My 50th Birthday Gifts – to You!

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It’s my 50th birthday on September 22, which is next week, and I thought I would give you all some gifts! What is a birthday without gifts?

Gift One: Free Pilates Basics Mat Class Audio now through 9/22/16 with code BirthdayGift

This is just a nice 40 minute basic Pilates mat class, safe for healthy bodies and a nice introduction to my audio Pilates teaching. If you like it, you can purchase my other audios at half price!

Get the Pilates Basics Mat Class audio Free – use code BirthdayGift

Gift Two: 50% off All Digital Pilates and Reiki Products now through 9/22/16 with code Happy50

Pilates audios for back pain, neck pain, and working with the magic circle and foam roller – $3.50.

The comprehensive Pilates for Back Pain eCourse – $23.50.

My new Usui Reiki I eCourse with distance attunement – $18.50.

Just go to my Pilates Store. Use code Happy50

Gift Three: 50% off Distance Reiki and Skype Pilates now through 9/22/16 when pre-purchased via Paypal

Use the buttons below to purchase your sessions, and I will email you within 48 hours to schedule your session(s).


Skype Pilates 50% off thru 9/22/16




Distance Reiki 50% off thru 9/22/16



And if you feel moved, please donate to my family medical expense fund at YouCaring. Thank you!


Why I Do Pilates

why i do pilates

I realized today that I have been doing Pilates since 1986/7, which is a solid 30 years. Pilates feels like home to me. It is so familiar, but can be so different depending on whether I have a teacher and on how my body is doing.

But in the end I can boil my love affair with Pilates down to just a few words.

I do Pilates to maintain stability in my hypermobile joints, while maintaining healthy joint and spine mobility.

I do Pilates to maintain control over my body and how it feels and functions.

I do Pilates to continue breathing deeply as I move, and to continue to move with flow and ease.

And I do Pilates to stay strong, centered, and balanced both physically and mentally.

Basically, I want to be able to comfortably sit down and stand up from the floor, which is apparently the hallmark of how long I will live. I also want to be able to pick up heavy things and move them up, down, and around. I want to put my own bag in the overhead compartment! And I want to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.

Additionally, I want to have some fun and do things that are hard but cool (semi circle and tendon stretch on the reformer, anyone?). I want to feel my spine move, but in a supported and safe way.

And, I would like to have all of this with no accompanying back, neck, or joint pain. Beautiful posture is lovely, as are toned abs and a nice tush, but not with pain.

I have had enough physical pain in my life. Broken bones, car accidents, boat accidents, surgeries, shingles 3x on my sciatic nerve, the crushed toe that wouldn’t knit and had me in a boot for 5 months, the pelvic pain from endometriosis and the surgeries for that, have all given me a healthy respect for pain.

That’s me doing tree with the boot on.

Why anyone would want to exercise in any way that would cause or increase pain is beyond me. The no pain thing, to me, is non-negotiable.

I am thrilled to be as functional and strong now as I was 30 years ago, if not even stronger.

If you are experiencing physical or emotional challenges in your exercise life, I highly recommend giving Pilates a try. It may the perfect solution for you!

Why do you do Pilates? Leave a comment and let me know!

PS – If you want to try my safe and effective Pilates Audio workouts for Back or Neck Pain (downloadable files that you can play on any device or computer, or burn onto disc), they are on sale today 35% off, along with my Pilates for Back Pain eCourse and new Usui Reiki I eCourse. No code. YOu will see the discount in your cart.

PPS – Here is free video of some pre-Pilates fundamentals for back pain.

 

Labor Day Sale! 35% off Pilates & Reiki Products

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Hello, everyone! Welcome back to the real life of September, with school starting and the mellowness of summer coming to an end.

Labor Day Sale! 35% off Pilates & Reiki Products

Labor Day 2016 is here! And it being September, lots of other life events for me. My Mom passed in September 2013, my 50th birthday is around the corner, and our 24 year Bus Stop anniversary (the day we met).

With this being such an important time in my life, I thought I would share the love with all of you. Starting now, through 11pm tomorrow 6 September, you can buy any of my digital products at 35% off. No code needed.

That’s right – get any or all of my Pilates Audios (regularly $7 each), the Pilates for Back Pain eCourse (regularly $47), and my brand new Usui Reiki I class (regularly $37) at 35% off.

Follow this link to my Digital Pilates Store and shop away. But hurry, this deal expires tomorrow night.

Enjoy!

Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop

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Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop for Teachers – Sunday, July 10, 2016 1-4pm at Real Pilates Soho

Training clients with hernia and diastasis recti requires a small shift in thinking and approach for many Pilates teachers. It is crucial at the beginning that these clients avoid increases in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), yet almost all beginning Pilates exercises involve working with just that.
This is a really fun and useful workshop!

Register for Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop – July 10, 2016

From the Last Workshop

Lynda is knowledgeable and approachable (Tricia Dean O’Donnell)

Lynda Lippin’s Hernia and Diastasis workshop should be a requirement for any Pilates certification program, basic or comprehensive. These are common problems among women and even men. The integration of the breathe and movement and how it affects intra abdominal pressure is necessary knowledge for every pilates instructor. Lynda is knowledgeable and approachable, sharing what many certification programs fail to cover.

Tricia Dean O’Donnell, Classically Certified 1997

Tricia Dean O'Donnell

The Hernia and Diastasis Recti workshop was both informative and fun (Margaret DiMeo)

The Hernia and Diastasis Recti workshop was both informative and fun. I particularly enjoyed the detail focused on the breathing and the importance of using the breath to stabilize. This, I believe, is so integral to the students – to feel the difference between stress placed on abs when not fully breathing and then to implement exercise with thoughtful breath. I would indeed attend another workshop and I found Lynda to be not only approachable and lovely, but willing to share her knowledge! Thank you.

Margaret DiMeo

Excited for Lynda’s next workshop! (Juan Estrada)

I feel the importance of breathing exercises in Pilates is often overlooked! I appreciated that breath was a great focus. Excited for Lynda’s next workshop!

Juan Estrada

It Was A Great Hernia/Diastasis Workshop (Charlotte Novak)

It was a great Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti workshop with focus on breathing and intra-abdominal pressure. With that knowledge I can now integrate it into the system of Pilates and to my clients needs. I almost think you could do a part 1 and a part 2 in this workshop because there is so much information to talk about. You were great Lynda! I would definitely take another workshop from you and your knowledge from experience and understanding of the human body is priceless!

Charlotte Novack

I finally feel confident to take on a diastasis client. (Andy Sherwood)

I recently took Lynda’s diastasis / hernia workshop. For the first time in ten years of years of teaching Pilates, I finally feel confident to take on a diastasis client. We learned how to take a client through their first visit and got a comprehensive teaching of what things to focus on and what to avoid.

If the workshop material is not delivered in a way that’s interesting, hands on, and fun, then it is much harder to focus and retain. This is not a problem with Lynda , as she is extremely knowledgeable, personable, and fun!

I have also been thoroughly enjoying my private sessions with Lynda as I work through reconnecting to my abdominals after abdominal surgery. As an instructor myself, it can be extremely discouraging to face challenge in my own core.

Lynda moves me in a fun, flowing, and deep way. She is encouraging throughout the session even when you are being corrected and challenged. Highly recommend a one on one to get the full Lynda Lippin experience.

What is a Hernia?

According to the NIH,

A hernia is a sac formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). The sac comes through a hole or weak area in the strong layer of the belly wall that surrounds the muscle. This layer is called the fascia.

Basically, a hernia is an area where the intestines start to protrude through a weak area in the abdominal wall. Hernias are named for location (inguinal – groin, umbilical – belly button, hiatal – upper abdomen, femoral – upper thigh).

Hernias are caused by straining while abdominal pressure is increased – it can happen on the toilet, opening a window, or even lifting weights and/or doing abdominal exercises incorrectly.

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti as defined by the NIH:

Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.

Most diastasis recti is seen in pregnant women, where the muscle separates as the woman’s belly expands, but I have also seen it in men, and is also present in some infants.

Pilates Can Help IF It Is Taught Correctly

Luckily, it is easy to modify exercises and cue your clients to work in a way that helps.
In this workshop, I will share the successful modifications and techniques that have made me lower Manhattan’s most sought out classical Pilates specialist for people with diastasis recti and hernia. This 3 hour workshop includes anatomy, lecture, and practice on mat and apparatus.
You will leave with many, many tools to help your clients literally pull themselves together!
*You must be a Comprehensively trained Pilates instructor to register for this workshop.
Cost: $150 without PMA CECs / $180 with 3 PMA

Healthy July Summer Fun Giveaway

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Healthy July Summer Fun Giveaway

I can’t believe it is already July and we are in the second half of 2016. Luckily summer is just getting underway here in the northeast US, and I have a fabulous giveaway to help make your healthy July even more fabulous and healthy!

You may have recently read my article on the health benefits of Panax Ginseng and thought that you might want to try it for energy, increased performance, and possible lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
panax ginseng giveawayAnd you may have heard about the new Wraps headphones, that offer great sound and a convenient bracelet carrying option.

2016-06-10 08.15.52Now through midnight 7/13/2016 you can enter to win both for your healthy July! Panax ginseng for some energy and Wraps headphones for some music to use it! Both of these products are awesome.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Panax Ginseng from Buddha’s Herbs

panax ginseng giveaway

Panax Ginseng from Buddha’s Herbs

What good is Ginseng?

  • May Fight Viral Infections – Research has shown that Ginseng may have the ability to act as an “adaptogen” prolonging life by combating viral infections such as a cold or a flu
  • Reduces Stress – Ginseng is used to both stimulate and relax the nervous system and increase capillary circulation in the brain to decrease the effects of Stress.
  • Lowers Blood Sugar and Cholesterol – Panax Ginseng has been shown to lower blood levels of both Sugar and Cholesterol, therefore it may help treat Type-2 Diabetes and High Cholesterol.
  • Physical and Mental Performance – People who take ginseng feel more alert. Asian ginseng helps improve mental performance, concentration memory and other measures.
  • Fights against Cancer – Studies suggest that Asian Ginseng may reduce the risk of some types of Cancers. Women have traditionally used Panax Ginseng to help with Breast Cancer and prevent ovarian cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer.
  • Helps Erectile Dysfunction – Men popularly use Panax Ginseng to aid in erectile dysfunction. Ginseng helps increase sperm count as well as motility.

Here is my take on ginseng, with an overview of all possible side effects. You can read a transcript of the panax ginseng video here.

Try Panax Ginseng

Be on the lookout here in July for a giveaway that will include one bottle of 100mg Panax Ginseng from Buddha’s Herbs!

Breathing

Breathing

Breathing in Pilates and everywhere else is crucial on many levels. Proper breathing helps everything!

Breathing comes up a lot in the Pilates studio. In fact, one of the first exercises we teach new clients is the Hundred, which involves a whole lot of breathing in flexion.

Yesterday I taught a workshop on Teaching Clients with Hernia and Diastasis Recti to a group of wonderfully talented and bright Pilates teachers (thank you Enja, Juan, Andy, Charlotte, Margaret, and Tricia!). When you are dealing with overstretched or torn abdominal muscles, the interplay of breathing, thorax pressure, and intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) becomes very important.

Here is the science behind how we approach breathing in Pilates, and why we inhale to start many Pilates exercises.

(featured image from Siyavula Education on Flickr)

Basic Breathing Mechanics

Breathing is necessary to bring fresh oxygen into our bloodstreams via the lungs. Our lungs are very lightweight, flexible, and porous, like a sponge. My dog loves to eat dried beef lung as a treat, and it is spongy in texture.

Air moves from high pressure to low pressure. The thorax is set up as a pressurized container. The lungs sit inside the ribs, which are jointed to move and have flexible intercostal muscles in between that allow for expansion and contraction. At the bottom of the thorax is the diaphragm muscle, which also helps regulate the pressure of the thorax by allowing for expansion of volume.

When you inhale, the diaphragm and intercostals contract and expand the thorax. This expansion of volume lowers the pressure in the chest cavity below the outside air pressure, allowing air to flow in through the airways (from high pressure to low pressure) and inflates the lungs.

When you exhale, the diaphragm and intercostals relax, the thorax gets smaller, and the decrease in volume of the cavity increases the pressure in the chest cavity above the outside air pressure. Air from the lungs (high pressure) then flows out of the airways to the outside air (low pressure).

Does Breathing Effect Abdominal Pressure?

Now, below the diaphragm is your abdominal cavity, which houses a majority of our crucial internal organs. The sides of the abdominal container are made up of several layers of abdominal muscles, starting at the deepest layer with the transverse abdominus that wraps from your lumbar spine all the way to the front, continuing with the internal and external obliques that wrap around, and finishing with the six-pack, the rectus abdominus that attaches your breastbone to your pubic bones. All of these muscles meet at the linea alba, the line down the center of your abdomen. The bottom of this abdominal container is the pelvic floor, made up of several muscles that work, in part, to hold up our internal organs, control our sphincters, and keep us continent.

In a basic view of breathing, it would seem obvious that inhaling, while lowering thorax pressure, would increase intra-abdominal pressure as the diaphragm drops down. This would totally be the case if we weren’t able to use our muscles, expanding our abdominal cavities and lowering our pelvic floors at the same time. It turns out that in normal, resting, supine breathing there is actually very little increase in IAP with inhalation. In fact, the increase in IAP comes during maximum voluntary breathing (like breathing in exercise, or any conscious breath work) at the moment that we start to exhale. Makes sense, right? That is the point where we need to use pressure to push out the air.

Maximum voluntary breathing was associated with marked changes in intra-gastric pressure which rose abruptly at the beginning of expiration and fell abruptly at the beginning of inspiration.

[Campbell, E. J. M., Green, J. H., (1953), The variations in intra-abdominal pressure and the activity of the abdominal muscles during breathing; a study in man. The Journal of Physiology, 122 doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1953.sp004999.]

What About those Hundreds?

Position also has an effect on IAP. Flexion increases IAP by impeding the ability of the abdominal wall to lengthen, overhead pressing increases IAP, moving limbs increases IAP, and lifting heavy objects increases IAP.

Looking at flexion, much of the basic and beginner healthy-body Pilates exercises involve flexion (hundred, half roll or roll up, rolling like a ball, spine stretch, etc.) and pulling navel to spine. So we place a healthy body into a position of increased IAP and then ask that body to navigate breathing and moving of limbs. In a healthy body this is useful work.

In a body that has weakness in the abdominal wall, asking for deep respiration while in flexion and moving limbs is almost impossible and frustrating for the clients, since they cannot properly expand and contract the area to build up pressure for the exhale – that is when you see the doming or popping up of the internal organs.

What exercises are safe and useful? Exercises that focus on deep breathing and stability.

Breathing in Pilates

Many exercises in Pilates start with an inhale or use an inhale to prepare – we inhale to press out for footwork or down for pumping, we inhale out on short box, inhale to start our backstroke, stomach massage, our neck pull….

This should make more sense now, since the moment of the most intense work and pressure in the abdominal cavity is at the beginning of the exhale. Joe Pilates has us inhaling until we are the point where we need maximum effort to get back, and that is where we utilize that pressure of the exhale! Brilliant!

Vintage pre-Pilates

The other imbalances in the body that will effect breathing are postural. Diane Lee has a fabulous article on this called, Butt-grippers, back-grippers and chest grippers – are you one?

What all of of these folks have in common is improper breathing caused by tension patterns. For them, restoring proper function starts small and deep. The hundred will not be helpful at the beginning!

What will be helpful are some pre-Pilates fundamentals, which Joseph Pilates taught to his most injured and damaged clients. I am teaching a workshop of the most useful ones next month, Saturday May 21, 2016 1-4pm, at Real Pilates Soho. Come join me for three hours of fun and learning. I promise that you will feel better for it, and your clients will love them!

Register for Vintage Pre-Pilates – Classical Fundamentals

While not all clients require pre-Pilates exercises, some definitely do. Somehow almost every “stretch” out there is currently being touted as a “pre-Pilates” exercise. I will teach vintage, classical fundamentals (including the TV – and I do mean Television and not the muscle – exercises) that will help your least-able clients understand better how to breathe and move in the actual beginning Pilates exercises. These also are safe exercises to give as homework!
*You must be a comprehensively trained instructor to register for this workshop.
 Cost: $150 without PMA CECs / $180 with 3 PMA CECs