Can Your Discs Slip? (and other questions about Disc Herniation)
Years ago I was teaching a client on the reformer when I suggested she try the Short Spine for t Read More...
Private sessions in person or Skype
Small Classes for personal attention
Next Move Your DNA Workshop
April 21/22 2018!
Vimeo channel for free videos!
Check out my Instagram for inspiration
or join my Facebook group Alignment Insights
I’ve been teaching movement to people since 2000, first as a Pilates teacher, now as a Nutritious Movement™Certified Restorative Exercise Specialist (RES).
I’ve had some great teachers in that time including Pilates masters, anatomists, biochemists, neuroanatomists, kinesiologists and biomechanists.
My biggest influences are cats, horses and babies. Watching them I learn about proprioception, fearless, fluid and easy movement, skill development, problem solving, and natural movement.
One of my favourite books on teaching is “My Horses, My Teachers” (written by a director of the famous Spanish Riding School) and I believe that my students are my best teachers. I am guiding you to find the movements that were your birthright.
One of my favourite expressions in the studio is “you are wearing the Ruby Slippers, you’ve always been able to go home” – but just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it takes a journey to discover that you’ve always had the power to heal, to move, and to be in a body you love. My role (like the good witch) is to help you through the journey.
My goal is to help you to move better, be more comfortable in your body, and to move more often throughout your day. I have a unique slant to wellness that doesn’t involve chronic exercising, or conforming to a standard of how one should look. Humans have a biological requirement for full and abundant movement and humans come in many forms. All are welcome here.
I teach out of a boutique studio in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood. I am also a staff teacher for Nutritious Movement,™ teaching certifying students in person in Sequim, Washington and by Skype.
Please visit my services page to find the best solution for your wellness journey. I look forward to working with you!
Following the well attended neck workshop in October, it makes sense to talk about breathing. Breathing is a category of movement, meaning there are many types of breathing for many requirements. You recruit different ways to breathe for different reasons and none of them are inherently wrong. However, breathing in a habitual way that doesn’t serve the requirements of the tissues may have consequences. Some of those tissues include rib, chest, armpit (lymph) and breast tissues.
In this workshop we will identify your breathing strategies, and what breathing nutrients you could be missing, to the possible detriment of your other tissues. We’ll talk about breast health in ways you may not have considered. We will explore exercises designed to get parts of you that aren’t being utilized to their potential to improve. We will also discuss the loads required for breast health, and choices you can make to provide them.
This is not specifically a breast cancer workshop – I have no training in post cancer rehab, but I do have some awareness of the mechanical aspect that some cancers have and this workshop will shed a light on this element of breast health. In that sense, it is appropriate for any woman, whether she is interested in breathing, breast health or disease prevention.
This workshop is for women only due to considerations of comfort in language and the intimate nature of the subject. Thank you.
In this two hour workshop we will visit the fascinating anatomy of the neck (don’t worry, it’s easy!), including the unusual vertebrae of the neck and how your head moves on them, the musculature and function of the neck. The neck should hold your head up, but often the head is hanging from this vulnerable part of the spine in a way that contributes to issues of swallowing, headaches, shoulder pain, upper back pain and other issues.
This part of the spine should be fairly robust in the musculature to help protect its contents and move the head around safely, but many of us are walking around with very weak and atrophied neck musculature, and are creating excessive loads to some areas, while other areas are devoid of any loads or forces (work) at all!
We’ll be looking at the relationship of the neck to the skull, shoulders, shoulder blades, ribs and thoracic spine. Using a variety of exercises and techniques to help you free your neck and test the ability of certain muscles to function.
This workshop is not meant to be a medical or therapeutic workshop – my training is as a movement teacher, so if you have any current issues with this part of the body, you are welcome to attend for education purposes and can sit out any exercises you don’t feel would be helpful. It might be wise to get permission from your medical practitioner.
October 14, 2017 at 11:00-1:00
Join me on September 16/17 for the fall Move Your DNA two-day workshop. We’ll be moving all day long! But don’t worry, it’s not exhausting, you’ll realize that all-day full-body movement is easy and fun. My home is my studio, so you can see how to incorporate movement options easily and conveniently into your life.
In this workshop, we will cover all the exercises in the book “Move Your DNA”, by Katy Bowman, my teacher and inspiration for all things movement and beyond. The only prerequisite for this workshop is having read the book – no movement experience required. This is truly for everyone – from those who move professionally, to grandmothers who would like to play with their grandkids more comfortably, and all in between.
I am holding a free “Move Your DNA” book club in August and the first few weeks of September if you need the motivation and guidance to read through this book before the two-day workshop. (Details for that can be found by clicking here.)
The signup for this workshop is on the Nutritious Movement™ site and all prices are USD. People have started signing up and this workshop will be capped at 10 participants for maximum interaction with a NM certified RES (me!). These workshops have historically always sold out at the last minute so don’t wait to get your spot!
Registration can be found here.
Walking upright is one of the things that defines us as human, and the ability to walk long distances efficiently was part of our ancestral nomad existence. Now we barely walk further than to the car parked in our driveway.
Even if you don’t walk long distances, you still need to walk from the bed to the bathroom, from the couch to the fridge, from the computer to the car, from the car to the grocery store. Those steps aren’t something you consider as part of your exercise regimen, but how you do them can indicate how well your feet, knees, hips, back, and shoulders are functioning.
Systems of the body other than the musculoskeletal system also benefit (indeed, require) movement in the form of walking in abundant quantities. Your digestive tract, cardiovascular system, lymphatic system and more all benefit, not to mention your emotional state.
In this workshop you will learn:
We will be doing some in-studio exercises and then taking it on the road to a nearby park, rain or shine, so dress appropriately.
When: July 15, 11:00-1:00
Where: Alignment REScue and Cassels Park, upper beaches Toronto – contact for location details
We create rotational forces throughout our bodies, and these forces have repercussions. Join me on June 17 to learn about the various twists (both wanted and unwanted, functional and dysfunctional) in the body.
We’ll spend the bulk of the workshop discussing the core and its ability to yield, as measured by the ability of the abdominal group to twist; the difference between twisting and rolling (which you might have been doing instead of twisting more than you realize). Twisting often feels good, but having a full range of motion is important for various health reasons such as abdominal muscle strength and blood pressure regulation and more.
Working the core muscles excessively in the sagittal plane (crunches, sit ups, roll ups, roll overs, etc.) and isometrically (planks, push ups) lead to muscles that only have strength in that plane and eventually may lead to weaker muscles that don’t force generate due to a chronically shortened state. These practices also contribute to increased loads to the lumbar discs, forces that contribute to abnormal separation of the rectus abdominus (known as diastasis recti and is likely to occur in men as much as women and pregnant women) and other intra-abdominal pressure issues such as hernias and digestive issues (constipation and incontinence both).
This workshop is a logical follow up to the May Pelvis Health workshop, but you may take this workshop as a stand-alone workshop.
Limited to 6 participants. Contact to register. UPDATE: This workshop is now full.
When: June 17, 2017
Price: $40.00 CAD
This summer for five weeks I’ll be hosting a FREE book club. We’ll go through the book Move Your DNA, by Katy Bowman. I will guide you through the principles outlined in the book, and we can discuss cultural habits and how our environment shapes us. You will start to recognize how our diseases are brought about by a movement drought and be inspired anew to remake your life to one of abundant whole body movement.
The book club will meet at the Alignment REScue studio and if the weather permits, we can take our discussion to a local park. We will take a group walk after the discussion. If you are away for some of the meetings, you may attend the ones you can, and follow the discussion or add questions to the Facebook support group Alignment Insights.
If you would like input on the exercises outlined in Move Your DNA, the weekend following the last meeting will be the September Move Your DNA workshop. In this workshop you will get individual instruction on how to best perform the exercises outlined in the book! Registration opens soon, on the Nutritious Movement™ website (limited to 10 participants). This is completely optional for book club participants, you are welcome to attend the book club only.
We will meet on Saturday mornings August 5, 12, 26, September 2, 9
Please contact me to register your interest.
The Move Your DNA workshop will be held September 16/17
I have a workshop hosted on Jen Hoffman’s website Healthy Moving called Healthy Moving for Bunions. This is a two hour online workshop that you buy and can watch as often as you like. Supporting materials are a downloadable booklet of the exercises as well as individual videos of each exercise so you can review just one or two videos as needed.
You will learn about the forces that contribute to formation of bunions, and non-surgical methods that reduce those forces and strengthen the feet up to the hips. This course is also a great review for anyone looking for prevention and to increase foot strength and health in general.
The course concentrates on the joint of the first (big) toe where it meets the foot and this joint can be affected by shoe habits and gait patterns leading to bunions, hallux abducto valgus (displaced toe), sesamoiditis, hallux rigidus, and more.
If you are a movement teacher with students with bunions, this course will be very informative.
To access this course on Jen’s site, click here.
If you are a certified RES, you can claim 2 CEUs for completion of this course. Please contact me for special rates.
This is the second-to-last blog for 2017 and I thought I'd revisit the exercise posts from the beginning and throw another one in. At the beginning of this year, I started blog posts with some basic exercises, found easily in any of Katy Bowman's books, but sometimes seeing them in different pictures, reading the directions from another source, can be helpful. The exercise portion was followed by a post outlining the part of the body that would benefit, and that in turn was followed by a post showing how you could reap those benefits in your daily activities. I will link to the exercise posts below so you can follow them in the New Year if you want to build a nice, gentle but effective practice suitable for all bodies and ages. Today I'm going to talk about the Hip Hinge, w Read More...
Years ago I was teaching a client on the reformer when I suggested she try the Short Spine for t Read More...
[caption id="attachment_1747" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Forest bathing in the winter[/caption Read More...
Often when a new client comes in the door, they are motivated to seek my advice with issues related Read More...
I came to Carol’s classes with so much knee and hip pain I had to use a cane. I could not sit on the floor or get up properly. But after a few months this completely changed. I am forever grateful to her for my continued mobility and independence. It was gentle, non-intrusive, and wonderful class.
Restorative Exercise is radically different from anything else I’ve ever known. I finally feel I’m onto something that could affect real and permanent change and restore struggling, unbalanced and non-functioning muscles back to health. Carol is an excellent teacher, open, generous and incredibly knowledgeable. I would highly recommend her classes and workshops.
- Lynn, RMT
Your insight into movement is so clear; you present things in a non-threatening, understandable way, yet you are able to keep the complexity, not selling short the beauty and amazing gift that movement is.
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