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oliviaa last won the day on November 7 2017

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About oliviaa

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  • Birthday 07/24/1973

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    Greenwell Point, Australia

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  1. oliviaa

    Relearning How To Walk

    Hi @mytype1collagenis2tight! It was lovely to meet you in Vancouver, and thank you for your comments about the workshop. See you next time ... perhaps in Portland ... Cheers Olivia
  2. A comment about the pancake/pike, and then some observations about working with children as compared to adults, most particularly in a gymnastics setting. I've long argued that being able to move the pelvis – particularly in anterior tilt, but not only in this direction – is the key to being able to do the pancake. I do think that all of the techniques canvassed above will help 'get you further down', but, what I observe when I see people doing them is that the pelvis does not move anteriorly. Yes, with each effort they can reach further or compress more. And, yes, with the force and/or speed of the movements involved there is very likely a momentary pelvic movement, but I don't think this is sufficient for the feeling of the pelvic movement to be experienced. Even with maximum reaching effort to hold your end reach, if the pelvis didn't move then mostly (all?) you're doing is working hard to hold your reach. Practising pelvic movements well out of a stretch position, so that movement is possible, is gold, and once available, the pelvic movement can be used in conjunction with all the excellent techniques canvassed above. Next topic! Kit has written extensively on the these forums and elsewhere about the differences in working with children's versus adults' bodies in the pursuit of increasing flexibility, all of which I agree with fully. A few years ago we spent a bunch of time working closely with a now well-known gymnastics coach who argued to us strongly that no-one needs to stretch because doing mobility training is all you need to become flexible. This has not been our experience in ST, hence the ensuing discussion about differences between children and adults (this coach worked with gymnasts from when they were young children; our experience in ST was working with adults). I spent 10 years, from age 5 1/2, training as a gymnast, and many years coaching. Broadly speaking, we did not do a lot of 'stretching'. What we did do was high-volume/low-intensity conditioning, at the end of every training session. An example session would include, 4 x 20 chin ups, plus 4 x 20 hanging leg raises, plus many other exercises with similar number of sets/repetitions. As a child, there were no physical ROM restrictions to completing these full-ROM movements, and at those numbers; fatigue was what stopped us. As well, there were no mental restrictions: what I mean here is that whilst we all whinged about the conditioning work because it's incredibly boring compared to the fun training on apparatus, we could all do it – we didn't think about how our shoulders or hamstrings were too tight or our hip flexors too weak, we just did the work and if there were any 'deficits' they usually sorted themselves out over time. Adults coming to work with their body have many ROM restrictions, typically, and many ideas about why they can't do X, and probably past injuries, too. These things combined, I believe, are one reason why just doing mobility work does not overcome ROM deficits in adults. A key feature of Stretch Therapy is to give the individual the direct experience of the part of their body that is stuck letting go, in particular using the Contract–Relax technique, but many others can be employed if necessary. Mobility training alone does not have this affect in adults, in my experience, or at the very least not efficiently: that is it takes a long time, like gymnasts spend when they start as a young child. Mobility can, however, help incorporate new movement as unlocked into the adult body so that it becomes embodied.
  3. Hi saltosalto I second everything that Nathan and Craig have written. Further to Craig's recommendation to explore the piriformis exercises, work on the bolster piriformis (see YT clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT4948tW2hw) and add pelvic movements. You'll need to be in a very gentle position in terms of overall stretch being experienced, otherwise no movement will be possible. Try circles in both directions, side-to-side shifts of the waist, pelvic tilting; any movements you can think of really! Myself, and a number of our teachers, have found that niggling hamstring problems can be – excuse the wording, but it works – ground out by doing this, whereas stretching the hamstrings directly does not seem to help with overcoming adhesions from an injury. [Kit will likely jump in here at some point and talk about the process he went through to overcome his own hamstring injury.] As well, incorporate single-leg balancing exercises of a great variety: often, a lack of activation of some of the pelvic stabilisers is involved, I've found, plus single-leg work is brilliant generally! Cheers Olivia
  4. oliviaa

    Nathan's Nook

    Just saw the pic of Kenji with the ST top – awesome!
  5. Hi Chris Straight-kneed legs apart positions expose gracilis, the only adductor that crosses (inserts below) the knee joint. In everyone, gracilis and the inner hamstring need to lengthen at different rates to allow the straight-kneed legs apart movement. If there is any adhesion which inhibits this, a very uncomfortable pain can be experienced in this line. For many people it's felt right across the inside line of the knee, and for other people, somewhere mid-inner thigh. It doesn't feel 'muscular'; more like a "piano wire about to snap" – that's a common descriptor. If fascial adhesion is in play, it must be released: you can't do this to yourself – too intense, you won't be able to 'get in deep enough' on yourself. See Kit's YT clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLewsx9rL_8 Pretty sure we did this in the workshop in New York in Oct 2014, too ... Cheers Olivia
  6. @jaja for the partner HF stretch, if your partner slips down check that the fabrics you are both wearing aren't the culprit. Also, you could try the partner assist with knee behind your glute plus holding your front leg's hip. See image on FB at https://www.facebook.com/StretchTherapyKitLaughlin/photos/a.1480158905399929.1073741886.314219068660591/1480164218732731/?type=3&theater Sometimes when the stretchee is not able to go very deep into the lunge it's really hard for the stretch to sit on them and not slide.
  7. oliviaa

    Relearning How To Walk

    Re. North America, I will have an announcement in early 2018 about workshops in Canada (Vancouver, specifically). I got some good news from the Canadian Consulate in Sydney just last week about work visa requirements! Cheers Olivia
  8. Thanks Swiss Danny We have received some entries, and will leave it another 36 hours given the time difference between Aus and where many of our crew are located. Cheers and thanks Olivia
  9. oliviaa

    Feedback on my site

    Kit wrote above: WP sites take care of this aspect for you. To an extent, you still need to check your site in a variety of screen sizes. I do this for a laptop, iPad, and iPhone, for our website and our email newsletters.
  10. oliviaa

    exercises to release back pain

    Ilia, Olivia here. I was copied in on the innumerable emails between you and Kit that pre-dated this forum thread. Kit has given you hours, and hours, and hours of his time to try to assist you. Let's be completely clear: you are the one with the back pain – it is your problem, not Kit's or anyone else who has taken the time to write to you in this thread. Kit's advice has been solely about trying to move you to the point where you will attempt the exercises he recommends and which have helped tens of thousands of individuals to overcome their back pain, including himself. In response, what you have done is explain why you can't do this, and why other practitioners you are seeing – who I presume you are paying for their time and expertise – suggest you shouldn't do the exercises either. Everything you have written demonstrates a mental fixation with the ideas in your mind, which, unfortunately for you, are all stopping you from helping yourself. You wrote: Kit, myself, and everyone on this forum writing about their experiences have spent time doing the exercises – this is how we learned what our body is telling us, through sensations, not thoughts. This process takes time – a length of time unique to each individual. In the case of someone in pain, the body (and mind) have a strong vested interest in not feeling the parts that have previously caused them pain: this is probably the reason you don't feel an exercise where you think you are 'supposed to'. Forget about these ideas: simply do the exercises and feel what you do feel, and, ask yourself does this feeling change and/or move as you breathe in the position? You also wrote: You've done this Ilia, and written about it at length. Now, act on the advice, or don't, but please don't keep writing back here about why you think you can't attempt the recommended exercises. Cheers Olivia
  11. Thanks to everyone for their contributions to this thread: they are a tremendous help in our planning of our next steps! I thought it might be useful to make a few comments about our key aims for the ABS series. First, a little history, which some of you here may not be aware of. For 27 years, concluding in 2013, we ran a Monkey Gym at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. In that period a conservative estimate is that we taught upwards of 25,000 students. We offered stretching classes and strength-acquisition classes – separate streams – Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced level classes in each stream. We encouraged any new student to start in a stretching class – to improve their body awareness and range of movement – before attending the strength stream, and most people did this. We offered 14-week terms – the length of a university semester: really, it was 2 x 7-week terms in that the first half of a term worked through a bunch of material which was then revisited/added to in the second half. Stretching classes were 75 minutes long; strength classes 60 minutes. I mention this history for the following reason. One of the reactions we receive pretty regularly from people who have come to ST via our online programs is along the lines of "great material, but where do I start, and how do I program my practice?". In contrast, this question never arose when we taught all those semesters at the ANU. Why? Because the 'how to use ST' was taught/communicated in the Beginner course. It wasn't even that every teacher of a Beginner course taught exactly the same content or in a prescribed sequence. Rather, a body of material was covered so that students experienced exercises for the whole body, learned C–R, importance of breathing, etc. etc. Our goal for the ABS series is to reproduce what we did so successfully for all those people in the class setting (face-to-face) in the online realm. Bearing in mind many of your comments in this thread, I think that this can be done with a suite (possibly 20 in total) of short (15-minute max) follow-along sessions which we would release 2/week. When all 20 are available, then we could enable a 'Spotify playlist'-type feature so that people could mix'n'match and build their own programs.
  12. Hey SwissDanny! Very sadly, Suu Kyi is now chasing mice in her next life: we miss her presence every day.
  13. Hi Dave_H, the website was down for several hours last Thursday morning (the date of your post above). All back now. Cheers Olivia
  14. I received a query from an ST Teacher about working with a 10 y.o. female gymnast who is training 18–26 hours per week. My reply is below. I can't speak for the methods used in this girl's gymnastics facility, however to my knowledge the techniques used to improve flexibility in young gymnasts is still pretty barbaric. The focus is on results – mastering the extreme positions via whatever means – rather than on the overall health of the young body. IMO, the very best thing for this girl, and her parents, would be to be exposed to the ST method where, while it is possible to achieve advanced end poses, the focus is on making sure this is done safely. As well, as with any sport, gymnasts will tend to develop a particular pattern of flexibility, along with deficits in ROM. For females, it typically is: - very loose hamstrings generally, but a tightness in the outer hamstring (biceps femoris), coupled with - tight hip flexors, in particular rectus femoris This is because front splits are achieved via external rotation of the back leg – hips not square – which means avoiding the stretch in the above two mentioned muscles. So, working on strict HF exercises, plus internal rotation movements of the hip (not the usual gymnastics focus on legs-apart positions) and strict forward bending – if not those that emphasise the outer hamstring. - uneven flexibility of the shoulder joint. Female gymnasts all have phenomenal shoulder flexion and arms out to sides (think partner stick stretch) and extension, but often have poor internal rotation. If you see this in this particular gymnast, then make sure she learns the exercises for the tight ranges of shoulder movement, and show her strengthening exercises to support the ROM in the ranges she is already very loose in. - very mobile lumbar spine, and probably thoracic too, particularly in extension. But, no real hip extension – meaning, tight hip flexors! This is not a good combination for spinal health as one ages – many of my cohort of female gymnasts developed stress fractures of the spine post-gymnastics: I feel that the work I did in ST from age 20 which specifically focussed on redressing the ROM deficits as described here, combined with working on whole-body strength, is the reason that I have no such problems. - tight ankles. Because of the tumbling aspects of gymnastics, where spring is achieved via the Achilles' tendon recoil, it is not desirable to have too much ankle flexibility: strength is super important. However, in my body, because for aesthetics all positions are done with pointed feet in gymnasts, the calf muscles are really tight and hard. Incorporating some calf stretches plus the stick rolling techniques will be ideal for this girl.