NECK TENSION vs NATURAL JOINTS & FAKE JOINTS

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Have you ever wondered
why are excess tension and poor posture in daily life such common problems?
Even with people who know a lot about anatomy and those exercising regularly.

The fact is that you can only be mindful of what you are aware of. And how people misuse their hinges is not commonly in their range of awareness until they hurt. I used to not have a clue myself and as a result, I was suffering from chronic headaches and muscle tension.

One of the reasons for this situation is a general lack of awareness around how all body parts are designed to function as an integrated whole. Another reason is a lack of clarity about how to use joints appropriately even though it is the first step of functioning as the integrated whole that you are.

Common neck and back chronic tension are so avoidable, don’t assume otherwise!

Unknowingly creating “fake joints” causes much tension build-up in your muscles and a common habit to lock your real joints whether in daily life or when you exercise.

These habits become a vicious cycle and the habitual way feels more natural than the natural way which is quite misleading.

That is why
you may not always be doing
what you think you are doing!

As a result, you go from unknowingly stressing your muscles and joints to stretching them – till you run the risk of killing their natural tone.

Your fake joints (usually muscles) eventually complain that you’re giving them a job that’s not theirs to do. All the while, you wonder why your neck or back hold such a level of tension when you work so hard at stretching your tension?

This is the vicious cycle that keeps your neck and sometimes your whole body uptight in daily life, even when you’re not even stressed out! Being stressed out naturally enhances this tension cycle.

Unconscious habits relating to posture creep up when you’re not watching but what if, like children, you could enjoy good posture without thinking about it?

FOR NOW, START TO OBSERVE YOURSELF. Next time you go about stretching a muscle, check if your overall body is in a state of expansion, contraction, or compression?

How can your energy flow through you if your joints are locked while standing, walking or in a yoga pose? Do you want freedom from chronic neck tension or overall excess tension? Do you want to learn how not to trigger neck tension or pain? Do you want to experience natural good posture (even when you are not thinking about it)?

I am happy to assist you in any way I can. It is my life purpose to inspire and guide you to dance the joy of wholeness.

There is nothing like a fresh perspective to promote the changes you are after.

YOU’VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE 
in exploring this approach 
but habits that no longer serve you!

If you are ready to be free of chronic tension or pain lingering despite all your efforts, or you want to take constructive action to prevent this common challenge, schedule a Free Consult with me and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

You can also sign up for my FREE EXPERIENTIAL CLASS for a Pain-Free Neck happening October 5th at 1pm EST. Message me your name and email address to receive the link to attend via this blog.

Lastly, you can get more info about or sign up for my “Activate your Body Intelligence” Online Course starting this week by clicking on the following link: YES, I WANT TO LEARN MORE OR REGISTER

Namaste! 🙂

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their body the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body or mind.

She also works with yogis interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cecile if you are local to Boston!

INTEGRATED FUNCTIONING AS THE SOLUTION TO OUR FRAGMENTED BODY & WORLD!

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This morning, I was reflecting on how fragmented the world is right now. We tend to compartmentalize everything: our body, time, activities, or relationships. Our lack of integrated functioning affects all aspects of our life and our world.

We are all subjects to unconscious habits corrupting how we move and what we do. We are all subjects to unconscious psyche parts controlling what we think, and how we feel and behave. The more unconscious we are on any level, the more life or our body seem to not cooperate towards us blossoming into our best potential.

Do you feel discouraged sometimes with what’s happening right now? Do you feel stressed but you don’t know how to step out of the cycle? Do you feel alone, not heard, not seen, understood, or loved? Or do you have chronic tension or pain that persist no matter what you try?

Sad, discouraged, reflective

The good thing is that when you start, wherever you can, to progress towards integrated functioning of mind, body, heart and soul, it spreads to all areas of life.

So, if you feel that you are sick and tired of feeling this way…
If you feel you have tried everything without getting results or sustainable results…
If you are challenged by poor posture and its related issues…
If you live in your head more than your body….
Or you easily get tired without knowing why.

Then, know that attending to how you function as the integrated whole that you are is key to solving your challenges. “Integrated Functioning” is not a common expression because it is the missing piece of modern fitness and modern living. The fact is it is even core to optimal wellbeing!

Integrated Functioning is the solution to solve your recurring tension or pain by addressing how organic or not your movement and posture are. It has nothing to do with positioning yourself into what you think “good posture ” is.
When you function as the integrated being that you are, you reclaim natural good posture, you breathe better, you digest better, you think more clearly, you experience your emotions without losing your center – your whole life improves. You can smile and anticipate the best for yourself!

Happy couple

How do I know that?

For 30 years, I have been guiding others to function as the integrated whole that they are as a way to free them from chronic tension or pain. Even though I used to have chronic headaches and neck tension, I have been free from chronic tension for decades. Even though I started life as a disembodied teenager and young adult, I am now teaching others to be more embodied, and even enjoy integrated embodiment.

If I can do it, anyone who wants to can!

That is why I am passionate to help others who suffer from chronic tension or pain, poor posture, and a tendency to live in their head rather than their body. My heart goes out to them because I have been there and I know we cannot ignore our body and not pay a price for it sooner or later.

That is also why, I created a foundational online course “Activate Your Body Intelligence” to guide more people into the first necessary steps of integrated embodiment leading to increased wellbeing.

If this speaks to you and you want to know more about integrated functioning, click the following link to access the replay to “The 3 Pathways to Freedom from Chronic Tension or Pain”, still available for a little longer!

To learn more about the 7-week course, 
message me and I can send you the course information page! 


Cécile Raynor has been teaching for 30 years, published the Wise Way to Yoga as well as numerous articles, and she was featured several times both on TV and on an “Expanded Awareness” radio show. Her blog has been read by thousands of people in over 100 different countries.
Her work is based on the Alexander Technique, the best-kept secret of Olympic athletes and famous performers. They swear by it because it allows them to perform at their best with optimal safety. Although it is now commonly used by everyone. She also created the Body Intelligence Activation Process™, a mind, body, heart and spirit work that affects her students in all aspects of their life as they experience increased wellbeing.
Cécile has been helping people with poor posture, chronic muscular tension and pain, joints issues and headaches reclaim their ease of movement, their natural good posture, and the joy and peace of mind brought by well-being. She has also been a mentor for many students interested in embodied and integrated personal growth.

Cécile can be reached by responding to this blog or by contacting her through her website: https://cecileraynor.com/

CHRONIC TENSION, CHRONIC PAIN & YOGA REVISITED

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If you do not listen to the whispers of your body, it will yell out loud”
Leonardo Da Vinci


FIRST COME CHRONIC TENSION, THEN CHRONIC PAIN.
Yet, this common scenario is often reversible and preventable!

WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT that exercising or practicing yoga is THE SOLUTION to feeling better.

TRUE YOGA in its full spectrum is a good way to develop some level of body awareness, increased mindfulness, and wellbeing.

MODERN HATHA YOGA & STANDARD EXERCISES as currently taught, are at best A SOLUTION to minimize the discomfort of chronic tension and the limitations of chronic pain.


DOES IT ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSE OF YOUR CHRONIC CONDITION?
Nope. Not usually anyway!

Why?

LET ME GIVE YOU A METAPHOR.

If you have a leak in the ceiling of your dining room,
do you plaster the ceiling area where the leak is showing up?
Or do you find out what is going on above the ceiling, most likely in the roof so you can fix the problem once and for all? Sure you would if you could! Right?

STRETCHING OR STRENGTHENING YOUR MUSCLES to address chronic tension or pain is like plastering a leaky ceiling. It can help as long as you do it up to a certain point……

When you feel good in your body, you can jump for joy on a beach!
It is your birthright to do so, whatever that looks like for you!

ALL IS GOOD AND WELL WHEN THERE ARE NO SIGNS that you may be misusing your body one way or the other.

ONCE YOUR BODY STARTS COMPLAINING even though you are a healthy individual it is likely complaining about the way it is handled in daily life. And if you have health challenges, the way you handle your body in daily life can decrease or enhance your tension or pain.

THE ONLINE EVENT BELOW CAN GIVE YOU INSIGHTS AND KINESTHETIC EXPERIENCES to reach these insights. You start to understand MOVEMENT & POSTURE in a way that can change how you approach exercise, meditation, and any daily activity from sitting at a computer to playing an instrument.


PLEASE, JOIN ME and other people globally and let’s explore these things together!

By clicking on the link to access the event page, you will learn more about the event agenda and about why I am so passionate to help you get to your next level of embodiment, starting wherever you are, because I have been there!:)

JOIN US by clicking this link: Freedom From Chronic Tension & Pain

See you in cyberspace soon!:)

Cécile Raynor has been teaching for 30 years, published the Wise Way to Yoga as well as numerous articles, and she was featured several times both on TV and on an “Expanded Awareness” radio show. Her blog has been read by thousands of people in over 100 different countries.
Her work is based on the Alexander Technique, the best-kept secret of Olympic athletes and famous performers. They swear by it because it allows them to perform at their best with optimal safety. Although it is now commonly used by everyone. She also created the Body Intelligence Activation Process™, a mind, body, heart and spirit work that affects her students in all aspects of their life as they experience increased wellbeing.

Cécile has been helping people with poor posture, chronic muscular tension and pain, joints issues and headaches reclaim their ease of movement, their natural good posture, and the joy and peace of mind brought by well-being. She has also been a mentor for many students interested in embodied and integrated personal growth.

THE SECRET TO LASTING GOOD POSTURE

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Postural challenges are an increasing problem nowadays because we have become a society of people stationed in our heads more often than not – even as we exercise.

As a result, we trust our trainer, yoga teacher and our mind more than our whole-body intelligence as if they knew better what is appropriate for us in each moment. Think of it! When you are at the gym or you do yoga, don’t you tend to let your educated mind decide how your body ought to sit, stand or move?

So you micro-manage your body parts in an effort to reach what you THINK is “correct”, be it a squat or a yoga pose. You micro-manage your shoulders and back to reach what you THINK is your best posture.
But is it? Who knows whether it is or not?

Your trainer or teacher knows the way the pose or exercise is meant to look like, but does she know your body?
Can she guess how your body is feeling as you are doing your pose?
Only your whole body intelligence can. And it knows way before you feel unhappy muscles or joints.:)

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Poised sitting: upright rather than straight and relaxed

THE TRUTH IS that there is a mechanism within you that is designed to handle your best balance, coordination, and posture. When you micro-manage your body, you prevent this mechanism to do its job properly. That is why pulling your shoulders back does not last and you find yourself slouching within minutes if not seconds.

Learning about that mechanism and how to activate it is the secret to clearing posture issues and to gain increased freedom from the consequences of poor posture: namely, neck, shoulders and back tension or pain.

Interested in learning more?
Then, please join me and others for my 75 minutes FREE GLOBAL ONLINE EVENT on September 14, 2021 to get an understanding and experience of this mechanism.

For more info or to register, click on the following link:

THE 3 PATHWAYS TO FREEDOM FROM CHRONIC TENSION OR PAIN

See you there and then!
Cécile 🙂

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Cécile Raynor has been teaching for 30 years, published the Wise Way to Yoga as well as numerous articles, and she was featured several times both on TV and on an “Expanded Awareness” radio show. Her blog has been read by thousands of people in over 100 different countries.

Her work is based on the Alexander Technique, the best-kept secret of Olympic athletes and famous performers. They swear by it because it allows them to perform at their best with optimal safety. Although it is now commonly used by everyone. She also created the Body Intelligence Activation Process™, a mind, body, heart and spirit work that affects her students in all aspects of their life as they experience increased wellbeing.

Cécile has been helping people with poor posture, chronic muscular tension and pain, joints issues and headaches reclaim their ease of movement, their natural good posture, and the joy and peace of mind brought by well-being. She has also been a mentor for many students interested in embodied and integrated personal growth.

PATHWAYS TO FREEDOM FROM CHRONIC PAIN

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Discover the 3 foundational pathways to developing the natural good posture
and ease of movement leading you to a pain-free body!

It’s easy to get used to pain and forget that living pain-free is possible when you are under the influence of unconscious habits, constantly interfering with the natural way to be in your body.

Most chronic tension or pain is due to or enhanced by how we use our body consciously or not, first in daily life and then while we are exercising. And that is itself influenced by the way we have been taught about posture and movement through the modern fitness model.

Three Pathways to where you want to be

That is why, when you redefine what your mind and body have come to associate with the word “fitness”, you open up to developing “flexible strength” (instead of stiff strength) and you decrease and often eliminate the risk of injury.

That is why, when you shift the way you approach movement in your daily life, instead of relying o exercise alone, you can regain ease of movement in a more sustainable way than being stuck in the common vicious cycle: creating unnecessary tension in daily life, stretching that tension, then recreate it over and over as soon as you stretch it.

That is also why, when you expand your notion of proper alignment to include your body as a whole, you can reclaim natural good posture effortlessly – like in children!

These are the 3 pathways I will address in my September LIVE Global Online EVENT which includes Q & A!

If these topics speak to you and you want to learn more and experience a bit of that possible freedom from chronic tension or pain, then click the following link to register: Save my Spot!

Imagine yourself feeling unstoppable because you can do anything you want again. You feel rested after a good night’s sleep, energetic as you go through the day, excited that your muscles and joints no longer call for your attention. 

Imagine yourself trusting your whole-body intelligence to work for you anywhere, anytime. 

The smile on your face says it all! This is the joy of living life in harmony with the wisdom of your body which allows healing space naturally.

Jumping for Joy with Vitality and Enthusiasm for Life

If this is what you want and you have not yet worked with me, this foundational 75 minutes event is just the thing for you. So, if you have not registered yet, here is the link to do so now:

Save my Spot to the 3 Pathways to Freedom from Chronic Tension or Pain!

I am so excited to meet everyone who attends and be of service to you so you can live with increased mind and body wellbeing!

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their body and mind the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body or mind.She also works with yogis interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cecile if you are local to Boston!

CAN YOU LET GO and CHALLENGE YOURSELF @ The Same Time?

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Below is a podcast interview for STELLAR LIFE about the importance of our mindset if we are to experience ease of movement on and off the mat! It covers how to let go at the very same time you are challenging yourself which most people see as opposite.

In this fun interview, Orion Talmay, a life coach, and athlete puts me a bit on the spot but it brings about lots of good information and I even guides her through an experience of more lightness in motion via audio which I never did before and nor did she!

So if you are inspired and interested to hear about how to step out of your own way in movement and in life, click and listen or click and read the transcript below.

You will realize that there are different levels of body awareness
and that there is more to being in touch with your body
than experiencing the physicality of your body.

Hope you enjoy this podcast and topic!

And if you want to learn more about it,
attend my next live webinar
coming soon!

Stay Tuned! Cécile:)

STELLAR LIFE Podcast

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their body and mind the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body or mind.

She also works with yogis interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cecile if you are local to Boston!

STRAIGHT SPINE versus POISE: A Crucial Difference!

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Whether you meditate or you practice yoga asanas, many teachers often recommend you to have a straight spine. Do you ever differentiate your back from your spine? Or your energetic spine from your physical spine? Do you see the difference between a straight spine and poise or upright posture?

These distinctions are crucial if you want to enjoy natural good posture.

KW 03 Poised Child Drinking

Children are naturally upright and never sit holding themselves upright or arching their back!

1) Straight Spine Focus
Although your spine is not straight and has natural curves, the shape of your spine changes somewhat with your movements. Your back may look straight, especially with poised sitting, but your spine always has some form of curving in it.

When you attempt “to straighten the spine” you are actually forcing a curve to straighten upward creating body stiffness and tiredness. This is why attempting  the common idea of “good posture” that way is not sustainable and time and time again you find yourself right back where you started, in a slouch.

2) Curved Back Focus
You may be aware of this dilemma, and may tend to go in the opposite direction. This tend to promote the opposite misconception namely that it is a natural thing to have an arched mid-back at all times. Unfortunately, that is not serving you because, again, you are letting your mind telling your body what to do as if it knew better and you end up creating back curves when they may ot be natural to your specific body.

3) Energetic Spine versus Physical Spine

I think there is a confusion between the physical spine (curved) and the energetic spine or Sushumna which can be thought of as straight when the focus is to direct energy up the spine!

Ancient yogis have told us that the spine could be thought of as a staff or a rod without making a distinction between your energetic spine they call the sushumna and your physical spine. However, we have the means to rectify this by letting our innate whole-body intelligence be in the driver seat.

How can you do this?

4) Curved Spine & Straight Back can Happen together
Learn to activate your whole-body intelligence via your postural mechanism designed to handle your best posture, coordination and balance. It gets you out of the way as you let it decide what is right for you in each moment. Your whole-body intelligence knows better than your mind or your teacher’s mind! It is your inner teacher and it can guide you beyond what feels “right” or “wrong” to you. Beyond what feels “comfortable” or not.

Your individual body synergy cannot be changed one body part at a time and stay the way you want it to stay as many of you have surely experienced in the past!

For sustainable results, you need to address changes as the self-coordinated system that you are and move as an integrated whole for optimal efficiency and wellbeing.

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When not aligned above support and relaxed, gravity promotes slouching.
When aligned above support and relaxed
, gravity promotes effortless good posture.
Do you want to learn more about this mind/body approach to natural good posture? 
Or learn how to reclaim efficient moving and freedom from chronic tension or pain?
Private message me your contact info to be informed of my latest free webinars or other special offers. In the meantime, come to my next free Webinar:

” Discover 3 Ways to Freedom from Chronic Pain” – September 9, 2021

LOOKING FIT vs BEING FIT & HEALTHY

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Our society has come to confuse appearances with reality in a way that took HEALTH out of the FITNESS EQUATION for many individuals.

We’ve all heard of people who had a heart attack as they were overexercising. Emergency rooms have seen yoga teachers who need a knee or hip replacement and massage therapists witness athletes of all kinds suffering from chronic excess tension or sore muscles.

LOOKING FIT often refers to a person that exercises a lot, tends to be slender, with defined muscles, a tanned skin, and preferably young looking. Any or all these features combined are seen as not only attractive but a sign of BEING FIT.

A man in tune with the beauty of nature after a whole-body activity,
one of the best ways to nurture health and strength of body and mind


WE HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE that our muscles size and strength are what makes us fit and healthy – so, the world is in a frenzy when it comes to exercises and food that help us grow muscle power.

BUT IS IT REALLY THE BLACK AND WHITE REALITY?

Is there even any truth to this modern fitness belief?
Do you know people who look fit yet have some health challenges?
Do you know people who are fit and healthy although they don’t look fit according to the widespread stereotype?

THIS IS NOT UNCOMMON!

I am a proof of this. I am super healthy and strong.
I always have been, but I never was slender – simply not in my genes!

Although fitness is important for health, it seems that many people suffer from confusion around what fitness is or is not. Appearances and popular knowledge can be quite deceiving.

THE TRUTH IS THAT awareness of “Integrated Functioning” is missing from modern fitness even when it still brings about some benefits, which accounts for this mass confusion.People can get benefits and still hurt themselves at the same time over time.

Your body strength does not come from the size or definition of your muscles but from how they work in an integrated way with the rest of your body.

YOUR TRUE STRENGTH IS A MIND/BODY OUTCOME which comes from the balanced partnership between your skeletal structure, your joints and your muscles working in an integrated way – none of them stealing the show, all of them working harmoniously together!

IT IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING OR NOT depending on your mindset about movement and posture.

SO, ASK YOURSELF:

  • Do you believe that more is better?
  • Do you feel you are not doing enough when you do not feel isolate muscles exert themselves?
  • Do you tend to feel muscle tension nagging you in your daily life?
  • Are you addicted to stretching?
  • Do you feel addicted to exercising or yoga practice?

If you said yes to either of these statements or all of them, you may need to question your relationship with your body. You may realize that you feel better when you work with your body intelligence rather than trying to whip your body into shape.

That is what happens when people who exercise or practice yoga do not know how to activate their whole-body intelligence, they strain in their effort to do what they think is right

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you should quit challenging yourself. I love challenging myself and Olympic athletes use this work and swear by it.

After my 30 years experience as an Alexander Technique teacher, I can tell you that there is a way to challenging yourself as a whole body working as an integrated whole. And it is the answer to release and prevent chronic tension or pain while thriving in all your activities.

It is the way to feel empowered when handling your body and your life.

If you want to learn more about this holistic approach to fitness

TAKING THE STRESS OUT OF YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE,

Join this blog or private message me your email
to be informed of my incoming FREE WEBINAR on the topic below.

3 Ways to Release Chronic Tension or Pain:
A Journey toward Natural Good Posture,
Ease of Movement, & Lightness of Being

Till then, be well!

TENSING IS NOT EFFICIENT STRENGTHENING!

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Tensing your muscles to strengthen them is a form of overdoing. It was started by the bodybuilders of the 19th century who launched modern fitness and influenced modern yoga. However, as pioneers, they were not aware of the whole picture!

Modern fitness pioneers were not aware of the full effect of their tensing on their body. Their main focus was mind over body to bulk up which they saw as the only way to evidence their strength. Only it was one way to do it that had a side effect.

The thing is, although you DO strengthen when you tense up,
you also add excess tension to your strengthening process.

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First picture, tense plank – Second picture, strong plank

That is why, even when you have a serious practice exercising,
you may tend to feel tense in daily life
and you may have an urge to constantly stretch
Does this sound familiar?

The fact is that when you chose to tense up to strengthen,
you are developing “stiff strength” instead of “flexible Strength”
and that leads you to be addicted to stretching. It also limits you from reaching your highest fitness potential. 

In truth, you can challenge yourself big time without tensing your muscles. Successful Olympic athletes and famous performers understand that and can perform with efficiency, optimal safety, and grace which shows up in their daily life as well .

To embrace a more holistic way to strengthen,
you want to keep room for your muscles to release while you do a strengthening exercise
. When you do it right, you suddenly feel the power of your body working as a whole, bones, muscles, gravity, all cooperating with your whole body intelligence.

And if you have questions about this or you want to learn more, feel free to email me your questions through this blog or schedule a Free Consult with Cécile for a more thorough exchange.

You can also listen to the podcasts below:

WELLNESS INSIDER NETWORK Podcast

STELLAR LIFE Podcast

THE WISE WAY TO YOGA  Podcast series on Spotify and based on Cecile’s book

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their mind/body the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body and mind.

She also works with yogis of all levels interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cécile if you are local to Boston!

ARE TIPS GIVEN BY TEACHERS & TRAINERS 100% HELPFUL?

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Are all the expressions of Warrior 2 above Integrated Poses?

Clearly, you have received helpful tips to date. Yet, can you think of examples where you were guided to apply tips and beliefs to your practice which did not make it easier? Although suspicious, you did what they recommended. Only to find that your knees or back remained tense in your daily life. Or maybe, as I heard new teachers say, they developed sciatica from training and teaching.

As a yoga teacher or fitness trainer, when you give tips to students, it can be very helpful, or it can create trouble. Why?

  1. They do not necessarily apply what they were told, the way it was meant (mainly due to their personal habits).
  2. Or, it helps them with one aspect of their challenge, but it doesn’t change their overall approach to movement. As a result, they are still creating trouble for themselves in other ways. And still looking for tips to solve these challenges.
By attempting to not let the knees go past her toes, she is sticking her behind way back and arching her back in a way that is not in line with her whole-body intelligence

Teachers have a whole repertoire of tips & beliefs meant to help with yoga poses and fitness trainers do too. And they are always looking for more. Some are helpful, and some are actually dangerous. Here are a couple examples:

  1. Do not let your knees go past your toes. In some poses, it is sound advice to save your knees while in other poses it actually kills your knee joints.
  2. Lengthen your back. When you hear it as “allow your back to lengthen”, it is fine. When you arch your back, thinking you are lengthening it, you are actually stressing your spine and your whole body. And since you do it out of habit, you may not even be aware you are doing it.

So, tips and beliefs around movements can create more trouble than they are worth even though they come from well-meaning teachers who heard it from their own well-meaning teachers.

Child Pose in a Classroom

The truth is that, although fitness is meant to help you be fit, it has evolved into a mixed bag. It helps you in some ways. You see some good results, so you stick with it. Yet, you can also damage your body in the process if you do not have a bigger picture. If you do not have an approach to use your body as the integrated whole that it is. And most of the time, you do not realize this. You do not necessarily connect the dots when an injury happens, especially if it is off the mat.

Listening to your body is definitely a first good step to prevent hurting yourself. However, until you know if you are catering to the preferences of your body habits or listening to the guidance of your whole-body intelligence, you may be reinforcing daily habits that are not serving you. To avoid doing this, it is helpful to discover how to activate your Whole-Body Intelligence. It is your inner teacher and it is always 100% correct. Only there is a difference between listening to your body and listening to your Whole-Body Intelligence Guidance once activated.

Interested in learning this skill? Email me and we can ask each other questions and assess together where you are at right now and if this work is a good fit for you. Remember that it is never what you do that you regret, but what you did not do when you had the chance! 

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their mind/body the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body and mind.

She also works with yogis of all levels interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cécile if you are local to Boston!