PCA 3Core Connections® Fascial Dog Video Series

The following movement sequence "Fascial Dog Flow Series, Phases I, II, III" , which can be done anywhere, is one of our favorite home practices that we teach at Pilates Center of Austin. As you move through it, Phase by Phase, you will experience that, by accessing the receptor portals of your hands and feet, along with the 2 directions of your spine and softening your gaze with peripheral vision, you are discovering your body's "movement brain". This engaging perceptual practice creates a deeper sense of being at home within your body, and an access to an internal supple power that is applicable to any movement discipline…Pilates, yoga, Feldenkrais, Alexander, dance, running/swimming/biking, sports-related activities…or any of one's hobbies or daily activities, whether that be gardening, painting…or, for that matter, washing the dishes. Come practice with me, as we re-energize our bodies from their bio-intelligent wisdom. A special thanks to my mentor, Advanced Structural Integration teacher and researcher, Hubert Godard, for teaching me the foundation of this perceptual practice, which he calls "Flight of the Eagle".

An Embodied Movement Practice…Fascial Dog Flow Series, Phase I, II, III

An Embodied Movement Practice…Fascial Dog Flow Series, Phase I, II, III

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Clara's Fascial Dog Flow Series Enhances Her Running and Her Pilates Practice

Clara's Fascial Dog Flow Series Enhances Her Running and Her Pilates Practice

Thank you, Clara, a recent graduate of my Passing the Torch (PTT) Mentoring Program, for your willingness to explore places in your movement and teaching that were difficult for you, in order to achieve your vision of helping clients to be their own “inner teacher”.

Clara: “when Wendy asked me at the beginning of my PTT program, which movements were nourishing for me, I had to come to the realization that my RUNNING, which I’m dedicated to as a practice, was not nourishing for me. I have tight Achilles tendons and hips and was just pushing through. I had my Pilates practice and my running and was trying to find balance between the two. As I progressed through my year long PTT program, whole body movement began to emerge for me and how to take it into my life.

As a Pilates instructor, when I’m being taught, I’m used to a teacher saying “your ribs are tight…or you need to pull in your ribs, etc., telling me what to do…. rather than helping me become aware of what I don’t need to be doing, and how I can help myself. That’s what I have studied with Wendy in her embodied approach to anatomy.

What I’ve discovered is that it’s my “SETUP” that matters..so that I don’t just think about my ribcage. I am now aware of the embodied relationship between my hands and feet to my whole body, which totally changes how my ribs connect and feel supported. The Fascial Dog Flow Series has been an important practice for developing my whole body awareness and function.” (see our PCA website video page for coaching with each Phase of Fascial Dog Flow Series: http://www.pilatescenterofaustin.com/_video_blogs/fascial_dog_videos.html)

As Clara moves into her SET UP for her Fascial Dog Flow Series, she is sensing through her hands and feet, how her spine and internal organs are massaged by her BREATH in the way she moves. This is SPATIAL MEDICINE, and an “embodied” approach to re-patterning long held tension patterns.

In each Phase, you are having a “conversation with your body” in relationship with gravity and spatial orientation. Follow Clara as she notices:

  • where her body is in space,
  • how the 2 directions of her spine connect with her hands, feet and head
  • how her “hover” flexion as she straightens her legs in Phase I wakes up her Domes of Uplift…domes of inner ankle, pelvic floor, diaphragm, thoracic outlet and palate. This understanding of “hover” relates to every flexion movement and will help you achieve “Knees Off, Knee Stretches” so that your legs float from your breathing spine!
  • how her internal organs are being massaged by her breath
  • how she is “evoking her cobra spine” in extension in Phase II, as her heels are releasing back, her hips are moving toward her hands (this distinction will help you achieve the Advanced Pilates Reformer movement “Swan on the Box”
  • how her head can move freely on her spine from an internal spiral supported by breath and her biotensegrity fascial connection to head, feet and hands. When you can release your head and look from side to side while you are in a fascial rotation, like “Snake and Twist” on the Reformer…it clearly shows that you are not over-stabilizing your neck to move your body
  • how her hip and shoulder joints are fascially opening to breath, creating a spatial relationship with her head, spine, hands and feet
  • how she is deepening her “shoulder blades to internal belly…powerhouse breath” which roots her arms and legs fascially to her primordial spine
  • how this Fascial Dog Flow series is the foundation for all flexion, extension and rotation movements…and has transformed how she practices and teaches Pilates.

Clara: “I have shifted the hypermobility of my ribs, and the compressed feeling in my hips through this practice. I am so grateful to have studied embodied anatomy through the 3Core Connections Perspective. I now have a more personal understanding of my body’s needs…and that translates into a more powerful relationship with what clients need and how they can help themselves…and that’s the best!

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Discover How Fascial Dog Flow Series Frees the Sacrum in Flexion, Extension, and Rotation

Discover How Fascial Dog Flow Series Frees the Sacrum in Flexion, Extension, and Rotation

In the 3Core Connections Perspective, we look at the way the body connects from the feet to the head and hands. We refer to the Lower Core as the area between the feet and pelvis, the Central Core between the pelvic floor and diaphragm, and the Upper Core from the pelvic diaphragm to the cranial base/palate, and what's most important is how they are all interrelated through the 2 directions of the spine.

What's great about this perspective, is that it allows a sensory/kinesthetic awareness to build that is from your body's perspective of what is happening, rather than imposing an exercise ON your body.

In the Fascial Dog Flow Series, you become aware of how your hands and feet opening, enlivens your spine, and how your enlivened spine relates to your hands and feet opening. In other words, your body discovers how to relate to its environment through breath and movement in a way that relates to EVERY movement.

When you round or arch your back, or straighten your legs, can your sacrum still be free to move, and how does that relate to Elephant, Knee Stretches, Arabesques? When you rotate, do you do it from your head telling your body where to go, or does your spine move your arms and legs…which will give you a very powerful access to Snake and Twist.

What I've come to understand is that my body doesn't care what name I call a movement….Bridge on the Wall….what it wants is movement with awareness, in relationship with gravity, so there's just enough effort for the movement.

When we learn to listen to our bodies messages, we discover that our innate biointelligence is always paying attention, through our ups and downs, and we learn to meet difficulty from a more mindful place.

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Kathy Discovers her .. Primal Head to Tail Connection.. on Iyengar's Yoga Wall

Kathy Discovers her .. Primal Head to Tail Connection.. on Iyengar's Yoga Wall

Thanks so much to Kathy Jackson, Pilates teacher from Delaware, who came to study to deepen her awareness of her biointelligent body in relationship with her Pilates practice and teaching.

Kathy was not feeling well the day we filmed…her sinus felt clogged, which affected her energy level, yet she still wanted to "experience" the distinction of how the Yoga Wall would support her l leg balance in Fascial Dog Flow Series III, which has been hard for her…and then have that awareness shape how she is able to progress in her Pilates practice and teaching. She was surprised how this approach affected her physical wellbeing so quickly! See our video blog for the Fascial Dog Flow Series:
Phases I, II, III: www.pilatescenterofaustin.com/_video_blogs/fascial_dog_videos.html

We setup a folding chair on a sticky mat at the wall, and she began her flow of Fascial Dog I and II before filming to open space in her whole body through the 2 directions of her spine, hands and feet… by allowing a deeper relationship with gravity supporting her.

We then set up the leg straps on the Yoga Wall. The support and SETUP of the 2 directions of her spine in relationship with her hands, feet using the wall, chair and floor gave Kathy an immediate connection to her "hamstrings relating to the front of her spine". This distinction, along with the postural support of her diaphragm's relationship through the domes of her pelvic floor and palate, opened her hips, engaged her spine, enabling her to sense the internal spiral that occurs naturally as she looked to the left while standing on her right leg. She felt her sinus clearer and her energy more vital at the end!

Our biointelligent body is amazing…and able to heal itself, when we are willing to take the time to listen!

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Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle: Flossing Your Fascial Spine

Flossing Your Fascial Spine

"To Stretch" is a term that refers to "lengthen, widen or distend an object" (particular muscle referred to) …in other words, doing something TO ourselves. I haven't "stretched" in years, as many of you know. Even though in my early studies of yoga, I over-stretched and tended to hyperextend my joints, since the mid-90's, as I've studied somatic movement and the "living matrix/fascial network" as a practitioner of Structural Integration Bodywork, I've become more interested in how to "balance" my whole body by partnering with gravity, rather than fighting gravity by overgripping muscles.

The static Hamstring stretch is a perfect example of isolating a muscle in order to lengthen it. Instead of concentrating on the Hamstring, as the villain, by "sensing weight" and releasing into gravity through my feet and hands, the fascial net that supports my whole body's bones, muscles, organs, etc., becomes energized. My Hamstrings becomes balanced by allowing my relationship with gravity: "Down the Back" (shoulder blades, sitting bones/tailbone toward the tripod of my feet ) to release into the earth (grounding)……when I roll onto the balls of my feet, yet keep my heavy tail and heels, that sensation of uplift through the inner ankle: "evokes the CORE uplift of UP the Front" (inner ankle, inner thigh/hamstring, front of pelvic floor, along the front of spine to inner ear).

This way of being with our whole body in relationship with gravity is called "Tensegrity" - how the whole body connects from foot to head and hand - the bones become spacers for the tensional fascial network….and breath becomes the internal connector as I exhale. As I go on the balls of my feet, the INHALE creates "space" within my body, back to front, side to side and top to bottom, and the EXHALE creates internal connection, as my shoulder blades and ribs glide down toward my navel center to assist the abdominals and diaphragm in exhaling air from my lungs. This action "enlivens" my spine so it feels like "fascia flossing my spine" with breath and movement of bones connecting toward center and expanding into space.

Go to our Fascial Dog Flow Series, Phases I, II and III in our video blog: Fascial Dog Videos and play with this feeling of creating space, grounding, centering, and balance in your body. You will transform your Pilates or yoga practice with this simple, flowing series that uses just a mat and chair, and for Phase III (sometimes includes a wall for feedback and support).

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Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle Fascial Dog Flow with Pam / 3 Videos

Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle Fascial Dog Flow Series with Pam / Pt 1

"Pam shares how she has healed her rotator cuff and sacroiliac (SI) pain and is back to skiing...... on expert slopes! The Fascial Dog Flow Series has taught her how to be in her whole body through enlivening, engaging and layering awareness of her spine's relationship to her head, hands and feet!

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Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle Fascial Dog Flow Series with Pam / Pt 2

"Pam shares how she has healed her rotator cuff and sacroiliac (SI) pain and is back to skiing...... on expert slopes! The Fascial Dog Flow Series has taught her how to be in her whole body through enlivening, engaging and layering awareness of her spine's relationship to her head, hands and feet!

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Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle Fascial Dog Flow Series with Pam / Pt 3

"Pam shares how she has healed her rotator cuff and sacroiliac (SI) pain and is back to skiing...... on expert slopes! The Fascial Dog Flow Series has taught her how to be in her whole body through enlivening, engaging and layering awareness of her spine's relationship to her head, hands and feet!

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Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle Teaches Fascial Dog / 3 Videos

Wendy Presents Fascial Dog | Intro and Phase 1 (of 3)

Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, introduces the Fascial Dog Flow Series, a dynamic practice that will teach you how to relax and tone your muscular system by accessing your whole body's fascial system that supports your muscles, bones and internal organs – learn how to partner with gravity rather than fight gravity!

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Wendy Teaches Fascial Dog | Phase 2 (of 3)

Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, introduces the Fascial Dog Flow Series, a dynamic practice that will teach you how to relax and tone your muscular system by accessing your whole body's fascial system that supports your muscles, bones and internal organs – learn how to partner with gravity rather than fight gravity!

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Wendy Teaches Fascial Dog | Phase 3 (of 3)

Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, introduces the Fascial Dog Flow Series, a dynamic practice that will teach you how to relax and tone your muscular system by accessing your whole body's fascial system that supports your muscles, bones and internal organs – learn how to partner with gravity rather than fight gravity!

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