Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop


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


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!

Food, Glorious Protein-Packed Food!


Food, Glorious Protein-Packed Food!

Food is one the best things I get the privilege of reviewing. Seriously, nothing makes me happier than waking up to an email from a local food purveyor’s PR company.

“Lynda, we would love for you to try X. X is made and sourced locally, has won awards, and is a growing brand. We would love to send you some samples for review.”

Now, I don’t always say Yes.

I say no, in general, to most juices, protein powders, workout supplements disguised as food, and bars. They tend to be rehashes of one another.

I say Yes to locally crafted foods, and to random things that interest me.

This week, I bring you three Yesses – charcuterie from NYC’s Les Trois Petits Cochons, Greek-style yogurt from Southampton’s Nounos Creamery, and protein snack chips from Ips Snacks.

Les Trois Petits Cochons

Hubby used to be a classically trained chef, and in our house we eat a lot of charcuterie. Smoked duck breast on salad, a nice paté on good bread (I save my gluten for these moments), a good sausage with mustard and cornichons. Yum!

Les Trois Petits Cochons sent us four items in a cold box – Paté forestier, Saucisson sec aux herbes de provence, Smoked duck breast, and Terrine des Trois Rois.

2016-06-17 14.44.23

The folks at The Three Little Pigs make some of the best charcuterie we have ever had.

We had the paté, sausage, and terrine on a tray with sliced bread, course mustard, and cornichons. They were all perfectly rendered, with great textures and flavors. So good! And the smoked duck breast? It was simply wonderful.

Seriously, their smoked duck breast is perfect – not overpoweringly salty and not dry. And the breast even included the tender! We had it on a salad of romaine, good tomatoes, mini cucumbers, and hearts of palm with a light ginger soy dressing. Fab!

Nounos Creamery

On Friday, Nounos Creamery dropped off a mixed case of their decadent and wonderful Greek-style yogurt. I received 12 jars of the best Nounos flavors – Apple Pie á la Mode, Fig and Orange, Strawberries and Cream, Vanilla Bean….

2016-06-24 18.13.31

Nounos yogurt is just so good. Thick and creamy, intensely flavored without a lot of sugar, and satisfying. It is my favorite yogurt!

Ips Chips

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes crave salty, crispy chips. Potato chips are yummy but deep fried, and the baked versions are not as satisfying. I also love pretzels, and while Snyders does a decent gluten-free pretzel, they are just pure carbs and salt.

Ips Chips are different. These are a corn-based chip with added whey protein. I received Sea Salt & Black Pepper Chips, Barbecue Chips, and Cheddar Cheese Chips.


The flavor and texture are great, even with significant protein! Even hubby, who loves junky snack food, loved these.

The only thing I noticed after eating them for a few days was that I started to notice the chalky texture of the protein. In normal life, I probably wouldn’t try all the flavors so quickly, so I doubt that would be a regular issue.


Loving, Trusting, and Letting Go


Lessons in Loving Yourself – A Guest Post from Dr. Debra Reble

Trusting yourself and letting go are two of the most important spiritual principles you can practice on the path to loving yourself. Trusting yourselves helps you release whatever emotional blocks keep you disconnected from your true being—such as fear, insecurity, and shame. Letting go allows you to peel away the hard shell of your ego so you can experience the divine essence that lies beneath. These principles are synergistic: the more you let go, the more you learn to trust yourself; and the more you trust yourself, the more you can let go.

Too often we brace ourselves for change instead of letting go and embracing change as an opportunity to love ourselves and spiritually grow. We fear that by letting go we will fall down the rabbit hole, lose everything, most of all ourselves. If we have defined ourselves by our job, roles, or relationships, we may feel untethered, unhinged, and question who we are and what we really want. We can kick and scream our way through these intense periods of self-discovery and healing. Better yet, we can love, trust, and let go, allowing these “Oh My God” moments to shift to “What’s next?” moments.

Trusting yourself requires more than taking deep breaths and saying positive mantras; it takes a conscious connection to our divine source. It’s like having an invisible safety net while walking on a high wire. Even though you may feel like you are operating without backup, your connection to a divine source is in fact your safety net. When you trust this connection, you realize that you are not alone because your divine source is always with you.

Don’t think that by staying on the sidelines, strapped inside your fluorescent orange life jacket, you are safe, and won’t have to jump into the water. No, the universe doesn’t let you off the hook that easy. What you actually must do is take that leap of trust into the unknown and live the life you have always imagined.

Trusting yourself begins with one small step in the direction of your dreams. It grows by taking a leap of faith whether it’s starting a new job or relationship, taking a challenging class, or traveling somewhere you’ve never been before. Above all, making conscious choices that help you feel safe, value your time and energies, and are self-honoring deepen your sense of trust and self-love.

Here are a few ways to Love, Trust, and Let Go:

  • Spend time alone in quiet reflection, whether meditating at your desk, sitting in a garden, looking out a window, or writing in a journal. Begin with five minutes at the beginning and end of each day, then gradually increase the time to allow your vulnerabilities to surface.
  • If you’ve been putting off creating a vision board or “Leap List”, there’s no time like the    present. Take some time and reflect on the areas that you need to let go into love and trust. Where do you want to take those leaps of trust in your relationships, career, health, or finances? What small steps can you make toward each new intention? Take one step.
  • Throughout the day, acknowledge yourself as a strong, loving, and confident person, connected to your divine source. Use the following mantras: I trust that everything always works out for my highest good. I am strong enough to handle any challenge that comes my way. I choose to embrace my vulnerabilities with all my heart.
  • Use “Bless and Release” as a daily mantra in your life. When any person or situation triggers negative emotions, bless them or the event for bringing this unhealed part of yourself into your conscious awareness. Release whatever has been unearthed for you so it doesn’t become a stuck place or energy block.
  • Notice when you feel unsettled, restless, or irritable. These are emotional cues for you that something is just below the surface of your conscious awareness and needs to be released. Sit, lie, or walk with any vulnerability or pain until it releases.
  • While sitting or walking, use your breath to assist you in letting go. Breathe in and look within with love of yourself, breathe out and look out to the world with love of others. Do this until our breath is rhythmic, and you feel calm and centered.

At this time of unprecedented global and personal transformation, you must love yourself and let go of more in your life than ever before. Trust that in letting go of one reality, you are opening the space to many new realities. This is the exquisite space of co-creation and positive no matter what it looks like at the time.

About Dr. Debra Reble

Dr. Debra Reble is the author of Being Love: How Loving Yourself Creates Ripples of Transformation in Your Relationships and the World now available. For a limited time, you’ll receive over 50 transformational gifts when you purchase a copy of Being Love. www.BeingLoveBook.com

Consciously merging her practical tools as a psychologist with her intuitive and spiritual gifts, Dr. Debra L. Reble empowers women to connect with their hearts and live authentically through her transformational Soul-Hearted LivingTM program. Debra is the author of Soul-Hearted Partnership: The Ultimate Experience of Love, Passion, and Intimacy, which garnered four book awards including the Eric Hoffer award. A frequent guest contributor to Aspire Magazine and other high-profile blogs, her words of wisdom are embraced by readers around the world. Her popular inspirational podcast, Soul-Hearted Living, airs on iTunes and other platforms and is dedicated to reconnecting women with their hearts.

Fun Facts About Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea – Buddha’s Herbs

I recently did a video for the lovely folks at Buddha’s Herbs on the benefits of Chamomile Tea, which I drink often.

They posted a comprehensive review of chamomile, along with all of its benefits and a few contraindications on their blog, This is why Chamomile Tea belongs in EVERY home!

The name “Chamomile” comes from the Greek word ‘Matricaria chamomilla‘ meaning ground apple. It’s the common name for several daisy-like plants that are commonly used to make herb infusions to serve various medicinal purposes. Popular uses of chamomile preparations include treating hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorder, and hemorrhoids.

Why do I love Buddha’s Herbs teas so much?

Their Organic Teas are made exclusively from homogeneous herbs cultivated, picked and processed under the strictest requirements for organic produce. These products meet the requirements of EU Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 and the Rules for Organic Farming. Plus, Buddha’s Herbs take great care to ensure that the tea packaging is also ecologically friendly; therefore no glue or metal elements are used while packing their Organic teas into filter bags.

Use code LYN20%OFF for 20% your Chamomile Tea order at Buddha’s Herbs.




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