they were riding in a group of 8. So they went and got a coffee and the festival was quiet as most were either waiting at the start in town or had already started their rides by this time! Their mates did not turn up till after 8.30 am and one of them decided to spend 15 minutes to get a coffee and water when it was so quiet and service was quick, never mind their cut off point was 9 am for the 55 miles, which was winding one or two of them up! They made the cut off point by one minute to go! I already had left them and set off for Hartington via Youlgreave, taking a few misturns as I was driving by memory of google maps the night before instead of using my trusty M8 navigation app, as I thought I would be fine and I find it fun to try to drive by memory at times.
I arrived at Hartington around 9.15 am and there were already a mass of handsome riders relaxing with their food and drinks as I off loaded my couch and my own food and drink for the day. I set up my couch and asked the main volunteer in charge, Rosie, if I was required to help anywhere and it seemed I could do my Be Activated treatments. Sweet! I set up my couch in a nice shady spot between Rosie's stand and the bike mechanic.
I preceded to soak up the relaxed resting atmosphere, which very much reminded me of the Mediterranean, with the handsome riders and bikes, I took some photos to tweet, but alas my phablet (samsung mega) signal said no to tweets, which was all day even back at Bakewell! I nearly photo bombed the photos of Luciano Berruti! So I awaited my first victim, well rider of the day to treat, (wink) (however most of my previous clientele would agree with victim due to the pain they experience as I work on various of points, however, when I am finished and they are moving around, they notice the massive difference in their body and the lack of pain.)(smiles)
After 10.30 am Hayden and his team mates arrived at the food stop which wasn't too bad for 20 miles, even though he said he could probably run quicker, as he mentioned the average speed was 10 mph! I had already worked on a couple of riders by that point and more soon followed, I worked on 14 riders in all, some I had a little more time with others team mates were waiting so I soon learned to speed up the process which meant I cut out all of the muscle testing in the end, which is a useful tool in showing how much the body and muscles are functioning better and creates more integrity in the activations, however the activations are pretty powerful by themselves and with the sexy belly breathing that I got all of them to do and some combining the sexy belly breathing with squeezing their butts, which helps to affirm the activations and to tell their body to function in a more relaxed and powerful state.
Some of the 100 milers were already showing up just after half ten, as Hartington was half way point for them as I mistook one for what they were saying and to my surprise they had turned up at this time and more soon followed as most of the 55 milers left to continue on with their ride. I was awaiting the arrival of my dad who was cycling up along the trails from Middleton Top to Hartington, whom was hoping he would bump into his son cycling the other way, alas they sailed pass each other on different parts due to trying to estimate timings! My dad arrived just after quarter past twelve and fueled up with one of my many bananas and some of my delicious vegan gluten free focaccia stuffed full with veggies bread. At which point I got 3 handsome riders to work on who were all friends. My apologies as remembering names is one of my weak points however due to a later meeting I know one of the very handsome gentlemen was Ivan 354, 995.
My dad took some photo's and videos whilst he was there, when I was working on the handsome Ivan and his friends. I gave out one of my leaflets with my contact details on to all I treated even if you are not local to me, I will travel for group or I can find you your local Be Activated Facilitator. My dad decided to ride back to Middleton Top back along the trails and hopefully not overshooting the distance this time on the way back to his car! The tail end charlies ~ the sweeper crew, rode in on modern carbon bikes, for the 100 milers and 55 milers arrived after quarter past one, which meant that there was no more riders coming through just who were at the food stop were the last. So just after 2.15 pm we were all packing away and then some of us made our way back to Bakewell.
I decided to go a different way back to Bakewell on the beautiful hot sunny afternoon, which coincided with the large tractors zipping through Hartington along the way I was going, to get their grass silage picked up off the fields near Monyash. I was driving up and down some more wonderful hilly climbs for bikes. I just got back to the festival before 3 pm and I was expecting my brother to already be there and my farther too, but none of them were. I met up with me dad then I found out Hayden was just leaving Chatsworth, by all accounts they'd been drinking plenty of Pimms at the food and drink stop there.
So Hayden zoomed past racing his mate Mark (snake) to the finish line, ( I managed to photograph his backend!) scaring the crap out of someone crossing on the finishing drag at the time, as they both went either side the chap, racing till the line came, skidding and sliding all over the place on the grass! They were the only two to race to the finish like that, but well this is what happens with very competitive team mates, gets even dafter between them during the triathlon practice rides apparently! I should have been on the finishing straight to capture the daft moment, sure someone did you wouldn't have been able to miss them if you were watching at quarter to four! His team mates followed behind, some by a good margin, which they got ribbed for by the others, but it was a jolly adventure rather than serious one, thankfully so, but boys will be boys on competing when there is no requirements to do so!
So they all got their free beers and were all full of glee at the #GBA that they partook in and met with their families, sharing their tales of their 55 miler adventure. More beers to be of had and food to be eaten as the afternoon partied on as more heroic riders finished the course all welcomed with cheers over the finish line, everyone photographing each other in the glorious beautiful hot sunshine, best weather ever for this festival.
I enjoyed meeting my brother's fellow riding companions and their families and listened to their banter as the hot afternoon flowed along, keeping an eye out if any of whom I worked on crossed the line to ask them how they got on and one lovely lady came up to me to thank me again as it helped her out with the ride. I saw a few riders who were all wanting to get their free beer, the handsome trio, 354, 995, came in which the delightful Ivan was apart of and had a brief chat with them.
As the afternoon drew on into the evening, just like being in the Mediterranean with the weather the air and the sun, relaxing with my brother's friend Campbell and his family. So relaxed that we knew the bikes were safe as everyone just ogled each others bike with pride and joy. By the evening a few were quite drunk but happy and lovingly drunk enjoying the music from the stage, soon my lovingly drunk brother wanted to go, then, the handsome refreshed Ivan turned up,which I regret not being able to stay and talk away the rest of the evening with him and his friends as it would of been delightful I am sure, as I was enjoying our talk until my attention got too focused on my lovely drunk cycling brother!
My fear over took of his silliness and I fear that I offended you, Ivan, when my brother said to exchange numbers when I meant that I gave you my details already and I said it harshly and I am sorry I wasn't present enough and for the way I said it and acted, as my brother is always good at pushing certain buttons as I am with him.
I am deeply sorry I was not present enough as I could of helped you out with the trapped nerve issue there and then and I gladly would of given you my contact details again. I would love to meet for a drink/juice when I am down in London if you read this and can accept my apology as I still would love to help out with that trapped nerve issue!
Drunk cycling what a sight! However on the way back to the car, guiding my brother to the where the car was parked, we nearly flew past a twin, a Peugeot twin only slightly smaller, I wondered why he came to an immediate breakneck stop, so he asked the gentleman if it was possible to purchase and it was, he got his number, so we may have another Peugeot just the same joining his bike clan soon, although the one he was riding was indeed our dad's and I used to ride when I was 17-18 and I am much shorter than either of them, although leg length is longer than my dad's is now! On the beautiful drive back home, the lovely drunk was gushing about the day and how it was still light at after 9 pm, as of course it was held over summer solstice, which was just perfect to do so, as it only just started to get a little cooler when the sun dipped below the horizon, glorious day, glorious evening.
The next day after, wow what a weekend, especially the Sunday, someone tweeted it was like a wonderful love affair and they were right, normally I dislike being around those getting drunk, but at L'Eroica they were all happy and relaxed and recovering and savouring the ride. I felt flat after all the joy and yet upon checking my brother's strava, he wrote it was his best day of his life! Wow! And I enjoyed spending time with him and I think he did with me.( winks) I know it's not about competition but on some of the strava segments that the L'Eroica riders recorded had beaten those who done certain segments previously on carbon frame road bikes and yet these steel frame road bike had got better times, now I found that interesting and I say someone should do a challenge to see which gets better times and I would love the heavier steel bikes to win as that would be so amusing with all this modern technology and the old ways end up being better! (winks and smiles)
My dad had an idea about having a grass track to race round on the vintage steel bikes, but I know the ethos is just about going riding not competing, it is what use to happen at county shows, riders would come from all over to race the grass circuit, which could be good fun for the Friday and Saturday evenings, if there was space to be found, maybe creating a circuit around the stalls when they are shut just for fun rather than any real winner. Anyway I am glad I volunteered and managed to give some treatments to help the riders out, I will definitely be back next year as I have fallen in Love with L'Eroica Britannia, this wonderful vintage relaxed #heroic #GBA!
L'Eroica Britannia 2014
Telling tales of their Great British Adventure on their vintage bikes, before 1987,
Beers in hand, basking in the beautiful hot sunshine,
clapping other riders as they cross the finishing line,
families proud of their partners tales,
sunburnt and joyful as the afternoon drifts on,
filled on pies and puddings,
as the sun drifts of for another day,
say goodbye to new friends made,
sharing in the love to be gave,
night is light as sleep abounds,
goodbye L'Eroica thankyou for all the wonderful days.
Side note, only downside and issue I found was with the porta loos, smelling so much, I have a sensitive nose. So maybe getting more porta loos for next year and getting them cleaned out more regularly, as even the running water/flushing portable loos were stinky. You can get urinals for the men and even women if shewee were there, only a suggestion to make the toilet experience better for everyone, especially when camping.
That's right techniques that actually work to getting your squat more comfortable and mobile, also no nonsense or an overload of information that makes the mind boggle to what you are supposed to do, just apply and feel the difference in your squat mobility.
If you are following Ido's squat 30/30 on Facebook, 30 minutes for 30 days like I am, I have come across those struggling with compromised form. Now I do my whole Be Activated sequence most days ( there is more than what I have shared on the video and the articles.) then before doing the 30/30 I was doing the toe prep from the fundamentals of human movement course I went on and since adding in Ido's 2 routines below thing are all coming together and progressing quite nicely. So I suggest that you follow these video's and see how your squat and body improves with your practice.
My toe prep below is learned from Tony Riddle, who's videos are below mine showing the other work on the poles (broom handles) The work helps your feet become more functional, which in turn aids the squatting posture as you gain a better base throughout your feet.
Breathing is something that we do naturally right?
~ Yes and no.
We shouldn't be taught how to breathe right?
~ Yes and no.
Why are there so many different techniques and methods of how we should be breathing out there, surely there is only one way to breathe?
Well here is my experience and view point on breathing and the points above ;~
Well I used to struggle with breathing when running in the army, yeah you could say I was unfit, yet there were times I was fit, super fit, and yet my breathing was still poor! (And my running technique was poor too, more about that another time!) So surely if your fit your breathing should be good, erm ............. turns out it can be a big NO!
So I found pilates and got taught how to breathe for the movements, in through the nose into the belly, exhaling through mouth as belly button and spine get closer to each other and was I breathing any better, turns out not really!
I then started Astanga Yoga classes and doing the "trying to hold the bandhas" which mainly consist of ;-
" the Mūla Bandha, or root lock, is performed by tightening the muscles around the pelvic and perineum area. The Uḍḍīyāna Bandha, often described as bringing the navel to the base of the spine, is a contraction of the muscles of the lower abdominal area – this bandha is considered the most important bandha as it supports our breathing and encourages the development of strong core muscles." ~ From wiki.
So now with yoga when doing the postures, I should be holding me whatever and whatever it is called as the teacher says! Forget that! It blooming well lets go soon as I move, oh apart from the contraction of the belly inwards as I learned per pilates, as it is good for me it makes me stronger in the postures working my core, by holding my core supports me.
Still doing pilates and yoga, I discovered Transformational Breathing Technique. I went for a couple of sessions and then I went on 3 of the weekend courses. I got some release through the breath and taught myself with the aid of what is taught on the course to breathe into the belly first. So great I can now breathe into my belly easier, but I have to do this consciously with effort cos the truth is my body still does not want to start the breath from down there, I am fighting with my body and what I have already taught it is so much easier. So now I consciously practice transformational breathing technique often as I can to help my body become better, make my mind quiet (which it never does and I keep hoping it will!) and heal any emotional issues through breathing. So now I think I know more about how we should breathe and that is without any pauses, connectedley, so I apply this into yoga and pilates as I become more and more aware of how I am breathing and when I realise I am holding my breath!
I then go to a Divine Truth talk by AJ (Jesus) and Mary and I go up and ask a question about the fact I feel like I am heavily influenced by a spirit but no one else can see it or think I have one in the woo woo spiritual healing world and it is stopping me progress with the Divine Love Path. So Jesus goes yup I can see her and yes she influencing you, sudden realisations hit and a few more questions about my grandad and Jesus tells me just to breathe from belly it will help you connect to your feelings and release. Yay, so I am on the right track I know how to do that breathe into my belly, ok lets, oh bugger it isn't so easy............. but I trained myself to do it, just practice it will get easier I say to myself! (Also it is what I have said to others in my class too!)
So earlier this year (2013) I discover Douglas Heel with his Be Activated technique and attend the course to be a practitioner in it. So breathing is the first thing we work on, I proudly say I teach others how to breathe correctly through what I have learned, only for Doug to pull apart how pilates teachers breathe and that they teach breathing that causes the body to malfunction further than it already is! That got me curious, as I already felt something was wrong with my pilates practice as I was suffering with neck issuesand shoulder issues big time!
So basically holding this core and breathing the way taught in pilates further disengages the diaphragm than it already is functioning and causes you to breath laterally collaterally and hypercondriacally under the clavical (hyper-under, condria -rib cartilage.)
So Doug demonstrates how to activate the diaphragm and then with our course partner we get to have a go and ........ hmmmmm......something still did not feel right, it did not feel as easily as it looked when Doug demonstrated! So I go up and say I am still cheat breathing I have trained myself through transformational breathing to belly breath but it is an effort, and I am still doing that instead of it being naturally easy! So Doug gets me on the couch and then works on me and bam he finds the spot, getting me to hold my breath whilst he works on me, so I am holding on to my breath and listening to his instructions determined to hold it for as long as he tells me too, then I no longer can hold my breath in I gasp for air, Woohaha wait a minute oh my belly just relaxed and took the breath in naturally and easily. Oh wait wait wait Oh WOW , seriously this is amazing the first time my mind has shut up in ever, no trying it just went quiet, seriously now that is amazing for me everything else I have done has never ever got my mind/thoughts to shut up before and me relaxed, now this is just beautiful! So Oh WOW so this is what it feels like effortless breathing with the diaphragm working and the mind quiet, this is so much easier than all the other stuff I have learned, it is that simple to get the diaphragm to work and the belly to do the breathing first.
The diaphragm activation works by getting the electrical connections to fire up from the diaphragm to the brain to talk correctly through the neural pathways. I discovered after the course by continuing with pilates and the re-attending Doug's course again, that I had an ephiphany that I had not improved as much as I thought I had, ok my pilates teacher had noticed that my body and posture was looking so much better with me using the Be Activated techniques most days, but it was the fact whilst doing pilates I would have to keep re-activating points that were not holding, which means in my world something in pilates is not giving me benefit as the activations should hold and get improvements with the right movements, whereas yoga there was improvement in range so in my mind something was definately not right, but surely pilates is good for the body , well as I mentioned earlier before I met Doug I was getting neck issues and shoulder issues a lot! Due to what I learned from pilates sessions I started to see there was a pattern it taught me to do with my muscles that I was still trying to apply that instead of what I learned on the Be Activated courses, but when you spent 6 1/2 years of learning to do this and that with your core I knew that by doing the static work on equipment was not giving me any benefit like it used too! As I now know it was not just down to pilates but also the fact I spent most my day sat down on my bed infront of my laptop, which sitting down also starts to shut down your diaphragm, so I got one of my banana boxes and had my laptop on that and then knelt instead with my head looking up towards the screen, which stopped me from slouching into my diaphragm.
So back to the questions at the top
Breathing is something that we do naturally right?
We get taught by our environment in childhood that certain emotions are ok and others aren't and in that we learn to hold those emotions in and start to create various forms of breathing patterns that restrict the amount of lung and diaphragm function we have, nevermind being sat down most of the day at school in a slouched chair position that starts to shut down your diaphragm function further. So we still have to breathe or we will die so our body creates ways of doing so which are supposed to be short term fixes however due to our environments they end up being long term issues!
We shouldn't be taught how to breathe right?
If we have a poor functioning diaphragm then yes we should be taught to breathe, but by the the Be Activated method of activating the diaphragm. Well that is the only method I have found to get the diaphragm working quickly and easily and as it should do naturally! Whereas the way I was taught breathing in pilates and yoga are counter intuitive to doing the actual easy belly breathing, which happens when your diaphragm is activated, as they are further training you to breath wrong by holding certain muscles when your body is already in a state of poor functioning and your muscles don't know how to do their own function it creates more patterns to unravel all the time that cause us problems in our bodies in the long run. So now in yoga I don't do the breathing and holding the bandhas I use what I got taught on Doug's course which works so much better for me in the moves.
Why are there so many different techniques and methods of how we should be breathing out there, surely there is only one way to breathe?
There are so many different techniques due to there are so many who all think differently to each other and think they have the right answer.
For me there is one primary correct way to breathe and that is the breath first goes down into the belly and then fills up the chest, as when this happens easily it means the diaphragm is contracting, drawing down into the abdomen, which is then pulling air into thew lungs to be filled up and on exhalation the diaphragm relaxes and the lungs deflate. If we are just chest breathing, laterally, collaterally and hypercondriacally we are always hyper-ventilating and our diaphragm doesn't get to contract downwards we are constantly drawing it upwards which tightens and makes it much harder to draw the air we need in, so we start to use other muscles in our back, thoracic and shoulders to try and get the air into our lungs which there is not much space for as we can not get the diaphragm to contract as it should, which in long term causes many lung diseases and also heart problems due to the tightened myofascial tissue around the diaphragm, as the heart is directly affected by the motion of the diaphragm.
Different breathing exercises can be of use to improve the bodies function in certain exercises, however pilates breathing technique makes your shoulders and neck think they are the abdominal muscles and never lets the diaphragm function correctly due to "holding in the core!"
Also when you are trying to get to sleep with an activated diaphragm, that lets you breathe with ease, your mind just quietens with several deep belly breaths and you drift of with ease, no matter what sort of day you have had! I much prefer doing that than counting to breathe in and then hold and then breathe out, why? ~ due to I have been so naturally unconsciously good at holding my breath, especially hanging on at the diaphragm area with tightness and that sort of breath use to encourage tension and avoidance of emotions, where as I much prefer relaxation and connection to being able to feel my emotions more clearly.
However from previous experiences do I know everything about the way we breathe?
Far from it, I have a technique that frees up the diaphragm easily for most people, but I am willing to keep learning and say I don't know what to do if it doesn't work, which might mean I can then go searching for more possible answers to the don't knows. I keep learning and growing keeping some tools that I have learned and others I am leaving well behind me.
Just my musings.....