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Collaboration On The Horizon


Heading to Bozeman Montana to collaborate with Karen Osaski in creating a mini-2 day retreat for riders interested in “Equine Mindfulness and Awareness.”  October 5th and 6th.  Our plan is to spend 4 hours in the morning working with riders and interested people using Selfseeds as the base.  4 hours in the afternoon working with a few riders and interacting with the auditors, so they are included in the observations and discussions Karen and I will share in a collaborative approach to ground work and riding.  During the course of the 2 days, the riders will develop a Self-map of their inner/outer awareness based on the 11 Selfseeds, ground work with the horses, and riding.  The auditors will also have an opportunity to develop part of their Self-map and learn how it influences their partnership with the horse, self, and others.  The focus is on timing, feel, intuition, and refinement in sensing; all are important aspects of subtle communication and intention before taking action. Check out Karen and Sue’s websites to find out the backbone to the retreat.  What a treat to share from the view point of mind, body, and spirit!

Excited to see Yellowstone too!!

Tentative schedule:

8-12 Indoor work as two-leggeds

2-6 Outdoor work with the four-leggeds (horses)

Evening get together to share and discuss observations.

Selfseeds Integrative “I” Band will be in presence at the retreat.  As I continue to heal and work with the Physical Therapist, he is always noting my body awareness and speed for change–I give the work with the “I” band the credit. The feedback and integrative capabilities for inner to outer extremities is stellar!!  I could give workshops and be a crusader for just the “I” band and not even get into the other 10 Selfseeds and feel like people are learning key aspects to their inner/outer Self-map.

(short video clip below)



Category: Integrative Band, Partnering, Selfseeds, Selfseeds Community
Tag: body, mind, Montanta, partnering, refined performance horsemanship, Selfseeds, Selfseeds Integrative "I" band, spirit

Pelvic Floor Lesson



The Pelvic floor lesson usually starts and stops with the kegel exercises, so it was so cool to see how that relates to the origin of movement and moves up through the core stabilizers into dynamic action.  The physical therapist had an exterior way to check each level of engagement from the pelvic floor north into dynamic, integrative engagement.  The “drawing in maneuver” or “sucking in of the stomach” is a very uninformed version of correct inner engagement that stabilized movement instead of blocking it.  The band technique I learned from Max via Hans for dancing was the action in motion and now to understand the root of the movement. I found out one of my legs is slightly longer at the tibia and this may or may not have contributed to my rightward rotation, but I could experience the difference right and left of my pelvic floor-upward activation.  One side was easy and symmetrical and the other side I compensated by rotating as I engaged the leg.

The next step was lifting and lowering the legs and engaging the higher muscles which made it easier for me.  The PT said it would make it harder for most people with tight hip flexors.  I could feel the shift from an isolated strengthening exercise to a dynamic series and how easy it was to override the underlying weakness with other muscles–synergistic dominance is the result.  Once we have established the pattern for synergistic dominance, we have moved away form the correct design of the human movement system which can lead to postural distortion and injury.

Ok, I have to be a bit of a geek to get so excited about understanding the origin of movement, but it so totally motivates me to help people with their movement design–the ones who are interested.

The below post includes videos of my exercises.  The PT takes a video and sends it to me via an encrypted site.  Sounds perfect for the evolution of  Selfseeds Virtual Riding!!!  You can follow the progression of my rehabilitation and try the exercises too.

(Click on the link below to see the corrective exercise videos–Thank you Dave!)


Category: Fitness, Integrative Band, Selfseeds, Weight Distribution
Tag: corrective exercise, integrative exercises, isolated strengthening, physical therapy, Selfseeds

Multi-positioning On The Stationary Bicycle


Bike 3H



What better way to maximize your cardio workout on the stationary bicycle than to change up your position.  Three easy approaches are sitting, standing, and hovering.  One of my favorite workouts is 1 minute sitting (with or without adding the Integrative “I” band exercises) and spinning at speed (low tension), 2 minutes standing with finger tip touch on the handlebars (moderate tension), and 2 minutes hovering (light contact with the handlebars (highest tension.)  I repeat this 5 minute interval for 15 minutes or more.  In all positions, I work to keep a flat back and my neck in alignment with my spine–posture is a great fitness enhancer. If I have the band, I can change up the 1 minute exercises with the spinning.  Sometimes, I add in floor exercises between the 15 minute repetitions or another cardio machine.  A positive aspect of  mixing it up is to keep the mind and body interested and present.  Focus on posture and changing exercises help to minimize injuries by paying attention.

(a short video)

Thank you from all of the well wishers for healing energy.  Wow, am I learning a lot being the student in recovery!  I had a few days of intense learning about leg function and angry nerve endings,  Interesting to coax angry nerve endings to let go and let the muscles have their job back.  Normally, I can push through the pain so to speak, but this was a different beast requiring compromise, strategic lengthening, moving without exertion, and every step under scrutiny.  I slowed my pace until I could keep correct alignment and movement patterning, so I moved with minimal  distortions.   The human movement system is based on nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems.  I have gotten to know the nervous system on a new level.
An interesting piece of advice from the physical therapist was to return to movement patterns that are familiar.  If you sit on the couch then continue, so I wasn’t in trouble for going to the gym and doing parts of my routine thoughtfully.  I was able to unstick aspects of my body using the familiar exercises and many from the corrective exercises.
No riding for four more weeks while the vertebrae knit back together.  A nice thought to get in a few rides before heading off to New Zealand, Australia, and India.
Category: Fitness, Integrative Band, Selfseeds
Tag: fitness, hovering, Selfseeds, sitting, standing, stationary bicycle exercises

Selfseeds Integrative “I” Band as a Feedback Mec...


Photo note–I could not balance like this without understanding my core and how it helps with balance. Thank you Max, Hans, and Charlotte!!!

Ok,  I am going to have to be careful not to become an “I” band evangelist, since it is so remarkable.  It can be life changing.  How do we begin to understand our body use, mechanisms for motion, and patterns to alter when we live in them?  It is difficult to stand back and observe something you are inside of –the “skin” sack as a friend refers to it. Once you become familiar with the basics of how to work with the band, it can give great internal and external feedback.  Check out the Selfseeds Integrative Band videos and see if they can provide some insight into your posture and how to work with the band.  Let me know what I can do to clarify how to work with it and why.

(Just a note to say my laptop is going into the shop for 3-5 days, but I will still be able to answer questions on my phone.  Technology is so incredible!!)
The use of my core for integrating my body within myself (internal) has been critical in my seat connection (external) to the horse.  I could not change the action of my inner muscles that feed into the action of my pelvis which then sends messages to the horse without the integrative awareness and dexterity.
Category: Balance, Integrative Band, Selfseeds
Tag: balance, core engagement, creative fitness, integrative band, resistance band, Selfseeds

The Countdown…

Only days away from launching Virtual Selfseeds. Heather has outdone herself with her creative genius and I have been making lots and lots of videos, since that is the name of the game with virtual. As a result of the flow of Youtube uploads, the search engine found two today on the search. Yippee!!

Daily Selfseed #45 Integrative Exercises Stationary and Rolling …
Advanced exercise–warning if you attempt it. Challenging the body in space and motion …

Daily Selfseed #41 Integrative Exercises Caball Stretch Pull Twist …
The end result of fitness training is integrating it back into functional fitness–your daily life …

Category: Fitness, Integrative Band, Selfseeds
Tag: balance, core use, flexibility, integrative exercises, Selfseeds, Strength

How Timely


In between studying (one more week I hope!), I have been planting Selfseeds into people’s lives.  The five minute increments are practical and magical to help us navigate through the human obstacle course called life.  I was reminded of the “human speed bump” where we get stuck, lose momentum and effectiveness for action.  Success in increments helps us to breath, find motivation, and take action.  “Take 5 Minutes. Plant a Selfseeds.”

Wonderful article and interview by the Huffington Post regarding the future of how America deals with stress.  Selfseeds is very timely and right on track with the growing awareness/action towards healthful living.


Category: Emotions, Integrative Band, Selfseeds, Stillness
Tag: 5 minute increments, action, breath, inner stillness, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, Selfseeds, wellness

Feedback From The Selfseeds Integrative “I” Band

Integrative "I" Band as a feedback tool for proper core use.

Integrative “I” Band as a feedback tool for proper core use.

The “I” Band (Selfseeds Integrative Band) gives feedback exteriorly and interiorly for the “drawing in” action recommended for developing core stabilization in the interior/exterior muscles of the core.  There are layers to the core: local, global, and movement.  

Read More ...
Category: Fitness, Integrative Band, Selfseeds
Tag: core awareness, core power, core stabilization, core strength, feedback, integrative band, interior muscles of core, Selfseeds

CPR/AED Training

RC symbol


What an invaluable course for empowering one to have the tools to help someone effectively that is choking, heart problem, in an accident scene and more.  I haven’t taken a CPR class in 15 years, so A LOT has changed.  The teacher was very practical and hands on, so we had many opportunities to work with the mannequins and run through practice scenarios.  In the past, I left the class feeling like I new enough to be consciously aware that something could be done, but practically inept at attempting to step in.  With this course, I feel equipped to help and be effective.  Adding in the training with the AED machine is new, but with the advent of technology and increased awareness/higher health standards, it isn’t as unusual to have access to a defibrillator machine.

Read More ...
Category: Balance, Emotions, Fitness, Flexibility, Integrative Band, Nutrition, Partnering, Personalize 5, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness, Weight Distribution
Tag: AED, CPR, life training in an emergency, motivation inspiration cheerleading from Selfseeds, Red Cross

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)


National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is one of the certification programs for personal trainers.  I have been so inspired by the development/evolution of the Selfseeds Program that I have taken the plunge to become a personal trainer.  The modern material for training the mind and the body is wonderful and in alignment with what I have observed/learned from the past ten years of watching Selfseeds evolve.  The NASM program will tie together my college education with human health, wellness, and fitness thus providing a more scientific, concrete basis for supporting people’s wholeness pathways.  I was going to leave the nutrition and fitness aspects of Selfseeds to the professionals, but instead, I decided to dip into the material myself and have a better understanding firsthand.

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Category: Balance, Emotions, Fitness, Flexibility, Integrative Band, Nutrition, Partnering, Personalize 5, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness, Weight Distribution
Tag: endurance, NASM, personal trainers certification, power, Selfseeds Program, stability, Strength, updated physiological and psychological training approach

Meditation In Motion

Photo credit: Heather Marsh

Even though I am sitting more in my current meditation practice, I find that walking, spinning on the bike, or jogging on the treadmill are useful states for meditation in motion–moving but in a non stressful way.  Somehow, it almost gives the body and mind enough of a job/purpose that it opens up the ability to go deeper without the usual judgements and mind chatter.  Multi-tasking but at a gentle level rather than the fierce level we often live at.

Going from 100 to 0 is often a BIG jump for people when looking at adding in a “stilling” practice, so why not be kind and supportive of one’s self by funneling one’s self towards deeper, inner stillness. While training young horses, the idea was to introduce stillness by letting the horse move and then ask for standing, let the horse move in a constructive way and then ask for immobility, repeating until the individual could relax in the immobile phase instead of holding it from a place of tension.  What would follow would be asking for movement from stillness instead of allowing a release of tension in movement.  Horses are designed to move, are often on alert as a prey animal, so resting for them is often a point of vulnerability.  In some ways, our hectic lives have created this same mentality; when we are not doing, something is ‘wrong’ and we are deficient in some way.

From years of inner focus while in motion, I see that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  I am learning about going super deep in meditation now, but it is not practical while I am doing in the world; I need to be aware of my body and I need to take care of my body while I inhabit it.  I recently learned that yoga positions were created when the deep meditators from the distant past realized they needed to take care of their bodies, so they could meditate without obstruction from the body.

The key to meditation in motion is to do something that doesn’t require a high level of concentration and focus.  Pick something that is familiar and is fluid.  While walking, I have the grace and fitness to move without a lot of attention to detail, but I still need to be mindful of  irregular ground, traffic, direction etc. that create minor disturbances.  While on the stationary bike,  I have the rhythm and tempo to maintain, but fewer functional distractions.  When I was swimming,  the feel and quietness of the water while moving was lovely.  The repetitiveness of the stroke was meditative in many aspects.  Pick your motion and enjoy: sweeping, dusting, raking, weed pulling…

The point is to tame yourself in steps and not feel failure or have judgement when the mind finds a way to engage.  How many years have most of us lived with mind chatter?  My meditative state in motion happens without effort now, but while sitting there is an attention to funneling.

Walking meditation: How to do it
Mother Nature Network (blog)
If you sit all day at work, have limited time, or are the restless type, you may feel challenged by a sittingmeditation practice. But one of the amazing things about meditation is that it can be practiced in many different ways (though oftentimes 

Walking meditation: How you can do it too
Calm your mind and relax your body while moving through your world.

Related Topics:

A man walks across a city

Photo: Gerard Avila/Flickr

If you sit all day at work, have limited time, or are the restless type, you may feel challenged by a sitting meditation practice. But one of the amazing things about meditation is that it can be practiced in many different ways (though oftentimes, people less familiar with the subject think that sitting with your eyes closed “Ohming” is the only way to do it).
Want proof? Yogi Sayadaw U Silananda writes, “At our meditation retreats, yogis practice mindfulness in four different postures. They practice mindfulness when walking, when standing, when sitting, and when lying down. They must sustain mindfulness at all times in whatever position they are in. The primary posture for mindfulness meditation is sitting with legs crossed, but because the human body cannot tolerate this position for many hours without changing, we alternate periods of sitting meditation with periods of walking meditation.”
I regularly practice walking meditation, especially on busy days or when I sit most of the day (which is hard for me; my body doesn’t like it!). Sometimes I take 15 minutes out to have a short walk outside to practice (much healthier than a smoke break or a trip to coffee shop), and sometimes I incorporate it into my walk from spin class or to work (or both!). Here’s how I do it:
Get comfortable: Try to arrange your bags/scarf/hat in a way that gives you a clear field of view, keeps you comfortable, and is as non-restrictive to normal walking as possible. If you can avoid bringing anything with you, that’s ideal.
Relax your eyes: You’re going to have to watch where you’re going, of course, but when I’m doing a walking meditation, whether I’m in the city or on a woodsy path, a dirt road in Vermont or beachside, I always keep my “looking” in check. In the city that means I don’t read signs that come into view (I can’t be the only one who otherwise reads every piece of written matter that comes in front of me), I don’t look at people’s faces, and I do set my gaze somewhere in the middle distance, so that I can easily observe what’s in front of me, while not “looking” at anything in particular.
Walk and breathe: At a moderate pace (I slow down my normally very-fast pace, but there’s no need to walk super-slowly), start taking deep breaths as you walk. I like to count; five breaths in and six or seven breaths out, calmly and slowly. I do this at least five times to get in the zone, and then keep taking deep relaxed breaths for the rest of my time.
Be patient: Just like with any kind of meditation, it’s always easy to get distracted. But this is actually great practice. When a person walks in front of you, you focus on a sign, or you have to stop at a crosswalk or pick your way across a stream, focus on just what’s happening, move past it, and keep walking and breathing. If you want to focus on something, notice how your legs, knees and feet all work together to keep you locomoting without having to really think about it.
Finish: I like to officially “close” my meditation sessions, whatever kind they are. A walking meditation is my time to be really appreciative for all that allows me to even practice walking meditation in the first place, so I say a mental thanks.
Category: Emotions, Fitness, Integrative Band, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness
Tag: funneling inner stillness, gentle multi-tasking, meditation, meditation in motion, mindfulness, Spritual life in india, yoga