As the words of Belinda Carlisle’s song goes : ‘Heaven is a place on Earth’.
This week I had an amazing opportunity to teach Belinda Carlisle face to face whilst on her UK tour. I feel Pilates is an essential tool for all of us, as this can be used in many different ways. For singers it helps with supporting the organs, particularly the lungs. Pilates establishes a strong posture, framework and resilience. These qualities are essential for late night gigs, raked stages and the endless stress of travelling in flexion.
Using the full apparatus of Joseph Pilates and doing a balanced collection of exercises that move in all three planes gives the singer what they need to maintain longevity without additional stress to the body. For example I would say a singer starts recruiting the power for their voice from the lower extremity and feet. The feet work in conjunction with the pelvic floor and the diaphragms above. Palpate any professional singers’ quads and you will feel the solidness that their style has acquired during their many years of rehearsal and performance. The feet are the foundations of grounding. The diaphragm of the foot is taught and studied originally in fascia and many osteopathic circles.
You can read about the four main diaphragms and breathwork essential for singers and performers in my three-part breathwork series here:
“In this world we’re just beginning to understand the miracle of living” – Belinda Carlisle
Life is truly a miracle and heaven is already here, we are already enlightened, but we need to raise our awareness and start with ourselves. Once we have the awareness from better choices and use the body’s own innate intuition, we can stop spending on companies and organizations that destroy and destruct. We can all act as leaders instead of followers. We cannot do this when we are not living in the laws of love and nature and in balance with the planet. Look into every great religious, spiritual, and wisdom tradition, and we find the same concept that life’s ultimate truth, its ultimate treasure, lies within us. Our purpose is to leave the pIanet and enrich the world in a better state than when we arrived. The planet is also truthful about consequences. Accountability is a part of humanity, and our actions have an impact on living things. The more knowledge we have, the better choices we make in our actions.
“Look after the land and the land will look after you, destroy the land and it will destroy you.” —Aboriginal Proverb
I am truly graced by everyone who walks through my studio doors both at St. Helens and Manchester. Every person brings me a gift and I am always learning. My outside world is a reflection of my inside world. I used to think everything was happening to me, but in-fact everything happens for my growth. By doing various courses, shadow work and healing, I realised that life and business is an extension of “myself”. There’s no better self-development programme than running your own business and looking after your own body. It all starts and ends with you. It requires you to do work on ‘you’. If your business and body grow to the best they can, this gives you the ability to ride through struggle and deal with problems, it’s usually due to you growing as a person. That’s what I have learned along my journey and that’s what I preach in life. You cannot put diesel into a petrol engine. You have to look at your physiology. That is everything you are observing, listening to and putting in through your mouth.
“Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.” —Eckhart Tolle
Indian philosopher Osho talked about ‘No mind’. “When the mind stops, we begin”. The no mind meditation starts with an hour of gibberish followed by an hour of sitting silently. Gibberish is a cathartic technique of talking utter nonsense in any words or language that you don’t resonate with or have meaning. Gibberish is a cathartic technique that encourages expressive sounds and body movements. The more total you are the more effective it is. As Osho explains, “Using any language that you don’t know is gibberish.” Gibberish helps to break mind’s habit of continual verbalization. It allows whatever is repressed to be expressed and thrown out, leaving the mind empty and silent.
“First thing in the morning you look after yourself, you brush your teeth and wash your face, don’t you? Well, the second thing you must do is to look after the planet.” —Antoine De Saint-Exupery
I have always been a great believer that we are all an athlete of some sort in life, whether its singing, sport, sewing, building or creating. We truly have more ability and potential than we think, but we get stuck in our heads and particularly in our story. The decisions we make come from the hind brain instead of the forebrain. We want to escape all the time and use consumerism and satiating experiences to gain the highs and are then left with the emotions and results of the lows.
“The sun does not forget a village just because it is small.” —African Proverb
Andrew Still, who was known as the godfather of medicine, has summed up the concepts of osteopathy in three major points.
- Health is a state of harmony
- The human body is a perfect machine created for health and activity
- A healthy state exists as long as there is normal flow of body fluids and nerve activity
- Disease is the effect of underlying, often multifactorial causes
- Illness is often caused by mechanical impediments to normal flow of body fluids and nerve activity
- Environmental, social, mental and behavioural factors contribute to the etiology of disease and illness
- The human body provides all the chemicals necessary for the needs of its tissues and organs
- Removal of mechanical impediments allows optimal body fluid flow, nerve function and restoration of health
- Environmental, cultural, social, mental and behavioural pain need to be addressed as part of any management plan
- Any management plan should meet the needs of the individual patient
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall