Musicians' Health Collective

Musicians' Health Collective: Supporting the health of musicians (and normal people)

Filtering by Tag: self care

Running Recovery

This past weekend was one of the big marathons in my area, and watching people finish made me glad that I did not in fact participate, and more importantly, made me think of ways that runners might recover after such a race.  Here are a few of my favorite videos for self care after a race:

I love a little bit of rolling for center of glutes to prime your hips for daily life, but also to manage any overuse.

This is a video from friend and colleague Alexandra Ellis which goes through the 90/90 stretch, or the pinwheel hips of the mermaid in pilates.  It can be easy to neglect external and internal rotation when training for a race, and this is a good movement to add to the traditional work.

Lastly a quick calf roll out with a therapy ball, tennis ball, or softer ball can help restore foot and ankle movement.

8 Tips to Stay Sane For the Holidays

For most people, the holidays are a stressful time, whether it's because of the flurry of activity, the holiday gigs, the gift buying, or the long encounters with family with questions like, "What will you do with your life/job/relationship/freelance life?."  Our body can stay in a place of sympathetic dominance if we're not careful, and our body can get out of whack if left in that state for too long.  Here are some of my favorite things to keep it together during the holidays.

1. Get enough sleep.  Easier said than done, but all too crucial.  Too many days of diminished sleep make me enormously grumpy and dysfunctional.

2. Can't sleep well?  Try constructive rest-  a practice of introverting your attention and resting for any time.  Here's my girl Brooke Thomas' introductory video on constructive rest.

3.  While this might not be a good time to start a brand new meditation practice, it's always a good time to breathe and breathe mindfully.   I love this chat with Aline Benoit from August to get inspired.  Try a few moments of breathing in a quiet place where you can't be disturbed if you feel the pull of holiday stress derailing your sanity.  It's ok if a million thoughts come up!  I love Maira Kalman's illustrations on meditation, because she basically details her thought process and how difficult it is to focus.

4.  Go for a walk outside if the weather permits.  Walking is a critical movement nutrient that is often neglected in our exercise/sitting regiments.  I find that my mind is always more collected after a walk.

5.  Take a warm bath if you bathtub isn't too gross (or you don't share it with a bunch of people).  If you find your body in pain from playing, sitting, or sleeping, a bath is a lovely way to get blood flow into deprived tissues and decrease stress.

6.  Don't eat all of the sugary things.  I love baking, but I also know that if I eat everything I bake, I will be grumpy and on a sugar crash.  If people bake for the office, class, or studio, it's ok to say no, or just eat a little.  You don't have to eat every sugary thing that manifests in your workplace!  (Sometimes that's chocolate, cookies, sweet bread, and cakes all in one place!)

7.  Do a little self-massage.  Even if you only have a tennis ball or lacrosse ball, roll out your feet or your upper back against the wall.  A little bit of self-care goes a long way, especially if your feet are trapped in boots or high heels all day.

8.  Even if there are many things to stress about during the holidays (relationships, finances, careers, etc.), take a moment to be grateful for what you do have and consider giving back, even if that's just a donation to a food drive, playing for a senior citizen center, or being kind to shopping clerks.  A little bit of gratitude goes a long way in improving morale, even if things aren't the way you wish they were.

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Self Massage techniques (aka. Be a Baller)

Now that I've talked a bit about the value of rolling out your tight tissues, here are a few videos for those of you ready to rock and roll.  (There are lots of ball-related puns.  Sorry).  As a Yoga Tune Up® teacher, I like the YTU® balls, but I've also used pinky balls and lacrosse balls in a pinch.  Here are some of my favorite roll out places to start.


Feet: whether you've worn heels or dress shoes, or you just ran a few miles, this feels great.

Upper Back: after a day of playing, or in the morning, this is a nice way to start to unwind.

Jaw/TMJ issues: for all of my wind player, singer, night jaw grinding friends out there!

Neck: this is a great sequence for everyone!

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