If you’re new to Restorative Exercise™ and the principles of Alignment, we suggest taking advantage of a one-on-one Intro Session at The BEACH, either live in Ventura or via Skype. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 805-642-9900 and we’ll be happy to get you on the schedule.
In addition, or at the minimum, please watch all of the Instructional Videos before participating in the online classes. They will help to lay the groundwork for understanding some of the instructions and a few of the basic exercises you’ll see often, as well as why you’re doing certain exercises, and how it all integrates back into the whole body. If this is your first experience with all this cool alignment stuff, we recommend watching Video #1 and Video #4 at least a couple times, but you’ll probably want to come back and review them, especially in the early learning stages.
The equipment used in each class is listed in the info section for that class. If you don’t have a piece of equipment, there is usually a decent substitute for most items. Things like a large exercise ball really can’t be substituted, but can be obtained easily and inexpensively. For your convenience, almost all items used in the classes can be purchased directly from The BEACH and shipped anywhere in the world. Just ask.
5 INSTRUCTIONAL INTRODUCTORY VIDEOS
Having a big picture view of alignment is useful right from the beginning because it allows you to see how each piece is connected to all the other pieces- ya know, “the leg bone’s connected to the, hip bone…”- it’s all true. There is no “spot aligning”, it’s a whole body endeavor. This video is basically Part 1. It covers the foundation.
This exercise is the “pièce de résistance” of Restorative Exercise™. If you did nothing else, but did your Calf Stretch every day, twice a day, you’d be loads better than if you did nothing. Or only ran every day. (Btw, don’t do that.) This exercise, as not stated in the video, helps to lengthen the muscles of the lower legs, to allow you to keep your heel on the ground longer when walking, which will allow you to “push back” longer (and that’s a good thing). It also helps to minimize “mini whiplash” with every step you take. Years of positive heeled shoes and hours of sitting keep the calf muscles in a perpetually shortened position. This is a great antidote to high heels (or any positive heel), as well as the recovering high heel wearer- just because they’re no longer in your closet doesn’t mean the after-effects are gone.☺
So, much more than just a Double Calf Stretch, I like to call this, affectionately (cuz I love it), the Double Whammy. It begins to lengthen all the muscles down the backs of the legs, especially the hamstrings. Years of sitting has trained these muscles into a short, tight position which promotes tucking of the pelvis, which promotes poor pelvic floor and hip joint health, among other things. We need to restore hamstring length to allow the pelvis to move more freely and the muscles around and attached to it to do their jobs.
This is Part 2. While we don’t typically give away all this information the first time you walk in our door, we realize that you may never actually walk in our door and it is our duty to educate you nonetheless, if you are going to be “doing class” with us in your living room. Pelvis and Ribcage alignment are critical components to the big picture because of what’s attached to them, namely the Spine, which houses your spinal cord, a critical component of YOU. If your pelvis and ribs are out of alignment (and really, whose aren’t?), you are literally affecting your nervous system in a negative way. This video will help you begin to correct that.
Seems so simple, yet sometimes so challenging. It is an important motor skill to have control of all of your muscles. Because of the way many of us have been standing most of our lives, the quadriceps (muscles on the fronts of your thighs) have been doing a lot of extra and unnecessary work for a long time. This is causing unnecessary wear on the knee joints, so let’s learn the first piece to correcting this. You’ll hear the cue often in many classes: “relax your kneecaps” and that’s your reminder to let your quads go. You will then begin to add this motor skill in to any of the standing exercises like the Calf Stretch and Double Calf Stretch and eventually any single leg exercises that you do. You’ll want to pay attention to this habit as you go about your day.