In the western society we sit on average a of eight hours. We sit to eat, sit to drive, sit at work and sit to watch TV. Many of us spend more than eight hours sitting. Sitting is now called the new smoking, because it is just as damaging to our bodies, especially if we sit in a bad posture. In the Mayo Clinic article Edward R. Laskowski, MD mentions studies that have identified several health concerns of prolonged sitting including obesity, high blood sugar and excess of body fat. 

We all know it is best for us to move, but many of us work at the office where sitting is required, unless you are on of the lucky ones with a stand-up desk. Our bodies are most happy when we don’t spend too much time in one position. Alternating sitting, standing and walking around is ideal, but if you have to sit, what is the best posture for sitting?

Posture and Myofascial Release Therapy

Postural assessment is essential part of Myofascial Release Therapy. During the first session, I examine a client’s natural posture and suggest adjustments for standing and sitting postures. What many people don’t know is how crucial their daily standing, sitting and sleeping postures are for their bodies’ wellbeing. No amount of Myofascial Release Therapy or any other therapy for that matter will help you get better if you continue with bad postural habits.

Have you ever noticed that most people complain about lumbar/low back pain? If you sit in a C-curve position (slouching) you expose your disks to enormous weight of your upper body in addition to the natural forces of gravity. Our spine functions best when we display natural curves. So-called S-curve is most functional and distributes the weight evenly through the spine and into the legs. If you sit in a C-curve you create enormous amounts of pressure on your lumbar intervertebral discs which in turn can cause bulging and herniated discs. Bulging or herniated discs can pinch nerves creating pain, numbness and tingling. 

So, what is the most efficient way for the body to sit?

Think about stacking your bones and displaying natural curves, S-curve. Try sitting on a blanket or a pillow. You would want the angle of your pelvis and your knees to be at 120 degrees. This will help you display natural lumbar curve. Also, consider sitting more towards the edge of the chair instead of using support for your back. This will help strengthen your back muscles. It might be an effort at first, but it will be worthwhile. Further, you feet should touch the floor and chest needs to be slightly lifted. You can adjust your computer to your eye level to keep your chin parallel to the floor. 

To schedule a Myofascal Release session please click here to see contact info.

Thank you for reading!
Elena Diaz, MFR Therapist, Yoga Instructor 


Join me for a Self-Care Workshop, utilizing Myofascial Release on March 10, 2019 at 10am -1pm at Brahma Shanti Yoga studio in Redding, CA. Let’s learn to alleviate aches, tight knots and muscle tension, improve range of motion, reduce stress and support a healthy and active lifestyle. We will be working on releasing tightness in the feet, hips and shoulders through a combination of gentle yoga, myofascial stretching and myofascial ball techniques! Myofascial work relieves aches, increases circulation and reduces stress. The gentle sustained stretching prompts tissue to change its viscosity allowing it to release. This increases range of motion and decreases pain levels. Self-care promotes good posture and supports a healthy lifestyle. Only 15 spots available! Register today by purchasing tickets at Women of Vision Website  $40 till February 24, $45 there after. Click here to see the facebook event! Hope to see you there! Namaste, Elena  
What is your definition of yoga and flexibility? In today’s world many of us have this idea about yoga and it is usually involves a young, lean and very bendy female doing a pose that looks impossible for most of us. These social media images portray the notion that to do yoga you have to be very flexible. Too many times people have told me that they cannot do yoga because they are inflexible.

Leslie Kaminoff  YouTube video

When Leslie Kaminoff, a world-renowned Yoga Educator was asked what being flexible meant to him, he had a genius response. He replied with this question: “Do you have enough flexibility to live your life? Can you put on socks and shoes, do your job, play with your kids or wash your car?” In yoga we tend to push further and further into our ranges. We need to step back and examine why we are increasing our flexibility. Leslie’s response continued: “Flexibility means to have the available and appropriate range of motion to do the activities in your life without injuring yourself. I do yoga to live my life, not the other way around.”

Reconsider your ideas of flexibility and yoga

This short YouTube video summarizes how I feel about yoga and flexibility. Especially, after studying with Judith Hanson Lasater and Mary Richards  for the past two years I am more than ever focused on strengthening and balance in yoga. Flexibility is only secondary. In fact, the really bendy people are prone to more injuries than the stiff students. If you have a lot of flexibility in your muscles and ligaments chances are you need to do strength training to create stability for your joints.  Of course, if you are unable to put on your socks, then increasing this range might be a good idea for you. So, if you think you are too inflexible to do yoga, please reconsider this thought. I encourage you to contemplate a group yoga class or even a private yoga lesson. If you are brand new to yoga, a few private lessons are often the best option to get you started. Click her to get more info about private yoga lessons. Join me every Tuesday @9am until May 21, 2019 at the Center for Spiritual Living for Yoga for Wellbeing group class where we work on strength, balance and mindfulness. Hope to see you there! Thank you for reading. Namaste, Elena Click here to go to Yoga for Wellbeing facebook event or see flyer below.
Here is the YouTube video of Leslie Kaminoff
Join me for a weekly class at the Center for Spiritual Living in Redding, CA.  In this class, I will be teaching Yoga for Wellbeing every Tuesday at 9am – 10.15am starting January 8 through May 21, 2019. We will be practicing Hatha Yoga which involves longer holds and slower moving transitions. Further, we will also utilize Self Myofascial Release with balls from time to time. This class is ideal for beginners and aging population.  Poses will be performed standing, on the knees and on belly, on the mat. Hope to see you there! Please see more details in the flyer below and check out the event Yoga for Wellbeing on facebook by clicking here. Namaste, Elena Diaz  
Yoga for Bone Health starts on October 16, 2018 at 9am! This four week course is especially beneficial for students with osteoporosis and/or osteopenia. Be ready to practice anatomy informed Hatha Yoga. In these four classes we will gain an understanding of which poses are valuable for strong and healthy bones and practice proper body mechanics. We will also integrate breathing techniques and meditation into our yoga practice! Please join me by registering at Center for Spiritual Living, 1905 Hartnel Ave, Redding, CA and contacting Lorie at 530-221-4849! Feel free to message or call me with any questions regarding these classes at 530-921-1915. Hope to see you there! Please see attached flyer. If you are interested in yoga, but unable to make these classes consider private yoga lessons. Find more info about private yoga lessons by clicking here. Stay updated about future events and offerings by liking my facebook page or following me on instagram.  In gratitude, Elena Diaz CMP, RYT-200
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in February 2016, on the “Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care on Back Pain and Functional Limitations in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain, A Randomized Clinical Trial” that highlighted the importance and effectiveness of yoga and meditation for managing chronic low back pain. The clinical trial was conducted randomized, interviewer-blind in an integrated health care system in Washington State consisting of 342 adults aged 20 to 70 years with chronic low back pain. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups, MBSR (training in mindfulness meditation and yoga), CBT (training to change pain-related thoughts and behaviors) or usual care for chronic low back pain. The results were quite amazing. Participants in groups MBSR (yoga and mediations) and CBT experienced significant improvements in their conditions at 26 weeks compared to the traditional care group. The study concluded that yoga and meditation may be a valuable alternative for treatment of chronic low back pain. If you like to read full article on YAMA site, please click here

Intersted in trying yoga?

There are more and more studies that are coming out confirming the power of yoga and meditation. For us, who have been practicing yoga for a while, it all makes complete sense. Yoga nurtures my body and calms my “monkey” mind down. It has far reaching benefits throughout my life! If you are considering trying yoga, please go to a beginner class or better yet, schedule a couple of private sessions with a knowledgeable yoga teacher. As the popularity of yoga grows, so do the yoga injuries. It is important to practice with care, gentleness, mindfulness and go slow, especially in the beginning. If you follow these guidelines and always listen to your body, you will find yoga to be a positive powerful force in your life! Click here to learn more about yoga and how you can schedule a private yoga session with me In gratitude, Elena Diaz RYT-200

Revolved Crescent Lunge Yoga Pose

The science is finally catching up! The new research calls fascia, the “Interstitium”, the biggest organ of the body. As myofascial release therapists we have been aware of the interconnectivity of the fascial system for many decades, but it is nice to have the science confirm what we have felt under our hands. Further, the scientists were able to discover that fascia is fluid filled and drains into our lymphatic system. They took amazing pictures with laser confocal scanning microscope. The research continues. What role does fascia play in our daily lives?  How does it affect diseases such as cancer? One of my wonderful teachers, Richard Harty PT, a practitioner of John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Therapy for over 25 years has put together this amazing video that includes the newest research.  Enjoy!
To learn more about how your  fascia can be treated with myofascial release therapy click here to schedule a session with Elena Diaz, MFR Therapist, today!  

Now, that it has been a couple of months since I have completed my Yoga Teacher Training I decided to share some of my experiences. The two and a half weeks I spend in Costa Rica were intense physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The jungle was a fascinating place with a family of monkeys living in our proximity and making five am wake-up calls every morning. The sloths hanging, chilling from the trees, the beautiful greenery with most gorgeous flowers and exotic birds everywhere taking your breath away.

One of my main concerns going on this journey was the diet during the training. It was to be all vegetarian Ayurvedic cuisine and being a meat lover I was very nervous. I was pleasantly surprised that I did not miss meat at all and really enjoyed the food our chef prepared for us. It was utterly delicious and motivated me to reduce my meat intake.

Daily, we practiced yoga, learned anatomy, discussed yoga philosophy, workshoped poses, meditated, chanted, danced together and became friends. We completed enlightening exercises on letting go and experienced how intimate a simple eye contact can be.  I feel so much gratitude for have been a part of such wonderful, interesting and loving group of people.

Officially, I am a 200 hour Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher, but I am not quite ready to teach yet. I have decided to attend a couple more trainings in the upcoming months and practice, practice. Stay tuned… Check out a few pics from my journey!

Warmly, Elena

Yoga School

For more info about Yoga offerings please click here  

We all know that proper posture is important, but why is it so important and how does it affect the connective tissue? As stated by American Chiropractor Association benefits of good posture include proper alignment of bones and ligaments which decreases the abnormal wear of joints. Further, proper posture allows the muscles to work efficiently using just the right amount of energy to avoid muscle fatigue and even future back pain. On the other hand, bad posture over time strains muscles, creates fascial restrictions and can results in back pain. The American Chiropractic Association has outlined the proper posture for sitting, standing and sleeping. Please click here for more info.

So, having proper posture is very important stuff for your health. From a fascial (connective tissue) perspective chronic bad posture forces the fascia to anchor the tissue down to support the muscles that are carrying more than their fair share of weight. For example, if a person has a habit of slouching (as you can see in the illustration below) the fascia will adopt itself to this position and create restrictions to support this posture. The connective tissue will shorten and tighten all of the front muscles. The back muscles get overstretched in this position, so the fascia has to lay collagen (very strong substance) to support the load of the head (which weighs about 10% of our body). Once this pattern has been created it feels impossible to have an upright and open shoulder posture. This position overtime produces headaches and neck pain. This is where Myofascial Release Therapy can help. By releasing these holding patterns it allows the client to practice proper posture and feel amazing!

Most of us had the feeling of back pain at some point in our lives. When you overexert yourself in an activity like gardening or exercise or pick up a way too heavy object and feel a twinge in the low back. Many go to the doctor to get drugs to relieve that pain, but now American College of Physicians says try Yoga, or Bodywork first. By starting with alternative treatments you can help your back long term, prevent future injuries and avoid the nasty side effects of the mediations. Especially, Myofascial Release therapy is very powerful in releasing tight muscles and fascia that can anchor down back and create pain. Adding Yoga to your routine keeps these muscles flexible and moving and your back healthy. Read more about this here