Beginning in October 2013, Wednesday evenings at Morphe will be the place to be to get your regenerative groove on. Stretch, Breathe & Relax is the newest of our class offerings, focusing on the regeneration and rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul by combining total-body stretching with profound breathing techniques, visualization, and deep relaxation. Rooted in such ancient practices as Yoga, the practice of uniting breath and motion to rejuvenate the body, mind, and sprit is not new. What many don’t realize, however, is that stretching exercises often cause a slew of injuries: in fact, it is in the act of stretching that human muscles are most easily injured. Stretching exercises must be done in a proper sequence, with the breath used as an instrument to support the intensity and variety of different movements. This workshop will guide you through a series of physical movements that allow your entire body to stretch and release physical as well as emotional tension by using the breath in harmony with the body to achieve maximum results. It is important to warm up and cool down the body at the beginning and end of any stretching routine. It is also extremely important to utilize breathing techniques to allow for greater extension and increased physical flexibility. The combination of deep breathing, visualization, and physical movement working in deliberate harmony allows for a far deeper experience of stretching, elongating muscles, promoting balance and proper posture, and releasing psychological, emotional and physical stress. The act of stretching, done properly in conjunction with deep breathing, relieves muscle tension and pain, increases suppleness and elasticity in the joints, and promotes blood circulation to the entire body, including the internal organs. It also strengthens the core, tones the entire body, quiets the mind, and builds physical, emotional, and spiritual strength, endurance, balance and flexibility: the path to holistic rejuvenation.
A lot of people are curious about the new enthusiasm for bouldering, a form of rock climbing that uses no ropes or hooks, relying exclusively on grip, balance, coordination and proper shifting of body weight. Bouldering is fast becoming a popular pastime at indoor climbing facilities, such as the Rock Climbing Room we have installed at Morphe. Here are some of the most common questions that people are asking about bouldering and how to get started with this form of training:
Tried everything at the gym? Need something new and exciting? How about anti-gravity traverse training in the form of rock climbing or bouldering? Morphe is thrilled to announce the completion of our indoor climbing gym, where you can come in and experience bouldering fist-hand. Bouldering is a style of rock climbing that emphasizes power, strength, and total body awareness. It generally focuses on climbing short distances using short sequences of moves, differing from traditional rock climbing in this limitation of distance and movement, as well as the fact that in bouldering, no ropes are used. Bouldering is widely gaining popularity and indoor climbing gyms are slowly starting to crop up in select locations. Children are also seeing benefits from participating in the sport, and studies have shown that young climbers develop core strength and balance from climbing at a young age, resulting in improved performance in other areas and an enthusiasm for fitness that continues into adult life. At Morphe, we’ve created an indoor bouldering gym with marked routes for climbers of all levels, and we offer classes for adults as well as children aged 6 to 10. Climbing exercises consist of following climbing routes that are actually referred to as problems. And in fact, this exercise really does build problem-solving skills. Repeated frequently, climbing strengthens your ability to come up with movement strategies that also build balance, strength, courage, self-esteem, and a sense of continued accomplishment. This exercise also enhances perception, mental accuracy, and memory, and helps overcome fears and phobias such as fear of heights or fear of falling. The practice also emphasizes the body’s relationship to gravity and the use of one’s own body weight as resistance, both of which are central to the Morphe philosophy. Best of all, it’s FUN! So come on in and play around a little bit. You’ll feel renewed, inspired and reconnected with your own inner strength, power and intelligence.
As both an avid golf enthusiast and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist working with all sorts of athletes for over 15 years, I can attest to the contribution that flex training can add to your golf game. In fact, I’d like to share a story with you of one golfer who lowered his handicap from 20 to 10 in less than a years’ time by working to improve his overall balance, strength, and flexibility. In my work with professional athletes, both targeted at improving general fitness and/or working to rehabilitate injuries, I have learned the benefits that all-around flexibility, balance and strength training can bring to an athlete’s performance. So when Victor came into my studio with the specific goal of lowering his golf handicap, I was prepared to coach him to a whole new level as a golfer. Initially, we incorporated Ultrasound Therapy and P.N.F. (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretching, a series of specialized stretching techniques commonly used by clinical therapists, to rapidly improve his overall range of motion and bring fast relief from chronic tendonitis, a problem he’d suffered with for years. We then began working on bio-mechanic strengthening and core conditioning through Gravity Training and Kinesiology, which relieved his chronic lower back pain, a problem he attributed to his long hours of sitting at a desk during his day job. This system also improves balance and overall flexibility while building strength in the entire body, improving rotation and general mobility, maintaining proper weight, increasing muscle tone and definition, and lengthening the spine, improving overall posture. To that, we added Swing Fan Drills, Medicine Ball and Plyometric Workouts, a series of specialized exercises targeted specifically to improving his rotation, swing and golf performance, lowering his handicap from 20 to 10 over a period of 11 months. We also worked to develop a series of appropriate pre and post training exercises to not only improve Victor’s overall performance on the green, but also to decrease his risk of injury and maintain his flexibility, even through his long days at the office. Today, this enthusiastic golfer has found a renewed interest in his favorite sport. His health is greatly improved, as is his game, and he is able to enjoy playing more often, free of pain. A testament to the holistic principle of overall physical conditioning, his is just one more example of what a focused and balanced training regimen can do to benefit any athlete, from beginner, to pro, to weekend warrior.