Restorative Exercise is a whole body alignment and movement program, which restores the body to optimum health. It teaches you how to move in alignment, thereby minimising injury and disease. Developed by the biomechanist Katy Bowman MS, it applies the principles of physics, geometry and engineering to the human body.
What is Restorative Exercise?
Modern lifestyle means we no longer use our bodies in the way they were designed to move. We have pulled ourselves out of natural alignment through our habits. We sit excessively, drive cars, use computers and if we do exercise we use repetitive movements only training a few of our 600+ muscles. We might have big biceps and a six pack but don’t know how to recruit our intercostal muscles or lift our pinky toes.
Think of the body as a machine – we would not drive a car with wonky wheels, so similarly moving our body out of alignment causes wear and tear and reduces its longevity. Because of this our bodies become imbalanced and we end up with friction, inflammation and inevitably, pain.
Through re-aligning the body we are able to restore our muscles back to their optimum length and strength so as to achieve full body muscle usage and maximum ‘flow’.
This improves circulation, waste removal and increases metabolism. It minimises wear and tear on joints and affects us right down to a cellular level where disease starts. Many common illnesses actually have a mechanical cause and can therefore be alleviated or even eliminated when we change our movement patterns.
- Decreases pain and inflammation
- Improves circulation
- Speeds up metabolism
- Improves gait pattern
- Builds bone density
- Improves pelvic floor function
- Improves core strength
- Improves breathing
- Reduces stress
- Prepares your body for birth and help gets your postpartum body back
- And much more!
What can Restorative Exercise help with?
- Osteoporosis/ Osteopenia
- Cardiovascular disease
- Weight loss
- Diastasis Recti
- Pelvic Floor Disorders
- Foot problems – bunions, plantar fasciitis, flat feet etc.
- And much more!
How does it work?
The Restorative Exercise program uses 25 objective alignment points in the body and a series of corrective stretching and strengthening exercises. It will show you where your body is right now, where it ideally should be and how you can get there.
The program goes back to basics and shows you how to stand, sit, walk and breathe in alignment. It focuses particularly on gait and will teach you how to walk using as many muscles in your body as possible.
I work with clients on a one-to-one basis in front of a large mirror so that you can learn to assess your own alignment and notice improvements over time.
In your sessions you will also be educated on practical lifestyle changes so that you can incorporate frequent natural movement into your daily life giving you long lasting results.
Who is it for?
The beauty of Restorative Exercise is that it can benefit you no matter how old you are or what you do with your life. The exercises are gentle yet precise and they are modified to each person’s abilities.
Fitness and health are about how you move all day long, not just for an hour a day. This program teaches you how to move optimally throughout the day so that you function at your best.
For the athlete Restorative Exercise will enhance performance, increase longevity as well as decrease the risk of injury. In order to perform in sport you have to constantly do the same movements over and over again, which can cause repetitive injury. The imbalance in muscle usage and lack of full body movement means you have weak spots in the body, which eventually develop into injuries. Your body is only as strong as its weakest link. Restorative Exercise will help you identify these weak areas and then begin to bring your body back to a more balanced state.
For the non-sporty person the weak spots in the body are created by repetitive movement habits such as sitting, driving, walking in high heels and pushing buggies, which can lead to muscular imbalances and pain. This program will make you aware of how your habits have shaped your body and teach you how to correct their adverse effects.