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Okay, so today we’re veering away from the philosophical mumbo jumbo and getting on the practical-tip train.  Are you ready?  Are ya? This may be the quickest, most effective tip I’ve ever learned.  So I hope you’re excited, because I’ve learned a lot of tips in my day.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you, Super Brain Yoga!

It’s so exciting, I made a video.  But first, let me tell you why Super Brain Yoga is so damn exciting.

We know, from research and science and lovely things like research and science, that the brain works better when the two halves of it are communicating well.  For this reason, activities that involve contra-lateral movement are super good for the brain.  Contra-lateral means both sides of the body are being used in opposition, like when we walk, and our right arm swings forward as our left one swings back, but it’s balanced by our right leg swinging back, and our left leg swinging forward.  Get it?  So activities like walking, crawling, cross country skiing, and freestyle swimming, while super great for the body, are also super great for the brain, because they demand that the two halves of the brain work together.  Super Brain Yoga is like a condensed version of going for a half hour walk.  You won’t get all the physical benefits, but you will get the mental ones.  And the mental benefits of your brain halves talking to each other include improved memory, greater focus, and even getting smarter.

I was originally shown Super Brain Yoga as something I might want to teach a client who suffered from ADD and a general inability to focus.  But it seemed so easy (it takes 3 minutes and you don’t work up a sweat!) that I tried it myself.  I would do it in the mornings while I waited for the water in the shower to heat up.  And you know what? I noticed a difference.  More importantly, my boyfriend, who always made fun of me for my poor memory, noticed a difference.  Which was all the proof I needed.  Less teasing?  More remembering?  Done and done.  So, for a few months, I did Super Brain Yoga pretty much every morning.

Then I moved somewhere where it only took a few seconds for the water in the shower to heat up, and I couldn’t justify letting all that hot water just pour down the drain.  But even though I stopped doing Super Brain Yoga, my improved memory stuck around.  Now, I do Super Brain Yoga whenever I think about it.  Which, honestly, is probably about once a month.  But I should do it more.  ‘Cause it’s awesome.  And easy.  And effective.  And I like being smart.  Right now I do it when I’m tired, or feeling fuzzy, or unfocused, or ungrounded.  But really, doing it every day would be swell.  If you do it every day I’ll be so proud.  Also, I’ll be blown away by your superior intelligence.  So there’s that.

So, are you ready to learn how to do Super Brain Yoga?  Yeah, I bet you are!  Click on the picture to watch the video.  It’s just a minute long, so you have no excuse not to watch it.



Did you watch it?  See?  Isn’t it easy?  I told you it was great.  Just don’t do it right before you go to bed ’cause it’ll wake you up and then you won’t get a good night’s sleep and that’ll make you feel dumb, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to do here.

Oh, and Super Brain Yoga was on the news!!  Four years ago, but still.  It’s an interesting clip, I promise.

Now go, impress me with your super brain!  I can’t wait to be wowed by your intellect!

My dad’s parents were born in the same small town in northern Italy and until the day she died, my nonna would swear at my nonno in that Italian dialect and speak to us grandkids in strongly accented English.  I grew up knowing that “Santa Maria!” was the appropriate way to respond to spilled milk or outrageous prices and that “Ciao, bella bambina!” meant I was about to get my cheeks pinched.  I also grew up hearing “Con chi la ghettu?” quite a bit from not only my grandparents, but my mother, who loves this phrase more than all the others she’s learned over the years married to an Italian.

“Con chi la ghettu” isn’t standard Italian.  It’s all-the-way dialect, so it’s not something I learned in years of Italian classes, nor something I heard studying in Italy, as I wasn’t in that region.  I actually had to call my dad and ask how he thought it might be spelled, since my Italian dictionary has nothing resembling the word “ghettu.”  But the meaning was always apparent in my household: who are you mad at?  Literally, I think it means “with whom do you have it?”  But it was always used to ask the rhetorical question of who was to blame.  Mad that you got a “C” on that paper?  Con chi la ghettu?  Upset that you burned the pancakes?  Con chi la ghettu?  Pissed about the rain today because now you can’t mow the lawn and you knew you should’ve done it yesterday?  Con chi la ghettu?

And when I sat down to write this post, immediately, the phrase “con chi la ghettu” came to mind.  Because here’s the thing (in the words of Danielle LaPorte):

Everything that’s on your plate is there because you said “yes” to it.

Consciously or unconsciously, out-loud or in your head, you agreed to today.  You may have felt you had no choice, but there’s always a choice.  And so, if you’re not thrilled with how things are going, con chi la ghettu?

I was so thoroughly reminded of this on Friday, as I sat in agony on my couch, with every movement bringing more agony.  See, my sacrum was in open revolt.  Sitting hurt; as did standing; as did lying down.  And anything that made any part of my spine move, say like walking, or sneezing, or well, anything, made it hurt worse.  It was a pretty wild way to spend a Friday, let me tell you!

Also, it was my choice.  See, I’ve got this weird hip-popping thing ’cause my right sacro-illiac joint is stuck, since I fell down some icy stairs 8 years ago.  It’s not that big of a deal.  It’s loud and mildly uncomfortable, but on the grand scale, it’s really nothing.  But when I found myself in a yoga class Monday morning with only one other student, and the teacher asked if there was anything we wanted to focus on, I remembered that sticky sacrum joint and I said “I’d like some hip openers, please.”  And open those hips we did.  Which was great at the time.  Tuesday was a little sore; Wednesday, moderately uncomfortable; and Thursday night was awful.  But nothing compared to Friday.  I felt like I’d just fallen down those stairs the day before.  Groaning like an old man with every movement.  Wincing as I sat down.  Shuffling through the house at a snail’s pace.

And I thought to myself, “con chi la ghettu, Theresa?”  I had literally, out-loud, asked to open that hip up.  Unsurprisingly, there was some trauma stored in there.  At the time I fell, I was at a really low point in my life and there was a lot of anger, and shame, and hurt, and loneliness around that slip on the ice, not to mention the postcard-sized bruise on my butt for 3 weeks.  When I asked to open it up, the universe said, “Sure, if that’s what you want.  Have fun with that.”  So I tried to do my best and just be present in the process.  I looked at the anger and shame and hurt and loneliness that I had been feeling and welcomed each emotion, then reminded myself of how far I’ve come.  That heartbreak didn’t end me.  That loneliness didn’t kill me.  That shame was self inflicted and undeserved.  That anger was justified and has since been transformed into love.  And now this pain wasn’t going to end me either.  I could take a day or two to move slowly.  I could get some bodywork for myself.  I could practice energetic clearing on my own traumas.  No biggie.

So now I want to open it up to you.  What’s on your plate right now that you’re not thrilled with?  Can you figure out when you said yes to it?  Or how you continue to say yes to it with your choices every day?  Is that a choice you still want to make?  Ultimately, con chi la ghettu?  Pain isn’t the enemy.  But knowing why you’ve allowed that pain into your life can go a long way towards healing.

Please forgive me, SassyPants.  I know I wrote back in May about how I became a Rolfer.  In fact, I wrote so damn much about it, that it took up two posts.  And now, I’m telling the same old story, again, this time on video.  Really, if you already know, or don’t really care how I became a Rolfer, you don’t have to watch the video.  Not that I could make you if I tried.  But really, you don’t have to watch it.  I just get this question ALL the time.  And I love answering it.  So I answered it in a video to put up on my site.  And I loved the results.  So I’m sharing it with you.  And I say ‘and’ a lot.  Also, I say ‘so’ a lot.  So many things to beg forgiveness for.

If you have anything you’d rather hear about or questions you’d like answered, please let me know.  All the topics I considered writing about today bored me.  I’m asking you to be my inspiration.  Got anything good for me?

In the meantime, if you want, check out the video and let me know what you think.  Worth putting up on the site?

Oh!  And Demo Day is on Saturday.  Yes, this Saturday, the 15th.  Tell your friends.  Or your family members.  Or your neighbors.  Or nobody at all.  But if you want someone to come give me a try, this could be a good way for them to get a taste.  30 minute trial sessions for $10 each.  New clients only.  Have ‘em give me a call, or shoot me an email, if they want to schedule one.  Yay!  Demo Day!

You know what it’s like to receive a Rolfing/SourcePoint session from me, so I won’t go into it.  (And if you don’t know yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for!  Get your butt into my office!)  Especially since everyone’s internal experience is so different and there’s not always a good way to describe it.  But what I will go into is what it feels like from my end.  What I experience while giving a session.  I’m in the process of trading a couple sessions with a fellow Rolfer and SoucePoint therapist and while I was working on him yesterday morning we got to talking about how each of us experiences healing from the practitioner’s point of view.  So let me lay it out for you, in case you were curious.   Disclaimer:  this is what it feels like for most of the sessions I do.  When working within the confines of the 10-series, it’s a little different, but not much.

I don’t heal anyone.   I can’t heal anyone.  Hate to break it to you.  The way I think about it is this:  your healing process is between you and your “gods.”  That may be God, or the trees, or your higher self, or your refrigerator, for all I care.  Regardless, it’s not me.  So, at the beginning of every session, I have a conversation that goes a little something like this:
Me:  “Hey, healing powers for this person!  Yeah, you!  So look, I’m here, in this room, with this person.  Is there anything I can help with?  You know how to heal, while I don’t.  And I have hands, while you don’t.  Let’s work together, yeah?  I’ll do my best to get my ego out of the way and listen really carefully to whatever directions you give if you’ll promise to do what you can on your end to heal whatever’s ready for healing in this person.  Deal?”
It/Them:  “Okay.  Deal.”

And so we begin.  Yes, it’s hokey.  No, I don’t care.  That’s really how it goes.  Well, maybe with more humility and respect and less yelling on my part.  And a ‘please’ or two.  But pretty close.  Then, I rely on SourcePoint scans to tell me where to begin and where to go next.  When I was in SoucePoint classes, scanning was described with colors.  White, then gray, then black.  Work where the biggest black spot is.  For me, it shows up kinesthetically; I feel a change in density.  Air, then water, then honey.  I work in the sweet spot.

I’m always asking more questions, though.  Sure, the scan said to work on your knee.  But do you have any idea how complicated a knee is?  Four different bones, all with their own rotations and intersections with each other.  There are 8 muscles that pull on the head of the fibula alone, and that’s one of the small bones!  ACLs and MCLs and patellar tendons, along with nerves and blood vessels galore.  So, once again, I ask those healing powers that be, “what now?”  And almost instantly, I get a response.  I don’t hear voices.  And it’s not exactly a vision either, although sometimes a picture of a specific piece of anatomy will pop into my head.  It’s more like there are magnets on my hands and iron on the body part and while my hands are being pulled in a certain direction, I just know how deep I’ll need to go to address this issue.  My friend Kate used to say she got information from her toes.  I’ll go with that.  My toes told me this was more emotional than physical.  My toes told me to pull up a chair ’cause it was going to take a while.  My toes told me to ask about your relationship with your grandmother.  So I listened.  I’ve got some pretty smart toes.  Or you’ve got some pretty smart healing powers on your side.  One of the two, for sure.

I often think of myself as a pipe, or a hose.  All I’m doing is connecting what’s above me, bigger than me, smarter than me, better at healing than me to you.  And my biggest job is to make sure I’m the cleanest, clearest tube I can be, so you get the transmission as close to the original as possible.  Of course, there’s also a huge element of personal responsibility.  If I sever a nerve in your face and you end up unable to smile for the rest of your life, neither you nor a judge will care one bit about how clean a hose I was at the time.  I need to know my shit and to stay on my game, so I do.  That’s my end of the deal.  Clean hose; know my shit.  Pretty easy compared to “heal this person.”  I lucked out in this deal, and I know it.  I’m so grateful for those healing powers that be.  Without them, I’d just be poking around, moving fascia.  Which can feel nice and all, but it’s not exactly healing.

Sometimes, when I ask “what now” I get really strange answers.  Burp out this stagnant energy that’s stuck here.  Sit back and do nothing for a minute while that last bit integrates.  Shake their right leg.  It’s gotten to the point where it’s no longer strange to me, but you can believe it was weird to get those messages when I was straight out of Rolfing school.  Burp?  Really?  We did NOT learn about that in Rolfing school.  Gross.  But sometimes I sneeze or cough or kinda growl instead.  What’s weird anymore?  Sometimes I have to shake my hands and arms to discharge the energy that’s released.  Sometimes I need to sit back for a minute ’cause I feel sick myself.  Thank you, so much, for putting up with me.  Sometimes the answer is “just sit and listen.”  That’s hard for me, and my impatience, but I try.  Sometimes the answer is “scan again” or “go deeper” or “get at this from the other side.”  I do my best to listen.

I keep asking “what now?” until I get the answer, “end the session.”  Then I seal it all up, in the way that I do, with a sacral cradle and setting the diamond points.  You get up and if you’re feeling good, we call it a day.  Well, at least you do.  I then get ready for the next session of burping, shaking, and being the best hose I can be.

P.S.  and then some.

Demo Day is next Wednesday!
If you know anyone who wants to try Rolfing and SourcePoint but is afraid to commit to a whole session, this is their chance.  30 minute trial sessions for $10 on Wednesday, March 14th at 662 Grant Street.  Have them give me a call at 303-261-2568 or shoot me an email at t.zordan@gmail.com to schedule.  New clients only, please.

Yoga Instructor Appreciation Week is over tomorrow.
And I’m so sad!  It’s been an absolute blast getting to know and working with all these Denver yogis.  Thanks for your help getting the word out!

I’m visiting my brother in France!
I’ll be out of town March 27th through April 11th, so please keep that in mind if you’re planning to schedule something soon.

Hey Sassy Pants, happy Tuesday!  Yoga Instructor Appreciation Week starts on Thursday and I’m totally pumped!  It’s filling up quickly (only 8 spots left out of 30 available openings!) and I’m so grateful to you for all your help in spreading the word to the yoga teachers in your life.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

Now, let’s get down to it.  This issue seems to keep coming up lately, so I thought I’d address it here, out in the open.  What happens after a Rolfing session?  What should you expect?  I know we talked a little bit about this after your first session.  You may have gotten an email with lots of details, depending on when you started working with me.  But let’s just go over it all again, ‘cause some weird shit can happen after you get Rolfed, I’m not gonna lie.

First, let’s cover the basics.
-You might be very thirsty.  We are trying to make your tissues extra juicy, afterall.  I know it’s hard to believe, but you should drink some water if this happens.  Weird, right?
-You might crave protein.  Fascia is a protein matrix and as we move it around, you might need some extra oomph to fill in the gaps.  If this happens, you should eat some steak or beans.  This stuff is so complicated, I know.
-You might want to sleep for 12 hours straight.  You should follow this impulse.  I’m not sure why this happens, but I have two theories.  One, your nervous system is finally coming out of its perpetual ‘fight or flight’ state and would now like to take some time off.  Two, your body would like to integrate some pretty major changes and would like your logical brain out of the way because it keeps interrupting with things like, “That doesn’t make any sense!  Your head can’t feel different; she only worked on your feet!”  So your body says to your brain, “sssshhhhh…why don’t you take a nap…a really long nap?”  Either way, if you’re tired; sleep.
-You might be sore, like you would be after a good, hard workout.  Arnica, an epsom salt bath, lots of water, and rest are all good ideas.
-You might notice your balance and perception have changed.  You might be standing differently on your feet or holding your head in a different place.  Hooray!  Just be careful as you begin to do things like operate a car or workout.  You might want to lay off the gym for 24-48 hours after your session, just to be safe.
-That thing that always hurts?  It doesn’t hurt anymore.  I think I’m legally bound to say that the relief of symptoms is NOT one of the goals of Rolfing.  But let’s be honest, I’m not going to complain if your pain goes away, and neither are you.

Let’s get a little weirder, shall we?  These things are a little less common, but by no means unique.
-You might feel a little dizziness or light-headedness.  Please tell me about this before you leave the room.  We can work on that.  I don’t want you falling down the stairs.
-You might have small, sharp pains in different places in your body.  This is what happens when sheets of fascia shear away from each other because your body is changing its posture.  This is a good thing, as fascia shouldn’t be glued together, it should glide.  When this happens, it feels a little like a bandaid’s being ripped off, on the inside.  It shouldn’t last more than a second or two and should fade over the next 48 hours.
-You might feel like you’re gliding, instead of walking.  That’s awesome.  Work it.
-You might feel taller, or more expansive, like you’re taking up all the space in your body.  Words don’t do justice to this feeling, but it’s amazing, so if you’ve got it, live it up.
-You may feel a bit drunk or stoned.  Yes, that’s normal.  Again, be careful if you’re going to drive.  Or send texts to your exes.
-You may feel stronger or easier, if that makes any sense.  I have often finished getting a session and thought, I could walk all day!  I feel invincible!  I hope you sometimes experience that, too.
-You might experience an emotional roller coaster.  Usually, there are issues in the tissues.  And when we go stirring up the tissues, we stir up the issues.  Waves of whatever you don’t need anymore can hit you on their way out.  If you need to cry, then by all means, cry.  Pop in The Color Purple if you need a little help getting started.
-My mom says she feels all rolled out, like with a rolling pin.  Or spread out, like pancake batter.  Maybe you’ll feel this, too.  Maybe my mom’s just got food on the brain.
-You might be more flexible.  That yoga pose you always struggle with is suddenly a breeze.  You can touch your toes for the first time in years.  We’re trying to increase the length in your body, so this just means we’ve done a good job during your session.  Yay!

On to the extra odd.  Yes, indeedy, this Rolfing business is a strange one.
-You may notice that your dreams shift in quality as you do a series of Rolfing sessions.  Ida Rolf, when pressed, once said that Rolfing was really shamanism, but what did she know?  You may have more of a “journey-like” quality to your dreams for a period of time.  Keeping a dream journal could be an interesting experience, if you’re up for it.
-If you’ve had a particularly intense session, you may experience some out-of-body time, as disassociation can be a way to take a time-out from what’s happening.  Again, tell me about this before you leave, please.  This doesn’t make for safe operation of heavy machinery.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure I’ve missed a few.  Have you experienced some Rolfing aftermath that should be on the list?  Could you please remind me?  Or, do you have a crazy story about experiencing any of the above?  I’d love to hear about it!  Feel free to shoot me an email, or post it right here by leaving a comment.

And if you experience anything out of the ordinary that’s NOT on this list, please, please, please tell me about it.  I do free touch-up sessions if something’s just not integrating quite right.  As usual, thanks for reading.  Until next time, much love!

Calling all yoga teachers! Hey there, you.  How’s it going?  If you’re not a yoga fan, and know absolutely nobody who’s a yoga fan, you can skip this paragraph.  Then again, if you don’t know anybody who’s a yoga fan, you either don’t live in Colorado, or you need to get out more.  I’m not trying to be harsh, but it’s true.  Anyways.  Back to the task at hand.  I’m celebrating yoga teachers for a whole week!  I’m calling it…wait for it…wait for it…Yoga Instructor Appreciation Week!  YIAW!  Karate kick optional.  These are the details:  March 1st through March 7th.  $50 sessions.  If you teach yoga, this applies to you.  If you have a friend who teaches yoga, this applies to them.  If you have a yoga teacher, this applies to them, too.  I think you’ve got the idea.  So, if you (or your friend or your teacher) wants a session during this special week, let me know.

Thanks for your help making both Demo Days last week a success!  Next month’s Demo Day will be on Wednesday March 14th.  And it may be the last.  I’m thinking about ending this whole Demo Day thing.  I’m feeling like it’s run its course.  At the same time, I have a lot of fun with them, and it’s not like it’s any trouble for me to host them.  What do you think?  Keep ‘em or let ‘em go?  Weigh in now or risk losing Demo Days forever.

Now, for all the lovely ladies.  Starting the day after YIAW ends (March 8th) is WISH.  Holy acronyms, Batman!  The Women’s International Summit on Health is  an online telesummit that I listened to last year and I thought it was so amazing that I’m sharing it with you this year.  It’s free.  It’s wacky.  It’s fun.  And it’s crazy informative.  It works like this: you sign up to listen to calls for 40 days (or you can listen to 3 in a row if you get behind).  40 different experts; 40 different topics related to women’s health.  The calls are between 30 minutes and an hour long, if I remember correctly.  The topics span a bunch of categories including wisdom, food, relationships, beauty, fitness, abundance, sensuality, health, and attitude.  And while I’m not saying I’ll agree with everything every speaker has to say, I do remember being totally excited about the summit last year.  It changed the way I think about a lot of things.  And, if you’re listening this year, we can talk about it when you come in for your sessions.  So, if you want to be a part of it this year, go here and sign up.  Again, it’s free, so if it turns out you hate it after the first week, you can just stop listening to the calls, with no loss to you.

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, gorgeous!  Catch ya next time!

Hey there, how ya been?  I’ve made it 4 weeks on this cleanse (with one break for sour cream and cheese on my burrito bowl), and I’m pretty thrilled, since I was only planning to do 21 days.  I’ve been fascinated lately by the idea of having a practice.  I typically think of people as having a yoga practice or a meditation practice.  But there’s also the idea that doctors “practice medicine” and lawyers “practice law.”  I like to think that medicine and law, as well as yoga and meditation, are things that you never truly master.  You get better and go deeper as you practice.

I’m trying to apply the idea of practice to my whole life.    A practice of healthy eating means that while I’ll occasionally have a cheeseburger and a milkshake, the next day I’ll have a green smoothie for breakfast and a big salad for lunch.  I’m practicing mindfulness with what I physically consume.  A practice of active living means that some days I’ll hike a 14er while others I’ll just walk around the block, but I’m committing to my fitness.  I can slip-up here and there, and that’s okay, because I’m practicing.  Always.

Then there’s obviously the practice of healing.  I go into every session curious about what I’ll learn this time.  How can I take what I’ve learned from the last client and apply it to this one?  I take classes, attend workshops, and read books to expand my skill set, increase my understanding, and expose myself to new concepts and information.  There will always be more to learn, more to put into practice.  That’s what keeps this work so interesting and appealing.

So here’s to practice, not perfection.  Here’s to improvement, and learning, and growth.  And here’s to being gentle with yourself when you stumble, ’cause the practice itself is more important than perfection.  What about you?  What are you practicing these days?