Most of us stretch when we wake up in the morning or when we feel stiffness in certain areas. However, we should make stretching a part of our daily routine.
Whether you’re an office worker, runner, or fitness enthusiast, here are a few reasons on why you should be stretching correctly.
To Improve True Flexibility
Forced stretching leads to opposite effects of stretching. If you’re just beginning (or just really tight) and find the muscle(s) not wanting to release, first relax into it instead of forcing the stretch. Only go as far as you can.
Relax and release a little at a time with every exhale (passive stretching). This way you’ll work with you true stretch and see more of an improvement in your flexibility. In fact, there are many types of stretching, choose the one that will work for you.
To Avoid Overstretching
Reduce the chance of injury from overstretching. The main reason to stretch is not only lengthen the muscle but to create more space in your joints and ligaments so there is less impact and so the bones can rotate properly to maintain appropriate range of motion.
Take one day at a time, and be careful not to go beyond your limit. Each day will be different. Know the difference between when you’re pushing yourself safely and when you’re over doing it.
To Release Deep Muscle Connections
When stretching is done correctly and frequently enough, those aches and pains in deeper muscular areas can finally begin to release. Why? This is because deep muscle connections are all intertwined with each other. The psoas muscle, which connects to the lower back and top of the hamstring) is fantastic example of why the body needs to move and stretch as an entire system.
To Stretch Right for Your Body Type
Every type of body is unique and every type of body will need slightly different stretching techniques. Pay attention to your range of motion each day and where soreness and tightness may lie. Being aware about what your body needs each day will set how you perform, exercise, cool down, and stretch. Listen to your body and stretch mindfully.
Want more tips? Read this:
Radiant Space Art Gallery is based in Los Angeles, West Hollywood, CA, and thrives from its founders: Daniel Elder, Sean Maurer, Golie Yazdy, Olivia Mia Orozco.
This gallery space hosts art shows, dance, music performances, sound baths, pop up fashion markets and donation based group classes. Mia, the main event coordinator, is a dancer, actress, and all round performing artist, making her a key element to Radiant Space’s network and success. This space has also a great emphasise on women, arts, and wellbeing (check).
When prompted to host a GYROKINESIS® Group class for the gallery, it was a definite “Yes” right away. As I’ve been based in London for the last 7 years and have just relocated to Lisbon, I haven’t had the pleasure to be apart of or even see the space.
The space is lovely and serves its purpose well. Being in the heart of West Hollywood, this gallery space has already had a lot of foot traffic and art buyers. With a few promotions and word of mouth, I was excited to teach my first class in Los Angeles in years, let alone Radiant Space’s first ever GYROKINESIS® Class.
5 movers were plenty in the space to allow full movement and the necessary student to teacher visibility that this method requires. In L.A.’s “winter” (80° F), we cultivated even more of a sweat and moved as a unit for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The energy was fantastic.
What I love about teaching and being involved with a place like Radiant Space is being able to transform the space and connect with a diverse realm of people. From Visual Art, Meditation, Music, Dance, and Fitness, these collaborations advocate what artists love doing the most: supporting and showcasing each other.
I look forward to see what other movement modalities Radiant Space will offer in the gallery in 2018. It’s apparent that this space has already become special to those who founded it and unique to those who’ve discovered it. Keep a look out, Angelenos! Stay tuned to this important space.
Current & Upcoming
Donation Sound Meditation with Allison Jones
Currently On Display
In this World / Out of this World: Group Photography Showcase
Radiant Space is thrilled to start 2018 with a floor-to-ceiling interactive psychedelic textile cave by Laurie Shapiro
Follow Radiant Space here:
Follow Mia Orozco here:
More about Radiant Space
Radiant Space is a multimedia gallery in the heart of West Hollywood, CA. At its core, we are a team of creatives who have bonded together to co-create a space for visual arts, film, dance, fashion, and multimedia installations. Our aim is to authentically present work that adds to the global conversation of what it means to have a human experience here and now. We offer our space to rent for creative projects, photo shoots, personal art shows, and special events. We’d love to collaborate with you. Feel free to reach out to us and come join our community.
More about Olivia Mia Orozco
Orozco’s work explores the relationship between the mind and body both as it concerns itself with the movement of dance and from a philosophical point of view. Her work questions and redefines perspective. She enjoys using the camera lens to aide the audience in seeing new facets of the atmosphere in which the dancer is living that may not otherwise be seen in a proscenium setting. It questions the notions of time and from how many viewpoints time can be measured.
As a female artist she explores the defining characteristics of women and is interested in archetypal figures while also questioning the shaping of the modern woman. Her work weaves tales from ancient myths to Hollywood thrillers to create work that both pays homage to classical dance while still maintaining a fresh look of the twenty first century in its interwoven form. Slicing and mingling the old and new, she creates work that aims at authentically presenting her story, thoughts, dreams and ambitions to audiences worldwide via the use of technology and live performance.
Last weekend I attended a very informative Yoga workshop with Beta Lisboa at Little Yoga Space in Lisbon, Portugal. Beta focuses on releasing first the joints and then the fascia to help with emotional and physical trauma.
I was in major need of this workshop because of the amount of travelling I’ve done over the last 6 months. My ankles, calves, and hips in particular were stiff, which began to have an affect on my dancing and teaching physically and emotionally. This workshop also featured an all-time personal favorite: the tennis ball.
Born and raised in Brazil, Beta was a Sports and Capoeira practitioner who later took up Ashtanga Yoga and Sports massage. As she continued to delve into the Yoga world she was also introduced to Yin Yoga and Spiral Yoga from Simon Low and Sarah Powers.
Beta also teaches and practices Myofascial Release, Mindfulness Meditation, Wellness Life Coaching, Dynamic Spiral Yoga, and Vital Essence Breathwork. You can learn more about these techniques on Beta’s website.
What is Yin Yoga?
According to Yoga Journal–
This practice is designed to help you sit longer, and more comfortably, in meditation by stretching connective tissue around the joints (mainly the knees, pelvis, sacrum, and spine). A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia.
What is Fascia?
According to Lauren Roxburgh–
Fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that encases your body under your skin like a wetsuit and actually wraps itself around every muscle, joint, and organ.
What is Yin Fascial Yoga?
According to Beta–
Yin Fascial Yoga combines Yin Yoga with integrative Daoist Yoga in longer held postures with slower movements into the fascia opening up the body meridian system. Blending with Myofascial Release to target connective tissues, supportive structures, called fascia. Incorporating Mindfulness as a powerful tool for awareness in your practice.
About the Workshop
We began the workshop by introducing ourselves and stated why were were interested in taking the workshop in the first place. Answers varied from finding an overall physical release; to combat emotional trauma; to having a general interest in the science behind Yin Yoga and fascia. I, on the other hand, fell right in between these reasons.
“The body knows it’s way home”, Beta explains. We all stood up. Second order of work was to release the joints before we started releasing the fascia. Exercises consisted of rolling the ankle joints, hip/pelvis mobility, and some basic yoga postures standing and on-all fours. Movements were kept soft, almost in a restorative manner.
Next, we begin to release the fascia, starting with the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia). Using one of the tennis balls, we carefully transferred our weight back and forth, massing the bottom of the foot in as many directions as possible. Then we targeted just the middle of the foot (close to the base of the toe joints), to focus on the connection to our organs, like in Reflexology.
We then continue upward along the body interchanging with spiralling movements and stretching, standing and on the mat. This helped the body to maintain its openness and avoid shutting back down into postural habits. My favorite anterior points of release were the psoas and the space right underneath the ribcage using 2 tennis balls. Good for releasing the posterior chain.
A favorite release point in the posterior portion began from the base of the spine, gradually rolling towards the upper back with 2 tennis balls, which proved to be a neglected part of the spine from sitting and being confined on a plane and bus. In fact, these release points have already been added to my daily routines.
Finishing with a few supported bridges and Shavasana, we gradually realigned the body back to where it needed to be. The body tends to release in a chain reaction, especially when dealing with Myofascial Release, the tissues and muscles “spontaneously unwind”. I walked out of the workshop feeling less congested in the joints, aligned, happier and generally more awake.
Follow Beta for Upcoming Classes and Workshops
Lucia Vergnano is a Dancer with Aterballetto Dance Company, a Mother, and a GYROTONIC® Trainer based in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Vergnano now contributes to an blog called Mamma, Mi Racconti (Italian for Mom, Tell Me).
In this post, Vergnano shares her thoughts on breathing, the importance of oxygen, and how the GYROTONIC® Method helped her further understand this necessity.
BREATHING AGAIN by Lucia Vergnano
[Translated by Lucia Vergnano from ‘UNA MAMMA IN GYRO‘ (A mother in Gyro) – ‘Juggling family, dance, travels and the Gyrotonic Method’]