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Hi, I'm Alexandra Ellis, an anatomy loving body-nerd who enjoys breaking down complicated body concepts to help you maximize your performance for pain-free living.

Read my entire story here.






What Causes Muscle Cramps?

Have you ever been awoken in the middle of the night by a muscle spasm or cramp that makes you want to scream? Nocturnal leg cramps are fairly common and zero fun.

Contrary to popular belief, drinking pickle juice or having a banana beside your bed to eat at the onset of cramps will not help. While pickle juice has been shown to have an effect, researchers think it has more to do with your brain sensing the saltiness of the food in your mouth versus that saltiness (and electrolytes) actually making it to the muscle in question.

So, what causes muscle cramps and spasms?

what causes muscle cramps - ae wellness

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How Muscle Contraction Works

Have you ever wondered how muscles work? What the actual process of getting your water bottle to your mouth requires?

A skeletal muscle includes everything from end to end (one tendon and bony attachment to the next). The actual protein where contraction takes place is called a sarcomere, but it’s so tiny, you need a microscope to see it.

Sarcomeres are bundled up and wrapped in a layer of fascia called the epimysium. At this level, it’s called a muscle fiber. A single muscle can have anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of muscle fibers within it!

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What is Fascia?

Fascial stretching. Myofascial release.

Fascia is quickly becoming a fitness buzzword but few of us really understand this aqueous knitting fabric that is present all throughout your body.

Fascia forms the body’s sheets, cables, conduits, and padding. It is the body’s scaffolding system and is truly the biological fabric that holds you together. Your skin cells wouldn’t even be able to form skin with the assistance of fascia and connective tissue.

This web-like matrix provides the framework for your blood vessels, nerves, muscles, bones and organs.

It’s seriously important.

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Feed your Spirit with Adventure, Joy, and Play

What if you gave yourself permission to play?

License to explore and have the adventure of a lifetime?

Join me January 13-20 for the yoga retreat and vacation you’ve dreamed of, but never thought possible. A relaxing and rejuvenating getaway that combines yoga, self-care, and most importantly, FUN.

I know you have many options to consider when it comes to a yoga retreat. Almost every retreat will give you movement twice a day, delicious food, and the opportunity to relax. But what makes my Wellness + Self-Care Retreat different?

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How to Build Functional Core Strength

My yoga origin story is similar to many others – I started practicing yoga regularly after a back injury in college. I had zero experience with fitness and the gym beyond watching Food Network on an elliptical because A) we didn’t have cable in our apartment and B) I was a broke college student and living off macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets.

And while I played sports growing up, I never did any serious training or workouts. Yoga was the one familiar movement practice that I knew would build my core strength, which was the one thing the PT said I needed to do to get better.

I wasn’t interested in doing crunches or sit-ups on the floor in my apartment (who is!?) – but I still wanted something that would help me heal from my sciatica and be beneficial for the rest of my body (and mind).

how to build a stronger core ae wellness

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