Improving your Fitness with the “Align Method” and Aaron Alexander | Podcast #263
Aaron Alexander, a movement specialist and launching out a new book called The Align Method, is with us today to talk about everything from movement, physical therapy, nutrition and a lot more. Check out this podcast to learn more about the book!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
00:35 The Align Method Book
17:33 Working Out
23:40 Align Band
33:17 Moving Your Senses
38:30 Holistic Health
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J in the house. I have Aaron Alexander with y’all in the flesh. Aaron’s a good friend. He is a movement specialist got a phenomenal new book out called the Align method. He has a podcast- AlignPodcast.com Aaron, welcome to the show, man How are we doing?
Aaron Alexander: Thanks so much for making time for me, man. I appreciate it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Well, really excited for you to be here. So you got a book, man. So you were given seeing patients for a long time, you’ve kind of taken all this knowledge you’ve accumulated. And now you got a book. So let’s tell the listeners about this book.
Aaron Alexander: So the book is essentially a compilation of the meaningful parts that I found working with clients for the last 16 years and then particularly the podcasts for the last five years and being able to gather information from the world’s leading experts on everything from movement, physical therapy and things of that nature to consciousness and nutrition and The parts that form the human structure, you know, so our physical patterns represent much more than just the types of bicep curls or pull ups or such that we do. Your physical posture, you’re always, you know, you’re a walking book, you know, and every movement that you make tells a story. And those movements are an expression of the way that you are formed by your home, by your office, by your travel, your usage of your cellular devices, computers, the food that goes into your mouth, the thoughts streaming through your head, all that comes through the body. And we don’t really get a really strong cogent education on that throughout elementary school or any school for that matter. Unless you go to like school for like improvisation or something that interacting dance, you know, so what the book represents is like a field manual for people to understand deeply how to drive their body effectively to be creative and confident and strong and flexible and stable and all those adjectives that people would prefer.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very exciting. I got my copy coming this weekend. So over the Christmas break, I’m definitely going to gobble that up. I appreciate that. Very cool. Yeah. Anytime I go into the airport, because you know, my training is chiropractic initially, so I’m very training much movement and muscles and I get that and you sit in the airport and you just kind of sit there and you kind of people watch right? People walk by you’re like, Oh, that’s this muscles not working, or maybe this problems going on. You’re kind of like diagnosing like on the fly and in your head, like what could be the issue. So is there like two or three patterns that you see with most people just across the board and things that may not be correct or optimal in their movement?
Aaron Alexander: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, so people, the tendency if you look at you know, Albert Einstein has a quote, he said that the field contains and regulates the particle. So we you and I just know a couple particles floating through space, nobody else listening and we Get regulated by the field that contains us the field is the shape of your chair, the shape of your car, see the shape of the plane, see the shape of the stroller and the child seat and the shape of your postural patterns as you’re looking into the phone or the computer, even the shape of your eyes as you are inside, looking at walls close up to you. And perhaps not getting ample sunlight, which literally changes the structure and the shape of your eye goes to this whole chemical reaction that allows you to be able to have depth of vision. You know, so we’re continually being molded by our environment, and, you know, common postural patterns like you wouldn’t even need to look at the human animal to see what the postural patterns would be. You could just look at the modern environment, and you could devise what the patterns would be without ever even seeing a person. So I would imagine patients that come see you, you could probably Close your eyes and would like 90% accuracy, be able to guess that they probably have some like upper cross syndrome happening in their forehead forehead. Yeah, or me a rotation of the shoulders, you know that the head of the humerus is kind of like sitting on that the precipice of disaster on the glenohumeral fossa there. Yeah. You know, and there’s tension up in pec minor major in the front. And maybe that, you know, the knees may possibly kind of collapse inwardly a little bit that valgus formation is going on. Yeah, the glutes are a little bit disengaged. Might be tired on the hebbs. Yeah, you know, it’s like, oh, wow, crazy. How did we just describe 90% of human beings without see as well just look at the world. Right? And of course, you know, and so if we bring a little bit more awareness into how we occupy our physical bodies in this modern structural mold, we can be better than the mold. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the mold. It’s only if you become if you allow yourself to be like dust in the wind. Yeah, then It’s a real problem, you do not want to get bossed around by the modern mold. Because if you do, you’ll become a modern statistic. And if you look at the statistics, they’re not pretty.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, no, totally, that makes sense. So you see some of these classic patterns, right? Like you mentioned, kind of like the forward head posture, the tight the tight chest. Now the deep cervical flexors are really maybe weak, we have weak rhomboids be posterior chain. What type of stretching or workout or soft tissue program? And what are the first steps in that in that next program to improve posture to improve health performance? What’s that look like?
Aaron Alexander: Yeah, well, so as long as a person is consuming supplements, and then eating a shit diet, it’s going to become expensive, and they won’t ever get the results they’re really looking for. So as long as a person is seeking out some form of of temporary self care panacea. bandage technique, and not addressing what’s happening before and after that I we’re not even really having a conversation yet. If we’re getting temporary relief through doing certain practices, that’s great. But something as simple as one of the chapters in the books breaks down the value of just spending more time on the ground, as opposed to in that archetypal punched over sitting position that we’re in so much, you know, so something as simple as that is, like get a comfy rug in your home, get, you know, a couple of foam rollers, maybe throw a yoga mat down some place. Now open up space in your home that there’s more spaciousness for you to move around. Maybe you’re inspired all of a sudden have like a little dance party with your kids you know, because like wow, either we’re not banging our legs up against that coffee table because we kind of move that aside and we made it kind of like through some some pillows and yeah, rug is down and we kind of like cool like, wow, we’re like wrestling and living room now like-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Crazy! How did this happen?
Aaron Alexander: So as opposed to driving to see Physical Therapist and massage therapist to ameliorate all these issues that manifest themselves from the environment. What if we start to look at the environment creates an adjustment so it actually know that the field that we’re contained and regulated by shifts a little bit and so that would be one example is just spend more time on the ground. The floor is a it is a noble therapist, you know, it’s like it’s your massage therapist is your is your physical therapist, it doesn’t charge anything. You know, if you lay down on your back on the floor, you know, find a comfy rug, you don’t have to like being cold tile as you do it. And you find bits that feel hard, figure out how to unhardened them. The way that you do that is spending time leaning into them breathing, rolling, twisting, emphasizing that exhalation especially because the exhalation activates more of that parasympathetic, calming rest digest side of the nervous system. You could maybe even make some moans or make some sound. Oh, at oming and yoga mean that’s Like sounds like some crazy New Age shit. Oh man. Oh my God, I hate it when they go in and have to do though. There’s deep science side, right? Yeah, there’s two sides behind the value of long exhalations breath holds that vibration like you’re referring to, you know. So that’s all wrapped up into one simple practice that you pay $25 to go to a class and have a teacher tell you to go oh and spend time on the ground. What if I just allowed some of some of that to enter into the way that I work on the computer or my cell phone or maybe how eat breakfast is that’d be the first thing. And then another thing that would be very simple way to augment your environment in a simple way to have huge changes is throw pull up bar in between a doorway through a pool bar and do a couple doorways, you know and find a tree branch outside even better. Every time you walk through that doorway. Give yourself a little hang and that’s going to be some decompression therapy for your shoulder girdles for your spine open up spaciousness around the lungs, even the heart and the Oregon, you know, the way that they function is through movement. You know, motility, if if there’s, if they are contracted or immobilize stuck, the functionality of your organs will be diminished. So if you’re just putting things into your face anticipating that to heal your liver and your gallbladder, that’s a huge value. Like it’s like you, your the raw materials you put in your body is what you become. But how do we get those materials into the body? We get them into the body is through movement. So that would be a couple starting places, get your arms up over your head, make me change your environment like that. Yeah, there’s a whole chapter about that as well. That’s cool. And then yeah, simply just when you have opportunities, get down to ground do a deep squat, you’re waiting for a bus or you know go Vietnamese style and pull out a cigarette and go into a deep squat and hang out for a moment. I’m joking about the cigarette smoke cigar if you want to. I’d rather I’d rather person spends time on the ground and squats goes through their full range of motion and smokes. Then a person that doesn’t do any of that stuff, but it’s an immaculate like immaculate super New Age, vegan diet or whatever. Like I would if you can go through those ranges of motion, your body, your body, there’s a lot more. You’re like insulating yourself with with, with movement enough that your body can kind of buffer a lot more stress.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, every time I see you, I always noticed you’re on the ground. You’re in some kind of like Indian style kind of thing. Like kind of feeling it out. Yeah, that’s cool. That’s it. So like, what is your workout routine look like? You know, you’re talking about we’re talking about the average person and some of these postural patterns. But what does yours look like? Is it regimented? Is it kind of you kind of feel yourself you know where you’re at and you adjust to day to day or is it something that you have written out already for you?
Aaron Alexander: No, so my background was very much that I kept journals and notes and I was very meticulous with reps and sets and you know, as I eating every two hours, and just stuffing my face with all the supplements and you know this is really focused on bodybuilding particularly. And it was effective in the sense that I, you know, hypertrophy happened and muscle cells grew and expanded and I looked bigger. But as an athlete, I became worse and I became more clunky as a mover, injuries manifest themselves stress, anxiety, chronic pain, stuff like that just build no milk, because I wasn’t really looking at any like, inside approach at movement or fitness, it was all superficial. So as long as we’re living on that superficial aspect of you know, the beach muscles and the glamour muscles, you’re missing out on any of the parts that actually make you feel whole and make you feel well inside and also open you up to relationships because if you live your life through superficial validators, then you’re going to have a bunch of people around you stroking your superficial validation as opposed to ever actually like loving you for something more than your biceps for calling money or watch or you know, whatever the thing that you put out to the world for people to love I realize I’m kind of going out of the deep end but i think it’s it’s that’s that’s like the origin story of my fitness was like get as big as I can so that people will love me that’s essentially was my my thought behind it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so so it sounds like you went through an evolution obviously you started off kind of more in that bodybuilding mindset and then move more into what a performance kind of functional yeah mindset and like so like can you say obviously kind of bodybuilding style movements is where you started and then how did that evolve to where you’re at now?
Aaron Alexander: injuries you know, like a full offseason their folly will eventually become wise. Yeah, so I’m like, you get injuries and also changing environments. You know, I moved to Hawaii when I was 18 and lived out there for a while and then moved to Boulder Colorado after that and lived in the mountains. And, you know, my goal was to be like the, the coolest dirtbag, right climber, and then and Hawaii want to surf and do jiu jitsu and you know, just be in the jungle and be able to skip run across rocks real fast and all that stuff. And so, just by naturally changing your environment again back to the Einstein quote, you will shift. Know so sometimes if we are a fish and we are an aquarium, and the aquarium is there’s some type of whatever toxic stew or something that we’re living. Yeah, yeah. And you’re like, Okay, what can I do to what kind of, you know, pack workout or booty workout or supplement? Can I take like, dude, have you observed your aquarium? Like, there’s no, there’s no way you’re going to change. You’re so deeply steeped and entrenched in that mode, like you’re just an expression of that space. Right? So that’s kind of an interesting thing. Like sometimes I think literally just physically changing your locations can be a really powerful workout plan. If that’s not if that’s not conceivable, doesn’t mean understand. That’s a little bit of like a far stretch. I think just spending more time outside in general is really valuable. So a lot of the fitness that I will do, you know, I trained at Gold’s Gym in Venice, here in California and I own I pretty much only trained in the outdoor area, you know, so it’s just, I’m taking my, my shirt off, I take my shoes off and I’m, I’m exercising my skin cells are receiving that sun and adapt to that, you know, in the sun in my eyes. And then you’re also with community in a community is a very powerful tool for self care, healing, strengthening, when we feel separate from our community. Now, there’s a thing called failure to thrive that I’m sure you’re familiar with. And babies if they don’t get adequate amounts of touch, then they their metabolism slows down and their development starts to screech to a halt, because they that sends a signal, that lack of contact and support sends a signal that it’s not a safe Time to regenerate and grow and, and get big and strong and use all these calories, we need to go into a hibernation mode, essentially just go into winter mode and wait until someone is there to support our growth. So if you can put yourself into community situations like the conferences that we met at, yeah, the reason that we go to conferences like that no one gives a shit about talking about ketosis or what, who cares, we’re there to be with each other. You know, like, like that. I understand ketosis is valuable for certain things, and maybe carnivores too, and maybe vegetarian is maybe veganism, whatever your dogma is, is great. But the underlying aspect of all of these dogmas in the form of food, motorcycle gang, religious gang, whatever it is, is like, Oh, we just these human creatures that really love to be in community and we like to feel supported and we like to feel connected. And if you disconnect that part and you separate the individually From the tribe, that’s when things get funny. You know, the longest I know I’m talking a long time. So I’ll stop after this. The longest longitudinal study was done in, I believe is Harvard is I think it started in 1936. Do fact check that. And they found they’ve followed students throughout their whole entire life still till, till still today. And also, they’re their kids. And what they found was the people that had the tightest knit community, they felt really supported and connected with their tribe. They were the healthiest. And so it didn’t matter that they were, you know, who ate the most magnesium or who did the most burpees It was like, who feels loved and who feels like they are they have purpose. And so I think that that love and that purpose is a foundation of fitness, but it’s a little bit sometimes sexier, perhaps you’d like the cover of Muscle and Fitness to talk about doing muscle ups. Yeah. So that’s, that’s a large part a roundabout way of describing some of the components of the book, the book essentially illuminates, like the the abstract aspects of fitness that I think for the most part have been missed, but I think are in fact, the foundation of our wellness.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you really put the community aspect in there, which I think is is really big. I like that. But I want to get a little bit more in the nitty gritty of what you actually do, though. So like, you’re out in Venice Beach, right, which is really cool. That’s where I think Arnold started his lifting days here.
Aaron Alexander: So still still trains there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s awesome. That’s very cool. So your shirts off, you’re getting vitamin D. Right? All that good stuff. And then how long are your workouts? Do you kind of have a plan in advance? Or is it totally intuition and what kind of movement patterns are you doing?
Aaron Alexander: Yeah, so one, so the primary basis of the book is that your whole day is a workout. So right now we’re having this conversation. I’m you know, I’m right now I’m on two knees, I’m kneeling ago only between two one knee and then the other knee. I might at some point do like a Malaspina, like a deep squat thing. I have the this is the computers up on my cold plunge, you know so literally I have fitness underneath the, the computer in the form of cold, cold thermogenesis. You see behind me there’s a sauna. So that’s another form of fitness, expanding, tracking myself at a cellular level. Behind that there’s a ladder that goes up onto the roof. So climbing that ladder, exposing myself to sun, all of that fitness. You know, if you look at hunter gatherer tribes are people from you know, developing countries and such, the idea of, you know, what’s your split and you know, three sets of four and you get out the neon colors and the puffy sneakers and go for a run to burn some calories. They’re like, What the fuck are you talking about? Like, are you crazy? Like our lives like I am fitness you know, like You know, so what I’m far more interested in is cultivating more of a relationship to becoming fitness and becoming, you know, yoga and becoming all that, you know. So that’s one part of that. And then I do go to a gym I do like to work out. I also go to Santa Monica Muscle Beach, which is like acro yoga and acrobatic stuff. And it’s a big a big adult playground, essentially. So climb ropes and I’ll do parallettes stuff, dips and handstands, and I’ll pick people up. So I do like acro yoga. And then I use a lot of kettlebells when I’m at the gym. So I find kettlebells to be very valuable. And that you can go through a wide variety of ranges of motion and they actually that the motion safer to take like a Turkish getup. If there was one exercise that people got out of this conversation. If you really want an exercise and you’re tired of this like nebulous, like go walk outside more for your fitness stuff. Look up Turkish getup I have lots of videos on YouTube about it or just look up the term in general. Yeah. It’s also my online program plug, you know, so that Turkish get up is you’re using a kettlebell, you’re laying on your back, you’re pushing that straight up, and then you’re pressing that up into the sky, you’re coming up into a knee, you’re putting your hand down, and then you’re coming up into a lunge position, they’re standing up and then you’re reversing that motion. That’s a really beautiful symphony of movement that you can take your whole stride through, that integrates all the parts.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You have like a hip thrust, you have shoulder girdle you have your stabilizer stabilize really nails it verse it.
Aaron Alexander: Yeah, really nails it means it’s a really good one, you know, and then you know, if all you do is yoga, I would recommend you do more dynamic movement. You know, maybe take a West African dance class or play soccer or football or something. Now because Yoga is something that I value greatly. The Asana aspect of it, the other limbs are cool, too. But the most people hear yoga they think like the stretchy part has it’s one of the eight limbs. That’s really great, but it lacks human interaction. So it lacks that like that kind of partner what you get with from like dance or martial arts, yes develops your brain a huge way. It lacks much pulling movements, you know, so adding in some like pull ups or some rows, get a pet stand up paddleboard, maybe go out. So what I’m, I realized that the things that I’m saying is not exactly structured. And it’s there is some intention behind that because I think structure is valuable. And we broke down specific structures in the book of things, actual practice that people can do right now. And I think it’s very valuable for us to, to a certain degree, allow that structure to fall apart just a bit. And for that, that movement practice to kind of spill more into other aspects of our lives that we weren’t expecting it to before such as, like, you know, boardroom and office, a school. If we can move as we learn, then we can learn. If you don’t move, and you just cram your brain with information, the cup is full man, like you need to consolidate some memories. And so doing like a Pomodoro Technique or something of that nature, we described that in the book as well. You know, do 25 minutes on of intentional work of some sort, and then take a five minute break, go for a walk, like literally, consolidate those memories, give yourself some spaciousness to allow your mind to wander and take a break so you can be fresh and bring new information in. But the western model of education is such that, you know, okay, we got to get these kids passing these tests and babies, they got to pass these scantrons man, you know?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly.
Aaron Alexander: We’re gonna fill these facts up into your little brain. You know, it’s like, dude, kids don’t need facts filled in their in their pockets. That runneth over, you know, they need, they need spaciousness to allow their, their minds to adapt to a creative, dynamic environment, like, you know, life. Business. That’s what it is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I appreciate the perspective, man. It’s it’s quite holistic. Now in the book I know you utilize as a tool as some of these bands. Can you talk more about that? How do you apply it? How do you how do you want and I’m kind of asking you two questions that wants to make maybe you’ll combine the two. How do you also work on pliability within that is that just part of the movement is do you do other things to improve the pliability aspects so the tissue quality is healthier when you’re doing the movement? How does that look?
Aaron Alexander: Yeah, well, so our bodies are essentially like 640 Aqua pockets You know, there were like these fluids slippery slidey pockets. Now it’s 640 is the number of muscles depends on the person. Yeah, and depending upon your mood. patterns they can start to get gunked up and stuck and dehydrated in certain positions. Once you get gummed up and stuck like a dam, that dam builds up more and more and more and gets crummy or, and dingy or and darker. Similar thing in your physical body if there’s nooks and crannies inside of your body, which I guarantee you there are there are mine, you know, as well I’m working on it. They will become backed up and something that you can do, like I mentioned, just spending some time on the ground. That’s a helpful helpful starting point. But resistance bands are a very powerful tool as well. So the Align band that you’re referring to, is a it’s a heavy duty resistance band that has a door anchor. And you can attach that to any you know card or hotel door closet or what have you. And then you have a resistance band hanging down that you can use to literally like floss out different joints so that shoulder this rolled forward, a really powerful tool is called banded Banda distraction Physical Therapy terms, you can press that band, wrap it around the front of the shoulder and then step yourself away from the band. And then it will start to pull that shoulder back. Now you’re creating this opening, expanded expansion through the shoulder, and then you can reach the hand back behind you and turn the head off to the left. And you’re doing this little pin and stretch, myofascial release, banded distraction to just do like a, like a word sandwich of all the different things that are happening there with a really simple, cost effective, portable tool. And as you do that, once you start to create a little movement in and around those potentially bound together pockets, new hydration manifest in that space, and now you have a healthier joint. If you have a healthier joint anywhere in your body that trickles through the rest of the system. So now my shoulders moving better. Oh, cool. Now all of a sudden, I have a little bit more rotation through my spine has not bound up like a straitjacket. Now, so it’s a oh and Andrew Taylor says a quote said that harmony dwells where obstructions do not exist. So if we can go through and find those dammed up agglomerated dehydrated obstructions through our body, speak into them through in the form of myofascial release and this in this example, but there’s other ways to do it beyond that. Then eventually we start to find more frickin harmony in our body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent, very good. I was first introduced to the band’s by Kelly Starrett and his book The supple leopard he kind of introduced that kind of concept to me and then I saw he wrote the foreword on your book. So that’s quite interesting. Was he an inspiration at all for some of the band work or anything else and what you do?
Aaron Alexander: Oh, yeah, man, Kelly has been a huge inspiration. I mean, he was the first so I was the roof of my perspective of what I could create from like a like a lens of career was having a successful clinic and anywhere This is Bend Oregon, where I didn’t before that was Boulder, Colorado. You know, so And, you know, for me because I spend like some pretty meaningful time with people, it’s like an hour and a half of being with people seeing 20 people a week and having a couple people working with me in one space that was like a dream. And then I got into watching Kelly’s work about maybe five and a half, six years ago. And I started observing the power of replicating what I’m doing at an individual level with, you know, more people on YouTube, you know, and so I essentially just like worship everything he was saying, and just really studied it very intently. And then from there, start creating my own stuff and then you know, six years later it’s very fascinating to have him write a really flattering forward in the book and then have him even read it in the audible version. So it’s very fascinating experience to kind of come full circle and have like, mother flippin Kelly is like, you know, saying how errands of nice guy or whatever in the in the in the forward now, it’s It is very fascinating experience have that full circle moment. But yeah, I mean, the line method is a continuation of Kelly’s work. It’s a continuation of Katie Bowman’s work. It’s a continuation of Andrew still St. apathy. It’s continually dead philosophers. It’s, you know, it’s I not I ain’t crazy thing. You know, I’m, I’ve been an aggregator, you know, that’s what that’s what a podcast, podcast, podcast host is Yeah, being able to aggregate a bunch of really amazing into one spot. Look as a further aggregation of all that stuff mixed in with a little bit of my own actual practice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And you’re probably highlighting things and emphasizing things maybe taking and riffing on certain things that resonate more than others. Yeah, that’s, that’s powerful. And so interesting. So you incorporated some of the band work you gave a company gave an example of some of the shoulder stuff, which is really interesting. You’re kind of doing like almost a self myofascial release on that. Yeah, I like the term flossing that joint that’s really interesting term. How else can that be utilized? Bam. Oh, man. Yeah, outside of outside of the shoulder, let’s see, maybe the hip or some other major area that you see clinically?
Aaron Alexander: Yeah, for sure. Well, okay, so if we’re saying hip, why not just jumped down to ankle, and because the ankle is the hip, you know, if you have issues in the ankle, then that’s going to manifest themselves upstream into the hip, and vice versa. You know, so kind of done that to be clever, but also, you know, to prove a point, but there’s also a lot of great exercises that a lot of people have adhesions, and stiffness and around the ankles, because we don’t go through a regular full range of plantar and dorsiflexion and like the modern world, and we’re kind of stuck at around 90 degrees. And if you’re stuck in that position, things begin to freeze over. You know, everything stiffens up and it develops and because your body just adapts to its container, whatever position you put yourself into, your body will adapt to that position. Amazing, it’s beautiful, you know something that people can play with, if you do feel like, you know, I am trying to do this deep squat stuff I see on the internet, it’s important it’s like valuable to be able to do a molossia or like a third world squat or whatever you want to call it. You know, so but when I do that, I always kind of fall backwards. I don’t get it so you probably your ankles aren’t going through deep dorsiflexion. And this is something that you can do is that same Bandha distraction or flossing type technique they were referring to before you can wrap the band instead of your shoulder now put it around your ankle, and step yourself forward into like a runner’s lunge type position. Yeah. And then keep that back heel that the band is wrapped around. Keep that back heel down flat against the ground and push yourself forward into a lunge position. And then you’re going to have that you’re stacking your stacking variable so we’re doing the resistance thing from the stretch, but now we’re also doing the band of distraction floss and that joint out by wrapping around the right around the like kind of like The apex of the curve there the joint. So we’re we’re also doing myofascial release. So we’re starting to get those tissue layers to slide a little bit because of the pressure of the band on the ankle. Yeah. And then you can incorporate another principle in chapter three. And the book would break down all the fundamental principles and practices that people for like driving your body more effectively from a self care perspective. And one of the one of the principles that everybody can use right now is called contract relax or PNF proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. So taking yourself while you’re in that lunch, use that as the example. Press then back foot down on the ground. So press those toes like you’re trying to dig those toes down to the ground. Yes, can be activating the, you know, the calves gastrocnemius all these and then hold that for about five seconds, press press, press, press brass. Yeah. And then relax. You’ll find yourself like magic go into a deeper stretch on that. Yes, as simple principles like that. Like, we have outlines two specific techniques. But you can take the fundamental principles from those two techniques. The reason that it’s relevant to mention those two is you can pick out those basic fundamental principles. And they are consistent with every other technique and in the book, and I think with most ones that are like really helpful. So it’s like, if you if you know, what’s the word, there’s a space in the quote, that’s there’s one for me a motor Musashi is something along the lines of like, if you know, I don’t remember how it goes, if you know if you know something deeply, you can kind of take that understanding into other things as well. Yes, if you understand one of these techniques, well and you really understand that the fundamental principles of it, then that will spill into the work with your knee and your hip and your spine and your neck, and sometimes we get too lost in the the complexity of things and they how would I ever know how to do all this stuff? So many 640 muscles? Is like no, no Know, you know, these fundamental basic principles really learn those and then that will spill into the rest of your body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome. That’s really cool. So is there anything else you wanted to kind of go over or kind of dive in deep and in the book with the listeners here now, anything else on your mind?
Aaron Alexander: Yeah. Well, I think it’s very fascinating to think of. So the last section of the book is about, it’s called moving your senses. And so looking at this movement conversation going beyond again, that the muscle ups and bicep curls in the gym, and looking into how our visual muscles that is a form of fitness. So if I am chronically staring into a phone or a computer screen, then that literally puts my nervous system into a little bit more of like a sympathetic fight flight executive function, get her done type state, right. So what I can do is I can embrace looking out into using my panoramic vision, look out into the distance, look out a window, open that window to get full spectrum of light on your Eyes it literally changes the structure of your eyeballs you’re being exposed to sun that’s correlated with the high instances of myopia of nearsightedness. You know, so spend time, bring your awareness into the yoga of moving your eyes in a variety of positions beyond just staring into a screen with such regularity. Now and so when you do want to focus, you’ll notice this with people. If someone’s kind of like spacey, and they’re kind of like New Age, you know, out there, whatever person sometimes they might kind of have that, like, you know, they look a little bit like they’re just blurring their vision kind of just like looking out into space. They’re like, spacey man. It’s like, yeah, their nervous system is kind of stuck in that that spacey aspect. Then someone else that’s more of like New York City get her done, you know, way too much. Totally. Their vision is like a shark. Yes, there are So they, you know, they’re very good at the executive function get her done, but what they do not know how to do is relax, they do know they do not know how to stop doing something, you know, when they stopped doing something that’s that’s when the deck card starts to feel like it’s gonna fall apart because I’m like, oh God, like I’ve always occupied myself with something, you know, my shark eyes are always going notes so you can play your own nervous system, if you’re feeling stressed. Maybe allow your vision to kind of go a little bit into that same space, the blurred type, just looking out into the distance type vision, look out a window and get a panorama. Look over the ocean, look over trees, look up at clouds. If you’re feeling stressed, don’t look at your cell phone. That’s going to focus that vision into more of that in that stress state. Put the cell phone down, maybe put it on airplane mode. Let’s do a podcast or something like that. If you really want to have the cell phone with you and walk outside and look up at the trees and what you’re naturally going to happen with that not only will your vision change which affects every other aspect of your physiology. But your postural patterns change because you’re looking up instead of looking down, you know, so, you know, bending our perspective of what the meaning of fitnesses is, is just it’s an invaluable perspective change. And, you know, that’s what we did and the ally method book which which was co written actually by my man Phil white who he was. He’s done stuff with he co wrote with Kelly Starrett and Laird Hamilton for XP T and tablets at suelen. And I mean he’s like a legend and all this stuff. So yeah, it’s just been such an honor and joy getting to put this thing together. So appreciate appreciate talking about with you, man.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent, man. Well, I really appreciate it. You go over some pretty deep stuff. It really stretches my brain a little bit to take it all in. I like it. It’s an excellent. And Aaron you got a podcast as well. People that don’t know, AlignPodcast.com and she’s subscribed that I did on there. Aaron’s been on my podcast before. This in a second or third time back on the show. So that’s pretty exciting. Also the book, How can they get the book?
Aaron Alexander: Well, this will be out. I mean, just Amazon bookstores, whatever I mean it it comes out December 24. So it’s before then then, you know, you can go to the Align book calm and do the pre order stuff. There’s like prizes and bonuses, bonuses and such. But, you know, wherever you books, Amazon is probably the most likely place but go ahead up a bookstore if you want perfect.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll take the link and put it in the description of the YouTube and the show notes. People can access it easily. Very cool. And how about some of the core stuff that you have? I know there’s of course tied to the book. If people don’t have the book, how do they get to be part of the course?
Aaron Alexander: Yeah, for sure. So yeah, this the course is like it’s called the align method. And it just goes deeper into the principles of the book and in video form as opposed to reading. You know, and so essentially, it’s breaks down everything the book is, you know, so it’s fundamentals of self care fundamentals of how to integrate better moving into your life, lifestyle stuff, you know, morning routines. bedtime routines all that. And they can get a seven day free trial as well. You know, so you can find that in the bio of my Instagram or go to AlignPodcast.com yeah, and then slash align method or just go to the programs tab from there. But yeah, I highly recommend that as well. It’s all like I said, it’s seven day free trial. So you can check it out, get some value out of it, and then yeah, that’s that’s it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Anything else you want to leave with the listeners, Aaron?
Aaron Alexander: I think perhaps something that I find valuable is looking at life from the present moment, as though I’m kind of like, on my deathbed or getting close, you know, so looking back, say I’m 90 or, you know, whatever, and giving myself advice from that position. And I think the common theme of advice that I get from, you know, 90 odd year old Aaron is to one Stress less, enjoy more, and open yourself up, to be loved and to love because in the end, you won’t give a shit about any of the money that you made, you won’t give a shit about any of the books or online programs or houses or whatever, what you’ll care about is the moments that you shared with with others and yourself. You know, so the sooner that a person can tap into that, I think the more fulfilled their life will be, and then everything else will come come along with it. As opposed to what we so often do. And we do all of these superficial things in order to get people to love us. But in fact, oftentimes we end up pushing away the people that loved us the whole time to go and seek out those things that so that finally somebody will love us. And it was a long explanation, but essentially, it’s like open your heart.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like it, man. I appreciate it. Yeah, you have a unique perspective. Now you word things. I think it’s great. Very cool, man. Well, make sure you head over to Aaron’s podcast and get the book and all that stuff here Aaron really appreciate it. We’re going to make sure this goes live here hopefully this coming Monday as people can get access to it before the the book launch. Aaron Thanks so much, man. You have an awesome day brother. Take care.
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