I have to say as a movement coach, it is pretty rad to be able to teach Clubbell Yoga to both 'hardstyle' lifters (TACFIT & Kettlebell athletes) and super bendy yogis and yoginis (you know, the ones you see on instagram with the beautiful back bends and inversions). This system is truly for everyBODY- and was designed with the both the yin and the yang athletes in mind.
The versatility of the Clubbell Yoga system is one of the most noted elements of the program, as it is geared toward both populations and highly effective for both yin and yang athletes. Getting to know my athletes and students in our 16 hour intensive seminars & retreats has given me tremendous insight, but most importantly it allows us to learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses. Read on for an analysis of the typical Yang & Yin athlete from a performance perspective, featuring two of our Clubbell Yoga athletes Len Benoit & Adrienne Beattie.
"Yang" Athletes tend to crave moving weight to tap into their movement potential. They enjoy lifting heavy things, and challenging themselves on both a muscular and cardiovascular level. They are usually training aspects of performance like:
The strengths of the "Yang" athlete-
They are great at lifting things in heaving motions (squats, swings, etc). These athletes enjoy pushing their limits, and usually know how to do so safely. They have tough minds, and usually can handle being challenged safely.
The weaknesses of the conventional lifting "Yang" athlete-
They tend to lack diversity in loading their body in what are referred to as the six degrees of freedom, as noted by Scott Sonnon in all of his training systems. The "Yang" athlete may develop compensation patterns that create immobility and potentially weakness in the stabilizing muscles (shoulder girdle, hip girdle and inner core) because the prime movers are accustomed to doing most of the work. This makes it extremely difficult to access traditional yoga poses, which require mobility & stabilizer endurance in the ball and socket joints. They may be at a higher risk of injury when asked to "stretch", due to the dense fascia that has formed in lats, quads, hamstrings and shoulders.
Pro Tip - Try loading your yoga poses and transitions with a Clubbell, to cultivate an awareness of your current edge. Then gradually shave off immobility by loading the yoga pose, and going to your edge while integrating a flow level of breath (exhaling on compressions/eccentric action, and allowing the inhale to happen automatically). Try it and let us know how it goes, we love feedback on our Instagaram @clubbellyoga.
*Primal 12 is an excellent program geared toward the strength athlete, and uses modified TACFIT timing protocols like EMOTM, AMRAP, Tabata for 12 minute workouts + 8-12 minute loaded flows. The total loaded training is about 20 minutes, which helps induce the Neuro-Immuno-Endocrine response of tapping into Flow.
Yin Athletes have a strong daily yoga practice that emphasizes flexibility. Often times they are following a lineage or a fusion style derived from a lineage, consisting of a sequence of easy to moderate to extreme yoga poses performed in certain sequences. These yoga lineages were brought over from the East in the early 1900s, all which originate from Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. They tend to focus on performance elements related to:
The Strengths of the "Yin" Athlete-
They are slower movers, and tend to move into poses and flows with breath first. These athletes tend to have excellent spinal mobility and hip flexibility, and good posture from a regular yoga practice. They enjoy working on inversions (head stands, hand stands, forearm stands) because they have the mobility and the inner core awareness to be successful in these poses.
The Weakness of the "Yin" Athlete-
Unfortunately, with the strong focus on flexibility in the yoga community these athletes are prone to injury from over stretching a joint. The ligaments and tendons in the joints reach their maximum range often, which can create overuse injuries, tears or strains.
Pro Tip: Avoid over training and reduce injury potential by consistent sport specific cross training. Each joint that is loaded in extreme ranges of motion should have both mobility and stability. Clubbell Yoga conditioning exercises from our newest program Action Potential, are administered in the 90 seconds or work, 30 seconds of rest protocol that transfers well to the Yin athlete. Your conditioning should look like the poses in your practice for best results, and loading these poses and transitions with proper alignment will drastically increase your stabilizer endurance for longer holds.
Clubbell Yoga is a comprehensive training program for both the Yin and the Yang athletes, and addresses the overtraining and compensation issues that accompany over specialization in sport. This system is not guess work, it is an intelligent integration of CST principles field tested for the past 15 years with Coach Sonnon of TACFIT, and yoga asana. Want to go deeper into your practice in an intensive format? Join us for our Clubbell Yoga Optimizing Flow retreat this January 20-21 in Costa Rica, all levels of experience are welcome. Want to learn the fusion and get certified? Check the events often to stay up to date with upcoming certification seminars in your area (2018 Seminars will be announced soon). Keep practicing, as there is progress in your practice if you are patient. And as coach Sonnon Says, "Be more prepared than the challenges you face", both on and off the yoga mat.
I have heard it many times before... "I am horrible at yoga" or "I am not flexible, therefore I don't do yoga". Sadly, these reasons only perpetuate the problems that come along with losing mobility. Clubbell Yoga has crept up into the industry as a solution for those who lack the natural flexibility to be "good at Yoga", and this article will give you 4 ways to start taking action on getting better at Yoga stat!
[UPCOMING Seminars in Denver and New York City here] -VIP registration ends 4/4, and 4/15.
ACTION 1: Get your joint mobility going asap.
When you mobilize your joints prior to practicing yoga, you will be able to access deeper range of motion (ROM) in all areas. Increase synovial fluid, increase heat, activate more motor units and synch your breath with your movement. Here are a couple of easy videos you can follow.
Intuflow on the Beach in Hawaii
Chest Opener Flow for Tight Upper Back
Action 2: Change your perception of training mobility.
It doesn't always have to be a stretch and hold (and often grimace in discomfort) situation. There are many other ways to train dynamic mobility, including moving in and out of yoga poses bearing load, as many of our Clubbell Yoga conditioning drills do. Check out a FREE 90X30 Clubbell Yoga workout here. When you train a transition, under load, accessing stabilizer muscles and re-enforcing good alignment with the Clubbell, your nervous system registers that new ROM. What you are left with are stronger, more aligned yoga poses.
Don't Miss our next dual Clubbell Yoga & FlowFit seminars in Denver CO this June 2-5th! Learn directly from Summer Huntington, the founder of this system.
ACTION 3: Practice Sun Salutations daily.
Yep. You wanna get good at Yoga? Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B are the cornerstones of learning how to flow with breath, a big part of yoga. A wise teacher once said, "Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory." This couldn't be more true, and by taking action on the basic sun salutations, you will overcome any fears or self limiting beliefs of being bad at yoga. Try doing 3 of each as your wake up, or even a warm-up before a workout.
BONUS: Sun Salutation A is geared toward increasing hamstring and low back flexibility, while Sun Salutation B is geared toward increasing hip flexor flexibility. These are the three most common inflexible regions for beginning yogis.
ACTION 4: Start Loading your Yoga poses with a Clubbell.
In our signature awaken, condition, practice method we always end with a loaded yoga sequence, to re-enforce the alignment and muscle activation in the yoga asana. When you can bear a small load in a yoga pose, your musculoskelatal system and nervous system work together to create a map of what "good alignment" feels like.
BONUS ACTION 5 - Practice our online program Primal 12 with Friends weekly
Creating a dedicated and consistent weekly time to explore a new practice is a surefire way to succeed. Having the accountability, the motivation, and the freedom to play your own music and work together makes it fun and exciting. Many students use Primal 12, which includes 12 workouts and 12 matching flows, to get "good at yoga". And it works! The total program is $99, with 57 videos and tutorials, its a serious steal.
One of my most trusted Clubbell Yoga ambassadors in Seattle, Dana Llewellyn shares some insight on how training flow has altered her perspective on why we train. Don't miss our upcoming Clubbell Yoga workshop at Bala Yoga in Fremont, [THIS SUNDAY 1-3pm!] to experience the Flow First hand. Thank you Dana for your thoughtful contribution to why we train Flow & Movement (versus just poses and exercises). Also check out Dana's Brand Spanken' NEW Website FlowStateFitness.club for local offerings.
Rather unexpectedly, journeying farther into the fitness industry as a growing professional has me contemplating things out of this world. One would think that the more time I spend working with bodies and refining my own techniques would inevitably and effectually root my outlook in the physical plane. However, the more I practice, educate myself, and find my own flow - not only in fitness but in life itself - the more prone I am to exploring ideas and practices beyond the physical realm. My own hustle has been real these days: starting up my own personal training business, writing programs, presenting workshops, and establishing myself as a legitimate professional with knowledge and passion. I have a strong desire for the work I do to be highly effective, long lasting and deeply meaningful. As I navigate my career and delve deeper into my own training, I keep getting drawn back into the idea of flowstate; of finding those moments where I’m using my physical body to channel some intangible mechanism, briefly fitting into something larger than myself. Tapping into this feeling always leaves me wanting more because it is in those moments that I can really feel the deeper meaning of why I’ve chosen fitness as a career path.
Since my exodus from school, I’ve found myself with more time and freedom to do some reading and research into non-curriculum materials. Eventually, I stumbled across Ram Dass, a spiritual leader whose teachings are just beginning to emerge in my own personal awareness. I was recently struck by a passage in Ram Dass’ book, “Be Here Now”, about the physical practice of yoga, or the Asanas.
“You work with your body for some very obvious reasons. First, it is the environment in which you dwell in this incarnation on the physical plane. Second, unless you can cool out your body, it keeps on capturing your attention over and over again and thus distracts you from the one-pointedness of mind that you are seeking. Third, to work with the body energies and to be able to move such energies up the spine requires sensitization to nerves in the body of which most people are unaware. Until you can hear your body, you cannot bring it under voluntary control…fourth, a yogi realizes that the message of his being is
reflected in all manifestations and he seeks the power of the one-pointedness that comes from having his body as well as his thoughts directed towards the state of realization…for a realized being, every movement is a perfect statement.”
Let’s explore these points in detail.
1) “It is the environment in which you dwell in this incarnation on the physical plane”
Our body is a molecular formula. Whether you believe we were deliberately crafted or indiscriminately formed, the fact remains that our bodies are mainly a throng of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorous with a few other goodies sprinkled in. Yet interwoven into our chemical equation is something beyond the carnal: awareness, intellect, competency… dare I say it? Consciousness! A dichotomy exists between the awareness we perceive as ourselves and the bodies that house this awareness. Think about it like this: These bodies in which we traipse about are like meat antennae, sending electric signals up and down a chemical stew to produce movements that create habits that create lives.
2) “Unless you can cool out your body, it keeps on capturing your attention over and over again and this distracts you from the one-pointedness of mind that you are seeking”
Chemical stew aside, I find myself here, on the third planet from the sun, sometimes hungry, sometimes thirsty, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. I can go on and on about consciousness and meat antennae and yada yada, but eventually my body will always find a way nudge my awareness back to earth with a grumbling stomach, a blink, or a yawn. The greek philosopher Proclus writes “Man is a little world…he possesses both mind and reason, both a divine and a mortal body”. So, a body is a body, a mind is a mind. Indeed. But…we CAN bridge this separation through manipulation of the physical plane to connect with something deeper and find a oneness, if only for a few moments, between the two. If I could bail on this gravity nonsense and blast myself into the astral plane, soaring unattached and unhindered, wouldn’t that be rad? But, alas, here I am; typing with fingers, seeing with eyes, tethered to a giant spinning rock by an unseen force. So, working with what I have, how can I learn to “cool out my body”, as it were, as a way to get closer to that sort oneness between my consciousness and my carnality? Only through intentional and constant efforts can this oneness be achieved.
3) “To work with the body energies and to be able to move such energies up the spine requires sensitization to nerves in the body of which most people are unaware. Until you can hear your body, you cannot bring it under voluntary control”
As I start to delve into different philosophies of eastern mysticism through my almost exclusively westernized point of view, my head does sometimes spin, both intrigued and baffled. In order to manage the spinning, I have started to direct my attention and will to stopping, listening and acting accordingly. Though my body will eventually be nothing but dust, it isn’t quite yet. Perhaps it has something to tell me in the meantime. Perhaps I could learn a thing or two from the stopping and listening, remaining rooted in the here and now (mindfulness). And it is here that we find ourselves at the proverbial bridge the bridge: the bridge between the mind and the body, the consciousness and the carnal, the divine and the mortal. Hear it, listen to it, acknowledge it, respect it, and perhaps you may even control it. You will find that through intentional regard and mindful response to your own little chemical stew, you can manipulate your physical circumstances in a way that quiets that intrigued and baffled chatter of the mind, directing its energy towards moving as one with your quantifiable figure.
4) “A yogi realizes that the message of his being is reflected in all manifestations and he seeks the power of the one-pointedness that comes from having his body as well as his thoughts directed towards the state of realization”
At the fourth point, the gap between body and mind has been bridged through careful listening and mindful response. Sweet harmony! I claim no enlightenment, and I am still very much struggling with and working towards this harmony, but the idea is indeed striking: for mind and body to function as one. Not arbitrarily…but getting on together TOWARDS something effective, long lasting and deeply meaningful. I work with bodies not just for the sake of physique, not just for a paycheck, not just for cool Instagram pictures. I work with bodies because from time to time I can facilitate, in myself and in others, in the words of the aforementioned Ram Dass “a profound metamorphosis…calmness, sensitivity and lightness”.
It is my hope as I continue to establish myself as a personal trainer and movement coach that those whose paths cross with mine will not simply ask how they can get stellar abs or toned arms, though that is certainly something that the work I do can offer. My hope is that there is a sort of calmness or centeredness in the seeking of unity that will attract people to practice and explore with me. I am still very much on the journey—make no mistake about it. But I’m finding through careful examination of why I do what I do, is that yoga, strength and conditioning can be conduits for something out of this world, though born of it. That is what I hope to share with my fellow travelers.
Big thank you to Dana for her post, and helping get the word out about Clubbell Yoga in Seattle. Big thank you to Gabriella and Bala Yoga Studio for inviting us to do a new style of workshop for your yogis...
Yep, you read that right. We helped a self-proclaimed "die-hard Yogi" convert to a diehard movement junkie, clearly hungry for more biomechanics and 6 Degree Flow. I met Simon Marks Franks of Primal Roots Yoga at one of my local essential oils class, a newly certified 200 hour Yoga teacher, and invited him the Clubbell Yoga Seminar I was teaching the next month. He and his partner jumped on board, with very little preparation (maybe a week total of any exposure to the Clubbed Yoga poses). Most people prep using the Primal 12 program, with 12 workouts and 12 matching flows.
Simon and the Certification Candidates learned everything they needed to know about creating a conditioning program that was sport specific to Vinyasa Yoga at the Clubbell Yoga seminar earlier this year... then went home and practiced. Simon started teaching Clubbell Yoga classes right away at Quantum Yoga to get his certification (we require 8 volunteer classes to become eligible to certify in our system). Since he received his certificate, he has also offered an Intro Class to the Jaya Yoga community in Hood River Oregon.
He even helped facilitate his Senior Teacher at Jaya getting interested in Clubbels, and she is now attending my Workshop in Eugene, Oregon this September, 17/18. I have been blown away by how this practice has impacted him. I don't often get yogis at my seminars, and it's so great to see one who really gets why I made this program ... to help Yogis strengthen their yoga practice!
Simon Shares a bit of his testimonial on how he came to be a Clubbell Yoga "Movement Coach":
"My movement journey started in the 7th grade when my weak and uncoordinated body wouldn’t allow me to place at any track meets or get the attention of my sport coaches. I just couldn’t, and still can’t find the desire to compete against another person to determine a winner and a loser. This resulted in a great deal of flailing, frustration and lost races. Needless to say I was put off from conventional sports, fitness, and competitive movement. I learned basic yoga forms and took a core basics class at Skagit Valley College, and yet my movement inspiration just hadn’t blossomed yet.
In late 2015 I began to attend Hatha yoga classes in Bellingham, and this changed everything for me. I was a die hard traditional Vinyasa and Hatha Yogi, convinced that linear yoga movement was the end all be all of human body athletics. Thankfully I’ve matured quite a deal since then in more ways than one and Clubbell Yoga has played an integral role in my perspective on movement as a whole.
My 200 hour RYT yoga certification showed me much in the ways of personal and group empowerment on a mind, body and emotional level, and I will be forever grateful for Melissa Longfellow’s initiation into personal power [Melissa is a faculty teacher of Baron Baptiste Power Yoga. This paved a perfect path to taking Summer Huntington’s Clubbell Yoga Seminar in February of 2016. Since then I have been studying and drawing inspiration from ALL kinds of dynamic movement that is mindful and biomechanically sound. That is to say Clubbell Yoga is both dynamic and mindful, it has moved me from a closed minded Yogi to a scholar and now coach-in-training of all things movement.
Clubbell Yoga challenged me in a way that my body has never been before. After my first few rounds of conditioning with Summer and then in turn on my own, I didn’t know quite what to think. Most forms of Yoga and fitness simply do not require the level of biomechanical and kinesthetic awareness that Clubbell Yoga does. However if the forms are practiced and regressions are actually practiced in a mature and honest way, results come faster than you think. I have developed freedom in my squat (a movement pattern lost to most humans) through the open/closed hip endurance drills beyond anything I could have thought. My strength at the end of my range of motion in my legs and arms has opened me up to take on new movements and activities with ease and grace that simply was not possible before.
Clubbells build strong sustainable alignment, and if more yogis actually practiced true yogic teachings, they would see that these drills create alignment that is unyielding in its power and stability. The bottom line is: if you practice ACTUAL body awareness, alignment, and are kind to your body you will develop a form that is injury resistant and free to move, free to play because when we play, shit happens.
Upcoming Intro to Clubbell Yoga Workshops
It's pretty rad seeing the impact of this system on both yogis, martial artists and the strength training community. Honored that Simon would share his testimonial and hope that it helps empower others to strengthen their yoga practice.
More and more men have been joining the lululemon-clad ladies yoga studios these days. Or if not rocking the mandex (spandex for dudes), they are creating a meaningful home practice that suits them. One such athlete, scholar and Clubbell Yoga ambassador Erik Romanak of Seva Fitness in Kentucky speaks up on what this very unique practice means to him. I met Eric at our first Clubbell Yoga Seminar in Chicago a couple of years ago, and he continues to lead from the front with other CST & TACFIT programs and offerings at his studio.
ERIC: Why I choose Clubbell Yoga...
"Strength has been at the foundation of yoga since its inception. Wrestlers, soldiers and rebels used yoga for training and development because of its potent fusion of strength and agility. After a decade of yoga practice and teaching, the people I meet in my practice use yoga for many different reasons. Yoga transcends personality type, body shape and age. It really is an amazing science and art.
In yoga, our base level of existence is symbolized by the Mula Bandha. It represents the first level of human reality and the need to survive before we can thrive. It teaches us the importance of strength and endurance as we continuously adapt and reach for new heights. It is the foundation of everything about us physically and psychologically
As we climb the mountains of our lives, we get glimpses into our higher nature. The perspective gained from this expanded view helps people find peace and joy in the flow of life. It is important to embrace the larger view, but if it isn't tethered to our base reality it becomes something else - ranging from instability to delusion. The balance is found when you aim high but never forget your roots, staying connected to your foundation.
No matter what you're trying to build, whether it's a business, a skyscraper or a better life, the quality and strength of your foundation underlies every element that follows. Strengthening that foundation creates the necessary conditions required for success. Clubbell Yoga's fusion of strength and yoga reawakens a conscious awareness of your foundation and connects you to the absolute necessity of it.
Strengthening alignment and flow is the essence of my practice. All of the other benefits like relaxation, energy and flexibility happen as a natural byproduct of that. Clubbell yoga has grounded my practice and created an amazing platform for growth." - Eric Romanak
Thank you Eric for your insights and dedication to this practice. If you want to learn more about Clubbell Yoga by coming to a seminar led by Summer Huntington and assisted by Alaina Sawaya (of Primal 12 & Clubbell Yoga Prenatal), take advantage of this very limited 96 Hour Discount on the upcoming FlowFit & Clubbell Yoga seminars happening in Bellingham, WA this October 6-9th ... save over $500 on each seminar if your register by 8/4. Remember, be more prepared than the challenges you face both on and off the yoga mat.
Namaste brothers and sisters!
This week, RMAX International launched a new program called Clubbell Yoga: Action Potential... with 6 Full length Follow Along classes utilizing the signature Awaken Condition Practice format. People have been asking what that means, so I figured I would spend some time demystifying the three wings of Circular Strength Training for you! Even if you already know the three wings of CST inside and out, you may learn a bit about performance with this read.
1. Awaken Condition Practice is an evolution of the three wings of CST, which are Intuflow, Clubbells and Prasara.
-Awaken simply means open or closed chain joint mobility drills integrated into foundational yoga poses. The poses pulse and breathe, while you move in and out of full range of motion. This is an excellent way to prime a motor pattern... Why? because the drills create heat in the joints, bring joint nutrition in and pump waste and calcified salts out. When you do a proper Awakening sequence, you prime difficult motor patterns in a progressive manner. You recruit motor units in the hips, shoulders and core that result in maximum power development later on in the Condition and Practice sections of class.
2. Condition means that you drill a movement until it becomes as efficient as possible. Meaning no wasted energy, just seamless transitions, and maximum power development. I chose to use the 90/30 protocol in the Conditioning sections of each follow along class, which allows for moderate level intensity that is achievable by most. Even highly trained athletes will find challenge in the more complex exercises, due to the crossing of multiple planes of motion. All Clubbell Yoga and Bodyweight exercises in this program are geared toward improving your athleticism and improve your score on the functional movement screen. If you want to ramp it up, just move more quickly during this section or try the second level of difficulty presented.
3. Practice is the 'grand finale' of class, where you get to practice all motor skills in the first two parts of class in FLOW. Practice is an evolution of Prasara, which means "Flow Without Thought". During this section, we revisit the long form power pose sequence that was established in the Awakening section, with a weighted Clubbell (usually 3 or 5lbs). By moving through a loaded yoga pose sequence, the phenomenon Post Activation Potentiation is experienced. The nervous system stores the contractile history of the loaded poses, creating maximum power and motor unit recruitment. Then when the same flow is practiced again, unweighted, the result is optimized Flow. Literal Prasara occurs. You will know you are in flow when you move effortlessly from pose to pose, with little hesitation. Action and awareness merge, you may lose track of time and you become completely immersed in your movement.
I remember when doing joint mobility was viewed as "weird" or "a waste of time"... Those days are over. Meaningful mobility training is here to stay, and this program is a perfect way to start understanding this concept through experience. Take advantage of the special launch price, get your mat and your Clubbells and get started! There is no time like the present.
I am continually impressed with the students that travel from far away places to take the Clubbell Yoga seminar, a crash course in Vinyasa Yoga, Clubbells & CST Coaching. One such student that far surpassed my expectations is Baylea Protine, who was the first to lead Clubbell Yoga at a local Crossfit Box. Checkout her interview below to learn more about this intelligent movement coach, where she practices, what her philosophy is and how she got to the Crossfit Box.
Don't forget to sign up for our Vancouver, BC Seminar by Jan 15th to get VIP Registration pricing. This 2016 will be an incredible year, especially with such amazing leaders like Baylea stepping up and challenging the status quo for quality movement instruction. Today is also the last day for 50% OFF of Primal 12, so take advantage of that as well if you are training for a seminar or want to learn about Clubbell Yoga. Alright, let's get to this interview!
Summer: Tell us about where you live and what the community is like?
Baylea: I live in a rural, but developing agriculture mecca in Northern California, just north of Sacramento. Our main attraction is the Sutter Buttes, the smallest mountain range (in the world) located in a sea of flat agriculture land. Because our area is so rich in agriculture it’s often referred to as the “bread basket of the world” When I first started teaching yoga here, it was not very well received and took time to warm the very conservative community to the idea of union in movement. Almost 7 years later we have our very own yoga studio that is thriving and buzzing with women and men of all ages. It’s really excited to see the growth of our community shift.
Summer: Where did you do your first Clubbell Yoga seminar, and what was your experience like?
Baylea: After about a year of practicing with Summer in my living room via DVD’s and manuals I knew I wanted to be a part of her work. I had the pleasure of taking a Clubbell Yoga seminar at the beautiful Doe Bay on Orcas Island off of the coast of Washington. While the views were breath taking, the content and student to teacher ratio exceeded any expectation I had for the seminar. With only five other trainees I took full advantage of being in Summer’s presence. Coming from a yoga and sensory integration background, some components of the seminar like, conditioning exercises and the coaching components were out of my comfort zone. But by the end of the weekend I felt confident that Summer had passed on all the information and resources to help me establish my own coaching voice and strength in the practice. Leaving the island I was exhausted mentally and physically but ignited with passion to share the fusion of this lost art with my clients.
Summer: What is your background education and professional experience?
Baylea: I have taught hatha based yoga for over 7 years in various settings; working with children to adults and even mental health clients. In the beginning of 2014 I finished school and became a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant and couldn’t believe the overlap of yoga and therapy. During my clinical rotations in OTA School I was assigned to work with many amazing Sensory Integration Specialists and witnessed numerous healing moments. A chord was struck deep within me. I needed to share sensory integration with my yoga clients. It was the missing link in my own personal practice and the bridge to the disconnect I frequently observed in my students. I fell in love with proprioception, hence my initial love for the Clubbells. Now I’ve committed myself to expanding my knowledge on how we can use the nervous system to improve our well-being.
Summer: You are the first person to bring Clubbell Yoga to a Crossfit Box, how did you make that happen? Was it well recieved? Tell all!
Baylea: I knew that in our area, the local cross fitters would be most accepting of this practice because of the strength component. So I started to spread the word via flyers and social media. The owners of Boxcar CrossFit in Rocklin, Ca. are extremely knowledgeable about the importance of mobility, fascia work and educating their members, they actually approached me. They were totally excited from our first conversation and after the first class sold on the performance boosting qualities of this practice. As a teacher, seeing them propriocept their bodies and shift their patterns was incredible. This group is so fun to teach, they are completely capable of the demanding poses and eagerly accepting of the challenges I set before them, so we could really focus in on the subtle workings of the nervous system
Summer: What is your brand M Movement all about?
Baylea: I started to label my business as M|Body Mindful Movement to separate myself from the current yoga teachings in my area. M|Body represents the phenomenon I witness in my students when they have an embodied moment. The “M” is that moment when you have an “ahh-ha” experience; it’s complete insight and you identify with it so much that you make the face of bewilderment. It’s a beautiful moment, a moment that I cherish as a teacher, one that never gets old and a moment I always try to enhance in my classes. With M|Body Mindful Movement my goal is to inspire embodied moments and promote self-care health care through mindful movement.
Summer: What's next for you? Any big projects?
Baylea: M|Body Mindful Movement is my brain child right now, I am working on establishing a studio space, a centralized location where people can come and immerse themselves in a sensory experience. Because I am the only Clubbell Yoga Instructor in the Northern California region (above Fresno,that I know of) I am determined to spread this meaningful practice to as many nervous systems as possible! I am continuing so step out of my comfort zone daily, something the Clubbell Yoga Seminar and personal practice has instilled in me; a trait that I know is refining my skill set more than anything.
Summer: What advice do you have for someone wanting to get started in Clubbell Yoga?
Baylea: Do it! Buy the DVD’s and manuals and Primal 12, and do them. Practice at home as much as you can, become familiar with the terminology and basics and the possibilities are endless. I kept a pair of clubbells in my living room when I was first learning (actually I still do), whenever I saw them I would pick them up and practice different holds while watching T.V. or in between chores, simply to become acquainted with them. Then when I went to practice, it was one less thing I had to think about. If you have the privilege of taking a class from a trained Clubbell Yoga Instructor, don’t pass up the opportunity for a sensory experience of a lifetime! This practice speaks for itself; the hardest part is making the individual show up, day after day.
I hope you have a Happy New Year full of growth and opportunity! Also, I am really looking forward to the Primal 12 challenge!
It turns out we have some pretty amazing instructors in our Clubbell Yoga tribe... including the stunning Ashleigh Kast who became certified in New York City in 2014. Ashleigh has all of the hustle, the brains and the beauty to turn heads in the fitness industry, and that is exactly what she has been doing with her blog Sophisticated Strength. As a fitness model and coach, her clients and followers look to her for advice on nutrition, squats (her specialty) and inspiration. Check out this interview to get to know her a bit more. Also check out our EVENTS page for the next upcoming seminars in your area (VIP registration for Vancouver, BC ends Jan 1, and New York ends Feb 1, don't delay - get your deposit in now to reserve your space). So excited to spotlight Ashleigh and also have her assist at the next upcoming seminar!
Summer: When I asked Ashleigh to do the interview, she humbly answered:
Ashleigh: I am not a yoga teacher by training (meaning not 200 hour yoga certified), but I am Clubbell Yoga certified. Our Clubbell Yoga practice at Drive495 is accordingly less like a typical yoga session. We have a very good core group of guys but I'm not hands-on with assists and we are not very spiritual in our class either... infact we have MosDef on the playlist. We actually joke and call it "secular yoga." I just feel like you need to know that in selecting me as a representative for your brand.
S: Thank you for your honesty, and I couldn't be more happy that you are teaching yoga to non-yogis. That is the whole point of Clubbell Yoga. Put your own flavor on it all you want, this movement is for every-BODY.
S:Thanks for doing the interview, let's start simple... Do you have any nicknames that you go by?
A:Not really. I used to go by akast or smash, but it's mostly just Ashleigh.
S:Where did you grow up?
A:I grew up in Union, NJ, running around with the neighborhood kids playing soccer and basketball. I was always a runner at heart, starting cross-country in middle school.
S:How did you get your start in the fitness industry?
A: I really got started in college. I thought I wanted to help people with sports injuries so I took up pre-med and got a personal trainer certification to make some money while I was in school. I changed my major a hundred times, before I realizing my side job, my coaching job, was the place I could make the most difference. I had such amazing mentors that I figured out super early that good training is the best rehab possible. I was just so lucky to be around the smartest people.
S:What drew you to the Clubbell Yoga practice?
A: I fell in love with yoga while training for an Ironman. I needed to be ready for the blinding July heat so in January, I took up hot vinyasa yoga; not expecting to learn so much about the mind-body connection. I noticed that shoulder injuries were like contagious diseases, even among instructors. And it made me wonder if the system wasn't missing something.
S: What kinds of people do you train with Clubbell Yoga & when are your regular classes?
A: My core group of regulars in class at Drive495 are actually all guys who want to move better for golf.
Come check out a class Monday and Wednesday nights at 7:30pm or Saturdays at 9:30am.
S: What are you most known for?
A: It sort of depends who you talk to. I'm most known in NJ for getting my clients strong enough to get back to what they love doing, pain free. In the city, I'm the bridal transformation expert. Online, I want women to know that you can be both super strong and super feminine. You don't have to sacrifice one for the other. That it's ok to want to train smart, but also train for aesthetics.
S: You are also known for being the queen of glutes...What advice could you give about building a butt?
A: So much of good glue training is just good training for any goal. The body functions better, it feels better, it responds better when our muscles, or our strengths, are in appropriate balance. It's figuring out how to equal the scales first, and then getting the exercises and the sets and reps right.
S: What is your favorite protein smoothie?
A: I am super simple with my smoothies and I have a huge sweet tooth. I use 1.5 servings of Jay Robb chocolate egg white protein, organic peanut butter, and banana. You can put them in any ratio that fits your macros. I'll add in a packet of chia and flax too!
Cedric and I started off our summer at Nick Woolsey's Poi Retreat on Lasqueti Island. Nick is the founder of PlayPoi.com, and we spent a week practicing both Clubbell Yoga and the flow art called Poi in an amazing hand built treehouse like place called Leviathan Studio. Our yoga classes were geared to strengthen and stabilize joints commonly injured in Poi Athletes, specifically; wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
Check out Nick's filmed footage of this class HERE.
Poi spinners spend hours and hours practicing their art form, swinging a tethered rope with a ball over head and around their bodies in 360 degrees. I found the crossover between Circular Strength Training and Poi to be a completely complementary fit, and I am very excited to share this info with anyone interested in injury prevention, even if your sport is something other than poi. I have come to find that I absolutely love swinging poi myself and will be bringing my glow poi to our upcoming Morning Jam Sesh in Bellingham (sunrise yoga & deep house DJ set).
Teaching in the retreat setting was a welcomed change from my normal educational seminars in big cities (New York, Chicago, London, Budapest). The schedule was very relaxed and the students were very open to trying varied classes. We did some fascia work, some Clubbell Yoga Flows and even some partner yoga. This retreat attracted people from all around the world, many from the UK. Nick & I will be meeting up again this November for an intro to Clubbell Yoga workshop, focusing on Shoulder & Hip Mobility... come join us an play. RSVP via the Facebook Event HERE!
A big thank you to Nick for his dedication to Poi and 6D movement. Looking forward to seeing him at our upcoming Vancouver, BC seminar at Engineered Bodies this February. Check out his Udemy course if you would like to learn Poi from home. See you soon Vancouver! Get registered for the workshop if you are a beginner, and decide later on if you are ready for the full seminar. The Workshop is open to the public, and all levels of fitness are welcome. Many people are intimidated to try Clubbell Yoga at first, because they think it may be too hard... but I assure you that you will learn the proper mechanics first. Then learn the poses second.
These poi athletes took a chance on Clubbell Yoga and CST, and their fascia thanked them later. I hope you can gain some of the same benefits by turning out for these educational events. Knowledge is power, and I aim to educate and empower all students to maximize their training and minimize injury.
Most people don't know that my first yoga teaching gig was teaching to Staff & Faculty at Western Washington University at the lunch hour. My Graduate Assistantship was to craft a well rounded wellness program that would encourage staff & faculty to embrace a healthy lifestyle. The most popular program... you guessed it, Yoga! Now, 7 years later, that sapling of a program has been taken over by human resources and taken root, and is an award winning program for Employee Wellness. This was the first time I was able to start a project from the ground up, and fine tune it over a two year period. I realized that I had the option to start "making a living" in wellness, but I wanted more than just to make a living. I wanted it to be my lifestyle.
When I attended WWU, I was really passionate about Wellness (still am), and since then I have had had the opportunity to teach as an Adjunct Professor of Kinesiology, and mentor several interns on their paths. This coming Fall, I will return to WWU to teach a special workshop: Clubbell Yoga for the Kinesiology Student. This is the first time I will be coming back to teach Clubbell Yoga, and I couldn't be more excited... Why you ask?
I am excited to share with the students what I have learned in the last decade of working in the Wellness Industry.
When I was in school, it was really daunting to think about getting out of school to pay back school loans, work 40 hours a week (potentially in an office or walking the floors of a big gym). Not very many people talked about the path of becoming an entrepreneur in the Exercise Science (now Kinesiology) department. We focused on science, writing in the scientific voice, lab studies, research and program design. Now that I am out of college, and have had the opportunity to work for other people and for myself, I can say I much prefer the second. Though you wear many hats working for yourself, the trade off is intellectual and financial freedom. I would love to encourage students to find their own teaching voice and explore many paths of not just "making a living" but instead, "making a life" that you love. One that you look forward to being present in every single day.
Engaged in the movement toward more functional fitness. Mama, entrepreneur, leader, mentor, and co-creator of Clubbell Yoga.
Co-Creator of Clubbell Yoga, Movement & Performance Specialist, Head Coach at RMAX International