This week’s topic is: How to Heal Your Body and Emotions Through Fascia Work with Lauren Roxburgh
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Lauren Roxburgh, who is a best-selling author, wellness expert on all things fascia and body alignment, and founder of the one-stop workout and lifestyle platform The Aligned Life Studio. Listen in as Lauren dives deeper into the connection between our emotional health and fascial blockages and how to start healing holistically.
- Lauren shares the path between being an explorer and rooting into a pathway of her career…
- Fascia work and what this involves…
- Muscles versus connective tissue and where knots reside…
- How feelings and emotions manifest in fascial blockage…
- Starting a kegel morning practice…
- When to use the fascia roller and when to get a regular massage or acupuncture…
- Where to focus our attention when using the roller…
About Lauren Roxburgh
Lauren Roxburgh is an internationally renowned author, wellness educator, leader and inspirational speaker – dubbed “The Body Whisperer.” Roxburgh is the go-to writer and expert on all things holistic body care, fascia, alignment, emotional health and movement medicine. Founder and CCO of the popular ‘Aligned Tribe Collective” community, founder of the virtual Aligned Life Studio wellness platform and the creator of The Body Collection.
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Lauren Roxburgh’s Interview
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Kimberly: 00:03 Hi Beauties, and welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I am super excited for our guest today. Her name is Lauren Roxburgh and she is a wellness expert on all things fascia and body alignment related. She has been dubbed the body whisperer, which is a term that I like very much. She’s written books. She has a one-stop workout and lifestyle platform called the Aligned Life Studio, and she’s also a mama. She’s a lovely person and I relate to her on so many levels and I think you will as well.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly: 00:37 Before we get into our interview though, today I want to give a shout out to our fan of the week. Her name is bec475 and she writes, “I thank you, Kimberly, from the bottom of my heart for sharing your work with the world. I relate to your journey, although I’m not as far as you are, but I know I will get there. Thanks for sharing your practices and knowledge. You’ve helped improve my health so much. Thank you.” Well, bec475, thank you so much. You can’t see me right now, but I have both of my hands on my heart. I really took that in and I appreciate you so much. I am so grateful for our connection and I’m so honored that I can be part of this journey, your journey, my journey, that we’re sharing the journey together, so thank you, thank you so much, sister.
Leave a Review on iTunes
Kimberly: 01:25 So much love and again, so much gratitude, and beauties for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week for me to read your beautiful words, please leave us a review over on iTunes, which could take you a minute. It could literally be a sentence, and it just means so much. It really is just a wonderful way to support the show. From the bottom of my heart, I really thank you for that. Please be sure to subscribe to our show. That way you don’t miss out on any of these interview podcasts with all these amazing guests and also our Thursday show, which is our Q and A community show where we delve into questions right from our community; right from all of our hearts. That show is, to me, equally amazing because it’s really about the whole community, and I love that show as well. All right. All of that being said, let’s get into our interview today with the body whisperer, Lauren Roxburgh.
Interview with Lauren Roxburgh
Kimberly: 00:16 Well, thanks so much for taking time, Lauren. I know that it’s 10:00 AM. First of all, you’re in New Zealand. When we met some events, but we were both in L.A. So this has been a life changed for you.
Lauren: 00:32 Yeah, definitely.
Kimberly: 00:35 What’s going on? Tell us how old your kids are. It was a big deal-
Lauren: 00:39 Totally.
Kimberly: 00:40 Doing the schools across the board.
Lauren: 00:42 I know, right? Well, we’ve always loved living internationally and going. We spent a lot of the time in New Zealand and I actually traveled to New Zealand. Similar to your background, did some traveling after graduating from university and just wanting to explore the world and get to know different wellness practices and that type of thing. And one of the places I went to, which I fell in love with, was New Zealand. So that was when I was in my early 20s. And I just really enjoyed the people, the way they really look after the planet and look after each other. And I think it imprinted something into my spirit, into my heart. And then 15 years later, or 10 years later, I met my husband, who’s a Kiwi.
Kimberly: 01:27 Oh, wow.
Lauren: 01:27 I’ve always wanted to spend time and I’m down here and why not with the kid’s young and everything.
Kimberly: 01:34 Oh, so you didn’t actually meet your husband in New Zealand. You met-
Lauren: 01:37 I know.
Kimberly: 01:38 Across the world and then you’re-.
Lauren: 01:38 Yeah. We met in L.A. and he was working on some film projects and he was in that industry. He was living in L.A. for three years before we met, and then he ended up staying for 13 years as we’ve been together for 10 years.
Kimberly: 01:53 Wow. How old are the babies now? You’ve two little girls.
Lauren: 01:57 I know it’s crazy. They’re similar to your kids, I think age wise, maybe a little older. So our older one is seven and then our younger one is three, almost four in May.
Kimberly: 02:09 Oh, cute
Lauren: 02:10 Little ones. It’s a good time to build that resilience and give them a life experience and adventure. And also to help them feel connected to two different communities because they feel really strongly connected to L.A., in our community there, but also it’s nice for them to have something a little bit different than the L.A. paced lifestyle too.
Kimberly: 02:32 I agree. I think that these experiences are great for kids, and our older one is five. And so he wasn’t in school for a while, but now he’s in this nature program where they go to different channels, a couple of times and they make journal and they find plants. And you realize when you take something like that, “Oh,” because otherwise it would be preschool, which is great too. But this is an alternative that felt good to us, it’s safe, it’s outside.
Lauren: 02:57 Wow. That’s cool.
Kimberly: 02:58 So nature [inaudible 00:03:00]. So and then you’ll cover up more traditional kindergarten setting, but yeah.
Lauren: 03:04 Yeah. But this period now, from zero to seven, when their subconscious mind is forming and so many things are starting to develop with even just emotional intelligence and that empathy and the compassion and the love and that feeling of collaboration and connecting is so important. Especially with the way the world has just been so busy and everything going on in the world. So giving those roots is so important.
Kimberly: 03:28 Exactly. Exactly. And speaking os roots, and also being unrooted, I love that you mentioned your backpack too. And I get this question, Lauren. I wonder if people say to you, “Oh, how do you create your career and how did you get to where you are?” And when people ask me that, I say, “You know what, I didn’t plan anything.” I went back-
Lauren: 03:48 Totally?
Lauren shares the path between being the explorer and rooting into a pathway of her career
Kimberly: 03:48 And then I started taking one step at a time. And for you, I love this nickname is the Body Whisper, Wyman fascia work, which I want to get into, but when you were starting out and just a little young lady backpacking the world, tell us the path between that being the explorer and rooting into a pathway of your career.
Lauren: 04:14 Ooh, I love that juicy question. Well, actually it started even prior to that, when I was 16, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. And she was only in her late 40s and I was quite young and going through my own changes in my own life and everything. And so it really just put me on this path and I think you and I have so many similar beliefs in the way the world works. It’s like we want all the medicines to be a part of it, integrative medicine. It’s not like we want just one or the other. But I was disappointed at the time with Western medicine because I would drive my mom to go get this chemo drip at Stanford University, one of the best universities in the world for cancer research and whatnot.
Lauren: 04:55 And they would put her on the drip for, which is basically poison, for a whole day. And I would just kept asking the doctor, so where does cancer come from and how does it develop especially in someone that you look at, is so beautiful and young and vibrant? And they were like, “Well, it’s environmental and it’s genetic. And also we don’t really know.” So I was like, “Okay, there’s this little piece here that I can explore and dig into in my own way.” And I thought, “Oh, maybe I’ll be a doctor.” But then I realized they didn’t have all the answers. So I wanted to just go and just devoured like Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra and all of the mind-body spiritual leaders at the time. And again, I was super young and my mom was into that stuff. She was into yoga and things like that, but she never… You know how those people that are interested in it and get the concept, but they never really quite embodied it. So she was kind of about that.
Kimberly: 05:51 It’s kind of dabbling in the-
Lauren: 05:53 Yeah, dabbling. Exactly. And not really making a part of her essence. And so the fact that that was open for me as an open door, it was there and then I started exploring and researching, and then I just decided to go and study. I studied nutrition and exercise physiology at UC Santa Barbara. And I got really into anatomy. And nutrition was my first passion, actually, in the wellness space, because to me, it was the easiest thing to change very quickly.
Kimberly: 06:22 Exactly. And it’s been like that for most people. For me too, it’s a pathway to [inaudible 00:06:26] to eat every day. You don’t have to exercise every day, but unless you’re-
Lauren: 06:31 It’s true.
Kimberly: 06:32 So that becomes dramatic-
Lauren: 06:33 Totally.
Kimberly: 06:34 But it’s not the end, it’s the beginning.
Lauren: 06:36 Yeah, natural progression. So yeah, and then the nutrition ended up, I played sport, I played water polo and swam, was pretty competitive at university. And then I always had that… You know how we have our gifts, so it was like that was my gift, to be able to have that physicality, to be super aware of my body and the connections and have this real kinesthetic sensory connection. I was never amazing at school, but I was always really good with the hands-on. So I think that’s where the Body Whisper nickname comes from, because I can look at someone and just explain what’s going on to them physically, structurally, but also emotionally too. And that became a gift. It was like another sense, if you will.
Lauren: 07:22 So just having this really deep awareness than my kinesthetic, this kinesthetic connection to my hands, but also to just level of intuition, probably like you, you can see someone and you can notice the difference in their skin by, or you can see what maybe they’re lacking in their body and that’s intuitive, but it’s also, my dad would always call it educated intuition because we’ve studied this stuff and we have the knowledge behind the intuition as well.
Fascia work and what this involves
Kimberly: 07:53 And especially once you start working with so many different bodies, you start to see patterns, you start to see crossover. So that’s interesting. So in this world, Lauren, we’re sitting at a desk a lot, me especially, writing book. Most people’s bodies, I would imagine, you’re the expert here, but I would imagine most people’s bodies are out of alignment in some way. And can you tell us a little bit about your work? You work with different modalities. I know you do fascia work, about rolling, talk about movement. So let’s say anyone listening, they’re like, “Yeah, my neck always hurts and I am…” or, “My phone, what do we do about it?” Because it’s confusing.
Lauren: 08:37 I know.
Kimberly: 08:38 Have you ever had a fascia roller? I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what to do with it. So it sits there and sometimes I roll, but we don’t know what to do.
Lauren: 08:46 No, it’s very common. I think so many people either have access to it or have a roller and they don’t know what to do with it. So that’s actually why I created all these programs. The way it worked is, in my 20s, that started, the catapult was the traveling, the backpacking and then also realizing that I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle and go into a regular job. I was like, “I’m just too physical. I need to be doing something that is my passion and my purpose.” And I just knew that at a very young age. And so I studied all these different modalities, like Thai Yoga massage, obviously lots of different types of yoga. Pilates was a big one for me. And then that’s when I started working with a lot of professional athletes because it was when Pilates was just becoming more of a thing, a lot of the celebrities were doing it, a lot of the pro-athletes were doing it, to give them that extra edge.
Lauren: 09:35 And then the one that really clicked for me was when I started studying structural integration, which was developed by a woman named Ida Rolf and some people call it Rolfing. And you probably haven’t done before. There’s lots of amazing people in L.A. I can recommend you to go to, and the Palisades too. So Rolfing, Ida Ralph was pretty amazing. In the 1960s, she was a rocket scientist and she studied how the human body was relating to gravity. And in her studies, she discovered fascia in the Western world. Of course, fascia was there the whole time and a lot of ancient wisdoms knew about it and Chinese medicine and Ayurveda and those kinds of things. But it was really in that time when she created the system, because she created this formula of a 10 series of sessions.
Lauren: 10:22 So you’re addressing all the different areas of the body. So you’re looking at the feet and how the structure and the joints line up and then how the connective tissue holds you up, the scaffolding. So people don’t know what fascia is. I always like to give the quick little spiel, it’s basically this amazing webbing. It’s a fascial matrix. It’s almost like this full body wet suit that wraps around your entire body from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. And within the fascial matrix, picturing it almost like a saran wrap. Okay. So that’s a healthy fascia. Our babies have this healthy, stretchy, hydrated saran wrap essentially. And what happens as we age and as we deal with gravity and injuries and emotional stuff and stress and trauma, that tissue can become thick, brittle and dried up.
Lauren: 11:13 And so what happens is, you’re not going to be getting circulation and blood flow. And this is all scientifically validated. As we know now, there was the first fascial Congress that was held in Germany in 2010. So that’s when basically brought the holistic world and the medical world together in this Congress and they started realizing the connection and there was so much more science behind it. And now we know that our fascial matrix, what lies in our fascial matrix, which I think you love too, is our lymph nodes, our nerves and our chi. So our meridians are in our fascia.
Lauren: 11:49 So you can imagine, it’s super important for immunity, for flushing toxins, for even releasing emotional energy and also rinsing your body. So I always say we have to have some sort of stress hygiene or emotional hygiene because essentially it’s the same thing as brushing our teeth. I always think of that thick, hard, dense plasticized brittle fascia, almost like an internal task within the body. And so the body, if it has those knots, when you think of knots, it’s not in the muscle, it’s in the connective tissue in the fascia. And so when there are those knots and that density, the blood can’t flush through, the lymph can’t go through, the immune cells can’t go through. So yeah, it’s so important.
Kimberly: 12:35 Okay. So Lauren, go back to that for a second, because I feel like we always talk about muscles. And we talk about not wanting to get massages for our muscles. And I feel like in the past few years, this whole fascia conversation, as you mentioned, everybody’s talking about fascia. And 10 years ago, this conference was, over 10 years ago, but before that, I don’t think I ever heard my parents, for instance, ever say the word fascia. It wasn’t part of the vernacular. It wasn’t part of the conversation. So it’s always-
Lauren: 13:03 So true.
Muscles versus connective tissue and where knots reside
Kimberly: 13:04 So first of all, how do they come back in if it’s always been there? And secondly, and a different point, we were talking about the knots. It’s not muscles, it’s either we get muscle knots or it’s separate.
Lauren: 13:19 Exactly.
Kimberly: 13:20 You’re saying the wrong thing all along.
Lauren: 13:22 Okay. No, no, I’m so glad you brought this up. I always say in the saran wrap, so the saran wrap wraps around your whole body, right underneath your skin and above the muscle. So it’s like a saran wrapping around the muscle, but around the whole system, the wetsuit, but then we also have fascia that wraps around each individual muscle and it also wraps around our organs as well. And it attaches our joints. So all of those aspects are incredibly important because what happens is, again, as we age or we have these movement patterns or we’re sitting too much or hunting too much, or we have an injury or some sort of trauma, a lot of times the fascia will glue down in one particular area and it will start, if these were five muscles, I’m holding my hand up for people that are just listening, but you would think of it like this, the fingers would close in and then all of a sudden you’d have this big, chunky bunch of muscles wrapped around the connect, or connective tissue wrapped around it. And then it would just be this big, heavy, thick chunk of density in your body.
Lauren: 14:23 And so your muscles aren’t able to do what they’re supposed to do organically and naturally. So you tend to have these compensations. But the beautiful thing about fascia, I want everyone to know, is it’s so incredibly malleable. Within minutes, it can change its shape. It’s like this liquid crystal that can be reshaped. And what fascia really loves is just pressure. It loves pressure. So that’s why I use the roller and all the rolling tools or the mat or breath work or inversions or twists. It just needs that pressure. Then when you release the pressure, the hydration of the connect of the fluid comes back into the tissue and then all of a sudden, those knots start to become, instead of a big rock in your body, it’s turning into a little pebble and then little bits of stone and then your body flushes it through.
Lauren: 15:11 Because a lot of times toxins get stuck in those knots as well. Actually, what’s inside the knot is this white pus. I’ve actually talked to surgeons about this, that cut them open, and what they find is a lot of times that knot will squirt out literal toxins and it’s really smelly. It’s mucousy stuff that’s just stuck. So you can imagine with everything you do, with what you’re eating and with all the amazing things that you recommend, with nutrition and the supplements you have are amazing, by the way, I’m loving your digestive enzymes, they are phenomenal.
Kimberly: 15:46 Thank you. So you’ve probably tried them.
Lauren: 15:48 Yeah. They’re so cool.
Kimberly: 15:52 That makes me so happy. They give you-
Lauren: 15:53 Of course.
Kimberly: 15:55 Let me say, I’m picturing this density in the body and from a cellular standpoint, are the cells overturning more similarly to, let’s say, organ tissue or is it more dense like bone, where you can work and make it more malleable, but that fascia is the fascia that you’re going to have for seven years or something.
Lauren: 16:17 Yeah. So it’s more like, if it builds up in calcifies, turns in, I always say aging is a form of dehydration. So it’s really this dehydrated tissue that if you think of like a sponge that was dried up, that’s essentially what’s happening. As you’re getting these dried up sponges and then that glues the muscles together and even the organ sometimes too, and then you’re losing that malleability or that flexibility or fluidity in the system. And so it’s really important for digestion, for elimination, obviously for joint mobility and range of motion in your joints and flexibility. I mean, I know for me, from playing water polo and swimming for all those years, I get the buildup in my inner thighs and my hamstrings and even up into the pelvic floor, which is why I wrote the book, The Power Source, which is about the pelvic floor and the tension that’s built in there.
Lauren: 17:10 Because a lot of times we don’t realize that we’re subconsciously clutching and white knuckling our way through life. And that sends a signal through the nervous system from the jaw, that’s the cranial sacral connection, from the jaw to the pelvic floor, through the spinal cord. So you have the cerebral spinal fluid inside the spinal cord, and that gets slowed down and congested as well with this tension and tightness in the nervous system. So when people ask me how do I get to the root of helping my connective tissue, it’s really addressing the nervous system. So taking magnesium, meditating, doing yoga, doing breath work. And of course what you’re eating is so incredibly important, but even more important than what you’re eating is how your body is absorbing those nutrients. So if you are hard and dense and thick, and you’re having negative thought patterns and anger, you’re not going to absorb those nutrients as beautifully as if your body is fluid and flowing.
Lauren: 18:07 And you have that juice, it’s basically like that idea of juicing your system or wringing out your tissue, like we would juice our vegetables. It’s like we want to juice ourselves and keep things moving and fluid. That’s where vitality lies. Is in that movement. It’s the congestion that gets the thickness and the density in those knots that buildup. I always picture it like this Fest pool, this congestion of energy, it’s probably emotions, it’s toxins. And so it’s super important that we continue to move our body in all the different ranges of motion, working the body. That’s why I’m not a big fan of spin because it’s so linear.
Kimberly: 18:51 Yes.
Lauren: 18:52 We need to side bend. We need to flow. We need to twist. We need to invert. And yeah, so I know it’s all the stuff that you do too.
Kimberly: 18:59 No, I love the nonlinear movement.
Lauren: 19:01 Yeah.
Kimberly: 19:03 Hold on a little bit. My analytical brain, thinking about actual fascia, because bones, I think your teeth, it’s seven years, the dentin starts to repair. We know our liver replaces over seven years or eight years or whatever.
Lauren: 19:18 I see what you’re saying.
Kimberly: 19:19 The skin cells are 28 days, 25 days. So I’m saying this fascia, it has all this energy in it. How long does it take to actually replace the fascia system, the new cells coming in? Do you know what am asking?
Lauren: 19:32 It’s about the same as skin.
Kimberly: 19:33 Okay.
Lauren: 19:33 It’s about the same as skin.
Kimberly: 19:35 So it’s almost monthly.
Lauren: 19:38 Oh yeah. But you’ll feel the difference when you address it, most likely immediately because you’re working with this. You know how they call the skin our largest organ, right?
Kimberly: 19:48 Yes.
Lauren: 19:49 Well, fascia is now being called an organ as well. So it’s the next layer down, an organ, and it’s our sensory organ. So it’s where we feel everything because our nerves are in there. And as far as what, how it regenerates, it’s very similar to skin. It’s the same thing with our skin. We need that juice, we need that fluidity coming in to get that lift, that circulation. Yeah.
Kimberly: 20:15 Yes. So Lauren, when I started out, I did talk about food so much in the beginning. My first two books were really efficient focused, and then it started expanding because I got my diet dialed in. I was like-
Lauren: 20:26 Totally.
Kimberly: 20:27 “I still have insomnia. And I still have anxiety, all this stuff.” So then my third book started going to food cravings, the mind, chakras. And saw the fourth book with [inaudible 00:20:36] with a lot of Ayurveda. Fifth book, perfectionism, but the fifth book had a lot of research about bloating and inflammation with the mind and mind patterns. And so our cornerstones now, Lauren, our food, body, emotional, wellbeing and spiritual growth. And what I have found is if we, nor one or two, we hyper fixate, we tend to. So we’re not in touch with our feelings or emotions, we tend to distract or it doesn’t feel good, we may obsess about our diet or we obsess about exercise.
How feelings and emotions manifest in fascial blockage
Kimberly: 21:08 So from your standpoint, because you’re working so much with a body and you’ve talked about breath work and you’ve talked about this, tell us how, from a fascia perspective, emotions, and we know that affects the nervous system, of course, but how our feelings and our emotions manifest in fascial blockage.
Lauren: 21:27 Oh, it’s such a good one. I mean, it’s hard to pinpoint. I’ve been asked a few times, “Well, where does grief lie?” Because it can live in different areas in different bodies, depending on, again, where people have the congestion. So if they’re more susceptible to pooling energy in certain areas, if someone is more of a hunched over person, then their heart tends to be more closed. Maybe they feel more depressed, they might feel a sense of feeling defeated. And so those energies can get stuck if we’re in that hunch. Now I know in the modern world, we all need to be in that hunch for a period of the day. So to me it’s all about just finding that time to just undo the day and undo the congestion or the buildup or the plaque.
Lauren: 22:22 So that could mean just getting up and laying on the roller, doing a few diaphragm expansions, laying on the roller a long way, letting gravity put you back into alignment and that type of thing. But a lot of what happens too is, in the pelvic floor, which I’ve worked with a lot of pro athletes and people that are on camera in the pelvic floor area, because it’s an area where we tend to, like I was saying, clutch and bear down and subconsciously hold in a lot of our fear, and then that will have that impact on the nervous system and really bring us into more of a contracted energy. And the idea of being balanced and being a healthy human and thriving is to be able to be both the masculine, the feminine, the doing and the being and the contraction and the expansion. We need to do both to really thrive.
Lauren: 23:13 That’s that whole idea of light and dark and those kinds of things, but the pelvic floor, a lot of times can happen. It can be sexual trauma, can get stuck in that area. Lower back stuff can be, as everyone kind of knows, generally, a lot of times financial or survival. It’s the root chakra. It can be just the fear of your family, your circumstances, being able to pay the bills, it’s that primal instincts. And then as we work our way up the body, we start going into the organs and that’s about sensuality. And a lot of times people have this self-loathing about their stomach. And so as they start to lift that, those negative emotions and it’s crazy, I mean, I know you’ve seen it, people literally lose weight when they shift their emotional connection to their body and start loving themselves more.
Kimberly: 24:03 Oh, well, I’ve noticed such a big difference in myself, Lauren. Honestly, I used to work out and be really sensitive about my stomach and that’s one of the reasons I invented the digestive enzymes and all these products.
Lauren: 24:14 Yeah. They’re amazing.
Kimberly: 24:16 I’ve shed a lot of emotional holding and it’s just made a big difference in my stomach being flat without [inaudible 00:24:25], but I don’t do crunches or sit ups like I used to.
Lauren: 24:28 I know.
Kimberly: 24:28 It’s amazing how much energetic, the shifts of energy manifest visibly. And if-
Lauren: 24:36 And that’s the big one.
Kimberly: 24:37 The results are there so you can see it.
Lauren: 24:41 I know. So we’re practicing what we preach and I’m just like you. I mean, I was in that pro-athlete almost space for a long time and it was all about the force and the pushing through and the making it happen and training six hours a day and that kind of thing. And there’s not much joy in that. And so I don’t think it’s sustainable for a lifetime. And so that’s really what it’s all about for me, is being able to have a sense of connection and sensuality and pleasure and enjoyment, and tapping into our senses and opening ourselves up to the unknown and the potentials that come from, maybe not knowing everything, just letting go of that control.
Lauren: 25:21 And I think, like you, I used to do a ton of crunches and work too much. It was over-training. And the beauty is, you don’t need to do that much, you’re a living example of it. And it’s just like we need people to believe this, to really, like I was saying earlier, embody it and really don’t question it, just go dive straight into it because it works.
Kimberly: 25:43 It works. And so what I’m so passionate about is saying go wider, these four cornerstones, look at the emotional and the spiritual part. You don’t you don’t need to go deeper and deeper into food, you have a certain level of knowledge in your food patterns, your dietary, schedule is pretty good, go wider.
Lauren: 26:03 Yeah. I love that.
Kimberly: 26:03 And so we’ll be talking about the pelvic floor more, Lauren, because it’s [inaudible 00:26:06] when your shoulders are tense. And those of us that have had children, we’ve gone through such enormous shifts in that whole region. And so when I’m listening to you, when you talk about clenching down there, I don’t know if we’re clenching. You know what I mean? It’s more subtle, it’s a deeper attunement to your body then say-
Lauren: 26:24 You’re right.
Kimberly: 26:25 Like half muscles tight.
Lauren: 26:27 Totally. And so true. Well, I have actually quite a few of really good neural muscular reconnection, re-patterning videos, that I teach in my Aligned Life Studio and then also in the book. And then it does take another level of it’s deepening that awareness. Visually you have to obviously use your brain to tune in and people have been talking about kegels forever. And really it’s not about just the squeeze. It’s actually about the release as well. Like I was saying earlier, it’s not just the contraction, but it’s about the expansion and that’s where the contraction is important. Just like we need the control and the doing aspect in the masculine. But then the expansion is like the flower blooming. It’s about surrender energy.
Lauren: 27:15 So I do, like I said, a visualization would be like, you can even do it with me right now if you want, we can. Close your eyes. And just sit comfortably on both sitz bones. And then I always do the visualization of it to help people understand where it is and what’s happening. So picturing like a hammock of muscles, that’s the base of your core. Sometimes they call it your pelvic core. And it basically attaches your sitz bones, your pubic bone and your tailbone. So you can picture it very circularly. And it’s lots of layers of muscles and tissues. And if it wasn’t there, your organs would literally drop out of you. Okay. So with this hammock of muscles, feel the expansion in the space as you’re sitting there. And as you’re sitting there, you’ll feel the earth energy start to come up into the base of the core, the pelvic floor. And that’s the mother earth, the feminine energy.
Lauren: 28:08 And then while you’re here, we’ll just do a little contraction. Some people would call it a kegel. I like to call it a rosebud. So think of squeezing your rosebud, pulling it up into your organs, hold it there for three, two, one, and then slowly let it drop down open and expand like a flower blooming. So your rose is blooming now. And then notice how you want to take a deep breath when it’s open. Good. And then you can start integrating your breath into it. So go ahead, and as you pull everything in and up, you’re going to squeeze, pull it up. It’s almost like you’re holding your breath a little bit.
Kimberly: 28:49 Yeah.
Lauren: 28:50 And then as you inhale, you’re going to feel the flower expand and bloom. So now you’ve got a little more of a visual, like a mind/body connection of what it looks like, where it is in your body and how to contract it and relax it. And so you can slowly open your eyes. And so basically as you start to… I used to tell my clients, “Every time you’re at a stop sign, just do one or two and it’ll just start turning on something in your brain.” And then you’ll start noticing, like, let’s say you get that stressful phone call or you’re in the car and you’re in traffic, and you’re noticing like, “Oh my God, I’m squeezing my pelvic floor. And I’m holding my jaw because they’re so connected. I’m clenching my jaw and maybe I’m even squeezing my knuckles,” and you’re noticing this contracted energy. And actually the thing is the contracted energy doesn’t change the situation at all. All it does is make us suffer more.
Kimberly: 29:44 Yes.
Lauren: 29:45 There’s times we need it. Maybe when we’re running away from a tiger or a lion, but we don’t need it all the time. So just having the awareness of being in more of that surrender energy is so incredibly empowering. And then the body can do its healing magic.
Kimberly: 30:00 Lauren, I love that exercise. What I noticed for me was it felt a little like jerky. [inaudible 00:30:08] just release words. When I’m moving, I like to think that I move in a more fluid way. I know I’m doing yoga, but is that come from not focusing on it. It was like, “Okay, I’m contracted.” And then the blooming didn’t feel like this beautiful blooming.
Lauren: 30:23 Yeah. It’s just like any other exercise or workout. It’s like a new kind of, I always say, it’s like getting bambi legs. You’re like, “Oh, well, there it is.” And now you can bring it in to all your workouts. So you can bring it in. And especially when we get and sit on the squishy ball, it even gives you more of a sensory… It’s like when you have that kinesthetic touch, it really helps people tune into it even more like, “Oh, that’s where it is.” It’s one thing to visualize it, but then you add the squishy ball and you sit on it and you can really feel that that sort of circular three-dimensional hammock of muscles touching down into the ball and then you can feel them pulling up. And so then you can start contracting and relaxing. So if I would recommend even just doing it like 10 times a day. Maybe you do it right before you meditate and you’re starting to pump that cerebral spinal fluid.
Lauren: 31:13 That’s the other thing, when you’re doing those kegels ore those contract/relax flower blooming exercises, you’re pumping that fluid even more to help your body to feed the brain and then to flush the toxins out of the brain through the spinal cord. So that’s how the body through our breath and through doing movement obviously is how we get the fluids moving to. So doing about 10 of those on the squishy ball. And then you can add like… You’re sitting cross-legged and you can do spine circles, which starts massaging the organs as well. Excuse me, let me just grab some water.
Kimberly: 31:49 So Lauren, this is going to be a funny question, but I should know the answer to this. I don’t like to use the word should.
Lauren: 31:55 No, please.
Kimberly: 31:56 Women are the only ones that can do kegels?
Lauren: 32:00 Oh, I love that you asked this. When I wrote about it on Goop for the first time, I got so many people asking, “Do you guys have pelvic floors?” And yes, 100%. The guys actually-
Kimberly: 32:13 So it’s the same way. Okay.
Lauren: 32:14 I’m telling you. And the guys, oh my gosh! They get so excited because they have more flexibility in their hamstrings. They have less lower back pain. But the other best thing that the guys love is they have more control in the bedroom between the sheets because they have, again, turn on in neuromuscular connection and they can hold the energy so they can go longer in bed, which is really cool.
Kimberly: 32:42 Wow.
Lauren: 32:42 A lot of the pro athletes love that and they can jump higher. They feel more connected to their feet. Again, more flexibility, range of motion. I mean, the list goes on with… It’s like a super power when we tap into this area of our body.
Starting a kegel morning practice
Kimberly: 32:55 So let’s get real practical for a minute, because people ask me, “Well, what do I do? How do I get started?”
Lauren: 33:00 Yeah.
Kimberly: 33:01 Start with a morning practice. And then I list out with the probiotics and this meditation going green smoothie. So let’s say anyone listening to this is like, “I’m already super busy and I don’t have any more time.” And the kegel exercises, the fascia rolling, what’s the most important thing? Let’s say someone has 10 minutes a day to focus on some of your work and some of your practices.
Lauren: 33:22 I love it. I mean, you can do, like I was saying… Oh, sorry, go ahead.
Kimberly: 33:26 One more question. I love to lay it onto you. You said it builds up through the day. So if you could also [inaudible 00:33:34], do we want to stay open in the morning or is it releasing at the end of the day, the timing of your most important practice?
Lauren: 33:41 I mean, honestly, I would say the best thing you can do is to do a little bit, so five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening, and you can literally do it at the same time, like a multitask. Sometimes I’ll do a little bit of either sitting on the ball contract/relax pelvic floor if I’m in the infrared sauna or while I’m meditating, or I’ll jump on the ball to do some belly massaging the night before I go to sleep at night, if I want to really allow my guts to do some of that healing. The squishy ball is literally, I think it is my favorite tool besides the big roller, because you can do this amazing organ massage as well as the pelvic floor massage. And you can lay on it and unwind the tension of the day, but starting out, people always ask, “When should I roll?”
Lauren: 34:30 You definitely want to do it in the morning before you do another workout. And even if that means that you’re doing less of your workout, you’re going to be doing your workout more efficiently with more hydration in your connective tissue, more appropriate receptive connection to the different muscles, more awareness. You’re going to be turning off the muscles that are overworked and turning on the ones that have weakened or maybe gotten dense and thick from the tissue on top. So you’re going to get more out of your workout if you roll a little bit before. And then of course I do love to do the rolling a little bit before bed, again, too. Because whenever we work with our fascial system, our sensory organ, which means whenever we’re rolling or doing more yin work, we’re actually tapping into the nervous system we’re tapping into the parasympathetic.
Lauren: 35:16 Especially in the evening before bed, I always say having a light dinner is really great for the body to restore the tissue, the connective tissue, but then doing a little bit of rolling out to undo the day. Undo the hunch and get your body more aligned for when you sleep, because then your body can do its rejuvenation while you sleep at night. So it’s very powerful.
Kimberly: 35:38 So a few minutes in the morning, a few minutes at night, it’s better to space it out. So we’re not-
Lauren: 35:43 I think so. And then of course I recommend for cardio, because it’s so good for the limp and for the energy system, is obviously the rebounder. Bouncing on the rebounder is so phenomenal for pelvic floor health as well. If someone has a lot of pelvic floor issues, you definitely want to start slow, talk to your doctor, of course. But little by little, they have done some research in Germany that just gently bouncing, not jumping, but gently bouncing on the rebounder can be very helpful because it naturally helps your pelvic floor contract and relax. So it regenerates the tone.
Kimberly: 36:19 Wow.
Lauren: 36:20 You actually don’t have to even think about it. It just happens. It’s just what’s happening when you’re working with the gravitational force, the G-Force of a rebounder. Do you have a rebounder? I picture you bouncing.
Kimberly: 36:29 I was a big bouncer for a while, I think before I had kids Lauren. Sometimes I would [inaudible 00:36:35], but I loved it. But then my practice has changed when I had a really serious art center practice. And then when my mom passed away suddenly I felt like… That was the moment it was when my older son was one, so four years ago.
Lauren: 36:51 Oh, wow.
Kimberly: 36:52 That moment I literally said I need to ground myself. So I started doing barefoot [inaudible 00:36:57].
Lauren: 36:57 I love that.
Kimberly: 36:58 And now we moved to Topanga, so I’m in the mountains and I do a walk. So the last four years, I think less poses and just being outside for me because I needed that.
Lauren: 37:09 I love that.
Kimberly: 37:09 I’ll get back to the rebounder. It’s been a few years, but I am sold on the benefits. I know it’s so great for your [inaudible 00:37:15] moving toxins, [inaudible 00:37:17]. And I didn’t know about the pelvic floor benefit [inaudible 00:37:21].
Lauren: 37:22 Yeah. And I don’t look at it like a lot of the workouts out there are very Jane Fonda and step aerobics on there. And that is definitely not how I like… I like that thing like more of this holistic healing tool of regeneration. Again, getting the congestion to flush through. Even Tony Robbins gets on before he does a speech just to get the fluids going. Because he’s a big believer in fascia work and alignment and structural work. So even like one or two minutes between calls. You were asking how do we get out of this kind of hunch if we’re on zooms or calls or you’re doing your podcasts and whatnot? It’s really helpful just to get on there and wiggle it out, and not do like 30 minutes on there, but just using it as a few minutes here and there.
Kimberly: 38:06 Oh, I love that. Yeah. I’m [inaudible 00:38:08] micro-practices too, because sometimes it’s like I can’t spend 30 minutes meditating.
Lauren: 38:15 Totally.
Kimberly: 38:15 I can do three minutes or five minutes. And throughout the day, I like to do many meditations to rebalance.
Lauren: 38:20 I could not agree more by the way, sweetie. Literally, I think that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about making these huge commitments. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to do a few deep breaths right now. And then I’m going to do my affirmations here and there. I’m going to do my dry brushing.” I have a little sequence that I have people do, which is dry brush, jump on your roller for five minutes, then balance for five minutes and then jump in either your hot shower or about their sauna, and then a cold shower at the end. And it sounds like a lot of things, but it’s things you would probably already be doing, but you realize, “Okay, if I do them in this sequence then actually they really work like a ritual.”
When to use the fascia roller and when to get a regular massage or acupuncture
Kimberly: 38:59 Yeah. So I hesitate to use the word replace, but do you find if someone keeps on top of their fascia rolling, is it that all the time they replace is regular massages or say regular acupuncture or do you layer those practices on top? Because sometimes it’s like, I can’t do everything. I don’t have time. And I love to get massages. I didn’t during this whole COVID period, but I missed them.
Lauren: 39:25 I know.
Kimberly: 39:26 But just in-between or can it, not replaced, but if you keep your body loose, maybe you don’t get to that breaking point that I feel sometimes where I’m like, “I have to get a massage or I’m going to die.” I’ve been holding this [inaudible 00:39:38].
Lauren: 39:39 I know I love this question. So I’m a big believer in all holistic modalities, healing modalities, 100%. I love hands-on things. That’s how I started my career. There’s nothing that beats the power of touch. There is nothing. I mean, there’s all that science with like preemie babies. I did a lot of research in that when I was writing both of my books and here’s the way I look at it. It’s like we brush our teeth, we floss our teeth, but then we go to the dentist. We go to the dentist to be preventative, but we also go to the dentist if we have something wrong. So I look at it like that where it’s really like it’s just as important as brushing your teeth. It literally is, because it’s emotional hygiene, but it’s getting the stuff that’s just stuck. That stuck stuff is what creates the… It lowers the vibration of our body. It increases inflammation and then it creates an environment for dis-ease.
Lauren: 40:36 So in order for us to be more… And because of my mom and obviously you’re in a very similar position. My mom passed away when I was 32. And so I live my life in prevention because to me, I witnessed her and her struggle and her dis-ease and I saw it, and it was like this gift that the universe gave me in order to… I mean, that’s the way I have to look at it. It’s like a reframe. Of course, I want my mom back, but it was a beautiful gift to see her experience and witness what she went through and to go, “I am going to help people not have to go through this and I want to help people know their body. And so I’ll be the guinea pig. I’ll try anything, and I’ll experiment. And then I will only give what I really believe truly works authentically, and what I actually do,” just like you.
Lauren: 41:26 We are living what we teach. We are embodying what we teach and that is the most important thing. And there’s a lot of people in the wellness world right now. It’s a lot of junk food out there that’s not real. And so it’s just really important to have discernment and to know who the real people, I think, to take your advice from.
Kimberly: 41:46 What I love about your work as well. First of all, as a student of Aryuveda, I love this whole [inaudible 00:41:52] part of Aryuveda that says, “The number one rejuvenative practice is [inaudible 00:41:56], is self massage.
Lauren: 41:58 I love that.
Kimberly: 41:59 And we also live in this world as you know of biohacking and so many devices and so much outside of ourself, when people start to think, “Oh, I need this, and I need to buy…” We have three supplements at Solluna that support your overall digestion or enzymes, [inaudible 00:42:17] or cleanser and our probiotics. I don’t believe in taking a billion different things. But anyways, that’s it. Your work as a physical touch, is we’re like, “Oh, is that it?” Because there’s a simplicity to it and it’s available, but we forget how powerful the simple is. And we don’t need all this stuff. Society and social media sometimes makes us think we need to buy all this stuff, but actually it’s back to basics and supporting our own body’s intelligence is powerful.
Lauren: 42:48 It’s so true. That’s beautiful. That’s exactly it. I mean, honestly, the only reason I created the rollers is because I knew that it would be something people could do on the daily, and actually create the ritual around it. And they buy the product once and they have it.
Kimberly: 43:04 Oh, yeah. Oh, that of course it’s like buying a yoga mat, but I mean all the different-
Lauren: 43:08 Totally.
Kimberly: 43:10 Devices with like [crosstalk 00:43:12] and buttons and all this. My husband-
Lauren: 43:16 No, we have it all inside.
Kimberly: 43:17 Oh, yeah.
Lauren: 43:18 I know what you just said. It’s so true.
Where to focus our attention when using the roller
Kimberly: 43:19 No, my husband has some very interesting things over in his gym, but back to the rolling again briefly. Do we want to pay attention to where it hurts the most or back to your point about-
Lauren: 43:33 Oh, I love that. So a lot of times actually the pain area may not be the actual issue.
Kimberly: 43:42 Right.
Lauren: 43:43 Yeah. I mean, it’s funny people want to roll on their IT vans or whatever, and I’m like, “No, no, no. You got to get to look at your feet. How are you weight bearing in your feet?” I always talk about the tripod foot. Are you rolling in, are you supernating? Are you pronating your feet? And then that will send a trickling effect up into your inner thighs, your pelvic floor, your hips, your core, even your posture in your shoulders. So I always look at the feet, I have great sequence. I should send it to you. It’s called the grounding foot therapy. And we use the little infinity role, which is basically like two tennis balls. But instead of putting two tennis balls in a sock, I just created a little thing that supports your arch of your feet and you can’t really get into the feet and the shins.
Lauren: 44:25 The shins and the lower legs, I got to say are so under, I guess, nourished or under thought about. Because we’re like, “Oh, everyone has nice shapely lower legs.” So no one’s trying to tone their lower leg. Actually, it’s such an important part. Our feet, our ankles, we have 26 joints in the feet. And so each of those joints has connective tissue between them and that needs to be hydrated and mobilized and moved. And that’s one of the things I love about yoga, is you’re always stretching the toes and opening the feet and accessing the energy of the earth through the feet too. So the feet are so important when it comes to… If there’s one area of your body that you want to really help connect more deeply to the rest of your body, is get in touch with your feet and your pelvic floor and your jaw. Those areas are so incredibly important and overall structural integrity and balance in the system.
Kimberly: 45:24 When you say jaw, we’re not going to roll our jaw, but just physically relaxing is part of-
Lauren: 45:28 Yeah. You can do a similar neuromuscular thing. I have it in the book and I have videos on it. You can do self massage where you’re actually just opening your mouth. You can find the masseter muscle. I have a lot of educational videos on that as well on YouTube, on Goop and also on my Aligned Live Studio platform too. And so you can do jaw things, but also the jaw remember has the connection all the way up into the skull, right?
Kimberly: 45:53 Yeah.
Lauren: 45:53 It’s like the connective tissue that it’s like… Yeah, it’s exactly like scalp massages. I’m obsessed with scalp massages. I probably do that-
Kimberly: 46:02 Oh, I love scalp massages.
Lauren: 46:03 And then in under, like at the base of your skull, there’s a lot of lymph nodes there and that’s where we tend to have a lot of stagnant energy from sitting and hunching and like being on our computers or our phones. So it’s really important to keep that moving. And again, it’s just about that fluidity too. And you can do it literally between calls when you’re sitting at your desk. It’s not about like, “Oh, I need to get on my roller for like an hour a day.” It’s really about like, “Okay, I’m just going to do some little head adjustments. I’m going to stretch. I’m going to open my mouth. I’m going to massage my jaw a little.” It’s just when a lot of our swallowed emotions get stuck in our jaw and things that maybe we haven’t been able to say out loud, we just sort of recoil it back in. So it gets stuck in the jaw.
Kimberly: 46:47 Yeah. Last question, Lauren, are you a fan of the percussive devices? Like the hyperices, the theraguns.
Lauren: 46:55 Oh, you know what? I have mixed feelings about them. Okay. Really when I think about what I know in the background that I have with structural alignment and everything. So to me, it’s a band-aid. Okay. So the vibration, it does shake the limp. It applies the pressure, but when we’re really wanting to change the way a pattern is, or if there is a knot in the body, it’s usually from some sort of a pattern that we’ve been doing that we haven’t undone.
Kimberly: 47:24 Yes.
Lauren: 47:24 So those are great for like a bandaid and it can feel good. It can probably do some things to your nervous system, but it’s not going to get to the root of the issue. So if people enjoy it and it’s pleasurable, but again, it’s like, I would rather… We feel, I’m sure the same. We always want to get to the root of the issue. So to me, let’s get to the root. And that’s why I do believe in. I really believe in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. I just think it’s really important. Even I’ve been working with an osteopath here, just learning. I think I might go to school to become an osteopath because I just think it’s really amazing, looking at all the different layers and the energy and there’s… It’s an MD, but like more of an integrative holistic MD. So really powerful.
Kimberly: 48:12 I could pick your brain all day, Lauren. Thank you so much for your wisdom. And I love hearing all the resources you have. Share with us where we can access your work, your videos, your book.
Lauren: 48:22 Totally. Thank you.
Kimberly: 48:25 [crosstalk 00:48:25]. What’s the best place?
Lauren: 48:26 Yeah, totally. So I know it’s like… Because I spent 20 years in the lab with my clients hands on. And so I just went online, not that long ago. So you can find me on Instagram. I share a lot of great videos on there. It’s just my name my nickname Lo, Loroxburgh. And then of course my actual online wellness platform where we have the four pillars of movement, nourishment, cleansing and connecting. So we have an amazing online community called the Aligned Life Collective, which is really cool. And you can just find it at the alignedlifestudio.com. It’s so easy. Yeah.
Kimberly: 49:03 We’ll link to this as well, but I can’t wait to check out your videos. I feel like-
Lauren: 49:08 I know I’m going to send you a whole bunch of goodies. And actually I want to start recommending your digestive enzymes to our Aligned Life Collective because they are going to love it. Yeah.
Kimberly: 49:18 That’s amazing. Thank you so much.
Lauren: 49:21 Absolutely.
Kimberly: 49:21 And I’m very inspired by this. I’m going to dust that roller off.
Lauren: 49:27 Well, we can do a little zoom private you and I, and I can show you some stuff on your roller when you’re done.
Kimberly: 49:32 Oh, I think that’s amazing. Thank you so much, Lauren.
Lauren: 49:35 Absolutely. Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.
Kimberly: 49:39 Loved it.
Kimberly: 03:15 All right Beauties. Well, I hope you enjoy that interview with Lauren as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. She is such a lovely, knowledgeable, wise woman. Be sure to check out the show notes and mysolluna.com, where you will also find amazing other interviews, ones I recommend, and also lots of other resources, meditations, recipes. So much over there at mysolluna.com. I will see you over in social as well at underscore Kimberly Snyder. Be back here Thursday for our next Q&A community show. Until then, take great care of yourself. Sending you so much love, so much gratitude and see you back here soon.