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October 2020

Daily Hanging

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Daily Hanging – For Pain Relief, For Better Performance, For a Body that Moves Better

We know it can be kind of tedious to keep adding new things into your daily routine. But this one is a little different, and a little more playful, but with a whole world of good attached. We are talking about DAILY HANGING! Unleashing your inner monkey (or your inner sloth – depends how much energy you have that day) – and just letting your body hang to extend each and every day.

Hanging is now considered by many physical therapy specialists to have become THE single-most beneficial upper body stretch: reaching through every muscle and joint above your hips. From your fingertips and wrists, down through your shoulders, and reaching the span of all your back muscles right down to your lower back, simply hanging and letting the power of gravity stretch your body right out can have many more benefits than you may believe.

Decompression of the Spine & Joints

  • Gravity decompresses your spine AND your joints
  • Back Health, Spine Health, Movement of your back, disk health.

Muscular Stretching

  • Stretching your muscles that are too tight from your regular activities: driving, hunched over a desk (the shoulders forward and up hunched position)

Correction + Re-alignment of your Posture

  • Fix, correct and align your posture. As your too-tight muscles are streched out, your body becomes more open and free to find your efficient and effective positioning: and maintain a healthy posture instead during daily activities.

Nourishment of Joints & Muscles Through Increased Blood Flow + Oxygen

  • Increase blood flow + oxygen to the joints and muscles: which is their nutrients! This means the health of the these muscle groups and joints that we rely on so much both inside AND outside of the studio are healthier and happier. More healing, less pain. Better recovery, better movement.

Restored Overhead Range of Motion (Which over time, will be PAIN-FREE!)

  • Restore overhead range of motion: which can prevent injuries in future, and open your capabilities with your movement.

Shoulder Pain: it’s the most common cause is impingement. This impingement is the pain that we feel when we try to lift our shoulder: and you’re likely to feel this within a huge number of poses, of upper body strength movements, or your handstands, and even throughout your general life: reaching for things! With consistent hanging, quite effectively, this pain and dooming concern of impingement pain are relieved. We spend more time in a safe and supported overhead position – and our body becomes a lot more comfortable with handling load and movement in this range.

And further, on an anatomical level – we have a few muscular changes that actually happen to facilitate that greater range of motion that could have potentially been impossible. Our Shoulder Blade (Scapula) is jointed to our arm and shoulder – and requires simultaneous MOVEMENT to allow your arm to reach full motion – all the way up and all the way down without compensations or pain. Anchoring your shoulder blade to your body is a number of muscles (we call this your rotator cuff, plus there’s a few other muscles on the inside edge too!). These muscles, if short and tight, limit the movement of your shoulder. That’s where hanging comes in! Let’s stretchhhh everything out!

Now: A Guide on How To Hang!

Hanging can be as simple as that – just hang. We like to incorporate this into the majority of our classes as a warmup to practises. However, we do encourage hanging to be a daily practise – so find a space at home that you can hang from as well! Pull Up Bars are the most obvious mechanism (and you can even get ones that simply attach to a door frame – so screws needed!). However, if you have access to rings, a tree branch, some monkey bars at a local playground – varying it up is only even more beneficial.

There are two different styles of hanging: Active and Passive. In active hanging, you are actively engaging your muscles, and pulling or pushing your body into a specific intended alignment whilst you hang. In passive hanging – you simply just hang, and let gravity do the magic for you!

Active Hanging 1 – Scapula Retraction:

Begin in a passive hanging position: hanging with both palms facing forwards, and complete looseness in your body. Allow your shoulders to shrug upwards, achieving a full stretch down your lats, and allow your arms to hug the sides of your ears. Then, focus on actively pulling your shoulders BACK + DOWN: retracting and compressing your scapula (your shoulder blades). You should see your chest start to tilt slightly towards the ceiling in doing so.

This movement effectively allows you to open up the shoulder joint, and activate a lot of the essential stability muscles of the shoulder. This is a perfect practise for engaging all the smaller and very critical stability muscles of the shoulder prior to commencing yoga, strength or movement poses.

Active Hanging 2 – Anterior Pelvic Tilt:

Start this hang in a similar position to Active Hanging 1: in a passive hanging position. This time, instead of activating any muscle and movement at the shoulder, focus on trying to find you “hollow position” through your core. Tuck your pelvic forward, extending through your lower back and allow your legs to rock slightly forward. Hold this position for a short while, then relax back to a passive hang. Engage your anterior pelvic tilt for a few repetitions.

Passive hanging – Just hang! 🐵

Relax, draw big and full breaths into your lungs, and relax further into the stretch. You should feel all joints and muscles of your body relax and elongate as you achieve more and more axial extension of your spine. Then, as you start to get adventurous with your hangs – let your body natural flow into whatever movement feels free and right to you. Swing a little, hang from one arm, switch arms, turn around the bar.

Working into a Hang: For those with Shoulder Pain:

If a full hang is too painful or challenging to start with: start with a partial hang, where your feet are still connected to the ground and taking some (but not all) of your body weight. Over time, gradually try and decrease your reliance on your feet as support, and allow your body to sink further into your hang – stretching your muscles and joints into a greater range of motion. Restoring movement through these joints will be a gradual process, however, we find that you will be surprised just how much daily hanging practise helps!

Come Hang – With Us!

Within our studio, the doors to our classroom are always open early – for you to jump in and monkey around on the bars and rings alike and join your daily hanging. You’ll also have a ball in any of our movement classes – where we focus on many of the same principles: Building strength of the minor and supporting muscles, gaining mobility and range of motion back into your body, and relieving pain and limitations whilst improving your capability and functional movement.

Elements Studio Movement Classes

Movement

Our signature Movement classes are aimed at developing greater body awareness and coordination in order to progress your strength, mobility and agility. This class employs training techniques and drills used by gymnasts and acrobats, primal movement and functional movement coaches. Build movement patterns such as pulling, pushing, jumping, hanging, crawling etc to improve a more balanced and capable body.

Class Times: Monday 4:30pm, Tuesday 9:00am & Thursday 4:30pm

Movement & Locomotion

This is our Primal Movement inspired training. Learn movement patterns that will bulletproof your joints, stabilise & mobilise the spine, the hips, and the shoulders. Locomotion is a unique creation, a fluid, challenging, beautiful and rewarding movement system which relies on the use of the low gate, squatting, inverting, crawling, bridging, quadrupling and other patterns, integrated to a sophisticated multi-layered flow.

Class Times: Tuesday 6:15pm

Book in here!

Pranayama - Practice of Breath Control

Pranayama – Practise of Breathwork

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Pranayama – The Power and Practise of Intentional Breathwork to Heal and To Relax

Pranayama means “control of the breath”. We do this a lot in yoga, especially through Vinyasa flows and restorative treatments, but pranayama is also a practice in its own right. It’s simply breathing intentionally, breathing consciously, or breathing with a flow between your mind and your breath: as you focus on the inhales and exhales.

We often don’t think so much about breathing. After all, it’s something we have all done from Day 1 of living – it’s something we know how to do so instinctively it often comes without thought. And this makes complete sense: our breath is our life force, we need it, so of course, our body has designed a way to do so autonomously. However, your breath holds so much more power than just keeping you alive. Your breath can be a major control factor to how you feel internally – mentally, in your general wellbeing, in your energy levels, and further into your physical wellbeing too.

We live in a life that is rough. We face so many external stresses: things that challenge us, curveballs that are thrown at us, constant frustrations or fatigue levels that are inevitably going to internally drain us: time and time again. The point is: we all have the same holistic goal of living healthy and living happily. We all live in a world where there is much that is completely out of our control and always will be. However, we also live in a world where there ARE a number of little things that we can control. We have in-built mechanisms to help us cope, and these mechanisms are unconditional: you don’t need anything, anyone, or anywhere to make it happen. You just need you.

Breathwork is one of those fundamental mechanisms: when we start to breathe intentionally. Put simply, the benefits of breathing are focus, calm and non-reactiveness. These are things we can all use: from yogis to corporate CEO’s. Breathing calms the nervous system – takes us out of that “fight or flight” response and relaxes us into an energy system that is more relaxed, and connected.

Unlike meditation, pranayama or breathwork is very simple. It’s not about telling yourself to “stop stressing” or “stop thinking” – which can definitely be a pretty unrealistic ask for someone with a mind that loves to race. Instead, it’s distracting yourself with someone so simple and natural, and asking your body to tune into that flow.

On a physiological level, breathwork has a vast number of benefits – from hormone changes, to a better response system to stress, greater sleep quality, and increased connection and circuit of the nervous system, and a body that is more nourished, so it starts to feel more energetic. Simply sitting for 10 minutes a day and focusing on the way you breathe, and the conscious control of your breath, is an incredibly powerful practice.

But it also has some really powerful benefits when we connect breathing with movement. This is the foundation of both Vinyasa and EmPower class styles here at Elements Studio. Each yoga flow is created with a routine of movements: all of which are in rhythm with the breath. One breath: one movement. Within these classes, there’s this sweet spot moment that occurs when the teacher’s instruction fades away and you experience the union of your body, your breath, and your attention.

Whatever inspires you more: Pranayama breathwork practise at home alone in bliss simplicity, some more advanced breathing practises and methods of manipulating your breath work (think Lion’s Breath, Breath of Fire, Alternated Nostril Breathing), or the combination of breath work with movement: we ensure you that pranayama is a practise that is not only beneficial to your yoga practise: but to your wellness and ability to cope and control through life as well.

Interested in going a little deeper with your Pranayama practises? Here’s how to advance!

View one of our IGTV 5 Minute Tips & Tricks Relating to Breath Work:

Breath of Fire | With Esther | 5 Min Tips & Tricks

Alternated Nostril Breathing | With Huong | 5 Min Tips & Tricks

Sign Up to Try One of Our Yoga Classes which Incorporates Pranayama:

Vinyasa

Class Times: Monday 6am, Tuesday 12pm, Wednesday 4:30pm, Thursday 9:30am, Thursday 5:30pm, Friday 9:30am, Saturday 7am, Sunday 4pm

EmPower

Class Times: Wednesday 9:30am, Thursday 12:00pm

VinYin

Class Times: Wednesday 12:00pm, Wednesday 6:45am, Friday 5:30pm, Saturday 4:30pm

Book in here!

Acupuncture Treatment

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Acupuncture TCM Treatment – A natural stimulation of your body to find it’s own balance

This is a treatment for many – less pain, less stress, less tension, and a natural way of helping your body find more balance. While we all lead such beautifully unique and different lives, with different stresses, different training styles, different areas of pain and different bodies – acupuncture treatment provides benefits to your system that truly everyone can achieve a more holistic wellness from.

Acupuncture is all about accessing the nervous system through some very specific and very important points, ‘acupoints’, in our body: points where it is believed our energy (chi) collects. By stimulating these points through acupuncture treatment, we can access our energy systems, and give our body a subtle nudge towards allowing the body to balance itself. And while ‘chi’ is perhaps a term applicable to the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) philosophies, these specific acupoints actually mean a lot in modern Western medicine as well. These points are road marks along the complex branches of our body’s nervous system, inflammatory system and lymphatic systems: serving as extremely powerful markers to improve multiple processes of our body and achieve a greater level of holistic balance and wellness.

Benefits & Power of Acupuncture Treatments for different systems of the Body

Relief of Stress, Tension + Fatigue: The Nervous System

Each of our acupoints are close to a lot of nerves. Nerves in our limbs (we call them peripheral nerves) serve as routes of communication back to the brain: communicating a problem or an imbalance, triggering the brain to then take it’s own actions to find that balance in your body again. By gently and precisely stimulating certain neural pathways with each acupuncture point – we can re-balance a number of systems associated to the nervous system.

1. Down Regulation of Sympathetic Nervous System (Switching off “Fight or Flight” Mode)

One of the major functions of our nervous system is making sure that in high stress situations – we have the ability to perform to keep ourselves alive. We call this our “fight or flight” mode – when we release adrenaline and run on stress energy. One of our most prevalent problems, is as we endure so many stresses in every day life, we sometimes struggle to switch this “fight or flight” mode OFF. This means – we struggle to relax, we go through severe highs and lows of energy levels, we hold onto our stress and anxiety more, and our bodies don’t have the change to recover properly.

Acupuncture can help down regulate that system. By this, we mean it relaxes your stress energy system – and dismisses your “fight or flight” response, allowing you to instead find your calm and looseness. This is one major reason why acupuncture is so commonly linked to less stress, and greater recovery (but there is other reasons this happens – read on!)

2. Stimulation for Endorphin Release

Acupuncture is also well known to stimulate an endorphin release from your brain. Endorphins are a natural chemical within your brain – our own naturally occurring pain killers. Endorphins are also connected to the release of another brain chemical called serotonin (our “feel good” chemical) – and help to achieve the same light and happy mood that we feel after a long and rewarding workout.

This endorphin release can help significantly with pain, and is one of the major reasons why those with injuries enjoy acupuncture as a treatment so thoroughly (especially chronic conditions, neck, or lower back pain).

Relief of Inflammation + Pain, and Boosted Immunity: Inflammatory System

Each of our acupoints are also close to a lot of what we call mass cells. Mass Cells are responsible for regulate our immune system – our defence system. Our immune system looks after our body not just in fighting off colds each and every winter, but also in repairing damaged cells (our recovery from injury and training) and boosting our inner wellness as well.

One major factor of Traditional Chinese Medicine is looking at the body as a whole. Considering all the different parts of your body, and elements of your wellness, to ensure that you feel balanced and well in every aspect. Your immune system’s strength is an amazing example of this. When you feel run down with less energy, or a little more sore all over – it’s likely that your immune system is struggling a little. Acupuncture helps to remind your body to listen to those cells, and find your balance within your body again.

Improved Healing + Circulation: Lympathic System

And finally, each of our energy points are close to a lot of lymphatic points and vessels. Our lymphatic system is responsible for regulating our circulation. Circulation means the delivery of nutrients to every structure in your body: more blood flow, more oxygen delivery. By increasing our blood flow we are able to nourish our joints and muscles, and boost their health and recovery.

While controversial in it’s scientific foundations, and a little difficult to understand for many, the results and effects of acupuncture tend to advocate this treatment style for itself. For many, Acupuncture seems like magic when people are in physical pain or have severe headaches. Acupuncture has been seen as a useful tool for many different pain symptoms including back and neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and headaches, including migraines.

Acupuncture is a complex treatment, and our specialist acupuncturists are so very knowledgable – but the benefits are truly quite simple:

– Re-balances your body for holistic wellness
– Relieves Pain
– Improves Stress & Anxiety
– Promotes Relaxation
– Improves energy levels
– Enhances muscular and joint recovery through increased blood flow and nourishment

 

Does Acupuncture HURT?

Generally – No. While acupuncture certainly is the direct insertion of needles, its important to understand that these needles are significantly smaller than those you are used to at a hospital – they’re about the same size as a hair. Also unlike a hospital where you’re nervous and in a tense environment, one core principle of the acupuncture treatment is that the treatment room promotes relaxation and calm. Think aromas, gentle music, comfortable props, and an acupuncturist who talks you through the process. Yes there’s needles, but this is a completely different experience than most associate with needles.

Getting Started with Acupuncture and Other Forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at Elements Studio:

We have a very special and expert lead acupuncturist within our Studio, Leanne Gerich, who provides both acupuncture, herbology and TCM treatments every Thursday. Book in for a 1-on-1 treatment either via our app, our website, or via reaching out to us for more information!

We also run a very special class within our studio, called “Yin + Pins”. This class is led by our resident acupuncturist and yogi Leanne, and provides a nourishing reset combining acupuncture with a delicious yin. Within this class you’ll reset your fascia during deep releasing yin poses – then get comfy in savasana amongst blankets and bolsters before receiving a gentle distal acupuncture treatment – a unique combination of hand, foot, head, or face needles chosen specifically to help you dive deep into rest and relaxation. You’ll float away as you create more space in the body while the pins work their subtle magic. Come and shift your consciousness and leave feely deeply nourished.

Book in for your one-on-one treatment with our acupuncturist, Leanne. 

Book in for our signature Yin + Pins class inside Elements Studio. 

The Styles Of Yoga

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The Styles of Yoga – Real World Chat with Benefits for Sports Performance, Cross-Training & Mobility Work

 

The first time you meet a yogi, step inside a yoga studio, or delve right into a yoga class – you feel like you’ve entered a whole new world. And sometimes, it’s not in a good way. Right down to simply the names of Yoga classes: it’s a whole new language. 

And that’s where Elements Studio aims to differ. This isn’t just a studio for yogis, nor are our classes all yoga classes. However, the yoga classes that we offer, all unique in their nature, do have the power to benefit a number of different people in their unique areas of growth. With this in mind, we have created a little guide towards the styles of yoga – but taken the “yogi talk” out of it. 

At Elements we offer 7 different styles of Yoga classes – in addition to a variety of movement enhancement classes, strength and sculpting classes, and restorative classes (plus treatments!). These 7 classes fall into 4 different categories of yoga – and we find that the best way to choose a class for you is to base your selection on how your body is feeling – and nourish your body with a form of movement accordingly.

If you’re starting the week feeling energetic and motivated, choose a class to challenge yourself with new hurdles. If you’re feeling like an escape from life, choose a class that enables you to flow. If you’ve already hit your body pretty hard the last few days, take a slowed down session to still build yourself, but in a reverse way. And if you’re just struggling to put one foot in front of the other, with muscle soreness at an all time high, a restorative yoga class is for you. 

Forget the yoga language, and listen to your body. Then use this guide as your “Flow chart” towards which class to immerse yourself into.

 

A fast-paced flow, featuring relatively traditional yoga, leaving you with a real “workout” feel and the ability to really escape into the movement.

Meet what we call ‘Vinyasa’. This is yoga that embodies flow. Vinyasa means, ’to place in a special way’ – and in Vinyasa sequences we use the breath in a special way. One breath, one movement. The more you do, the easier it gets: because you will start to find a flow, recognize a lot of our common movements and flow, and find a lot of muscle memory between movements. Vinyasa is the perfect way to connect the body to the breath and let that flow elope you. 

Elements Studio offers two styles of Vinyasa: Vinyasa + Hot Vinyasa. In either class, you’ll feel a dynamic, flowing, and rhythmic class with a focus on the union between movement and breath. Our Vinyasa class is a slightly faster-paced, energetic practice with smooth, effortless transitions that will leave you feeling invigorated. This class offers you the opportunity to connect more deeply to their body and breath through

the freedom to explore the feeling of moving in unity, all while finding those moments of connected bliss & stillness throughout the practice. Choose the Hot Vinyasa and you’ll enjoy a real sweat: with the room heated to 35 degrees through infrared heat panels.

 

A teaching of the yoga foundations: with intelligent and thorough guidance. The class helps you progress your practise, learn and overcome new hurdles. 

EmPower yourself. This is a class that teaches you the foundations of yoga, including philosophies, breath work, peak poses and mental cues – whilst empowering you to push forwards with your practises too. Expect a lot of traditionalism to the movements you are doing within this class, combined with an innovative and intelligent approach by the teachers to give you all the guidance and empowerment to reach new levels of your yoga journey: both mentally and physically. For those who are particularly interested in the yoga practises, this is an amazing class for you. But it is also a class for those who feel they are struggling with overcoming barriers in their training or in their life.

Empower Yoga classes within Elements Studio focus on alignment, muscular engagement and mental focus, together with traditional yoga sequences. This is taught at a slower pace than our Vinyasa class with a strong focus on alignment and longer holds in postures. Our EmPower class will have a specific theme or teachings of Yoga philosophy woven

through the practice and give you the chance to explore some of the more advanced Asana in a safe and supported space. A class that will Empower your practice and your mind. Suitable for all levels.

Empower L2 classes at Elements Studio follow the same foundations and class design as the original EmPower classes – however are designed as a means to advance your practise and challenge yourself towards something a little more difficult. For the yogis who want to go further, this class specialises on advancing your practice from transitions to more tricky postures and peak poses. Get ready to jump straight in + break down our peak pose of the week using anatomy, strength preparation and a mixture of traditional practices and new tricks. 

 

When you’ve hit a few vigorous sessions for the week, and are ready for a workout that is a little more slowed down. Perfect for incorporation between strength-training & physically demanding activities.

Hatha Clas

ses & Yin Classes. These classes are also very common to the yoga world – and are the perfect starting point for beginners to yoga interested in getting to know your positions, your body’s limits, and finding your way towards truly connecting with your body, breath and mind. Yin classes feature long-holding individual poses – with no or minimal amount of flow. This is a really simple and drawn-back style of yoga: which makes it optimal for beginners. You will move from one peak-pose of yoga to the next. 

Element’s Studio’s Yin Yoga class is a quiet, meditative practice with long, deep holding of passive seated and laying poses. Using mindful muscle relaxation, Yin targets the connective tissue nourishing joints, ligaments, and deeper layers of fascia. This class is the perfect complement to more vigorous yoga practices, strength training & other activities like running & cycling. A wonderful way to offset stress and balance busy bodies.

If you feel like a little more of a ‘happy-medium’ between a slow-paced recovery class and a class that feels like a workout – meet our VinYin class. VinYin is a chilled out combination of delicious flow followed by yin yoga: the perfect balance of Yin and Yang. Begin with some gentle breathwork and movement to ground you into your body before transitioning into deeper Yin holds for the majority of the class. The perfect class for those who need time to drop down out of their busy headspace and reconnect to themselves before settling into the stillness of a Yin practice. Physical this class will help gain flexibility and help work through injured areas of your body.

 

When you feel stressed, tense and fatigued:

Restorative Yoga. Restorative Yoga flows are the relaxing and grounding style of yoga. This is a yoga form that, unlike the vinyasa, power yoga and strength classes of our studio that work your muscles to grow and strengthen them, doesn’t really use your muscles at all. Instead, you find a number of different positions, often using props. You will hold poses in restorative yoga classes for a lot longer, as you let your body relax into the holds, and connect with the deeper connective tissues. So when you think restorative yoga; think long, deep stretches, and the ultimate level of “winding down” relaxation.

Our famous Elements Studio restorative yoga class is “Rest + Restore”. Rest + Restore is the perfect way to chill out ! Enjoy a relaxed sequence to prepare the body for rejuvenating rest. Release the subtle and energetic body and nurture your nervous system with this nourishing practice – switch off the fight or flight stress response and allow yourself the space to pause and restore. Deep, restful, supportive poses and a delicious Yoga Nidra to end the class.

 

Getting Started with Yoga at Elements Studio 

For all the non-yogis reading this: we have some good news for you. Elements Studio is a studio that is about so much more than just yoga, and our teachers embody that. Throughout your classes, you’re bound to notice the difference in instruction and design of classes – we care about teaching balance and building functional and strong bodies: not teaching just yoga. No matter what your sport, background or aim in life that is prompting you to consider yoga benefits – we can work with you very specifically to achieve that goal. 

The best way to trial our teachers, our classes, and the benefits of yoga movements, ‘asana’ could serve you – is to jump onto one of our 30 Day Intro Passes!

Elements Yoga & Movement Studio – 30 Day Intro Pass

  • Unlimited Access to all Elements Classes (Including Yoga Classes, Movement Classes, Strength Classes, Sculpt Classes and Restorative Classes)
  • Free Mat Hire & Storage
  • Use of In-House Infrared Sauna
  • 1-On-1 Teacher Consultation
  • One-off $89 Payment, No Lock-In Subscription 

Register for your Introduction to Elements Yoga Studio through a 30 Day Intro Pass