<![CDATA[Studio 11 in Tremont - Blog]]>Thu, 22 Feb 2018 02:20:02 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Heart Chakra by Beth Gatchell]]>Mon, 05 Feb 2018 17:14:28 GMThttp://studio11tremont.com/blog/the-heart-chakra-by-beth-gatchallHey there Everyone! This is my first blogpost. Woo hoo! I’m writing today about the Heart Chakra. I’m offering a workshop on February 10 about this space of giving and receiving love. 
So, first things first, what is a Chakra? It’s an energy center in or near the body that you can perceive but won't show up on an MRI or an x-ray. Have you ever felt a sensation of profound love or the ache of a broken heart? These are expressions of the Heart Chakra. Though Western science doesn’t recognize them, Indian philosophers  and yogis have been aware of their presence for centuries and written volumes about them. For instance: "Bright but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart. Everything that moves, breathes, opens, and closes lives in the Self-the source of love. Realize the Self hidden in the heart and cut asunder the knot of ignorance here and now."—The Upanishads (Translated by Eknath Easwaran, Nilgiri Press, 1987)       https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/dwelling-in-the-lotus-heart

I’m very interested in the Heart Chakra. I have glimpsed the brightness in my own heart, and I have watched it dim. Sometimes I "cut asunder the knot of ignorance" with ease and other times I remain in its puzzle. 

One of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, talks about love and connection as primal needs of human beings. I long for love and connection and want to understand how to nurture love within myself. It makes me a better girlfriend and a better human and allows me to share without depleting myself.

So I am diving into Anahata Chakra, the energetic love center, located in the center of the chest. I've always loved the name "Anahata," meaning "unstruck" or "unbeaten." It speaks to the resiliency of the heart and the fact that the heart is something more powerful than my perception. Something with the capacity to withstand and heal from all injuries and shine brilliantly.

By learning about and cultivating the energy of Anahata we can clear woundedness, resentment and sorrow and grow in both strength and vulnerability. We can become better lovers, friends, children, parents and more brilliant expressions of love in daily life.

One of the most valuable heart Chakra lessons for me is that there is strength in a vulnerable heart. It certainly isn't what I learned growing up, but I see it when I practice it. Just this week I happened to share with two potential employers about my journey with chronic illness. I shared with a bit of trepidation, but I felt it was fair that they were in the loop. They subsequently shared with me about their illnesses and the strength they have found as a result of illness. We were connected in vulnerability and empowerment and I felt uplifted. My heart Chakra blossomed. 

So please come play with me and co-create an afternoon of heart exploration with Asana, live music, poetry, art and chocolate on February 10 at Studio 11. A link to registration is here: http://www.studio11tremont.com/upcoming-workshops.html PLEASE REGISTER ahead of time so I buy the right amount of chocolate!
<![CDATA[Pilates Principles Build Core Strength by Ava Corsa]]>Sat, 27 Jan 2018 13:22:54 GMThttp://studio11tremont.com/blog/pilates-principles-build-core-strength-by-ava-corsaWhat makes Pilates so effective for core strength, weight loss, abdominal shaping and stress reduction is not just the equipment and the exercises.

It’s Pilates principles:
Pull Inward
Uniform Development

Joe Pilates would use anything available, from springs to clay filled pipes and anything to do with balance to get his students into the right muscles. He was an avid student of anatomy as well as yoga and Greco-Roman isometrics for wrestling. Like yoga the 5 principles work together to create an exhilarating whole body mind experience of health and wellness not just strength and flexibility. Joe Pilates truly believed if the leaders of the world all practiced Pilates there would be no war.

In his book “Return to Life”, breathing deep full breathes was heavily emphasized. I’m paraphrasing but he said something like do not let your lungs become a cemetery of dead cells and stale air, push every last molecule out on the exhale and you will automatically inhale fully as well. Since the air is primarily expelled by the deep rap around abdominal muscles of the transverses full breaths have the added advantage of strengthening core regardless of what body part is engaged, arms, legs or spine. Of course the physiological benefits of pre-supplying oxygen thus fanning the flames of calorie burning metabolism is well documented. You can of course accomplish the same fat burning with a cardio regime but joint destruction is inevitable with any repetitive jarring activity. It’s not if, it’s when will your joints suffer. Mixing in Pilates spares the joints while continue to burn fat. Judging by his well developed rib cage and abdominals structure well into his 70’s, Joe Pilates practiced what he preached.

The acclaimed ab series is not the only meaning of pulling inward. The meaning also refers to drawing the proximal end of the limbs, by the design of the exercises to integrate inward towards the center. Muscles like rotator cuff, rhomboids, lats, inner thigh and deep 6 rotators under the gluts are all emphasized to create stability while enhancing agility. Also, applying isometric contractions to one end of the joint while reaching the extremity greatly enhances the stretch to strengthen principle. Many of the exercises were intended to be isometric holds others are designed to move more quickly at a pace in between yoga vinyasa flow and western traditional speeds. Stretching to strengthen like yoga hydrates muscles not concentric contractions like running or weights which actually dehydrate the muscles leading to cramps and injuries. Joe Pilates states it’s better to be like a cat when it comes to muscle development rather than a brewery horse. You’re dating yourself there Joe but he was right it is better for the body and the joint structure to have long lean muscles rather than bulky stiff ones.

This leads naturally to uniform development which I think is uniquely applied to the strengthening model of pilates. The muscles targeted are the ones gravity tends not to emphasize through out your life you inevitably accumulate imbalance because when you bend over or even walk is all forward. Even at the elbow joint your biceps get more work than triceps. Most of the arm exercises emphasize triceps. More importantly the controlled slower pace creates a dynamic tension between apposing muscle groups. Once balance is achieved this condition has the effect of he body exercising itself all day long.

Precision leads to thoughtful flowing transitions and mindfulness of movement intention. Joe called his system “contrology”, control. It’s yoga with more muscle resistance. Both are bone loading and enlivening leading to consciousness while moving through space and time. Ultimately the result is drawing health and longevity into the tissues.