Author Archives: B32 Athletics
In light of our next workshop, Body Care (May 9, register here), we thought we’d take some time to collect a few little nuggets of wisdom and perspective we have on all things Body Care. If you’re keen to follow the trail, please click through to the source article of each nugget to read more.
“Much of mobility is in the mind, not the muscle. Very often, our restrictions in movement stem from our restrictions of the mind – closed perspectives and an unwillingness to move through where we are stuck in our lives. Over time and life, if we are not conscious and aware, our minds can become inflexible over adaptable, absolute over dynamic and fluid. This shows up in the body. Our muscles become rigid and stiff, movement becomes inhibited. After all, why would we need to move when in fact we are stuck right where we are?” – Mobility: Of Mind & Muscle
“A balanced relationship with your body comes not from controlling it for future gains, but from listening to what it requires in the moment… We all have different biomechanics and different ways of moving that we have learned via repeated patterns in our life. Some of these patterns serve us really well, and others don’t. The one thing that truly determines whether our individual movement patterns work for us is how well we are able to be in our bodies when we move—our body presence.” – Body Presence & Movement Efficiency
“Your body communicates to you about what you need at every given moment. Ignoring this information in favour of “sticking to the plan” lends itself to no acknowledgement of what it is we desire and crave in a fitness experience. These desires and cravings are just as (if not more) valid than any methodology when it comes to developing health and fitness, and so by ignoring them, we miss out on what we really need from fitness, limiting our own personal growth (physically and otherwise.)” – Thematic Fitness
“Any part of us needs to be able to move through a full range of motion, to have strong and relaxed musculature and to be proprioceptively switched on” – The Balance of Barefoot
“Imagine finding movement so nourishing that the moment you begin, time seems to melt away – you could be out there for hours, seemingly effortlessly. Movement becomes a total joy.” – Finding Flow
“Mobility restrictions (for the average person) very often come down to health status. Rectifying the underlying cause of immobility needs to be the first prescription.” – The Kinematic Equation
Just like a highway with roadworks, road closures and diversions, (if) the neural pathway is not open, and the foundational kinematic chain is not in place, the most efficient signal routes are blocked or underdeveloped. The body then creates its own route diversions to allow the athlete to get to the outcome – the squat, the deadlift, whatever movement, but it has to make some compromises in the process. The body allows some muscles to accommodate movements that other muscles and chains should be responsible for. The outcome is that the person can still get into the position, but it is at the expense of safe function and healthy tissues. – The Kinematic Equation
“First rule of thumb is food quality on a daily basis. Training is just the icing on the cake. Nutrition and lifestyle are 80-90% of the equation. You can’t come through the gym door, tick only the training box and expect to maximize that equation while you let all else fall by the wayside. It’s all gotta come together.” – Post-workout Refuelling
“Other, more systemic factors that might slow the healing process include nutritional status, adrenal function, cellular communication, liver function, emotional interpretations and perceptions… the list goes on. But it is much bigger than just the components of inflammation associated with a direct injury site.” – To Ice or Not to Ice
Would you like to learn more? Come along to Body Care… we’d love to share with you what we know!
Much of mobility is in the mind, not the muscle. Very often, our restrictions in movement stem from our restrictions of the mind – closed perspectives and an unwillingness to move through where we are stuck in our lives. Over time and life, if we are not conscious and aware, our minds can become inflexible over adaptable, absolute over dynamic and fluid. This shows up in the body. Our muscles become rigid and stiff, movement becomes inhibited. After all, why would we need to move when in fact we are stuck right where we are?
So, if you are sore, stiff, restricted, how about adding some different tools to your physical mobility toolbox to complement and enhance your practice?
Take a look at these approaches.
1. Body and movement – rather than forcing your body into increased ranges of movement, consider that frequent, relaxed and casual practices are actually generally more effective. Slow down, breathe and add in some gentle, novel movement pieces at different points in your day.
Take off your shoes. Stand with your feet planted, solid, but gentle. Take a couple of deep breaths and a moment to check in with your body. Let your body move however it needs to from here – bend, breathe, reach, breathe, twist, breathe, swing or sway. Keep your movement fluid, weaving in breathing as you go. Use directions of movement that touch the corners of where you’re feeling the most stuck in your body- always in a connected, intimate way (not forcing or pushing – this isn’t about eradication, it’s about support).
Check in again. Picture the movement you have planned for today. If it feels resonant for you, go for it. If however, you’re bracing at the thought of what’s to come, change up your plans. Go for a walk in place of your planned session if that’s what you need today. Just like you’re asking of your body, be flexible for and with it.
2. Mind and thought – Given your mind and central nervous system have such a huge impact on what your body experiences, it follows that a bit of mindfulness and expansion might just open up some of your physical body as well. Meditation is one way of giving your mind something to do so your body is allowed to start letting go without mental interference.
Sitting upright in a chair, feet firmly planted, begin to become aware of the surface you are sitting on, how your body feels. You may notice slight vibrations or pulsing. You may notice some tightness in your neck, shoulders, back or hips. As you begin to allow some breath in, just notice any sensations you’re feeling in the body, and without analysis or judgement, begin to let each one go with your exhalations. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. With each breath, hold it just a moment before you exhale. Picture that oxygen travelling round the body and picking up any of your adhesions and stiffness. On your exhale, let them all go. Do this for 12 breaths.
3. Emotions and feeling –
Stuck energy = stuck muscles.
Emotion = energy in motion.
Emotions that don’t move or aren’t allowed space for expression = stuck energy = stuck muscles.
What emotions do you tend to skim past, to push away, to compartmentalise and gloss over? What aren’t you comfortable expressing? All of these feelings, if not provided an outlet, become stuck in the body almost like a stored reminder for expression later on. When we don’t allow them space, they can clog up the body and present in unwanted symptom at some other point (like stiffness or a particular area of restriction.)
Spend 5 minutes each day journalling what’s triggered you today, what feelings have come up for you. It doesn’t have to be a huge essay (though that’s fine too!), just enough to allow some space for your system to express and dispel any pent up energy from your day.
These practices we’ve suggested are pretty different from what current fitness and health trends would have us do to approach body care. For the most part, we’re taught to fight and to eradicate symptom and restriction as they come up, using practices that cultivate pain. And for the most part, those symptoms and restrictions return in some form or another.
The approaches we suggest here and intended to do the opposite … to cultivate pleasure and support the body to let go. To work in collaboration, compassion and gentleness with the body to allow long term freedom of movement and mind-body connection for overall health.
If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been delivering on long term body connection, maybe it’s time to try something different? Give it a shot.
Strawberries are rad. Sweet, soft, juicy, accessible, and oh-so nourishing. Pepper is rad. Spicy, it adds a certain zing and pick me up to most foods. Combine the two, throw in some protein sources, a little fat and a nutritional booster and you’ve got this awesome smoothie!
Stuff that’s good to know…
•• Each “seed” on the outside of the strawberry is actually an ovary, containing a seed within it. There are on average, 200 of these little ovaries on each berry!
•• Pepper helps respiratory disorders, coughs, colds, constipation, anemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, and diarrhoea. The strawberry plant has historically been used to treat depressive illness.
•• There is more vitamin C in strawberries than oranges.
•• Pepper can be used as a digestive aid and has antibacterial properties.
•• Strawberries remind us of love, passion, summer and romance, flicking on our parasympathetic nervous system and enhancing our assimilation of nutrients.
Give this a go…
Strawberry & Black Pepper Smoothie
6 frozen strawberries
600ml filtered water
A generous handful raw cashews
1 tbs hemp protein
Coarse ground pepper
2 tsp Amazonia Raw Energy powder
Blend all ingredients (use just a pinch of the black pepper) on high until smooth.
Serve with a sprinkle of pepper on top.
In light of our next workshop, Nutrition Wisdom (Feb 26, register here), we thought we’d take some time to collect a few little nuggets of wisdom and perspective we have on all things nourishment and food. If you’re keen to follow the trail, please click through to the source article of each nugget to read more.
“We push aside our desires in favor of a controlled diet, devoid of the inherent body wisdom we hold, but feel we really can’t trust. Instead we opt for a controlled diet in which there’s a magical balance of food amount, macro-nutrient composition and meal timing that will deliver us to health and happiness. I argue it’s this control which is actually road-blocking our health and happiness, and it is that shifty body wisdom and unfathomable desire that may actually hold the key.” – The Big Secret to Lasting Health
“The fact of the matter is: nourishment is far more than what you put on your plate, on your fork and in your mouth. Nourishment is about all the elements – food, life, love – that provide you the opportunity for growth.” – The 5 P’s of Nourishment
“it strikes me how rarely we see macronutrient-based prescriptions to aid sleep entry and sustained sleep. Using nutrition to trigger and manipulate hormonal release can be just as effective for sleep as it is for physical performance.” – Using Food for Better Sleep
“When done intelligently, periodic restriction of carbohydrate at particular times, for particular people, helps to lean them out and improve some markers of health in the body. However, prolonged restriction of carbohydrate (especially for athletes) depletes the body of the opportunity for optimal performance, proper recovery and any chance of the sustenance of health whilst performing… There are endless permutations and combinations of current body/health status, goals, training styles, sports that all impact the amounts and types of carbohydrate most suited to your fuelling needs.” – Carbohydrate
“Those feelings you get of being clear, conscious and vibrant often come when we’ve managed to eat foods which help to raise or meet our vibrational frequency. Consider the fact that dead and processed matter has a lower (and slower) frequency, while live, unprocessed, real, whole food tends to being higher frequency.” – Light Eats
“Your gut is almost literally the centre of your universe. You can think of it as the doorway between your internal environment and the external world. It is the way your body gets and senses energy and the home of a delicate and intricate ecosystem of bacteria, nerve systems, immune function and endocrine signalling. The effective functioning of your gut is prime for survival, and as such, it’s treated as a near top priority in your body.” – Got the Guts?
“Too little sugar limits resources in the body and creates a situation where those resources must be drawn away from other tissues and processes in order to maintain some kind of homeostasis. When we really limit resources, and that need for resource pulling accelerates, overall reserves in the system begin to dwindle and various processes begin to be impaired, or shut down entirely.” – In Defence of Orange Juice
“Turns out there’s more to digesting food and assimilating nutrients than simply the machinery of the GI system. And frankly, when it comes down to it, no amount of clean nutrition, gut healing protocols and lab tests can quite penetrate this additional layer of complexity. The additional complexity is… YOU. Your mind, your soul, your Self. This is where therapeutic nutrition, supplementation protocols (and even medication) reach their limits… What and who you bring to the table, each and every time you eat, affects the way you digest and assimilate nutrients, and hence, affect the kind of symptomatology that may present. The personality we eat with changes the way we physiologically deal with food when it enters the system.” – Who do you bring to the table?
Like our perspectives on food and nourishment? Want to hear more? Register for our upcoming workshop, Nutrition Wisdom…
by Joelle Collard
So many of us begin the New Year inspired and keen for some kind of change in ourselves and in our lives. This is such a natural state of mind to arrive at given the reflective and almost final nature of the Christmas period. We’re left feeling a sense of wrapping up, where the slate gets wiped and we have the opportunity to start afresh. This opens the door for us to think about what we’d like to do differently in the coming year, what we’d like to become, and most of all, what would make us happier.
“This year, I’ll lose 10kg”
“This year I will wipe out all my debt”
“This year, I promise to drink less wine.”
The New Year begins and for the first couple of weeks we go great guns, sticking with all we have to the promises we’ve made to ourselves (and sometimes to others.) But, as so many of us have experienced, oftentimes Australia Day comes along, or maybe we even make it to Easter, until we invariably fall back into our past behaviours. We stumble along through the year until the next New Year comes around, and we re-promise the same promises all over again. We feel guilty and ashamed at our lack of discipline and willpower, vowing to do better this time.
But here’s the truth… Meeting resolutions is not so much about resolve, as it is about resonance.
No amount of writing down your goals, citing affirmations, planning and re-planning your meals week to week or buying new gym clothes will guarantee your success if your resolutions don’t reverberate from deep inside you. If they don’t stem from intrinsic values. From your truth.
Most of the resolutions we come up with year on year come from a place of “not-enough”, of wanting to be and have something we feel we’re missing. Our idea of what’s missing is mostly derived from some perceived societal expectation and definition of what it means to be better, successful, an admirable human. We take on board these definitions, and our resolutions and goals are born from external pressures and motivations. Of wanting to be seen differently in the world outside of us.
As long as we’re defining ourselves and our happiness by the world’s idea of what that means, we will never be enough. We’ll always be searching for more because we never pay attention to what it is we truly, deeply need for our happiness, and thus we’re always left wanting.
You know that feeling. Familiar lacking.
So how do we turn inward? How do we tune inward?
First and foremost, we need to create the space to step back from the noise around us and the chatter that creates inside of us. We need quiet if we are to connect to ourselves genuinely. If you can build the following three things into your week, you’ll soon be clearer on what it is you actually want and need for yourself, and how to arrive at goals that actually serve you.
Spending time to intentionally breathe and be mindful allows you to quiet the noise that goes on in your mind as you pick up on all the radio chatter of the world. Getting underneath that chatter is key to gaining clarity on your true wants and needs without the added murkiness and dilution that things like media, societal expectations, roles and judgements can bring.
- Sit or lie comfortably somewhere quiet, where you’re unlikely to be interrupted. Silence your phone. Bring both hands to your lower abdomen. Take a deep breath all the way into your belly until you feel your hands rise. Pause with that breath for a few moments before slowly exhaling, feeling your belly fall again. Repeat. Repeat.
- Any time you find your mind drifting, simply come back to your breath and your belly.
In your mind, ask yourself “what do I truly want and need this year?” Listen to the first answers that come up for you.
- Continue in this way for ten minutes. Journal anything you heard.
Someone once said to me, holding up my journal, “You’ll find yourself on these pages, you only have to write the words”.
Nothing could be truer. I have learned more about myself in the scrawled pages of my journal in the past six months than in the 28 years prior. This learning has then allowed me to come up with intentions for my life week to week, and for the year ahead. Each of these intents are centred around giving me true nourishment in life.
Get yourself a nice notebook to journal in. Not a crappy exercise book you throw around. Spend at least 10 minutes each day writing. Anything. Consider:
- What did I observe today?
- What did I notice about myself today?
- Right now, looking at my life I see/am/feel…
3. Spending time with yourself, in nature.
Nature has a gnarly way of bringing us home to ourselves. Life and our own busy-ness un-grounds us, taking us away from our centre and hindering us from seeing what we truly want and need. Spending regular chunks of time in nature helps us to re-ground and come back to who we really are, away from all the busy-ness and to-do lists.
- A 2 hour hike through the bush, unplugged (phone off, no music), quiet. Take your journal and stop to write whenever you receive an insight.
- Sit by the water (beach, river, lake) for an hour. Pay attention to your surroundings, noticing the behaviour of the animals, insects and birds. Take your journal and write whenever you receive an insight.
- Go to an oval, take your shoes off and wander through the grass for a while. Notice the feeling of the earth under your feet. Picture each step being firmly grounded and anchored to its centre. Take your journal and write whenever you receive an insight.
Knowing yourself is a continual practice. We’re always evolving and changing, responding and reacting to the world around us. It pays to sit still often and find what animates you, what resonates so deeply it’s impossible to not pursue with every ounce of your being. That’s the way to succeed in your endeavours.
February is here already. Take a look at where you’re at with your resolutions, honestly. It’s time to tune in. Time to reassess and realign those resolutions with what you truly want. Then maybe this year, you’ll actually get there.
It’s easy to feel heavy over the Christmas season. So many of us have the desire to just “feel lighter”, feel we need to eat lighter. But what if feeling better was less about eating lighter, and more about eating light?
Through every single thing in our world runs light energy of varying frequencies. From your cells to the blades of grass in your yard, the furniture in your house to the food on your plate. All of it is vibrating energy, each with a different frequency.
Those feelings you get of being clear, conscious and vibrant often come when we’ve managed to eat foods which help to raise or meet our vibrational frequency. Consider the fact that dead and processed matter has a lower (and slower) frequency, while live, unprocessed, real, whole food tends to being higher frequency. Thus, eating more living, fresh produce helps us to raise the frequency (or vibration) of the energy we’re made up of and helps us to feel light and vibrant (note: the word “vibrant” is simply the adjective form of “vibration”… A coincidence? Hmm…)
Give it a shot. Try incorporating more live, raw foods into your diet and see how light you feel. Start with this one:
Vanilla Chia Mango Pudding with Coconut Yoghurt
• 3 tbs of chia speeds
• 1 cup of cold liquid (we used organic oat milk, but you can use water or any other non dairy milk substitute)
• Dash of organic vanilla extract
• 1 tsp of organic honey
• 2 organic mango cheeks, flesh removed from skin.
• Coconut yoghurt to serve (we used CoYo brand)
• 2 tbs toasted coconut flakes, almond flakes or macadamia crumbles (or any combination of the above). Optional.
• Stir the chia seed, liquid, vanilla and honey together in a bowl. Give it a quick whisk every few minutes to keep the chia from clumping.
• Leave in the fridge for 20-30min to chill (optional.)
• Divide your chilled chia into two glasses or bowls.
• Divide the mango flesh between the glasses, and add coconut yoghurt to each (we used about 2 generous, dollopy tablespoons on each serve, but it’s up to you!)
• Add a sprinkling of coconut flakes and serve.
One rock at a time.
It sounds so simple.
The truth often is, yet our minds are busy planning all the moves and ways to control a situation, creating unnecessary complications and clutter. Rather than just focusing on what’s in the present we distract ourselves from (or even deny) the very reality that we are in- most often to our detriment.
You know how it goes: “I’m not that tired, I just need another coffee” or “my shoulder is a bit sore, but if I just push through it will be ok”. This kind of opposition to what is, is simply us shifting our focus away from the present. We sell ourselves the illusion that it’s ok, that we can overcome what’s really happening instead of accepting the reality of the situation and what it’s telling us. Perhaps you really are tired and need to rest, perhaps another coffee is just perpetuating the issue. Or perhaps your shoulder really does need a break and that’s ok.
The principle of one rock at a time is about focusing and accepting where you’re at and what’s going on right in the moment. No planning ahead, no trying to outsmart your body, self and life. Just being with what is now. It’s hard. It takes focus. It takes pause. It takes trust.
So just for today we suggest you make this your awareness in those moments you set off to juggle your busy life.
• Be aware when you’re rushing. Stop. Take a moment to pause and bring your attention back to just what you’re doing and where you are right now. Be still. Pay attention to right now.
• Take a moment to inhale deeply and exhale slowly at least three times. Check in with your body- what are you feeling physically? What do you truly need today in terms of food, movement, rest? Take note and create the space to honour those needs today.
• Pause. Breathe. Check in with your heart, your self. What do you need today to nourish you? Not what you need to tick off your list, but what does your soul need today? Make note and create space in your day to honour and fulfil those needs.
As this one passes your lips you feel the balance it delivers to your body and mind. Packed with live food enzymes, bioflavonoids and high vibrating foods that touch the untouchable. A super nourishing start to the day.
Strawberry, spinach & cashew smoothie
• 250ml almond & coconut milk blend
• 1 scoop of brown rice protein
• 1 tsp of hemp protein
• 4 ripe strawberries
• 1/2 cup spinach
• 1/3 cup of raw cashews
3 easy tips for adding more of this seasons produce to your summer food choices
1. Summer salads – Try adding some thinly sliced stone fruit to green salads for that additional summer theme and nutrient burst.
2. Infusions – Drop a few berries, lime and mint into some filtered water for a colourful and refreshing way to stay hydrated.
3. Mango mania – Slice off some mango cheeks and char grill on the BBQ. Add some mint, thinly sliced red onion and roasted macadamia crumbles for a summer evening dinner addition.
Question : How are you?
E. All of the above
Notice how often when you ask this question, or are asked this of yourself, the answer is something similar to one or all of the above. This has become the way of things, the drone of a busy society. The rhythm we have all become accustomed and conditioned to.
Yet deep down we know and likely crave a more connected, slower-paced existence. One that lets joy and peace flow like beer at Octoberfest on a daily basis. An existence that allows us to feel at home, safe, loved, loving and fully present in all our relationships.
Like a heavy bag being carried on your shoulder, you know it’s uncomfortable but you endure, the end is likely in sight in the form of a Friday knock off from work or that long awaited family holiday. The bag of busy, of fast and tired is a reminder of the push and the drive to get things done to deliver us that brief moment of relief- of “ahhh”, when that heavy load has finally been placed back on the ground. It’s the same feeling 3 days into a week long holiday when all the mind chatter and jitteriness begins to drift away. You know the feeling… It’s just plain good!
This brings some respite and maybe just enough of a breather in order to face up to the next 6 months of life, but more than that, consider that perhaps these contrasts are actually showing you another way to be in your every day life. What is all the busy and worry calling you to look at in your life?
Slow down, we’re told, but never really taught.
All the stubs of the little toe, the spelling mistakes on an email, a missed appointment, a mind wandering – these are all signs life throws us to look at but without guidance and some teachings of what these “lessons” are teaching we simply see them as a nuisance or put it down to a “shit happens” passing of the buck. It’s time to pay attention.
We’re taught that slowing down is seen as less, like we may miss out, lose touch or even be seen as giving up. The truth is slowing down allows us to see the limits and illusions of our self created perceptions. It allows us to see and be where we’re at, and move forward from that place, rather than speedily skimming over the details. Sounds heavy, I know, but getting to intimately know the art of slow is a deepening human experience.
The Art of Slow is a practice of Self involvement, Self interest and Self preservation. A practice of compassion for yourself, your body and your mind.
We’re not just going to tell you what to do. “Just slow down!” – where’s the empowering growth in that? You and I know that doesn’t work. It’s just talk. True change takes a more honest look at the way we live our lives and more importantly why we have chosen to live our lives in such a way.
We will be asking some tough questions as to why you need busy, why you want frantic. These tough questions are what makes this workshop so valuable to your health and life journey.
We will be sharing with you practical ways to build the Art of Slow into your life to gently allow you to experience what slow really has to offer. We’ll look at areas of movement, food, breath, lifestyle and Self.
There’s no magical motivational slogan, there’s no secret daily formula. Just you looking at you – that’s where the rewards are to be found.
Are you willing to see?
By Ross Blake
When you’re outside or experiencing multiple sensory inputs, the rate at which your nervous system is taking in and processing information grows exponentially. For example you might be processing 30,000 bits per second performing a balancing exercise in the gym, but when you add in nature and all it’s forces (like moving water, wind and uneven surfaces) this processing might increase to something more like 300,000 bits per second.
This creates an experience that can awaken deeper senses- some survival-based, some pleasure-based. If the experience is too challenging, we see a dominance of survival senses which can actually collapse the CNS – it’s too much too soon. But when balanced with pleasure in the movement experience – dropping into the moment and losing any expectations or judgement of the activity, we allow CNS expansion, recharge and reinvigoration of the entire system.
To extend this idea, to really expand the nervous system is to not only feel a balance of challenge and pleasure in movement, but to feel beyond your fingertips. To tap into & take in all the interconnected pathways in the world around you that exist to support the aliveness of your body. That is true switching on of your central nervous system.
Ever noticed how handstands work better at the beach?
Wondered why when life is good, movement feels better?
Have you felt the benefit of touch or a hand that hovers 1-3cm over a muscle without touching it to help switch it on?
These are all examples of your CNS sensing and taking in the support present in your environment to help it expand and flourish.
To do this with more awareness, gently reach out, calmly breathe and absorb the support that is there for you. You can think of this like grounding into the Earth, or perhaps visualise arcing ropes like Spiderman’s webs connecting you to the nearest tree or rock meters away, helping you move and balance. In this video, Joellle is grounding to the Earth via a barefoot connection with the branch, while sensing the energy of the moving ocean, pulling its energy in. This helps create a sense of calm, stillness, balance, vitality.
You are deeper & far more eloquent than simply your five senses. Breathe, remain still & feel beyond your skin – you can cultivate your innate (and sixth) sense of body in time & space.