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  1. So Cher and I were stuffing around in the studio and came up with this: It is actually remarkably comfortable and stable IF your partners know how to assist properly (and that can be a big 'IF', sometimes). Not for everyone, but something fun to whip-out at an Advanced class. Felt really good, in my body, with a 'toes on accelerator' plantar flexion contraction and a thoracic straightening re-pattern. Yee'ah.
  2. We have had many students start our classes (stretching and strengthening) with 'flat feet' and most have had the form and function of the feet improved significantly. One young man had ankles that pronated so much that he had developed bunions (painfully enlarged joints of both big toes), and the big toes had deviated over 45 degrees away from the midline of the body. Now, three years later (using Five Fingers and a lot of kettlebell work), he now has perfect arches, the swelling and enlargement of the joints has diminished, and he has run two 10km fun runs on asphalt and concrete in his Five Fingers. His feet are perfectly aligned; his arches are developed and supple, and all his toes separate voluntarily. An aside: most people who have been identified (or "diagnosed") with "flat feet" really have pronating ankles, and not the medial displacement of any of the bones of the feet (talus and navicular, usually that the term properly applies to). True flat feet are rare. When most people (and too many experts, IMHO) use the term, they mean pronating ankles: the whole leg has internally rotated in the hip joint; as this happens, the arch of any foot will flatten, and some collapse. Speaking generally, the pronated ankle is a lower energy configuration of the foot, and this is why exercising barefoot (or in FFs) on gravel or similar sharp surfaces has such a strong effect on foot placement: the body is doing all it can to unweight the sole of the foot—and creating the arch is part of what happens when the weight is spread from the inside border of the foot (pronation) to the whole of the foot (good alignment. What follows is the first drill: If you stand, and close your eyes, ask yourself 'where do I feel the weight going through my feet?' If you are like most people, most of the weight goes through the big toe side of the foot, and the heel. Now, lift the toes off the floor, and deliberately put a bit more weight on the outside of the front of the foot, and look down at your feet: notice how the ankle and arch are better aligned? And notice how that realignment takes no muscular effort? Now stand in front of a mirror and repeat the exercise (adding weight to the outside of the foot, and follow that with letting the foot roll in. If you watch, you will see that this is a whole-leg movement, mediated by the external rotators of the hip joint and the movement does not come from the foot itself. In fact, as you externally rotate your thighs, the weight moves to the outside of the foot, and the arch forms. If you have pronating ankles, somewhere in the past, the body has made a choice about where to position the foot (on the internally–externally rotated axis); and the foot adapts to this. The main reasons for the body to make this positional choice (alignment of the femur in the hip joint) are two: tight hip flexors and insufficient stimulation of the soles of the feet during childhood and adolescence. All babies have flat feet; most adults have some pronation, especially under load; and if the pronation is controlled well by the body, it is part of the shock-absorbing mechanism we need for walking and running, as well as the critical mechanism for weight distribution (and obstacle avoiding!). So: step two is to stretch the hip flexors—not easy to do on your own. We recommend a partner exercise, to begin with: And step three, last for today, is to do a foot-strengthening/hip–leg alignment exercise. All you need is bare feet and a set of stairs: put the ball of one foot on the edge of the step, place the other behind this leg, and hold a rail. Straighten the supporting leg's knee. Slowly let the heel move below the level of the stair tread (so, a soleus and gastrocnemius stretch). If your calf muscles are tight, then do small contractions with the calf muscles, and then press the heel lower as you relax and breathe. This is part one. Part two is the strengthening–realigning part: this time as you lower, deliberately let the ankle pronate. Feel where the weight is going through your foot: all on the inside, and under the joint of the big toe. Now, as you press the ball of the foot into the tread to lift the body, transfer some weight to the the outside of the foot so that as you pass the neutral point (normal standing position for the foot and leg): now the ankle will be perfectly alighted, with weight evenly spread across the front of the foot. Pause. Then, as you rise, transfer slightly more weight to the outside (this activates the peroneal tibialis posterior (thanks to slizzardman from Coach Sommer's forums for the correction) muscles strongly, in addition to the two calf muscles). At the top, plantar flexed, position, hold, and feel where the weight is: more will be on the outside than the inside (but don't exaggerate this); and press harder until the muscles spasm momentarily, then lower the heel to stretch that cramp out. Just shot the video today: The suggestion to let the muscles cramp might sound a bit intense, but an involuntary cramp activates the largest numbers of the involved fibres, and the strengthening/realigning effect is maximised. You only need a few repetitions. Once you have done both legs, walk around on a surface that gives you feedback (I like gravel!); you will immediately feel that the feet are contacting the floor differently. This is enough to go on with, and if there's interest, I will add some intrinsic foot muscle–toe spreading drills, too. Regards KL
  3. The title is a bit off I know, but I am old myself. As well as classes for younger people (splits and deep backbends for aerialists, dancers etc) I have a regular ST class which is now populated by people in their 60s to late 70s (the oldest in fact has enviable flexibility, having done yoga all her life). But they include quite a range of people – some are like her, others are working round arthritis, the after-effects of cancer treatment, and more. My ST class as well as including standard ST exercises is intended to address some of the issues that people come with. I have found the following (some of which are probably primary, others secondary): 1. Lack of agility in simple movements. 2. Inefficient patterns of movement (in e.g. getting up off the floor). 3. Lack of confidence in simple movements. 4. General tightness –probably muscular as well as connective tissue including fascia. 5. Anterior dominance including weak and tight posterior muscles. 6. Poor core strength and core reflexivity. 7. Poor posture – excessive lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, head-forward posture. 8. Poor balance. 9. Poor body awareness. 10. Lack of strength. Some accept this because “this is what happens when you get old”. However I try to educate them that many things are possible as you get older, though you may have to try harder than a young person would. Because my classes include exercises for dealing with all of the above, the regular members now all have good function in these areas, unless held back by injury. My hope now is that they go home and educate their spouses (I also have a two-for-one offer to encourage spouses, though it is rarely taken up). The regular students obviously like it, having been coming to me for years. The rapid improvement shown by new members is heartening. I know one response could be “just do the standard ST program” and this is what I try to adhere to closely, but with a flavour to deal with the above issues as well. Some of the core exercises are drawn from Pilates, and the balances are various one-foot balances. I would like to introduce some more dynamic balances with e.g. wobble boards but do not think it would be safe with this group in the spaces I have, where there is nothing to grab onto if falling. To catch yourself when actually in the process of falling, I think you need rapid reflexes, and these need practice, though unfortunately they don’t get it in my class. I wonder if anyone else has experience with this age group, and whether they look out for other things too, and any comments on my program and approach. Jim.
  4. Here's a Hanging Pec Minor and 'Arm Line/Lung meridian' stretch I have been playing with of late: I'm really loving the solo and partner versions of the hanging stretches at the moment; more to come. I'm hopefully going to be filming some of the variants of this stretch around Easter time.
  5. Talking about the advanced piriformis exercise, I think what most anatomists don't get is that the medial attachment of p. extends from the top to the bottom of the midline of the sacrum, so spanning 2+ inches, and can be considered one side of a triangle; the greater trochanter attachment, by comparison, can be considered a 'point', in thinking about this in terms of complex, 3D movement. To get the leg into the starting position requires both flexion and external rotation of the femur in the hip joint, I believe. What makes the real difference between this p. exercise and all others is that the sacrum is moved ~90 degrees (if you can do it completely, as in lie on your front foot), in comparison to the p. exercises where the femur is moved across the body to the opposite shoulder, because in this latter movement, the 'point' attachment pulls more or less evenly on the whole muscle. In the advanced movement, in comparison, the upper fibres of p. are stretched more than the lower fibres (because WRT to the greater trochanter point, the top part of the sacrum moves so much further than the bottom part in the exercise's movement), so that the shortening that external rotation necessitates in the first instance is completely overcome by the whole movement, and the movement becomes a serious stretch (as everyone who has tried the movement knows!). And (this is a separate important part) anyone with p. syndrome has the muscle pierced by one or more nerves—and it is this differential stretching effect between the upper fibres and the lower fibres that provides the tangible relief to this problem, I believe. Of course, this is a massive simplification and does not take any possible fascial adhesions into account, but it does provide a new way of considering from which process the indisputable therapeutic effects arise. And for all exercises requiring movement of the pelvis WRT the femurs (sitting for meditation, sitting cross legged, tailor pose) where hamstring and adductor tension are not a major limitation to moving the pelvis (because the knees are bent), any resistance to movement of the pelvis is compensated by lumbar flexion. This is because p. is limiting the pelvis movement through the identical mechanism (upper fibres will not allow anterior pelvis tilt. I see this on every retreat: beginners who simply can't sit upright. And this effect is compounded by tight hamstrings and adductors when sitting in the starting position of the pancake and the pike—and we see this in all the beginner's photographs posted here—again (though with additional limiting factors) they cannot sit upright. I feel that sieging p. and experiencing pelvic movement (as Olivia has been suggesting for years) is a fundamental part of the acquisition of pike and pancake, through the experience of the movement of the pelvis in its least restricted position. Once this has been felt, the same movement can be more easily acquired in the more difficult movements.
  6. Hi all, I had previously emailed this to Kit and he has asked me to post in the forum so other guests and members can benefit: I'm a 26 year old Sydney-based Engineer. I have a few niggling areas that give me trouble when I exercise (right lower back area and right wrist area when I used to do compound lifts at the gym; upper hamstring tendon when I run or do lunges due to a hamstring tendinopathy I sustained years ago). Before continuing and increasing the risk of sustaining further injury to these or other areas, I recognise the need to reset, work on mobility and also have a desire to build up a solid foundation of strength slowly and work from there. This is where Gymnastic Bodies comes into the picture. However, my posture and mobility is far from perfect and so I need to work on this the same time. I have just purchased Fundamentals, Foundation One, and Handstand One from Gymnastic Bodies. I would like to purchase your stretch videos on Vimeo but am at a bit of a loss as to where to begin. I was reading the forums and came across a comment you made in this thread: Link: http://kitlaughlin.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1057-when-to-start-with-st-and-what-it-can-do-for-us/ "And when I said 'I remember Kit saying that he thinks it would be very beneficial to do his work for 6 months to a year before doing GST to cover all mobility deficits we'all no doubt face ', I was talking about someone who was starting GST (so little investment) not someone with (say) a couple of years' work in..." I'm very interested in undertaking this 6 to 12 months of mobility work you mention to iron out any kinks I have before diving head on into the Foundation One course. I didn't see any of your materials recommended for this though. Would you be able to provide me with recommendations on what products you believe would be of assistance to me? Please bear in mind I am a complete beginner. Thanks very much.
  7. Have a look here: https://www.gymnasticbodies.com/forum/topic/9894-why-doesnt-flexibility-stick/ A reddit user sent this to me yesterday; much of the discussion is useful today. I was asked to comment on the thread then by a moderator there; my comments start about halfway down the first page.
  8. As mentioned in today's Announcement, we are seeking assistance from everyone on how to promote this important new program to a brand-new audience. We know that most of you here will not use this program (or you might, if you are a teacher, to get ideas on how to work with your own absolute beginners), but we are interested in doing something we have not done before: finding out how to reach those millions of people who need our work, but do not know about it. I am talking about the kinds of people who always tell you, "I know I need to do more stretching" (while doing none!), but who find even the usual starting positions too hard. I am talking about family, friends, and co-workers, who have some idea of what you do for fun. But how do we reach all the other people who need grace and ease in their bodies, especially in the era of Trump? What we are trying to create with this new series is the sort of experience you would have if you came to one of our Beginner classes. No prior knowledge, no required skill set, just a curious person who wants to know how to start stretching. And I feel this thread will become a repository of information and techniques that all who run their own business can benefit from, if we get this right. I was prompted to ask for the ST Community's assistance after reading about Olga's success with her new Instagram channel (two brand new clients in the first week as a direct result). And I feel IG is perfect for bringing in new clients to a bricks-and-mortar establishment, if people do not know what you do, or if the brand (like Stretch Therapy) is new in your area. But the Absolute Beginner's Stretching series (10 x 45 minute solo exercise, follow-along programs) needs to be put before people who have never heard of our work, and whom we may never see. How do we do this? I imagine we can come up with a range of strategies that will get us there. All ideas, no matter how left-field, will be gratefully considered!
  9. A quote from a brilliant article linked to below: "Haptic intelligence is human intelligence. We’re just so smart with it that we don’t know it yet. It’s actually much harder to make a chess piece move correctly—to pick up the piece and move it across the board and put it down properly—than it is to make the right chess move.” Katherine J. Kuchenbecker http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/16/what-the-science-of-touch-says-about-us?mbid=nl_160509_Daily&CNDID=27078136&spMailingID=8897091&spUserID=MTA5MjQwNTA5ODA5S0&spJobID=920911188&spReportId=OTIwOTExMTg4S0 The sense of touch is our work in ST, and in my view, touch is the core of awareness (because the body and its sensations only exists in the present). This is an immensely important article. It is important to realise how little we know about touch; I have long thought that we in the ST world are a new kind of explorer (especially in a world where sights and sounds are so all-pervasive, and accorded huge importance). Of course, what we are doing is not "new", but unlike the other senses, whose content can be recorded and stored, touch cannot, and what we learn about it, and how we might refine it is an unique experience that cannot be transferred, copied and reproduced. Refining touch is refining awareness itself. This is what we are doing, I believe. That is the common thread in physical cultivation, whether it be strength, flexibility, movement, skill development, and so on. Those of you who met me when I was teaching the Monkey Gym syllabus might recall that my opening remarks to a group of brand new beginners was "I am going to teach you about awareness".
  10. I have a deeply exciting announcement today: the technology has matured, and Liv and I now have the capacity to stream live from the Monkey Gym. We are implementing this tech in two stages: the first is a technology called "live to disk" (used to be called 'live to tape' in the old days when I was a television director); it means that you do a single take of a program, mix it live, and no stopping/starting—this is as close as you can get to 'live-live'; more on this below; and perhaps its significance is not immediately apparent, so let me step you through the standard workflows we have had to use up to now: Record video on one or more cameras (we have used three; now four), and record sound on a separate recorder (sometimes two recorders); transcode footage (the reasons why transcoding is necessary would take 30' to explain); transcoding an hour of footage from one camera takes about 15'; pull all three/four streams of video into my editing timeline (I use Final Cut Pro X), bring the sound track(s) in after checking levels/reducing noise in another program; synchronise the sound and all the vision; cut in FCPX using something called "multicam editing"; put titles on the ends; add the fades to black and and 'supers' ("superimpositions"; people names, arrows, etc.); have a second person watch the program and give comments back; incorporate the edits; then compress the whole program (separate program and process to do this); and finally use a high-speed wi-fi modem to upload to Vimeo... So, an hour program, as you watch it, usually takes a day or two to make. And, frankly, I do not enjoy watching myself back, and because I operate the cameras, I have already seen any program that Liv presents already. Now (please hear trumpets sounding): The new setup: four cameras recording at 1080p/30 (this quality, "full" HD, is future-proofing; we compress to 720p/30 for Vimeo), feeding into a switcher controlled by my MacBook Pro, and the output is recorded live onto a pair of mirrored solid state drives (so automatic backup, too). We also have a completely new, invisible micing system; we will be testing today. The last technical problem was solved yesterday: consumer and prosumer cameras take a finite time to output video, so in the testing I realised that the audio was arriving about five frames (~150ms) ahead of the video into the switcher—which meant that the recorded program was out of sync (sound not perfectly aligned with video) and you all know how annoying that is! So I researched this and found a little device that allows the precise programming of delay for audio, and now the programs are perfectly in sync as we record them. Noice! So, on any given day from now on, we fire the system up, Liv or I present a program for an hour (for example); we stop recording. The footage loaded of the whole program is loaded into FCPX, we add opening and closing titles (a few minute's work) and send the complete program to Compressor while we have lunch (Compressor, a magic bit of software from Apple, changes the frame size from 1080 x 1920 to 720 x 1280, and compresses both sound and vision; you cannot see the difference between the original and the compressed program). Then the final version of the program is loaded to Vimeo (setting up a new series to sell does involve making a graphic or two, and annotating the settings and doing things like setting the price), but that's it! We send you all the URL. Done and dusted. Once we have proofed this complete system, I will be able to take a version of it on the road, too, in two hard cases: we will be making this production service available to other Stretch Therapy teachers who want to develop their own names, brand, and programs. The last step is live streaming, where the whole process is one. Right now, we do not feel that has any particular attraction (mainly because of the time differences between Australia and the rest of the world, and we do not want to work at 03:00a.m.), but Vimeo and other platforms are coming on line that will facilitate this. In time, when we add a simple last component, the master 1080p/30 program will be fed into the "Web Presenter" (which also compresses it live) as well as being recorded for backup and the program can be uploaded live to the Vimeo LIVE platform and may be watched then and there; and Vimeo automatically immediately archives the same program when it's ended, so that it is then available like any of our other programs. The key point is though that this is a single process: Liv or I presenting, and you watching, live, anywhere in the world. This opens up a huge number of new possibilities.
  11. In preparation for the forthcoming book 'Stretching for Every Body', Kit has asked me to post the recommended reading for the larger body of work, known as Stretch Therapy. These texts provide relevant fine details for practitioners, and make fascinating reading for the interested layman. Kit Wrote: "All of the references mentioned here have helped me to understand what happens to us as we stretch. Some readers may be surprised by the age of the books mentioned in this list, as there is a widespread tendency to place greater reliance on more recent publications, on the assumption that the scientific enterprise moves forwards continually. In my experience, however, the earliest possible sources are often the best, even if subsequent work reveals errors of various kinds. Innovators create fields of enquiry; subsequent researchers plough the same ground and—if effective—provide refinement of detail. Both kinds of enquiry are necessary to fuller understanding. The big ideas usually appear in earlier works. Achterberg, J., 1985. Imagery in Healing: Shamanism and Modern Medicine. New Science Library, Boston and London. A very readable introduction to psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the interactions between mind and body, and an analysis that will change your understanding of the patient-practitioner relationship forever. Albrecht, K., 1979. Stress and the Manager: making it work for you. Simon & Schuster, New York, Touchstone edition, 1986. Foreword by Hans Selye. One of the earliest texts in the field of occupational stress; relevant and practical. Contains a good relaxation script. Alter, M. J., 1988. Science of Stretching. Human Kinetics Books, Champaign, Illinois. A wealth of scientific detail underlying the practical dimensions of stretching. Benson, H., 1976. The Relaxation Response. Collins, London. This very small book is a minor gem, condensing a great deal of technical research into meditation recommendations and related practices. Chiba, S., Ishibashi, Y., and Kasai, T., 1994. Perforation of dorsal branches of the sacral nerve plexus through the piriformis muscle and its relation to changes of segmental arrangements of the vertebral column and others. Kaibogaku Zasshi (Acta Anatomica Nippon). Damasio, A. R., 1994. Descartes’ Error: emotion, reason and the human brain. Macmillan, London, Papermac edition, 1996. The most influential book I read in 1997, and which provides a deep understanding of the relation between what we call the ‘mind’ and the ‘body’. My sincere hope is that Stretching for Every Body can provide some of the tools to alter the perception of, experience of, and the function of, this dualism (which distinction is motivated, as G. Spencer-Brown would say). Foss, L., and Rothenberg, K., 1987. The Second Medical Revolution: From Biomedicine to Infomedicine. Shambala, New Science Library, Boston & London. The 'infomedical' model locates the human being in an ecological, social and psychological framework with important implications for treatment of illness and analysis of cause - especially the degenerative diseases of our time - while preserving the deep insights into process provided by the scientific world view. The model is fairly described as revolutionary in the Kuhnian sense. Jerome, J., 1987. Staying Supple: the bountiful pleasures of stretching. Bantam Books, New York. The ‘Unnumbered lesson’ in my "Stretching & Flexibility" derives much from this slim but rich publication. I had extolled the pleasure of stretching long before I found this book, but Jerome made me think again about how the points between the cardinal points on our stretching compass need to be explored. His insistence on the necessity of listening to what the body is trying to tell you cannot be overemphasised in achieving the goal of flexibility. Are you listening? Johnson, M., 1987. The Body in the Mind: the bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. This brilliant book examines the ways in which our body and its movement through time and space is constitutive of thought, from basic awareness to abstract concepts, via image schemata and metaphor. Although Johnson’s focus is different, his insights are compatible with Damasio’s. Perhaps the negative prejudice accorded the body (in comparison with the mind) explains why Johnson’s ideas are not more central to mainstream philosophy today. Juhan, D., 1987. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Station Hill Press, New York. Foreword by Ken Dychtwald. I read this wonderful book many years before Damasio’s; when I read the latter I was reminded of the many insights Juhan had achieved without the new biochemical and neurological evidence presented in Descartes’ Error. The understanding provided by direct experience, and acts of imagination constrained by this experience, can be far-reaching indeed. Juhan’s book should be read by all who describe themselves as body workers. Kapandji, I. A., 1974. The Physiology of the Joints. Volumes I–III. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh. This is the first and finest exposition of the anatomy and physiology of the bones and muscles of the body, presented from an engineering and Newtonian physics perspective. The sheer comprehensiveness of these texts is humbling and they are beautifully and innovatively illustrated. Kapandji’s capacity to draw the fundamental physical principles involved in joint movement in a simple, though anything but simplistic, way is an inspiration. This is a must-have set of books for anyone interested in exercise or rehabilitation. Keleman, S., 1985. Emotional Anatomy: the structure of experience. Center Press, Berkeley. Keleman argues persuasively that one’s own body shape is a dynamic interaction between one’s genetic inheritance and one’s personal emotional history. His work is a considerable elaboration of Reich’s insights (see below) into character armoring. Of particular interest is his analysis of the internal implications of this history, and its effect on organ function, the musculoskeletal dimension, and the emotional choices that are made as a result, all of which constrain options for future adaptation. Remarks made above in relation to Damasio’s work are relevant here, too. Kendall, H. O., Kendall, F .P., and Wadsworth, G. P., 1971. Muscles, Testing and Function. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 2nd edition. Again, the original and, in many ways, the best. A newer revised edition is available. Knott, M., and Voss, D. E., 1968. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. Harper & Row, New York. The first of its kind; two subsequent editions have been released. Kurz, T., 1994. Stretching Scientifically: a guide to flexibility training. Stadion, Island Pond, Vermont, USA, revised 3rd edition. Kurz’s book has some useful ideas on developing dynamic flexibility; athletes in sports requiring this kind of flexibility would do well to read it. He is critical of partner stretching, though: too dangerous and inefficient, on his account. His theory chapter is brief and excellent. Laughlin, K., 1998. Overcome Neck & Back Pain, first published 1995, by BodyPress, Canberra; second edition Simon & Schuster, Sydney; revised third edition, Simon & Schuster, New York; full rewrite fourth edition, Simon & Schuster, Sydney, 2007. All relevant details of how we approach the treatment of neck and back problems will be found here, as will the references on which the approach draws. For example, the Chiba et al. research that revealed the high percentage of the general population whose piriformis muscle is pierced by the sciatic nerve will be found here. This reference is included, above. Laughlin, K., 1999. Stretching & Flexibility. My initial attempt to present a lesson-based approach to improving flexibility, much of this remains relevant today. As the world has moved, though, from a logo-centric perspective to an image-based one, I realised that I needed to rewrite this from top to bottom. Hence the present work. I have précised (if there is such a word) much of the technical explanations of that original here in recognition of this change, so you may care to find an old copy and see what I was thinking then. All remains relevant, and the lesson plans are still operative. Reich, W., 1989. The Function of the Orgasm. Souvenir Press, London. First published in English, 1942, as The Discovery of the Orgone, Volume I: the function of the orgasm, Orgone Institute Press. Through his insistence that ‘muscular attitudes and character attitudes have the same function in the psychic mechanism ... they cannot be separated ... [and] are identical in their function’, Reich gave modern voice to what are now called schools of body work. Selye, H., 1976. The Stress of Life. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. Revised edition 1976, paperback edition 1978. This book, first published in 1956, spawned a major field of research and remains relevant today. Selye’s insights are one of the longest-lasting major revisions in modern medicine and the full weight of his research is yet to be felt, in my view. Travell, J. G., and Simons, D. G., Volume 1, 1983; Volume 2, 1992. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the trigger point manual. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore. Another monument of scholarship, Travell and Simons’s two volumes are, in my experience, owned by many but understood by few. Like Kapandji, these books repay constant revisiting, and one cannot help feeling awed by the sheer hard work involved in their preparation. The illustrations of muscles and bones by Barbara Cummings are the best I have ever seen."
  12. Justin Goodhart interviewed me for his Well Rounded Athlete site. Cherie Seeto listened to this interview; she said this is “the three days of the Into the Stretch workshop condensed into one hour”; not too far from reality, I feel. Please let me know what you think, and please share the link to this page on the Forums—and last, and most, my deep thanks to Justin and Sean for allowing me this opportunity. From the description on the Stretch Therapy site: The difference between children’s and adult’s bodies and what that means for your flexibility training. The two different stretch receptor systems in the body and what that means for your mobility training. The human body is the ultimate adaptation machine. The body is motiveless in its adaptations. Stretching is taking your body and brain to the end of the “known world”….and that’s a scary place for the body. How Kit completely rebuilt his body after a mysterious virus that left him in the ICU for 10 days (and down 20 kg). We live in an invisible sea of gravity…what does this mean for your movement? Why shoes insulate us from THE most important proprioceptive feedback the body has (the feet). Stretching your neck and jaw muscles will change your mental state. Stretching your calves will not. The jaw is the last opportunity for the body to resolve forces and tension that begins in the feet . How to develop grace and ease in the body. When you have an hour or so, and if you really want to know what’s the thinking; the ideas, behind the physical activities we are all pursuing, please put on your headphones and listen to this (link at bottom of page). And the "Transcription Divas' made a transcript of the talk too, if you prefer to read; this is available here: Kit-Laughlin-Justin-Goodhart-transcript And the audio file: http://wellroundedathlete.net/008-kit-laughlin-podcast/
  13. New log for 2016! After a somewhat lacklustre finish to 2015 (at least in competition terms) I aim to correct that for 2016. Some goals (may be added to or adjusted over the course of the year): Weightlifting: Snatch 100kg Clean and Jerk 130kg Total 230kg (A Grade total for 69kg class) Hold (and preferably maintain) at least one National Masters record, probably Clean and Jerk, and Total records. (Previously held National Clean and Jerk record, and currently hold all 3 State records.) Flexibility: Restore shoulder mobility to where I can clasp hands (and eventually monkey grip) hands behind back (Cow Face pose I guess?) Restore bridging to previous level of ease Clasp hands both sides in this pose (I can get it on but not the other at the moment): http://www.alkavadlo.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/062012-Twist-4.jpg Full, relaxed, pancake (I'm pretty close but I want to have nose to balls and everything in between on the ground and be comfortable) General Strength: Back squat over 180kg @ ~70kg BW Front squat over 155kg @ ~70kg BW DL over 181kg Press the 24 KB, pain-free, for reps Restoration: Attend BOTH Dave and Cherie's classes (preferably this will mean two awesome stretch sessions a week) Start a lying meditation practice (once a week to begin with) Daily Nei Gong practice of 30+ mins
  14. As discussed in the 'PNF Stretching' thread, this is for posts on the forum of a high quality but non-beginner nature. This archiving will (hopefully) lead to the creation of a useful 'Intermediate' level resource. Let's see how it goes.. [DW] EDIT: I have locked the topic to stop extraneous replies to this topic.. I think it would be best if only posts are posted (not discussion ON posts). Send anything you think worthy to a mod via PM and we will post it if it is deemed as reading high enough on the 'Virtue-o-meter'.
  15. We started small, but I feel we have maintained a civility of conversation that is a credit to all members, and I feel the insights and information here, in the few domains that we collectively know something about, is second to none. Thank you, everyone, and 2016 will be a massive your for us, I feel. K
  16. Here you go; both are around twenty minutes in duration: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2015-London_lying_meditation_Day_One.mp3 Day one includes a setup section, so if you do not need this, fast forward to about two minutes in. and https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2015-London_lying_meditation_Day_Two.mp3 This one starts a bit abruptly, but we only had 20'! K
  17. This is the Day one recording; I will add the others as time permits (there will be seven in all). Downloading instructions: Control + Click (Mac) or Right Click (PC) on either of the links below to bring up the menu; select Download Linked File (or, if you are a Mac user and want to import straight into iTubes, select Import into iTunes from the same menu. These are .MP3 files, so will be recognised by any mp3 player, iPhone, iPod, or i-device. DAY 1: The setup instruction are the first link (about 10’ long; worth listening to if you have not done this practice before): https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day1_extended_setup.mp3 The relaxation script itself (about 28 minutes long): https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day1_First_lying_relaxation_28_mins.mp3 There is no more powerful health-promoting practise than this: you simply have to put aside 20-30 minute a day, listen, and relax, deeply. DAY 2: Here's the briefer setup instructions for day two: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day2_Shorter_setup_instructions.mp3 The recording itself ("finding the Elements") https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day2_Finding_the_Elements_32mins.mp3 More to come
  18. There is a huge amount of information on these Forums, and it is only loosely organised at present. We will be reorganising as a priority. In the meantime, as a new user and perhaps new to both stretching and our unique approach to it, you want to know where to begin. Read this thread first: http://kitlaughlin.com/forums/index.php?/topic/553-how-to-use-the-master-the-programs/#entry4447 Even if you have not bought one of the Mastery Series programs (there are five), Phi's excellent how-to-use guide is a good place to begin to learn the complexity of the larger system. We may change these links from time to time, so check back here occasionally. To all users: if there are other, perhaps better, threads to have here, please PM or email me.
  19. I have a few blog posts that might be helpful: http://wp.me/p1QR8D-ka And if that whets your interest, here's a relevant piece that is more philosophical in nature: http://wp.me/p1QR8D-iq
  20. OK: by now, the nuts and bolts should be becoming clearer, so where to next? I wrote this next piece to help a very experienced coach try to understand a system that is not about sets and reps. http://kitlaughlin.c...tretch-therapy/ And it's not Yoga (any of the 100+ schools presently available in the West) and nor it is Pilates (6+ distinct streams, and more if you count the huge number of splinter schools); all claim uniqueness. Does what we do look like Yoga, or some other body work? Of course—there are only so many positions the body can be put into, after all. I often say that what we do is what's always been done in effective interactions between teachers and students, but which gets lost in the noise on the internet, in its incessant quest for SEO rankings and the massive push to be 'successful'. Our system is made up of myriad small things. It is not that the little things aren't important, it's that they are the only things: all complexity is comprised of a thousand details. This is why we call them "details".
  21. Started by Olivia, this thread is not directly about how to get looser hammies, but may be the most important thread you ever read. http://kitlaughlin.c...nd-flexibility/
  22. There are many posts on solutions to physical problems. Suppose, for example, you have pronating ankles ("flat feet" in the vernacular), then look at the link below; this is an example of the way the Forums responds to particular questions. You may post your own, once you have read all the recommendations here. http://kitlaughlin.c...m-coach-sommer/ If you have a problem, please use the 'Search' function before posting your own question! You might be surprised to find that many other people have had the same problem!
  23. Adding the URL for the podcast: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/kl-podcasts/Dave-and-Kit-Coffee-Shop-Conversation1.mp3 "The Origins of Stretch Therapy, and Deep Well Being" Part one of a new series, Dave interviews Kit, and together they explore the origins of our collective work. Influences include G. Spencer Brown, Anthony Wilden, Alfred Korzybski, the Buddha, and countless students, here and overseas. Kit talks about how he discovered some of the core techniques of ST (before find that, of course, he was only re-discovering what others had found!), and Dave asks Kit about some of his major influences in his thinking.
  24. Hi all, I'm keen to hear how fellow ST's are describing ST to the masses. I'm finding it's a great talking point (i.e describing it as 'ST' or even simply just 'stretching') as the most common response is 'Oh! So that's like Yoga or Pilates, right?' - expecting a 'Yes, just like that!'. I'm interested to hear how you are describing ST in a simple, straight forward way that is easily understood by the masses and can be done in under 60 seconds. The ideas that come through can then be used by all to make a standard response and help spread the word about the benefits of ST. NB: I had a flick through the previous forums and couldn't find a similar topic so apologies if this has already been covered). I look forward to your replies! Cheers, Holly
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