Weekly News Roundup 7/28/14
I’ve got a potpurri of news items for you this week. Not particularly seasonal, but little snippets that have inspired my teaching over the last few weeks/months. Next week will be the first week of August which means the tourists will finally outnumber the mosquitoes here in Downeast, Maine. In honor of all our visiting friends, next week’s news will be a local guide to the Blue Hill Peninsula. Definitely let me know your favorite places and activities that should be included.
This coming weekend I’ll be traveling to the eastern most point in Maine to teach a workshop at the Eastport Arts Center on August 3rd. If you are interested in attending contact me or the local organizing teacher Marit Wilson.
Move Your Body
You know how I’m always going on about the actions of yoga such as deep rhythmic breathing and how they help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system? And how things like sucking in your belly inhibits vagus nerve stimulation? Well, here are two interesting links that explain a little bit about why. First up, the vagus nerve, what it is and why you should care about it, and second, why “sucking in your belly” sucks, and why I prefer the cue to “draw the four corners of your belly back”.
Next up, you know how I’m always telling you that over-stretched muscles aren’t beneficial to athletes? Well if we’re not supposed to stretch, how are we athletes supposed to heal and realign our fascia? Here’s some interesting research on the benefits of foam rolling, that explains a little about fascia and how rolling does and doesn’t work. And while I love rolling out my back, I absolutely love this roller device to get blood flowing to the belly of my calves and thigh muscles when I’m too tired to stretch (because passive stretching when your muscles are tired is a terrible idea!).
Ideally we wouldn’t even need to recover from our athletic endeavors. After all, the human body is designed to move! It turns out it’s how we move that causes unnecessary stress to our bodies, or more precisely, all the ways that we are not moving. Repetitive movements such as road running and biking are not the most natural or balanced actions for the human body and unless you balance out the repetition with other kinds of movement, you are likely to end up with an injury. I am fully aware of this hazard as I am smack in the middle of my Ironman training and just barely staving off plantar fasciitis, a classic overuse, stress related injury. So far, the one thing that predictably makes my feet feel better is hiking barefoot on rough, steep rocky trails.
Adding variety to your movement diet is a natural and easy way to prevent injury in the first place. I adore movement educator Katy Bowman, and here’s a great clip from her upcoming project “Move Your DNA”, where she talks about this exact idea.
And here’s a short NYT article about the need for children to move in diverse and unstructured ways as well.
Move your body, nourish your soul.
Lunch always tastes better when it’s eaten in the woods.