The “Power Position” is Present in all Disciplines- Kung Fu and Yoga Alike

If all this sounds like Chinese to you, let me put it in a simpler form.

The “Power Position” tells your body to recover, to learn this space, this is a safe zone and this is where the body should find comfort and recover.

The power position carries across many disciplines:

•The “Plank”plank

Samasditihi•In Yoga, “Samasdetihi”

 

 

•In Shaolin Kung Fu, the start and end position in all forms.KungFu recovery pic

•Bosu Elite , Flat jacks,  a supine plank position is the same as a standing upright power position.flatjacks bottom

They all have the same purpose, neutralize posture for greater stability and force transfer !

Coincidence?…NOT

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love, 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Establishing The “Power Position” and “Pelvic Perfection”

Everything begins and ends here. Let’s define the “power position”:

The “power position” creates the neutral basis for your body. Training in this position results in a stronger and more balanced relationship between center of gravity and base of support ..center base and base to ground leads to better gait mechanics.

Training on the BOSU Elite provides mechanical advantages for enhancing gait mechanics both neurologically and structurally which means you can get into positions and reach a range of motion that you were unable to achieve without it.

Power postion thisoneEstablishing the Power Position:

• Stand with your feet hips-distance apart and toes straight ahead
•Squeeze the glutes, a.k.a. your butt (pelvis tilts and shifts forward, hips externally rotate
•Engage the abdominals to lock that position in
•Tuck chin slightly, head as if “suspended from above”
•Think wide and low through the shoulders
• Flatten the curve in your lower back-think longhand wide through the lower back

Training stimulus results in…

*Dorsiflexion with inversion that creates a springloading effect through the body.
*Efficient Natural positioning at ground contact during walking and
*Creates an optimal mechanical leverage for efficient force transfer

Basically the BOSU Elite surface and the exercises in the power position help to cerate a tighter suspension within the system creating a coil like effect in the body that will transfer to a more enhanced efficient, stronger maximum engagement and force transfer through the spine. The spine then becomes a better transmitter of force and the hips become the fundamental driver and the hinge for force. Through this we are able to maximize core stability and hip mobility throughout the greatest range of motion and improve force transmission to/from the ground.

 

Better foundation,Better stability, Better squatting, Better motor skills, Better movement!

MORE BETTER EVERYTHING  : ) !

More on the “power position” to come …

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Get Off the Crack and Get Back on Track – SUGAR is a Bad Habit

SugarpicIt’s been a while since I’ve been on the subject of nutrition, almost as long as my recovery.  Don’t think that hasn’t been in the forefront while I’ve been recovering. In fact, what has enabled me to continue to recover as quickly is being mindful of my nutrition.  I will admit though I’ve not been perfect and probably caved in to more cheat days then I normally would give in to.. But hey, sometimes I am human.  So now that I am getting stronger on my track it’s time to reckon with those demons and banish them off the track.

Sugar does to your brain — the exact same thing smoking, alcohol and cocaine do.

Studies show that Lab rats prefer sugar to cocaine. When given the choice between sugar, cocaine and alcohol those cross-addicted rats always choose sugar.

Eating high-sugar foods lights up your brain on an MRI like a Christmas tree. The very same part of the brain that’s triggered by cocaine or heroine according to research by Dr. David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D.

The dopamine receptors are activated in the brain when sugar is consumed, and the more sugar that is ingested the more desensitized the brain becomes to the dopamine response and the more sugar is needed to maintain that high.

When the brain starts reducing its number of dopamine receptors in order to keep things balanced “downregulation” is the reason we develop a tolerance.

From there it’s a downward spiral…

Eating wheat, flour and sugar in processed foods spikes our sugar, then insulin. These are the hormonal disturbances that make you store belly fat, and then you are hungry for more sweets and starchy junk food and the cycle continues from there.

Sugar increases your insulin levels, which can lead to:

•OBESITY

•DIABETES

•HEART DISEASE

•IMPAIR BRAIN FUNCTION

•HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HIGH CHOLESTEROL

•PREMATURE AGING

Controlling your insulin levels is one of the most important things you can do to optimize your overall health, and avoiding sugar is the key.

Bottom line, there is no fundamental difference between junk food addiction and drug addiction and basically, Oreos are legal crack. : /

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VII: Getting Stronger on the Track: You don’t want to lift heavy weights.. Changing your Angle is like Changing Perspective

Just like changing your perspective can change your life so too can changing the angle you lift can change your physique. Sometimes just changing the way you look at something makes all the difference in the world.

posteriorangle picWhile in recovery the body has one thing to do HEAL.  The body is designed to heal itself, if you let it .

And yes sometimes surgical intervention is required but then there is healing time involved in that too.

The most obvious way to progress is to increase your weight load. SO how to progress and keep things interesting when you have restrictions placed upon you and lifting heavy is not on option… Change the angle.

By simply changing the way you stand or angle the of the weight bench you can target your muscles from a different angle, recruit adjacent muscle fibers and stabilizer muscles and promote a more balanced, symmetrical physique.lateral angle pic

If you continue to lift weights in the same angle every time you will only get stronger at that angle and eventually you will either plateau or create imbalances.

If your scared of lifting heavy weights because you think you’re going to get big and bulky, which by the way is a BIG MYTH, (you get big and bulky from the eating the wrong foods) this a perfect technique for you to incorporate into your training regimen.

Biceps anglepicsNot only did I use this technique while in recovery but I use it with my clients because it integrates movement in daily functional living.  From day to day we lift, we push and we move our bodies in different ways and different angles your body needs to be strong and ready for anything that comes your way.

Other options are varying your speed, changing grips, and recovery time between sets.

Doing angles you’ve never tried—even when completed on a common exercise—are almost like brand-new movements altogether. Your perspective of the same 10-pound weight will be completely different .

Simply adjusting your angle keeps it FRESH and offers up a whole new perspective!

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

III: Getting Back on the Track and Getting Creative With My Rehab

Even with limitations, I’ve found quite a bit of things that I can do.  I started integrating activities that would challenge my balance, work my stabilizers, and of course continue to strengthen my core .

Getting creative with my rehab and making it a little more challenging and exciting by incorporating strength, balance and flexibility into my program in creative ways here’s my report:

Still no jumping or running but in the meantime…

In Tai Chi I have progressed to using full weight bearing, range of motion, strength, balance and flexibility.

At Force PT they have the Alter G, Anti Gravity treadmill.  I zip into the harness and the system calibrates my weight with the desired percentage of how much of my weight I can bear.  As of today 5 and half months post op I am at 75 percent of my body weight at a speed of 5.0 for 45 minutes.  This is a great tool to teach my body how to run again and develop endurance in the process.

Yoga incorporates isometric strength, balance and flexibility.

Figure Skating helps with my stabilizers and balance.

This surgery was a Glute Max (Butt) repair and that will be the last muscle that will work for me. Until then I’ve been strengthening every muscle around it. Often times this creates discomfort because my quads, hip flexors and hamstrings are doing double duty for that large muscle that doesn’t work to its full capacity yet.

All these modalities are teaching my body to move the way I’m going to ask it when all is said and done. Using functional and creative training methods to get me back on that track while keeping sane.

Almost there I can see the light : D

For fun watch video all the way through..

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

II: Getting Back on the Track, The Journey Continues – Proceed With Caution

Thank you to Everyone who reached out with messages after my post a couple of weeks ago  … for sharing your honest journey with me and thank you for being a part in mine and making me feel like you’re holding my hand.. It helps :)

Doc says I can start swimming. PT has me on the Anti-Gravity Treadmill to simulate running. LOOK I am moving forward…

AlterG

It’s been almost 5 months since my second surgery though it does feel like a year and 4 all lumped into one. That said I intuitively picked month 4 as the turning point when things would start to seem less challenging rather than the uphill battle I feel I’ve been fighting.  The weight would magically start to disappear from around my hips and thighs. That bloated feeling would begin to wither away.  My clothes would start to fit more like it should and I would start to look and feel more like myself again.

As can be expected, I still have limitations and staying within them is like coloring inside the lines. Even though I feel better there are still warning signs reminding me to proceed with caution.

My current challenge is finding the balance between doing and not doing too much.  Allowing my body to continue healing while I continue to strengthen and start integrating functional movement.

Moving forward cautiously…

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VII:The Importance of Muscle Balancing and The Correlation Between Mind, Body and Spirit

sarong saluteI could talk about the importance of skeletal alignment, improved posture and improved proprioception but instead I’m going to go off the beaten path and refer to the correlation between mind, body and spirit, and how the physical manifests the spirit and what the spirit needs will manifest physically. Into the esoteric I go…

While I’ve been trying to balance my muscles to work symmetrically, it seems my life mirrors just that.  Things have been a bit off balance since my surgery as well. It should be no surprise when you come to realize how the physical reflects the spirit. In our lives we fall into patterns and routines, and during my recovery, hard as I try I can’t seem to keep my routine while trying to restore balance and stability into my body and my life.

There seems to be no routine and maybe that is because what I’m going through is not part of my routine or will never be and I’m just passing through.

Some days are easier than others and some just don’t make sense at all. I’m getting through it though :)

Sometimes things have a flow and then for no reason at all everything seems all over the place.  At times I feel like I’m going nowhere, other times I feel like a turtle moving ever so slowly and sometimes I don’t know where this going at all. I try to listen to the messages the universe is sending me and continue on the healing path.  It’s amazing the things you can discover here. Just the change in perspective from my pre-surgical days has led me here. My routine has changed the things I see and the way I see them, the things I do, the people I meet and the places I go.  I remind myself that like Tai Chi,  take one step at a time, take it slow, remember to breathe, where you are is where you are and therein you are in the flow…

You will be guided by your recovery.   Listen closely…As strength is restored, balance is recovered and life is uncovered.

Namaste

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™lotus pic

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

While STILL On the Road to Recovery VI- Muscle Balancing- Patience and Time is Required

BicepjbefitIt’s about a month since we last spoke.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling a little stuck.  You know that feeling when things are moving so slowly that you think nothing is happening.   But that’s exactly where I need to be to heal.

And thank goodness film work has been keeping me quite busy and mentally occupied.

Here at week 14-post op my natural body strength is finally starting to come back to its senses  : )

As I have mentioned before, strengthening the muscles around the injured area is paramount to a safe and quicker recovery. And I have found quite a bit of things that I can do. I started integrating activities that would challenge my balance, work my stabilizers, and of course continue to strengthen my core. We’ll get into those soon enough.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on muscle balancing which means making sure that each muscle is working interdependently and doing their part in doing what each one is designed to do and working synergistically with the whole.  Sounds simple but really very complicated and takes a long time to achieve that balance, especially after 5 weeks non weight bearing plus.  Though the core work I’ve done throughout has made it easier and safer for me to do it’s still a process and the one I’m living through at the moment.

As proactive as I’ve been throughout the course of my recovery I am still reminded, by my body and my physical therapist that I keep around for adult supervision, that it takes TIME.  And though I want it yesterday I am at this point today: Accept here and now and find the message in each day and grow through this trying experience.

At 14 weeks, strength is starting to be restored and balance of muscles and stabilizers are coming back, but when I call on power I get no feed back. Nope, not there yet… Still more patience is required.

Cant rush through this, like anything it’s a process that takes time.

Thankfully, I have found plenty I can do while my body heals to keep my head right. There is no pain and minimal discomfort. More on that in blog to follow…

In the meantime, get back to work, stay positive, BE patient and

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery IV- Cardio – Keeping the Heart Healthy when Using Your Legs is a ‘Hard Limit

What’s worse not being able to train your legs or not being able to do cardio?

Not being able to train both is catastrophic to both your metabolism and your heart health. Since both control your heart rate and both control the rate at which you burn fat, maintaining your weight or keeping body fat levels at bay can be challenging if not straight up difficult. (Continue reading for the answer…)

Finding ways to keep my heart rate up without using my legs was challenging for me.  Here are 2 ways I found to keep my heart up at least at a recovery rate of 120 bpm:Bouey

•The first was to put a buoy between my legs and swim with my arms for 30 minutes.

•The second, the arm bike, I would slap on my heart rate monitor and monitor my heart rate for 30 minutes to stay within a recovery heart rate fat burning zone.

armbikeThis is turn does a few things:
1. Put me in a recovery-training zone, which helps to speed up recovery.
2. Helps to circulate blood around the body, to the working muscles and into the healing area to once again speed up recovery.
3. Keeps my heart rate just high enough to burn a minimal amount of fat and train my heart without overstressing the body and again helping to speed recovery.

I can’t say this was fun but I was determined to keep some semblance of physical fitness throughout my recovery to make things easier on me both during and after.

It helped keep me focused and maintain a positive perspective and help attain that feel good serotonin release, even if just for a little bit.

The answer: Leg Training

When training your legs you can elicit both a rise in heart rate for a cardio benefit and strength training to maintain strength and lean muscle for a speedier metabolism and increased circulation for a speedier recovery.

Keep moving people.

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery III- Meditation in Motion- Tai Chi..Exercise or Therapy? (Video Post inside)

BOTH

While in recovery, two times a week I report religiously to my Tai Chi class. I try to keep my schedule the same as much as I can.

My friend asks, “How am I able to do Tai Chi while on crutches?”

Med beadsI explain, I sit in a chair and I focus on the breathing aspect and use this time as a meditation.  Healing can be very stressful and at times even breathing becomes difficult.  Taking the time during my recovery to breathe and meditate has helped to keep me in a positive state.  I remind myself that this is temporary and soon I will be free.  The Rehab is actually shorter in duration than the 4 years plus that I have been living in pain.

CHI or QI means Life Force.  It is evoked by the intentful integration of body and mind.

Tai Chi Chaun or the Supreme Ultimate Fist is a mind-body practice. Tai Chi is considered a soft or internal form of martial art.

The breath, mind and movements are coordinated. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the combination of Yin and Yang creates a dynamic inner movement to move chi and blood flow to elicit a natural state of self-healing to help correct health imbalances.

The practice of Tai Chi as ‘meditative movement’ is expected to elicit functional balance internally for healing, stress neutralization, longevity, and personal tranquility.

The art has been associated with reduced stress, anxiety,depression and enhanced mood, in both healthy people and those with chronic conditions.
     Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.

“What about the form, how can you do that, “she asks?

I sit up tall in the chair and move my arms as if I were doing the form and in my mind I feel as though I am.  When I complete the form I am relaxed and find that it is easier to breathe. I explain that if even for just that evening I have found inner peace and a feeling of serenity I will sleep better and wake up in a better and more positive state of mind to make it just a little bit easier to continue on my ‘Road to Recovery.’

This is ‘meditation in motion’!

Tai Chi Classes are taught at Kung Fu Connection Tuesday and Thursday nights @ 8pm

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™med bow

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer