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oliviaa last won the day on June 4 2023

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About oliviaa

  • Birthday 07/24/1973

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    Greenwell Point, Australia

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  1. For the adult body that has not ever achieved* a particular end pose (splits, pancake, pike, etc.), practicing that end pose, for whatever length of time per session/frequency of sessions/any other parameter is the least efficient way to master the pose. Rather, finding what is your individual restriction(s) for that position, working on exercises to un-restrict that restriction, and then practice modified versions of the end pose that allow you to maintain form. Then, over time, work towards practicing versions closer to the end pose, once or twice per week, allowing recovery time – remember, it is during recovery that the body/brain is processing the new sensations and range of movement – and gauge how your body feels following each session. Further to Markus' note above about 'owning' a position, unless you can do it cold from a flexibility perspective then you don't own it. @MichaelP I often do my reading on the floor in a near full pancake, and stay there for any period of time I choose to – I can do that position cold at any time, and find it more comfortable than sitting on a couch. It is not a 'stretch' for my body: I own that pose. @MichaelP you wrote above: Do you think that if you had both done the focused sessions combined with the long holds accumulating time in the positions, you would have progressed even further? For example, two 45 minute pancake workouts, ending with 15 minute holds (so two 1 hr sessions per week; 1.5 hrs 'strength training' per week, 30 mins sitting in the pose). Do you think we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater by not recommending the extended holds at all? I've written here and elsewhere about long held positions – they have been gold for my practice. 'Hold' is a poor label because it suggests static. Much better is to add a variety of movements to the position being explored. * By this I mean, if you have never been able to do that end pose, say perhaps as a child.
  2. Hi there. I get the same sensation on one side, but only when the partner is holding the calf of the back leg. I ask the partner to instead hold the ankle, with both a downwards (into floor) pressure and a slight lengthening (away from our bodies) force, and then I don't feel the nerve-type stretch in the calf. Cheers, Olivia
  3. Hi Andi. Have a look at the following: https://stretchtherapy.net/the-pancake-reflections-on-mastering-the-essential-anterior-pelvic-tilt/ and https://stretchtherapy.net/pancake-moving-sequence/ Cheers, Olivia
  4. Hello there, Olivia here. Calves and ankles were seriously tight in my body for a very long time, and I could not squat flat-footed, only with heel lifts. Three things 'unlocked' the movement for my body. The first was a super-duper strong stretching sequence that is part of a series/approach we now call SledgeHammer Stretching: the calf sequence can be viewed on the ST site at https://stretchtherapy.net/sledgehammer-stretching-calf-sequence-full-demonstration/: the video page has a link to an article, too. Along with what you called the rod of correction (above), I found doing that softening technique while the soleus muscle and Achille's tendon were under stretch was very effective: find that video at https://stretchtherapy.net/rollstretch-techniques-for-soleus/. And, spending time in the full squat but not static, rather adding movements: see a video of that at https://stretchtherapy.net/olivia-squat-movements/. One further thing. My feet used to be rigid, so softening them has been hugely beneficial. Here are some things to try for your feet: - https://stretchtherapy.net/foot-awakening-sequence-suitable-for-pronation-overly-high-arches-foot-and-ankle-mobility/ - https://stretchtherapy.net/foot-and-ankle-mobilisation-and-stretching/ Cheers Olivia
  5. Hi Olga Happy New Year (it's almost February!) and best wishes for 2022. Kit and I were talking about you on Tuesday, to a local resident here who has been suffering with plantar fasciitis for two years – we told him about you going barefoot in Hong Kong! Re. me and relaxation practice, I wrote a little article about that last year, find it at https://stretchtherapy.net/relaxing-is-letting-go/. With love Olivia
  6. @jaja. are you okay? We can phone you if you'd like to talk? Please send us your number. Cheers, Olivia
  7. Jak, I'm not offended by anything you wrote. And, you are welcome for the advice; no thanks is required. My reflection back to you is that rather than follow the advice, you continue to write back about why you can't, and more, how you've moved on to another system. Good luck with that; I hope it works for you. My observation about the child was about behaviour, which you, as an adult, can choose to change in yourself if you want to. I did in myself, a long time ago, and I have excellent flexibility, something you claim you want in your own body – I wish you well in that endeavour. Olivia
  8. Hi Jak I was in the supermarket yesterday and there was a little dude, probably four years old, having an epic tantrum – LOUD – because his mother wouldn't let him have a lolly he wanted. His mum and three siblings were trying to console him, but he was committed! Reading your posts in this thread brought that dude to my mind. You are committed to the *idea* that you want a pre-set structure. Above, I gave you the suggestion to start with the ABSS programs; your response ("How 'beginner' are we talking?") is, well, silly. You are a beginner, Jak, so begin, or don't – it's your choice. Kit has given you extensive advice about how to use the MTS program; follow his advice, or don't – this is also your choice. Finally, consider this: Kit is 67 years old and moves and functions better than many many people in their 20s, and he started with very poor flexibility coupled with crippling lower back pain – he is the testament to the advice he has given you. It's your choice now: you can get started, or like the child* in the supermarket, you can choose* to put your energy into just making lots of noise. [* Big difference, of course; you are an adult.] Cheers Olivia
  9. Hi Jak. Another option is to use the Absolute Beginner's Stretching Series. These are all follow-along sessions. No thinking required (!), rather the focus is on pressing play and doing the exercises with the presenter. The series covers the whole body. There are 21 programs across the three Parts that comprise the series, and they are each between 15 and 25 minutes. You could do them all in three weeks, one per day. The 'program' you are looking for on is built in, with the focus on trying out exercises for the whole body, as compared to the Mastery programs which focus on a particular end position. Just a thought. Cheers Olivia
  10. Hi to all. The two Monkey Gym Bodyline videos are now available free on Vimeo: links below. BodyLine circuit – 39 minutes: https://vimeo.com/399369743 BodyLine circuit – 39 minutes: https://vimeo.com/399374687 Cheers Liv
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. Just saw the pic of Kenji with the ST top – awesome!
  15. 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
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