Restorative Exercise™ Week in Minnesota

Restorative Exercise™ Week in Minnesota

The alternative title of this blog post was going to be ‘what I did on my summer vacation’! Ha! Actually all summer has been about Restorative Exercise™, going through the webinars, which is largely how the Whole Body Alignment course is taught (over 50 hours of lecture and demonstration), reading, and of course doing corrective exercises, and for certification, it culminates in a six day intensive RE Live and in person experience, somewhere in the world, Mine just happened to be in Minnesota.

I’ve been trying to compare the RE week with other intensives I’ve taken. Let’s just say it was a very full experience. We jumped right into it without much more ceremony than introducing ourselves to one another, matching up faces and names. I think we students were already bonded by our collective nervousness about the testing on the last day!

I tried to keep notes and then around day 3, I gave up. Just as well, looking through my my notes I see gems like this: ” stretch: lengthen passive/active (needs a load)” and “hamstrings: moving extending hip in walking, no dorsi, no exten. no hamstrings.” Okay…     I tell you it was almost moving too fast to take it in and write it down. Or my mind was too slow. Same thing.

But what I do remember were my personal light bulb moments.

1. What I thought was ‘ribs down’, wasn’t.

2. What I thought was TrA (transverse abdominal) activation, wasn’t.

3. When I thought I was externally rotating my femurs. I wasn’t.

4. My mobility awareness in my lumbar spine and thoracic spine is wonky. (That I already knew).

5. My mobility awareness in my thoracic spine and cervical spine is also wonky. (I didn’t know).

6. Since I hurt my hip, I’ve been afraid to move into my full range of motion. (I did, and nothing bad happened).

7. A lot of the strength I developed through yoga is still there but I’ve grown afraid to access it, like being able to hand stands. I used to do them all the time now I freeze up.

The main reason I am mentioning this is because almost everyone is going to have the same experience, I’m convinced. Almost all of us (even ‘fitness professionals’) start out not knowing what we are really doing with our bodies. That is why the approach of RE with alignment markers is so valuable: your bones are either aligned with one another, or they aren’t.

And part of growing old means that almost everyone has had an injury of some sort and they don’t to flare it up or put something else ‘out’. So we become cautious in our movements and begin to lose the ability to do the things we did when we were younger.

What my RE Live week also gave me was an appreciation of the variety in teaching methods. I thought that since RE was science based, each class would look much the same, but of the 7 instructors (Katy Bowman included) each approach was very different and it surprised me and definitely made the week more interesting.

single calf stretch

And it will start a movement revolution in your body, in a good way.


Lost Lagoon

Lost Lagoon

While I am away in Minnesota doing my Restorative Exercise™ course I set this up to publish while I am away. Warmth and sunshine prevails and while the grass is turning amber, there is plenty of colour. I went on one park-walk and at least a half a dozen city walks. The dragonfly was my most exciting shot because it is one of my totems. When I had my wooden kayak I painted a large dragonfly on the bow.

Deborah Redfern Photography

A walk around the Lost Lagoon and a very patient dragonfly. Note the transparent wings

Deborah Redfern Photography

Also seen on our walk around the Lost Lagoon, this Heron

Deborah Redfern Photography

Blue hydrangeas are everywhere, but this week I also spotted pink hydrangeas.

Deborah Redfern Photography

And purple Hydrangeas

Deborah Redfern Photography

The old-fashion Primroses are in bloom now.

Deborah Redfern Photography

As well as these wonderful Black Eyes Susans!

Speaking of new objects bought, Thoreau said something along the lines of ‘beware of any occasions which require new clothing’. Rubbish! Occasions are opportunities to get things right. I was coveting this merino wool yoga top from Icebreaker. I snapped it up when it went on sale.  (If Icebreaker had an affiliate program I’d be rich.) Really, I wear my wood Icebreaker clothes year ’round. My summer tank tops are my winter undershirts.

So anyway, this Spirit Tank is one of a handful of tops I have with me this week at RES.  I’ve tried lots of built-in bra work-out tops and have had to make alterations to every other one. This one works, no alternations needed and is it really lovely too.