The Issues in Your Tissues – What’s Under the Surface?

Have you ever been rolling on your Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls and had the overwhelming desire to cry? Or to begin laughing for no reason? There can be more than just knots and adhesions in our tissues – you literally have issues in your tissues that you may be completely blind to! Let me explain more…

Only a small portion of pain that is experienced by the body is ever actually felt – the rest is unfelt and goes unnoticed beneath the surface, perhaps to never return. Except for when you grab a grippy pliable rubber ball and stuff it into your rotator cuff. The next thing you know, you’re lying on the floor, half laughing, half crying and have no idea what is going on. These cathartic releases of emotions may not happen in the moment either – it could be a few hours later where something additional triggers the flood of tears. read more…

Mobility Matters

Mobility is not about touching your toes, twisting yourself into a pretzel or being super bendy. The focus my Mobility sessions is to erase stiffness, improve your posture, and facilitate better breathing so you can live, move and train pain free.

When you are working out consistently every week, you’re probably sore and stiff more often than not. Roll Model Therapy Balls help alleviate the pain and accelerate recovery, allowing you to perform better during your next workout. A 2012 study found that massage after a workout decreases the amount of inflammatory chemicals and increases the number of mitochondria (power house cells) in your muscles. This means that not only will you be less sore, but your muscles will also have more energy creating cells within them! read more…

Nobody’s Perfect

I wear heels. And sometimes I don’t roll before I workout. And sometimes I do something crazy like sit for a whole day because I feel like it. But I make conscious decisions about what I’m doing. I make decisions about my body knowing (mostly) what the outcome will be and what I will have to do to relieve it.

Sometimes we are conned into feeling guilty about a choice we make because someone else says “you should be doing XYZ”. Sure, standing at your work station may be better for your posture, breathing and health in the log run, but don’t go and throw out your chair, because trust me, you WILL want to sit in it again. read more…

I Ran a 15k and Lived to Tell the Tale

I have a habit of getting into things because I want to prove to myself that I can do them. Hence, running a 15k without training. To be honest, it was a decision mostly made around the fact that it was a HOT CHOCOLATE 15k and chocolate was involved. And it totally was! There was a chocolate chip station (they were super delicious, btw), strawberry marshmallow station (also delicious), chocolate marshmallow (it was at mile 6ish so I no longer cared, no review for these), and an M&M station (at mile 8, seriously did not care about food by this point). I also went to the Hot Chocolate race to run with my best friend, whom I’m fairly confident would have smoked this race in half the time it took me.

Enjoying my new treat.

Enjoying my new treat.

But sometimes you do things not because you’re super excited about the specific thing, but for the people you get to share the experience with. And the people that Anthony and I were able to spend the weekend with were all my favorites, so it was totally worth while.

In addition to chocolate, there was some pretty sweet swag, including a golden chocolate medal and a nice zip up. I can’t say I’ll ever do a 15k again – it is not a distance to play with and my body spent the next 5 days reminding me of such, but it was super fun to finish the race, arm in arm with my best friend, and a huge smile on my face (Runner’s high is no joke). read more…

How to be a YTU Tote Ninja

If you’ve come to class anytime in the last 3 years, you’ve probably heard me mention that I needed to make a video on how to get your grippy YTU balls out of their tote. Good news! I finally did it! I finally got around to making a bunch of videos that I’ll be releasing each week for the rest of 2016. Stay tuned on YouTube, here and on Facebook for the latest updates.

So why did toting and untoting your therapy balls plague me for so long? The therapy balls are best stored in their snug grip tote and the tote is useful for specific techniques such as rolling up and down your shins for shin splints or keeping the therapy balls close together as you roll up and down your spine. When it came time to untote the therapy balls for a different technique, people struggled with how to quickly get their grippy therapy balls out of the VERY snug grip tote. I know that newer versions of the tote are made of a different fabric that allows easier slide out, but my class set is vintage, so my totes are extra grippy 😉

Enjoy the video below for my ninja tip to quickly tote and untote your YTU Therapy Balls! read more…

Conquering the Pull Up

Something monumental has happened. Something that I have never been able to do my entire life and always wrote off as something impossible. I DID A PULL UP! I have very clear memories of the Presidential Fitness Test in elementary school – the entire class would watch as one person went up to monkey bars on the playground, held their chin above the bar and stepped off the landing to see how long they could keep their chin above the bar. In my classes of 30, only 1 or 2 people could ever hover for a millisecond or more. There was always one boy who was able to hold himself for at least a minute before falling.

Photo by Samantha JacobyI dreaded going up there. It was the epitome of public failure, even if I was in good company. So when I started training with Jared Cohen, I told him one of the movements I wanted to conquer was the pull up. I figured it would take a few months to build the strength and coordination to make it happen, but it was much quicker! Even though Jared is a miracle worker, the combination of all the mobility and strength training I had completed before was refined by Jared’s coaching techniques. It was like all the puzzle pieces finally fell into place and magic happened! read more…

New Year, New You?

Do you set New Year Resolutions that only last until the second week of January? While you don’t have to wait until January to make changes, let’s be honest, it’s right around the corner so now is good time! If you’re tired of setting goals or resolutions that dissolve before Groundhog day, here are some ideas and tips help them stick.

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsFirst of all, pick something that’s a touch audacious and crazy, but not entirely impossible. Whether your goal is big or small, make sure you break it down into digestible pieces that you know you can accomplish. You might consider doing a 5-10 minute brain dump of all the things you think about a specific goal. You might need 5 minutes first just to brainstorm about what your goal will be, but once you have it in mind, break it down into its components to help carve out attainable milestones. For example, let’s say your goal is to clean up your eating habits. Set a timer for 5 minutes and list all the things you can do around that, such as: eat 1 serving of vegetables with every meal, have a veggie/fruit smoothie at least 2x a week, cookies only on the weekends (because cutting them out entirely just doesn’t seem right 😉 ). You get the idea… read more…

Constantly Exploring

I hate doing things by rote. It was such a relief when I found Yoga Tune Up and was encouraged to constantly look for novel ways to challenge and move our bodies. The same goes for my personal practice. While I do regular strength training and stretching, I probably could stretch and roll for much longer than lifting, even though I honestly enjoy both.

This guy is hating life right now.

This guy is hating life right now.

I’ve been recently working with fellow YTU teacher, CrossFit Coach and my new podcast partner, Jared Cohen on my personal workouts. (Be on the lookout for our new podcast, launching early 2016 called BEHIND THE PODIUM: Problem Solvers have problems too… Tune in to listen to Jared, me and guests expand on this topic that begins to open a dialogue about best practices, philosophies, and struggles of the coach, teacher, and health-care practitioner) The best part is that I have somebody else telling me what to do, which opens up opportunities for skills and movements I never would have thought of on my own.For example, my workout today was basic – all I had to do was stand there and hold a 16kg kettlebell in each hand, also known as an isometric farmer’s carry stand. read more…

Diaphragm Strength and Back Pain

Your respiratory diaphragm does more than help you breathe. I’ve waxed poetic about the magic of the diaphragm, its role in down regulation and how so many of us are not breathing optimally. On one hand, it’s awesome that you don’t have to consciously control each breath every day, as that would quickly become exhausting. But on the other hand, if the diaphragm governs more than just breathing, are we overlooking a critical part of the pain/injury puzzle?

6537626_origA 2013 study from Respiratory physiology & neurobiology journal found that diaphragm fatigability (exhaustion) was greater in those who suffered from recurrent low back pain (LBP) than those who didn’t. Before I get in to how they came to this conclusion, I also want to mention how gnarly human research is. To be sure they were collecting legit data on diaphragm strength and pressure, the participants were fitted with balloon catheters through their nose to measure gastric and esophageal pressures. Then they had to inhale against resistance. They did a few tests ahead of time to make sure all involved were comfortable with the procedure and protocol, but thank goodness these people were willing to have balloons stuck up their nose in the name of science! read more…

Impinge Me Not

In preparation for my last workshop, Bulletproof Shoulders, I spent a lot of time researching shoulder injuries to craft my syllabus. Sad news – shoulder injuries are incredibly common. I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has never experienced a shoulder injury or pain at some time in their life. I injured my shoulders after a poorly executed bench press almost two years ago and I am STILL constantly working on rehabilitating and restoring function.

Image from

Image from

Why is it so easy to injure shoulders? Part of it is the anatomy of the joint and another piece of the puzzle is what we do most often with our shoulders – a whole lot of the same thing. The shoulder is really three separate bones (the clavicle, scapula and humerus) that are connected at 4 different joints. The sternoclavicular joint is located between the clavicle and sternum, the acromioclavicular joint is located between the scapula and the clavicle, the glenohumeral joint is located between the humerus and the glenoid fossa of the scapula and the scapulothoracic joint is the sliding surface between your scapula and the back of your ribcage. The ball and socket joint that most people think of when they think “shoulder” is the glenohumeral (GH) joint. All 4 of these joints need to be both stable and mobile for full shoulder range of motion. read more…

Upcoming Events

February 21
Total Body Treatment
North Hollywood, CA

February 28
Banish Back Pain
Glendale, CA

March 12
The Roll Model® Method: The Science of Rolling
Hollywood, CA

and more…

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