Embodiment Training Protocol with Adam Persinger
These sessions cost $100 for a private session.
Here is my approach to the type of training needed to develop an embodied mindfulness so that you will be highly adaptive to the demands of daily life. Depending on your movement background you will likely be more able in some areas over others.
Optimal mobility is simply the capacity for each joint to enjoy its full range of motion (ROM). Mobility can slide too far into openness resulting in a vital loss of stability, which is generally the result of injury or a predisposition towards hypermobility/ loose ligaments. For practitioners of Yoga Asana, whose joints are hyper mobile, special care must be taken in finding optimal alignment and strengthening the joints and musculature protecting the joints.
Alignment is the neuromuscular patterning and subconscious postural intelligence of the body. Rather than a static final result it is really a verb, aligning in each moment in relationship to reality. To pick this apart a little bit, lets briefly look at spinal alignment in sitting. When you sit, are you sitting on top of your sit bones, pelvis tipped slightly forward, knees lower than hips, allowing the spine to stack healthily, not craning forward at the neck, but elongating out of the crown of your head? Or, for another example, when you reach for something, are you using only the bare minimum of effort to pick it up, or do you subconsciously recruit extra muscle fibers and energy to do the task.
Foundational strength starts with building functional core strength. Core strength is not achieved by doing sit-ups. Indeed core strength has become an umbrella term for many different philosophies. To keep things simple, let’s just say its your bodies capacity to respond to the needs of the moment with appropriate intrinsic muscular support and nervous system coordination, that you don’t injure yourself. This is accomplished by ones orientation in gravity (here we’re back to alignment and mobility) and the development of real strength.
How much strength is enough? The gold exemplar of the type of strength and mobility I’m talking about here is seen in the elite gymnast. Given we don’t all have the time or desire to train for this level of fitness, a general rule of thumb is to develop a level of strength and agility that allows you to do what you want to be able to do in your life. This of course varies with ones interests and stages of life. I recommend a minimum of 1-3 15 minute sessions a week.
I think the most effective method is to follow the training protocol of the world gymnastic community. I outline some of the basic exercises on my website, and also in person or in classes. Realistically, these are the warm-ups to the warm-ups, but developing a capacity for these basics are enough to protect one from common back pain.
This is a comprehensive system of training that addresses your individual imbalances to create optimal health. This includes a mindfulness based approach to building strength, increasing flexibility, and comfort, and exploring a more subtle awareness of the sensation in your body. We will assess your body carefully, and focus on developing strength, mobility, alignment and optimal range of motion.
The single most important thing you can do to change the structure and function of your body is to consistently bring mindfulness to the way you are moving and especially sitting. Sitting poorly is the leading cause of structural degeneration. It is vital to have an experiential understanding of where your sit bones are, what it’s like to sit on top of them, supported by them, and how the angle of your pelvis effects the alignment of your entire spine and upper body.
This is, at the first stage of practice, establishing a degree of strength needed to do all one’s daily movements, tasks and work without hurting oneself. Especially training in a very specific way to ensure core strength for a lifetime. We elaborate on the most cutting edge research on core strength. This means emphasizing development of the muscular, fascial and coordinative framework necessary to support the spine when bending, twisting, crouching, carrying and picking things up. A core piece of this is learning healthy low back biomechanics. We will also be using foundational strength training from gymnastic body weight exercises and yoga postures. Strength training has been shown to reverse all the biomarkers or determinants of aging that you are capable of controlling.
We will assess the range of motion in your shoulder girdle, spine, and pelvis. At key joints we will be looking at the range of stiffness, from stiff (limited mobility) to hypermobile (limited stability). From this assessment we’ll develop a movement sequence formatted especially for you.
As we progress, we’ll cultivate a more subtle sensing of the body using techniques from yoga, qigong and meditation. Gradually, with persistence this can unfold into states of sensing rich in meaning and fulfillment.
All along the way important alignment principles will be reinforced experientially. These principles will help you have less chance of injury in the future, by giving you a way of orienting your body and perception as an animal would. This is done by awakening the key functioning of the Movement Brain, and uncovering any missed milestones in our sensory motor development.