It's the simple things. Plus, three ways to help low back pain, ankles sprains, and knee pain

Here we are in the middle of December, and before the year winds down, I wanted to share a story about how even in the midst of complicated logistics and travels, it’s the simple things that can be the most transformative.

As you may know, my husband and I are on a four month traveling sabbatical. We started the trip in Peru and are now in Colombia. The lands and people we have encountered along the way have been magical.
 
Here’s the thing, if you’re like me, it’s sometimes a little too easy to make things complicated and to psych yourself out.
 
For example, excited as I was to start this journey, I was also incredibly scared. And not for common reasons like “what if I get robbed” or “what if I get bit by mosquitoes so badly that no one recognizes me???”

In fact, I truly was afraid that my body would literally fall apart.
 
Cue the appropriate reaction: "What? Why would you think such a thing! You're 35, and healthy!"

Well, I thought that my chronic pain would rear its ugly head without my regular visits to bodyworkers, herbal medicine, and typical workouts.
 
To be vulnerably honest, deep within, I was convinced that there’s something inherently wrong with my body. All these years of getting stronger and smarter about my body through studying and practicing Pilates, Yoga, Strength and Conditioning, Applied Neurology and Sound Healing…a good part of it has been to confront this fear.
 
Of course, at the outset of the trip, it seemed my worst fears were coming true. Chronic pain was definitely talking its talk to me.
 
And then…mountains happened.
 
For the first time in about a decade, my man and I started using our legs as primary locomotion for weeks on end. We walked through new cities and towns, hiked over a 15.5k foot Andean pass, through the jungle to fetch fresh water, and up and down extensively terraced ruins. (Man, the Inca sure knew how to do stairs!)
 
As easy as it is to make things complicated, it turned out that the cure for my pain was simple: I needed to walk with the consistency and intensity that humans were designed for. I needed to get out of my head and let my body do it's thing.
 
This has been a huge lesson in simplicity for me.
 
Now, here’s my two part holiday gift to you—to support simplicity and simple strength in your life.
 
Here’s the first part! (and perhaps the most powerful)

It’s a question for yourself, that only you can answer:
 
“How can I simplify?”
 
Most of us have a little voice inside that is a big fan of simplicity, and is dying to speak its truth. When you find even the littlest ways to simplify your life or your thoughts, your body and mind may just thank you. And that peace of mind can only bring more genuine joy and cheer to the world at this time.
 
Here’s the second part!

Three moves to increase your walking pleasure (and bust a move on cranky hips and low backs). These moves are both a little restful and a little intense, all taken from the Pilates canon.

  1. Leg in strap series

  2. Side lying leg series

  3. Bridge series 

Remember, in the name of simplicity: you don’t have to do all the moves all at once, or even run through all the videos together. Pick what appeals to you and allow for a tangible stretch or burn to accumulate. Allow your body to do its thing.
 
PS: these moves are also great for ankle sprains, and fussy knees. Please forward them to anyone in your life who has issues at those joints.
 
Con amor, simplemente ~
Alissa