Over the last few weeks, preparations have been made for ‘the Body Engineer’ to move to a new home! And now its happened!!!
Now located inside ‘Yogaground’ on Weena-Zuid 148, in the centre of Rotterdam, ‘the Body Engineer’ is now really at the heart of the city. Close to Rotterdam Centraal Station, the hustle and bustle of the city centre; our new space is a wonderful haven for those who need some space to escape and receive high-quality and effective massage treatment, Soft Tissue Therapy treatment (for those with more complex physiological complaints) and my new initiative ‘Body Engineering‘ (a 1-to-1 consultation to take a look at biomechanical function, postural issues and treatment around restrictions/issues in movement).
For more information, or even to make your first booking, visit:
I will now be located in a wonderful new clinical space, inside the Yogaground building.
PLEASE NOTE | ‘the Body Engineer’ is still an independent clinic, so please continue to book and contact through ‘the Body Engineer’ rather than through Yogaground itself.
I will be closing my clinic for bookings for a few days, to make the move over to the new space soon, but I will ensure that booking hours will not collide; so please do go ahead and book your sessions! But do remember; if you book for a date after August 1st, this session will now be at the below address:
Just a brief post to celebrate the completion of the ‘Your Spine Your Yoga’ course with Bernie Clarke, leading teacher & writer for ‘YinYoga.com’, and Dr. Stuart McGill PhD, author of ‘the Back Mechanic’ and highly-regarded spinal specialist.
It has been a truly wonderful learning experience, provided by ‘Yoga International’, with lots of highly valuable teachings for both my teaching as a Yoga teacher; but primarily as a therapist.
Spinal issues effect many of us, roughly 80% of all people, will at some point have some form of spinal-related injury or discomfort; so these teachings will be highly beneficial for many people. I highly recommend the course.
This week I have been following an Online training course, with the highly regarded Yoga researcher/teacher ‘Bernie Clarke’ (Author of ‘Your Spine Your Yoga’ & ‘Your Body Your Yoga’) collaborating with Dr Stuart McGill PHD (author of ‘the Back Mechanic’ & highly respected spinal health specialist).
It’s been a fascinating dive into a detailed conversation around spinal mechanics, health & practices to avoids pain & improve spinal resilience to problems; which I will be sure to reference in both my teaching and my clinical practice.
One of the main aspects to this training, that I take away with me, is the importance of improving the stability and resilience of the spine, perhaps to some degree over mobility. In Yoga classes often favour the idea of mobility is the panacea, for issues in the body; but perhaps this generalised ideology is not at all a healthy model to base teaching upon.
If we ensure good, clean, efficient spinal control; yes, we might then work to enhance mobility. But as Stuart often would state in this training…
“You can’t have it both ways”
Dr Stuart McGill
As we gradually enhance mobility, we then see the destabilisation and a gradual move towards instability. Instability in the spine is placing the spine into a vulnerable situation, particularly when bearing load; often the moment where injury occurs.
The other quotation that is often referenced by both Dr Stuart McGill & Bernie Clarke is,
‘Your Spine Your Yoga’ – Online Course
The idea of creating universal codes, for responding to situations, is the journey to find the impossible. ‘Our individual body demands individual treatment’, as I once wrote in a blog post.
The remedy, to escape issues and pain in the spine, is a journey; and a journey best shared on a more private and 1-on-1 consultation basis. The strategy will different with each persons anatomy, biography and psychology.
A big Thankyou to Bernie (www.yinyoga.com) & Dr Stuart McGill (‘BackFitPro.com’) for their inspiring teaching; and also to @yoga_international (YogaInternational.com) for providing such a great learning opportunity…
If you’d be interested in a 1-on-1 ‘Yoga Clinic’ session (a private Yoga consultation session), please visit theYogaClinic page on my website….
Welcome to my special place, where all my class planning and thinking come together.
Planning practices is actually one of the most challenging aspects of Yoga teaching, for me. Ensuring that the details of ‘how’ I structure a practice, what’s the goals and benefits of the approach, what’s the concept of the practice? These are all contemplations that run through my mind whilst I sit on this chair.
Whilst it is a challenge, it’s a challenge that I find great peace in; diving with imagination into the function of the body is one of my most happy places….strange guy indeed!
I hope to see you joining me on the mat, or perhaps in the upcoming online content that I am slowly building, soon to be released as the ‘Body Engineering’ sequences on the site….
If you’d like to have a tailor-made sequence plan, to respond directly to your body, your needs, your goals…check out my YogaClinic page. Perhaps book a consultation session with me, where we can assess your practice, your anatomy and give specific planned sequences, to try to address your physical situation, enhance your practice and reduce pain in postures too….
As a Yoga teacher, I have often found myself reciting the cue “let go of the tension” or “free your body from tension”. I think for many of us we have a slightly ignorant relationship to the realities of tension, what ‘tension’ actually is and, most importantly, how vital tension is for movement and posture.
Without the presence of consistent tension, in our bodies, we’d be reduced to a blobby pile of soft squishy tissues and bones; not the most efficient for movement and function.
We can understand this idea and principle, with the aid of Tensegrity models, as shown in the images below (models are from ‘Tensegri-teach’).
The 6 wooden dowels, without the elastics, would simply be a pile of wooden sticks. But, by forming this structure to maintain the elastics in a balanced state of tension, gives this structure LIFE! When force is applied, the elastics and dowels, in a shared relationship, alter their tensions to permit change to the structure, but not allow the structure to be completely damaged. It’s the principle of ‘shock-absorption’.
In our bodies, the connective tissues (bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons & fascia) maintain a balance of tension in the body, giving us structure, shape and that important ability to absorb shock and create movement.
So, should we be altering this tension?
Of course!! This tension isn’t permanent in a singular, perfect state. The Tension or Tensegrity (becoming a more recognised anatomical concept), is constantly altering to adjust to the forces applied and generated in the body. Also, our postural tension, how we generally hold our bodies in space, is affected or dictated by this tension. So playing with it, using stretching or toning to both tighten or loosen the tissues is ESSENTIAL to play a conscious part in maintaining your physical health.
CAUTION // Ensure your guidelines for balancing tension is built from a principle of feeling balance in your body, not necessarily what we see. The body has all sorts of coping mechanisms going on, so if it feels good; that’s mostly going to be good. Avoid working towards an aesthetic ‘ideal’.
How to change your thinking…
How about, instead of thinking about getting rid of tension, change the quest to ‘how to better distribute tension through your body’.
Tension is ESSENTIAL and WONDERFUL, when it’s distributed well and efficiently. Bring yourself into a state where you feel able to spring, if needed, but calm enough to not work too hard……..easy…….ish!
This week in my Yoga classes, I have been particularly drawn to explore the spiralling actions in the spine. When thinking about twisting actions in the spine, we might think initially about mobility, perhaps even to think about the question ‘how can I loosen my spine to create more ability for twist?’
This however was a question I found difficult to balance, particularly as I have also been particularly interested in the work of Dr Stuart McGill, whose work I highly recommend to anyone wanting to gain some fundamental information in spinal health.
Why would I be wanting to create more twist through loosening when:
The spine prefers and requires strength and stability.
Muscular contraction, therefore ‘action’, dictates movement in the body.
Surely, if I were to find a way to shut off the musculature, this would totally destabilise the spine…? Not ideal for spinal health, simply to get a more ‘impressive’ range in twisting postures.
Instead of creating space through loosening, we create space through clarity in the articulation of the movement. If understand that the twist in the spine is a gradual accumulation of space into the the articulate range between each vertebral disc (which between 2 vertebrae there is very little range); then we achieve way more twist, its been consciously formed, meaning there is then also greater stability.
By working slowly through the range, I feel as I reach the range of motion in the rotation, perhaps then hovering around the point of ‘full range’ to enable me to feel a sense of freedom; before shifting my attention up the spine.
I found that suddenly I felt way lighter in my spinal twisting; I was able to breath, to balance and to sustain the posture.
What I feel happens here is that through the more conscious journey through the forming of my torsion, within the spine, I was able to feel the deepening contraction of the transverse abdominal muscles, to an extent where I felt supremely stable and supported in this movement of the spine that, were I to simply force it through pulling from arms or pushing, I would normally feel a highly unstable deep twisting and pinching of the structures around the spine.
I’ve distributed some images of me playing with some ‘Manduka’ yoga bricks, that I hope will also add some visual stimulation to ponder over this contemplation.
I hope it also gives you something to think about, as you explore your practice….happy spiralling!
Are you looking for an ideal gift for a friend or family member? How does a 60minute Massage or Soft Tissue Therapy session with ‘the Body Engineer’ sound…?
‘the Body Engineer’ now offer ‘Gift Vouchers’ for 60minute treatments, where your friend or family member can choose from either a ‘Soft Tissue Therapy’ session, or a ‘Massage’ session.
Simply click the ‘BUY VOUCHER’ button and follow the purchasing procedure, ensuring to provide your email address, we will then send a voucher through to your email. The recipient then simply needs to make a booking through the ‘Online Booking System’ on the website (www.theBodyEngineer.nl) and make their selection for the treatment.
The client then simply needs to bring the voucher along with them to the session, either printed or on a phone is also fine.
I recently launched my new initiative, in my clinical space, here in Rotterdam.
‘the Yoga Clinic’ is a personalised consultation service, where we discuss aspects of your Yoga practice, or movement-based practice, along with postural assessment to gain a better understanding of your unique body.
After we gain more understanding of your own body and it’s restrictions; we can then use that information to alter, modify or even design specific practices, posture and exercises that can help you in developing your practice.
Now that the ONLINE BOOKING system is finally working, I’ve been able to now adjust the hours that I can practice in the clinic. Now I can finally release some time in the evenings to offer treatment to those that are unable to attend daytime treatment sessions.
Great for those working during the day, if you’re currently still needing to be home for childcare or just find that theres errands that do take over your day; now you can pay a trip to ‘the Body Engineer’, at a time that might be more suitable for you.
Check out the BOOKING system, visit www.thebodyengineer.nl , simply click on the BOOK NOW button & see if theres a time slot thats perfect for you.
I hope to offer you the relax, rebalance or rehabilitation, that you may be in need of, very soon.
Also feel free to follow the instagram stream for more exciting updates and new offers….