S2 – 13: Aligning the Body, Mind, and Movement with Aaron Alexander
Welcome to The Betty Rocker Show, the place to be to nourish your mind, love your body, and rock your life.
Welcome back! Today I get to share a really inspiring conversation with my good friend Aaron Alexander. Aaron is a pioneering manual therapist, movement coach and the creator of the Align Method which is a guide to using posture and body alignment to build strength, achieve peak performance, reduce pain, and find a new sense of confidence in yourself.
We first met several years back and I immediately felt I had found a kindred spirit in the way he cares so much about educating and supporting people with their bodies. His background and education in understanding the way bodies move (and have the potential to move) is outstanding, as are his fun and fresh teaching methods.
He coached me through some now famous acro yoga poses on the beach in sunny San Diego, and he’s guided me through fun movement flows on many other occasions as well in which I always find myself scared at first, then really accomplished from seeing what my body is capable of.
As a coach, his method unpacks our self-imposed limitations and offers up new frameworks, both mental and physical, to help us experience more joy, more alignment, and more freedom in our lives.
….all of which really help people live better in their bodies. Join me in welcoming him to the show!
“I believe there is a direct correlation between our physical health and our psychological wellbeing.
If we want to change the quality of our lives, we first need to change the way we move through our lives.
How do we do that? Align our mind, body, and movement. The fundamentals are simple, and I’m here to teach you.”
In this episode, you’ll discover:
Meet my friend, Aaron Alexander (0:51)
- The history Aaron and I share
- Aaron’s philosophy on the body
The body as a performance instrument (2:04)
- What performing can mean for the body
- The baggage around the word “perform”
Aaron’s insights from his contact improv workshop (6:48)
- What contact improv is
- How Aaron sees it in relation to communication
- How performance can undermine improv
- The art of deep listening
Breath as the bridge between our autonomic nervous system and the conscious mind (12:13)
- Exploring breathing
- The control of our body we can access using our breath
- “Where your attention goes, energy flows.”
- Breath as a tool to down regulate the stress response
- Examples of using your breath for different purposes from The Align Method book
- Aaron’s guided breathing tool (scroll down and enter your email to receive this for free)
- The Wim Hof breathing method
Trouble sleeping? Aaron’s tips for the Aligned Evening can help you (19:43)
- What NOT to do
- Reviewing the actions of the day
- Letting go of the performance aspect of sleep
- More sleep tools can be found in The Align Method Book
- The way light exposure impacts our ability to sleep
- Dr. Michael Breus (the Sleep Doctor) listen to my interview with him here
Today’s podcast is brought to you by WHOLE SLEEP. Support your body’s natural sleep cycle with a blend of herbs and organic compounds to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed!
The importance of movement in context with our resting poses (30:41)
- Our mutual friend Dr. Huberman and his findings on movement and sitting
- The importance of resting poses for humans
- The difference in modern human resting poses compared to our ancestors
- How the body responds to modern resting poses
- The low hanging fruit of optimal movement patterns that can have a big impact on our health
- All the biohacks in the world can’t make up for ignoring optimal movement patterns
The value of taking your body through its full range of motion (37:21)
- Philip Beach: Muscles and Meridians
- The archetypal postures of repose
- The danger of ignoring these movement patterns
It includes an 8 week eating guide and meal plan, and has full follow along workout videos (great if you are training from home) as well as short videos that can be used for reference at the gym. This program includes demos with dumbbells and stretchy bands for those with little equipment, and also uses barbells and typical gym equipment for those who have access to more options.
Exploring movement patterns (40:30)
- Becoming aware of the postures we hold ourselves in
- Forward head posture – AARON LINK?
- Aaron’s tips for getting into more of the archetypal resting poses naturally
- Explore more on this topic in the Align Method book
The importance of play (44:37)
- The system of the brain dedicated to play
- How that system impacts our state of relaxation and the parasympathetic response
- Examples of play
- How play and communication intersect
- How play benefits our health
This Week’s Challenge [51:05]
CHALLENGE 1: Have compassion for yourself with where you are.
- Remove the “should be” and “should have done” from yourself, and acknowledge you are a survivor that has come this far and be kind, knowing that everyone is fighting their own internal battles.
CHALLENGE 2: Hang for 90 seconds daily.
- Get your arms up above your head and hang from a bar to decompress. Enjoy some deep breaths. You can break up the length of the hangs to total 90 seconds throughout the entire day.
Connect with Aaron Alexander
Coming up next: Coming up next, I’m very excited to tell you that we have the one and only Dr. Stacy Sims coming back for round 3 of our show! She’s one of my most popular guests and the information she shares about women-specific training, hormone health, and nutrition strategies for women at every life stage are just so fantastic and so relevant.
She’s got a new book coming out for peri and post menopausal athletes called Next Level, and in our upcoming conversation we’ll be diving into that, plus a wide range of topics about women’s health and fitness that will be totally relevant to your daily life! I can’t wait to share it with you.
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Join me for open and thought provoking discussions about health, fitness, and how to stop undermining ourselves – and start taking meaningful action that makes us role models to others…
….and, listen in on my intimate conversations with amazing thought leaders, health care professionals, athletes and celebrities to learn their secrets and insights for overcoming life’s challenges, living longer, healthier, stronger and more #flawsome lives.
New shows are released every other week during Season 2 of The Betty Rocker Show.
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