Away From Stress

February 2, 2017 / Christi Idavoy  / 
It is almost cliché to talk about stress in our society.  We are all experiencing it, accept it as a part of our lives and for many, is a way of life.

Stress happens when we are focusing on the past or the future…where we have no control.  Looking to the past and future are important aspects of life in order to have perspective and an understanding of where we are in the current moment.  That being said, adopting a way of living that is constantly referencing events that have either happened or are going to happen inevitably lead to unhappiness and dis-ease.

“Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

Life is a cumulative process.  Our experiences are stored in our tissues and psyches.  The longer we live in a state of rushing from one task to another, the more likely we will suffer from ailments like high blood pressure, heart disease, constipation, migraines and insomnia, just to name a few.

So what thoughts and actions take you away from this moment?  What thoughts and actions bring you into the moment?  As you become aware of what brings you peace and what robs you of your calm you can, with practice, quickly move from a moment of anxiety and panic into one of joy and relief.

The Western hemisphere celebrates love and relationships this month.  Let’s reflect on spending time with ourselves and nurturing self-love and acceptance.  

Here is a simple meditation to bring you into a deeper love experience right now.  Enjoy.

~Lie on your back with a pillow or towel rolled up behind your knees and under your head if that feel good.
~Take a deep breath in and as you exhale allow yourself to release into gravity and the support of the earth that always has your back.
~Reflect on the supportive nature of the earth, the grounding force of gravity and of how great it feels to simply rest in the nurturing embrace of the ground.
~Notice that all of the air that surrounds you also supports you.
~With every inhale know that oxygen rich life force is moving into every cell of your body. Feel gratitude.
~With every exhale you release toxins and cleanse every cell of your body. Feel the release.
~Inhale: thank you for my life.
~Exhale: I release what I no longer need.
~Repeat.

For a guided real-time anti-stress experience check out my upcoming pop-up Candlelight Restorative Yoga Class  class next Wednesday, Feb. 8th, 2017 @ 7:30pm.  All are welcomed.


Bladder Control: Let’s Talk About It

January 24, 2017 / Christi Idavoy  / 

Years ago when I first began this journey as a yoga student, my teacher, Nishit Patel, pointed out that most folks knew more about how their cars functioned than about how their bodies worked.  Almost 20 years later, with mind-body movement practices becoming increasingly popular and accessible in the modern world, I think that this lack of self-knowledge is changing… just not fast enough.

While yoga, Pilates and meditation studios seem to be popping up like crazy in big cities and small towns around the world, they still remain outnumbered by the fast-paced, high intensity movement forms that ask the body to move quickly and aggressively.  These endorphin highs are very satisfying and fun, but when not coupled with a mindful practice that helps us slow down, notice our breath and give us time to catch up with how we are moving while we are in the midst of a movement, they can be very harmful.  When we are not conscious of how we are breathing and moving a simple sit up can, over time, go from being a good way to strengthen the abdomen and stabilize the spine to a good way to strain the neck, lower back, hips and disrupt the function of the abdominal organs.  This last visceral issue is one that, as a woman, concerns me a great deal. 

Our studio has been opened for 6 months now and in this time dozens of young active women have shared that they are having issues controlling their bladder while laughing, coughing, sneezing or jumping.  This issue in women’s health is multi-faceted.  There is just not enough information easily available in the main stream media and in my recent visit to the GYN I was shocked to see that the information being offered was an advertisement for a pharmaceutical drug.  This lack of information coupled with the many high-intensity workouts targeting core strength, with little to no mention of the breath and how to manage intra-abdominal pressure possibly explains why so many women are suffering a lack of control. 

Abdominal strength is really all about managing the pressure in the abdomen.  Think about it, the contents in the abdomen are gelatinous and floating around in fluid, when we apply pressure on them we need to make sure that they are being displaced in the right way so that they don’t get pushed down into the pelvic floor.  If we allow ourselves to slow down a bit and train our bodies on a daily basis, even if only for a few minutes a day, over time it will become an unconscious pattern that will kick in when we’re kicking, punching and jumping in a high-paced workout.

Well, maybe this issue is creeping its way into the mainstream media, just as I’m sitting here writing this, an ad for a pad for bladder protection pops up…. Ummmm, how about an ad that teaches a simple breathing exercise!  OK, so here it is ladies:

Keep in mind that this is an exploration of movement.  Rather trying to do lots of reps, slow down, notice what you feel and listen to your hands and your body… Let me know how it goes!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Notice your head, shoulders/ rib area and pelvis are heavily resting on the floor.
2. Place your hands on your tummy.  One hand on the lower abdomen and the other above on the ribs.
3. Relax your jaw and your mouth.
4. Inhale slowly, Exhale slowly.  Observe your breath as if you don’t know what to expect, without controlling, squeezing or doing.  Set your intention to simply observe how the breath is moving in and out while SUGGESTING to your breath that it slow down and become longer and fuller.
5. Notice that as you inhale, your abdomen and rib cage will expand and as you SLOWLY exhale ALL OF THE AIR OUT, notice that your ribs will naturally draw in towards your center.
6. As you are exhaling bring one leg in towards your chest.  Notice the direction of the abdominal wall; is it drawing in to your center as a result of your exhalation or is it bulging out into your hands? 
7. Inhale as you hold your leg in the air.
8. Exhale as you lower your leg back down.  Again notice what direction the abdominal wall is moving towards. 
9. Alternate legs.

 Key things to notice:

~ If you find that the abdomen is expanding out/ bulging out into your hands, or you notice the dome lifting in line with your belly button you need to exhale as if you are trying to fog a glass, with a ‘HA’ sound and limit the range of movement to one you can manage the pressure in with your breath.

 

For more insight and ways to improve managing the pressure in your abdomen and either preventing or reversing the loss of bladder control check out my upcoming workshop:

The Power of Your Flower
Friday, Feb. 3, 2017
6-8pm
$19 for members
$39or non-members
@ Polestar Pilates Biscayne: 5050 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL. 33137 | 305-762-6476

What’s In A Name? Creative Classes in 2017

December 26, 2016 / Christi Idavoy  / 

As much as I love spontaneity, being in the moment and not planning, I realize that classes need good names and descriptions.    With increasing clarity and communication about what to expect in a class at our studio in mind, we’ve come up with new class descriptions.  All of our classes will always provide a full mind-body-spirit experience plus a focused theme.


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All of our group classes fall under 2 categories: 101 Fundamentals and Intermediate – Advanced. 

101 Fundamentals classes focus on the nitty gritty of alignment and breath, while also challenging students to reach their highest potential in any given moment.

Intermediate – Advanced classes take the building blocks learned in the 101 Fundamentals classes and turn them into creative, fast-paced, high-intensity work-outs.

Check the new classes we will be launching for YOU in the New Year!

101 Fundamentals

  • ABSolute Control: Possibly the deepest abdominal work ever!  Learn how to execute less repetitions while gaining greater results.  When you learn how to move from your breath you awaken the deepest aspects of your body + mind.  This class will teach you how to safely awaken your core while stabilizing your spine.
  • Flexibility, Strength + Alignment: Ever feel like you’re not flexible enough for Pilates or yoga?  Fret not!  We’ve create this class to focus on increasing your range of movement in almost every possible direction.  Lengthen, define + tone your body and notice that as your body becomes more flexible, your mind will follow.

  • Posture, Poise + Elegance: Ever catch a glimpse of yourself while texting, driving or walking that makes you feel that not so youthful feeling?  Learn everyday tips on how to re-wire your body and stand tall the way nature intended you to.  Focusing on reversing the appearance of aging, this class will awaken the muscles that help you stand tall for hours on end!

Intermediate – Advanced

  • Cardio Jump-board:  This class will make you sweat!  The reformer’s jump board allows us to get our heart rates up with less impact.  Jumping without the pressure of gravity increases the demand for core control while giving you a cardio workout.
  • Flexibility for Athletes:  Love cross fit, boot camp + high intensity workouts?  This class will focus on challenging the parts of the body that are often at risk of injury during very high intensity workouts.  Stabilizing the shoulder girdle, organizing the hips and freeing up more segments of movement in the spine will make you less injury prone.

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Stay tuned to the changes being made to our class schedule, including the addition of the very sought after 7:30pm Mondays – Thursdays!