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Balance

Loosening the Pecs with the Orb Ball

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Loosening the Pecs with the Orb Ball

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Rolling around on the floor sounds fun, right? This month's Quick Tip may have you doing just that, and you'll be glad you did! Join co-owner Scott Schwartz as he shows you how to use the Posture Ball to open your pectoral muscles. Opening these muscles will give your upper body greater range of motion and it will feel great too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i86Jqgzob6U

 

This exercise is really great for everyone, and feels awesome. It takes the benefits of foam rolling and focuses them into your pecs, which pull the shoulders inward when they're tight.

Try it out, and don't forget to breathe and relax into the ball. Start out slow and easy. Stop if the pain is intense or sharp.

We are always available to consult with you over the phone to help you with a treatment strategy. Call today to find out which therapist would be a great fit for your specific needs. 415.227.0331.

Don't forget, you can pick up an orb ball here at the DiakadiShop for $24.  

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Heart Surgeon Sheds Light on True Heart Health Issues

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Heart Surgeon Sheds Light on True Heart Health Issues

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“What am I doing wrong? I’ve been eating a low-fat, low-carb diet and nothing is changing.” This is usually what I hear from clients and friends looking to lose weight and improve their heart health after a doctor’s visit. A good amount of friends and family were told to take cholesterol drugs that seem to minimally improve numbers if they do at all. How is that possible? Dr. Dwight Lundell clearly explains to us what is wrong with the practice of prescribing statins and a low fat low/low carb diets to all patients with heart disease. New studies from the medical field state it is actually the inflammation caused by a diet full of processed foods that use simple carbs and the imbalance of omega-6 fatty acids that causes poor heart health. It’s not grass fed steak or even butter that cause this. Even Dr. Lundell says that he has been wrong for 25 years. He then goes on to say that the best weapon we have against poor heart health is to eat organic, whole and unprocessed foods, seek out omega-3s fatty acids and eat complex carbs like sweet potatoes (instead of relying on bread, pancakes and other simple carbs) that do not cause a huge spike in insulin level.

This extremely well written and clear article will shed some light on some great ways for you to easily improve your heart health without the use of drugs or surgery. Read this article (and then do your own research) and see for yourself how your body responds while eliminating processed foods and simple sugars, and adding in real healthy foods. Enjoy the article and be well!

Read Dr.Lundell's Article Here.

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Psoas Quick Tip: Working Your Foundation - The Feet

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Psoas Quick Tip: Working Your Foundation - The Feet

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Working the Feet

Your feet take a beating every day and literally bear the weight of your life. Too often we accept the aches and pains of our feet, as if there is no solution. In reality, there are steps we can take to ensure our feet are strong, flexible, and comfortable while on the move. So, stop tiptoeing around the value of your feet, and start giving them the attention they deserve and earn every single day!

Take a look at this video where Jenny shows us how to work our feet. This is part one of a two-part video series.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0sqkHAFvVA[/youtube]

Who needs these foot workouts?

The person with cramping feet, if you wear heels, those dealing with bunions or the beginning stages of them, plantar fasciitis sufferers, runners, cyclists wearing hard clip-in shoes, dancers/former dancers, anyone who wears shoes all day.

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The feet are filled with tons of muscles, as seen in the illustration below. Use these tips to keep them all healthy.

This Quick Tip has 3 sections:

  • A stretch for the back of your feet
  • A strengthening exercise to activate the many layers of muscles in your feet that normally don't get used
  • Using a golf ball to gently to work out the muscles in your feet

Use one of them or all 3 for a week and feel the difference! Your feet will surely thank you.

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Group Morning Meditation with Ryan Allen

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Group Morning Meditation with Ryan Allen

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The month of February DIAKADI will host a free group meditation led by Ryan Allen on Monday and Saturday mornings. Ryan will lead the group through the basics of meditation with the intent of getting you comfortable enough to begin the practice on your own. Meditation practices are as varied as the people performing them. There is no one-way to get in-tune with your deeper spirit or consciousness, however there are techniques that make it easier to quiet your mind. The group is for all levels and will include light stretching, breathing exercises and approximately 30 -40 minutes of meditating.

Space is open to eight attendees per session. If you would like to sign up for all eight sessions please try to attend all of them for the full benefit. Drop-in attendees are welcomed if the group is not full.

Date: Sessions begin on Saturday, February 1st 8-9am. All following sessions will be on Mondays 7:30-8:30am and Saturdays 8-9am.

Location: DIAKADI

Cost: FREE

Presenter: Ryan Allen

Sign-up for all eight sessions or specific dates by emailing Ryan@AllenTraining.com

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How Do I Find Neutral Spine?

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How Do I Find Neutral Spine?

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By Lisa Corsello at Burn SF I love this topic and thought I’d blog about it this week for those of you who may be wondering. . .so if you want to experience more from core and spring work and less lower back pain (and who doesn’t?!). . . . . . read on:

Neutral Spine is the form that we at Burn believe is healthiest.  I like to think of Neutral Spine as protecting the integrity of your spinal health, as well as respecting and maintaining the way the spine is naturally structured.

Basically, a healthy spine has 3 natural points at which it curves:neutral_spine_burn_pilates (1)

  1. the neck (cervical)
  2. the mid-back (thoracic)
  3. the lower back (lumbar)

I’ve found that the easiest way to find neutral spine is during a wall squat, because the wall provides us with something to move away from or against.  if you can do a wall squat and check your form in a mirror, you’ll get bonus points .

Here’s how to find neutral spine:

  1. Stand against a wall and bring your feet at least 2 feet away from the wall.
  2. Slide down the wall and stop at about 90 degrees (pretend you’re sitting in a chair)
  3. Begin by tucking and arching your back.  Notice what happens to your shoulders and tailbone when you tuck your spine, and notice what happens to your neck and your chest when you arch. Ideally you should be able to keep the base of your skull on the wall, while focusing on sliding your jaw back towards the wall (maintaining a 'double chin' position for your head).
  4. After experimenting with a few tucks and arches with your lower back and pelvis, try to find a position between the two that feels like you are in the middle of both extremes, making sure to direct your gaze directly across from you. Ideally you should be able to place your fingers between your back and the wall at the level of your belly button. This will give you the ideal curvature.
  5. Inhale all the way into your lower belly and then exhale while gently drawing your belly in while maintaining this neutral spine (without tucking).  This may take a bit of time and practice.  You may find that it’s challenging to get your shoulders against the wall, or that when you exhale, you automatically tuck.  Keep practicing and try not to judge yourself.  Be sure to stretch your chest and hamstrings, as they can sometimes be the cause of the tightness that prevents neutral spine.

For more info in greater detail, check out this cool PDF I found online.

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AIS Side Stretch by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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AIS Side Stretch by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Author | Psoas Massage + Bodywork One of the least stretched places on your body is your sides - from hip to under arm. Really, its sad. Aside from the occasional olfactory issues, your sides never hurt anyone. Why do they get such little respect? We are here to put a stop to that. We say "stretching equality for all" - including your oft neglected side.

AIS Side Stretch
AIS Side Stretch
As always, do these Active Isolated Stretches slowly, with your breath, without pain and make 10-12 passes on each side.  And please let us know how it works for you.
Refer to our Active Isolated Stretching video before trying this stretch.
We are always available to consult with you regarding your pain and discomfort. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists call415.227.0331.

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The Shoulder Shrug by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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The Shoulder Shrug by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Sometimes life gets stressful. Job, money, kids, car, travel, diet... all of these things can post constant stressors that cause our muscles - especially the ones in our neck and shoulders - to get wound up and painful. This simple exercise can help ease some of that by reminding us to just shrug it off... literally!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/SkL-TJi9mCc[/youtube]

 

 

This is a quick and easy exercise for you to release stress, get some much needed oxygen to your lungs, muscles, heart, and brain, and to help teach yourself to relax your shoulders. Enjoy, and don't pop.

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Mobilizing Upper Back & Stretching Pecs by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Mobilizing Upper Back & Stretching Pecs by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Our pecs and back take a beating throughout the week. From simple actions, like sitting at a desk to more hardcore activities such as mountain biking and surfing, these body parts engage, enable and then tighten up with ease. Anyone who's ever had bodywork on their pecs knows exactly what I mean (ouch!). And if you can relate, then it's really important that you check out Jenny's latest Quick Tip exercise for your pecs and upper back. Not only is it important to stretch these body parts for simple bodily health and flexibility, but doing so will make it so that your therapist doesn't have to dig so deep to loosen up those pesky pec muscles! And that's something I'm sure we will all appreciate.

Who needs this exercise?   

People working at desks, on the computer or those whose work or activities require them to hunch over, such as artists, chefs, surfers or cyclists.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvpmJaaOgyw[/youtube]

For the best results:

  • Lay the foam roller on ground and sit right at its edge.
  • Lie down so that the length of your spine and your head are resting on the foam roller.
  • Use your feet to help support you by placing them flat on the ground.
  • Bring your hands up straight above your torso and then let them slowly fall to either side of your body. At this point, your arms should be at 90* angles. Some of you will be able to touch the ground with your arms. Don't push it if you cannot.
  • With your arms on either side of your body, move your arms down toward your hips and then up above your head, in a snow-angel motion (do this 10 times).
  • For the second stretch, straighten your arms above your torso again and alternate reaching each arm toward the sky (10 times for each arm).
  • Finally, bring both your arms behind you, straight above your head and alternate each arm reaching straight above your head (10 times on each arm).
  • Don't forget to breathe.

 Note: If you feel pain and/or numbness during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.  

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DIAKADI Presents | Psoas Massage and Bodywork Quick Tip of the Week: Calf Stretch

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DIAKADI Presents | Psoas Massage and Bodywork Quick Tip of the Week: Calf Stretch

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Who needs this exercise?   

Cyclists, runners, people who wear shoes with high heels.

Anyone can benefit from Active Isolated Stretching. As Scott explains in the video, with AIS you are using your own muscles to help complete a stretch. The benefit in doing this is that when you engage one muscle, its opposite muscle is forced to relax, allowing you to get a deeper stretch in that muscle.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4V7-1iwQTU[/youtube]

For the best results:

Stretching the Gastrocnemius

  • Your leg should be straight.
  • Wrap a strap around your foot.
  • To begin, use the muscles in the top of your foot and leg to lift your foot toward your shin.
  • Once you've gone as far as you can comfortably go using those muscles, pull on the strap for an extended stretch. Remember to continue using the muscles on the front of your leg and foot while using the strap.
  • Hold this stretch for a second and then release.
  • Repeat this motion 10 times.
  • Don't forget to breathe.

Stretching the Soleus

  • Bend your leg upward, such that your foot is flat on the surface.
  • Lift your foot upward toward your shins, using the same muscles as in the Gastrocnemius stretch.
  • Once you've lifted your foot as far as it can go with your muscles, grab the bottom of your foot with both hands and pull even closer to your shins for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold with both hands for one second and then release.
  • Repeat this motion 10 times.
  • Don't forget to breathe.

 Note: If you feel pain and/or numbness during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.  

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DIAKADI Presents | How Stress Affects Your Body Fat, Muscle Mass and Fitness Results

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DIAKADI Presents | How Stress Affects Your Body Fat, Muscle Mass and Fitness Results

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As fitness and performance coaches, our job is to help clients discover their healthiest, most balanced lives, while assisting them with meeting their goals in the safest and most efficient means possible. Stress and the proper balance and control of it is often one of the most difficult topics we approach when working with clients. In this video segment, Darwin Ruiz explains to DIAKADI owner Billy Polson exactly what stress is, how it affects your body and how controlling it may be the key to reducing your body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. Sleep, nutrition, and even emotional focus all play a big part in making sure you are training your body while in the gym, not draining it!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdShvKYIwHA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For more information on Darwin Ruiz, check out DarwinFitness on Twitter.

For more about DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life in San Francisco, visit diakadibody.com.

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DIAKADI Presents | How to Master a Handstand

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DIAKADI Presents | How to Master a Handstand

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If you are trying to build incredibly strong and stable shoulders, nothing does the job like a handstand exercise program. In this video, DIAKADI owner Billy Polson works with circus performer and athlete Polina Smith of Wholebody Transformations (Our resident handstand expert!) in learning the most important basic steps for starting a handstand workout program. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-mjfHeXIX0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

To learn more about Polina Smith, check out wholebodysf.com.

To learn more about DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life in San Francisco, check out diakadibody.com.

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Feldenkrais Clinic at Diakadi in February

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Feldenkrais Clinic at Diakadi in February

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Whether you want to improve your athletic performance or suffer from pain or injury that limits your ability to function and perform, Movement Lessons can help you discover new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and improve your movement. Movement Lessons are based on the work of Anat Baniel and Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and encourage participants to overcome the habitual constraints that interfere with physical ease. Lessons aim to broaden mobility through a series of gentle, interconnected movements which reorganize the nervous system. Discover * Concrete and effective ways to enhance movement through brain plasticity, the ability of the brain to grow and change throughout life. * Enhance your ease of movement, flexibility, and posture faster and further than any form of conventional exercise. * Learn about your own motor learning processes and thus develop greater control over your body and your life.

Clinic will be heald on Saturdays is in February (Feb 5, 12, 19, 26), from 9am-10am.  Prices are $20 per each session or $70 for the full series.

About Robin P. Zander Movement has always been at the center of Robin’s pursuits and practices. From foundations in distance running, gymnastics, and circus arts he continues to practice ballet, Capoeira, and a variety of other dance forms. At Reed College, Robin designed and directed original research on human motor learning. Robin studied anatomy and physiology as a pre-medical postbaccalaureate at San Francisco State University. Robin carries a certification from the National Association of Sports Medicine and is currently studying the Anat Baniel Method, which is a modern development of the Feldenkrais Method.

Robin has worked with a wide variety of disability and injury, including chronic pain, people recovering from surgery, and many people simply looking to improve their lives. He has had particular success in his work with athletes, dancers, and high performers. He has worked with professional musicians, yoga and Pilates practitioners, triathletes, Olympic skiers, and members of the Marin Dance Theatre, San Francisco Academy of Ballet, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance.

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