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Gini Martinez http://ginimartinez.com Tue, 10 May 2016 21:57:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Monthly Embodiment Theme: Get to Know Your Knees http://ginimartinez.com/monthly-embodiment-theme-get-to-know-your-knees/ http://ginimartinez.com/monthly-embodiment-theme-get-to-know-your-knees/#respond Tue, 05 May 2015 21:52:42 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=5816 This May we’re getting to know your knees and you have two ways to learn how to improve their stability and muscle coordination.

Book 4 – 1 hour Private Online Classes with me or register for an in-person Mind-Body Social small group workshop.

Choose the option that’s right for you!

woman knee













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Movement Wisdom: Warm Sugar Shoulders http://ginimartinez.com/movement-wisdom-warm-sugar-shoulders/ http://ginimartinez.com/movement-wisdom-warm-sugar-shoulders/#respond Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:18:20 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=5801 There isn’t a gorgeous photo accompanying this week’s Movement Wisdom, but we do have candy!

After seeing this video last Christmas of candy canes being made, it’s my go to imagery for visualizing muscles relaxing, especially those over achieving upper traps. I only wish I there was enough footage of this stage of candy making to make the GIF longer than 1 second, but you can fire up that imagination to visualize the warm sugar melting longer.









Okay, now let’s add some movement.

Place your right hand on the meat of the muscle(s) of your left shoulder. (Hint: Place it closer to your neck than arm.)

Circle your shoulder around s-l-o-w-l-y.

Forward, up, back, and down.

As your shoulder lowers down, visualize the muscles on top of it as warm sugar softening and melting down, releasing any unwanted tension.

Circle forward, up, back, and down. (Feel free to make the movement small and easy.)

Warm sugar muscles softening and melting, allowing your neck to relax and lengthen.

Forward, up, back, and down.

Can you smell the peppermint? These are candy cane muscles, after all.

Forward, up, back, and down.

Can you feel the warm sugar muscles spreading out?

Forward, up, back, and down.

Can you feel your arm releasing down toward the floor?


Allow both arms to hang at your sides.

What (if anything) has changed about your posture?

Does your left arm feel longer than your right?

Does the left side of your neck feel longer? More relaxed?

Turn your head from side to side.

Do you feel more range of motion on one side than the other?

Does the left side of your chest feel more open? Relaxed?


Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!


Also, here’s some more footage of warm sugar being stretched (the pink candy in the background). I find it mesmerizing and oddly soothing. (If it isn’t playing on a loop, just give the GIF a click.)









P.S. Does the warm sugar imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.
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Movement Wisdom: Gathering Sand, Molding Sand Arches http://ginimartinez.com/movement-wisdom-gathering-sand-molding-sand-arches/ http://ginimartinez.com/movement-wisdom-gathering-sand-molding-sand-arches/#respond Sun, 12 Apr 2015 19:21:43 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=5788











Sit on a chair so your feet are resting comfortably on the floor.

Imagine you’re sitting at the beach, your feet resting on the warm dry (or cool wet) sand.

Keeping your toes relaxed and (relatively) straight, lift the center of your feet up toward the sky. Hold for a second and then gently release them down.

Lift your arches up, hold, and slowly release.

Lift. Hold. Release.

Imagine gathering sand, pulling it up toward your arch. The more you gather, it creates a sand support for your foot to rest upon as you release.

Imagine molding the sand into the shape of your arch and feeling the support under your feet.

Repeat several times.

What does the sand feel like?

Warm? Cool? Dry? Damp?

Does the support from your sand arches allow any muscles to relax, releasing excess tension?

What (if anything) is different about your sitting posture?

Stand up.

What (if anything) is different about your standing posture?

If you need to get rid of any excess sand, imagine sprinkling baby powder on your feet and the sand will brush right off. 😉

Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!


P.S. Does the gathering sand imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.

image credit

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Movement Wisdom: Drawing Scapulae Circles in the Sand http://ginimartinez.com/drawing-scapulae-circles-in-the-sand/ http://ginimartinez.com/drawing-scapulae-circles-in-the-sand/#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:36:25 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=5296  

9 girls beach




















Lie on your back, knees bent, feet about hip distance apart.

Notice your shoulder alignment, the way they contact the floor.

Notice if your right shoulder feels similar to or different from your left.

Raise your arms overhead, then circle them out to the side and back down toward your hips.

Continue circling your arms up, around and down several times.

Can you feel your scapulae (shoulder blades) moving against the floor beneath them?

Circle your arms up, around and down.

Feel your scapulae moving with your arms.

Circle up, around, and down.

Can you feel the direction in which your scapulae move?

Raise your arms up- Feel your scapulae slide down toward your waist.

Circle your arms out to the side- Feel your scapulae slide in toward your spine.

Lower your arms toward your hips- Feel your scapulae slide up toward your head.

Circle your arms.

Feel your scapulae slide down, in, up.

Circle your arms.

Feel your scapulae slide down, in, up.

Scapulae slide down. circle in, then up.

Down, in, up.

Down, in, up.

Imagine lying on the beach.

See your scapulae drawing half circles in the sand- Down, in, up.

Smooth half circle scapulae drawings in the sand.

Down, in, up.

Down, in, up.

Lower your arms to your sides.

What (if anything) is different about your posture?

Do your shoulders feel more relaxed?

Your chest more open?

Do your arms feel closer to the floor?


Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!


P.S. Does the scapulae sand drawing imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.
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Mind-Body Teacher Mentorship http://ginimartinez.com/mind-body-teacher-mentorship/ http://ginimartinez.com/mind-body-teacher-mentorship/#respond Mon, 23 Feb 2015 23:30:53 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=5285 Last year I was approached by a client to be her mentor. She was feeling stuck and dissatisfied with her teaching life and thought, given our history and similar approach to teaching, I could be of help.

While I was glad to assist her, I wasn’t completely comfortable with the word ‘mentor’. I’ve had a few would-be mentors in my time and my experiences ranged from intensely frustrating to mildly traumatizing. One told me I was a “horrible teacher” and would “never amount to anything”. Another was more interested in exploiting my talents for their professional gain rather than supporting me in my personal teaching journey.

As a result, I’ve taken the figure-it-out-as-you-go approach to professional development, which, thankfully, happens to be my specialty as I’m naturally self reflective and always working on improving myself, both professionally and personally.

Ultimately, this approach has worked for me. I do have a meaningful and fulfilling teaching life. I enjoy where, when, and with whom I work and I feel confident about what I have to offer as a teacher, but the road to achieving this was incredibly rocky and, man, it would’ve been nice to have had some help navigating that terrain along the way.

I expressed my reluctance to call myself a mentor to my husband, who also happens to be a teacher. This is a paraphrased version of what followed:

HIM: Why do people seek out mentors?

ME: Um, because they need help?

HIM: Why do they think mentors can help?

ME: Uh, because they have done it before?

HIM: They have …

ME: Erm … experience?

HIM: Yes! You’ve been teaching for almost 2 decades. You’ve been through a lot, overcome challenges, pioneered new ways of working for yourself. And while you’ve had some really crappy mentors, you’ve still managed to create a life that you like. Other people can benefit from insights based on your experience.

ME: Hmm …

As I began warming up to the idea of calling myself a mentor, I remembered one true mentor who had a brief, but tremendously positive impact on me as a teacher. I met Rosie within a year after I’d completed my Pilates teacher training. She owned a large and successful health club and we met when she attended an intensive workshop where I assisted the lead instructor. Soon after, she hired me as her personal Pilates teacher and within weeks, she asked me to develop and run a new Pilates program at her health club. I thanked her for the opportunity, but told her she really ought to hire someone with more experience as I’d only been teaching for a short while and had so much to learn. She dismissed my concerns and told me I was already a good teacher and, in time, would develop into an amazing one.

I gave birth to my first son and moved away within 2 years of our meeting, but I learned a lot from Rosie in our short time together. She was an amazon of a woman with gorgeous strawberry blond hair that hung halfway down her back. She always had manicured acrylic nails and wore form fitting clothes to work and play. She refused to conform to anyone else’s ideas of what a mid-forties Latina businesswoman and mother of 3 boys should look like, sound like, or behave. (Sound kinda familiar?)

What really stood out to me about Rosie, though, was her kindness, empathy, and humor. On a daily basis I witnessed her be of service and positive support to her members, employees, and teaching staff. As most novice teachers do, I had several loud voices inside my head questioning my skills and qualifications on a daily basis. Rosie’s unflinching belief in my innate abilities helped mute those doubting voices so I could begin to confidently evolve as a teacher and for that I will be forever grateful.

At the end of my reflection of my past mentors, my desire to be of service to other mind-body teachers became clear:

I would like to be the encouraging voice providing experienced insight and helping you navigate your path to creating a meaningful and fulfilling teaching life.


To start, I’m offering a one-on-one program called Designing Your Meaningful and Fulfilling Teaching Life.

The cost is $687 (with a 2-payment option of $347 or 3-payment option of $237)


Here are some of the signs that a mentorship program may be right for you:

Do you struggle with feeling like you don’t know enough about anatomy and biomechanics to be a good teacher?

Do you find yourself chasing CECs with the hope of finding that ‘one thing’ that will make it all click?

Do you feel guilty or inadequate as a teacher when your own health/fitness isn’t perfect?

Do you experience feelings of burn out or client fatigue?

Are you stuck in a teaching rut?

Do you struggle with finding your own teaching voice and frequently find yourself mimicking lessons and cues from your teachers/mentors?

Do you feel like you aren’t attracting clients who really ‘get’ your teaching philosophy?

Do you measure your success as a teacher against other colleagues’ achievements?

I’m limiting this initial program to 3 participants. If you’re interested in finding out more details, please fill out and submit the application below. Afterward, I’ll contact you to schedule a complimentary video consultation to see if this is a right fit for your needs and goals.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me: gini(at)rockwhatsyours(dotcom)

P.S. You don’t have to be a Pilates teacher to apply. The program is open to Yoga and all other mind-body modality teachers!



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Movement Wisdom: Embody A Dog Hammock and Realign Your Shoulders http://ginimartinez.com/embody-a-dog-hammock-and-realign-your-shoulders/ http://ginimartinez.com/embody-a-dog-hammock-and-realign-your-shoulders/#respond Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:40:14 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=5307 dog hammock











Get down on the floor on your elbows and knees. (Be mindful that your elbows aren’t forward from your shoulders or set wider apart than your shoulders as this reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.)

Allow your chest/ribcage to gently sag toward the floor.

Now, press your elbows into the floor to push your ribcage away from the floor, toward the ceiling.

Allow your whole ribcage to gently sag toward the floor again.

Push your ribcage away from the floor.

Gently lower your ribs, then push them up again.

Can you feel muscle(s) engaging under your armpits as you press your elbows into the floor?

Visualize the muscles gently stretching as you gradually lower your ribcage to the floor.

Feel the muscles shortening to lift your ribcage toward the ceiling.

Imagine your ribcage as the dog sitting in the hammock, his weight gently pulling on either end of the hammock as he sinks toward the ground.

Imagine the ends of the hammock contracting, the middle of the hammock becoming taught, to lift your ribcage dog up toward the sky.

Imagine the ends of your muscle hammock attaching to the undersides of your shoulder blades.

Image the body of your muscle hammock attaching to your ribs, just under and in front of your armpits.

As you lower your ribcage dog, your muscle hammock lengthens and your ribs descend away from your shoulder blades.

(Notice if your head sags toward the floor and bring it back up in alignment with the rest of your spine to lengthen and relax your neck. Notice if your pelvis tilts toward the floor – spilling out all your internal goodies – and gently release your tail between your legs to lift your lower abdominals and lengthen and relax your lower back.)

As you lift your ribcage dog, your muscle hammock shortens and your ribs ascend toward your shoulders blades, which gently hug the back and sides of your ribs stabilizing your shoulders and releasing any unwanted neck and shoulder tension.

Gently and smoothly, your ribs descend away from your shoulder blades and then return for a welcoming shoulder blade hug.


Sit or stand back up and relax your arms at your sides.

What (if anything) is different about your posture?

Do you feel taller?

Your chest more open?

The top of your shoulders relaxed?


Notice something cool or have a question? Post a comment below and share your insights with me. I love hearing from you!


Want to watch your hammock muscle (serratus anterior) in motion? Click HERE for a cool 3-D video.


P.S. Does the hammock imagery resonate with you? Explore more movement and anatomical #ImagerySupport on my Pinterest boards.image
credit: RayMorris1
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It’s Not Magic, It’s Science. http://ginimartinez.com/its-not-magic-its-science/ http://ginimartinez.com/its-not-magic-its-science/#respond Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:11:17 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=4538 Last week my friend Erin tweeted that her shoulder hurt. I tweeted back that I’d be happy to help her with her shoulder if she’d have a drink with me for my birthday. She accepted my invitation, but meeting up for a drink quickly evolved into a sleepover at which we ate cake, drank cocktails, and listened to the latest Serial podcast while obsessing over who really killed Hae Min Lee. (BTW, at this point, we think Jay did most of, if not all, the dirty deed.)












Note: If you’re not familiar with Serial, please rectify this post haste. You’ll thank me later.

While eating, drinking, and obsessing, I completely forgot to help Erin with her shoulder, so I texted her after I got home the next day. We spent the next hour or so working on her shoulder via text. The work didn’t actually take that long, we had a couple interruptions. After we finished up, I thought I could give you a peek inside a client embodiment session by sharing our texts (with Erin’s permission, of course).

My texts are blue, Erin’s are white.


































































This happened a day or so later:










What surprises clients most is how simple and quickly embodiment works. Embodiment isn’t just for body jackassery, either. Improving joint and muscle coordination is incredibly valuable for strength and flexibility training (It helps for a joint to function well before you try to strengthen it.) or if you’d like better posture.

Want to learn how to make your shoulders look and feel better? Check out my online class: 8 Weeks to Flexible, Strong, Healthy Shoulders (Yes, and Sexy, Too). Early Bird Registration ends this Thursday, November 13, but enrollment will remain open until the end November 30.

THIS WEDNESDAY ONLY! Register for 8 Weeks to Flexible, Strong, Healthy Shoulders (Yes, and Sexy, Too) and receive a FREE set Franklin Method® balls + 1-Hour Video Session with me to learn how to use them to release excess muscle tension and increase flexibility. (a $111 value)

Click HERE to see if this online class is right for you!















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8 Weeks to Flexible, Strong, Healthy Shoulders (Yes, and Sexy, Too) http://ginimartinez.com/8-weeks-to-flexible-strong-healthy-shoulders-yes-and-sexy-too/ http://ginimartinez.com/8-weeks-to-flexible-strong-healthy-shoulders-yes-and-sexy-too/#respond Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:48:52 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=4532 Got neck and shoulder jackassery? Want to improve your posture or  upper body strength? Want to be able to zip up your dress without requiring a coterie of attendants?

In this 8-Week ONLINE class, you’ll learn mind-body skills to change how you perceive, inhabit, and use your shoulders everyday PLUS fun flexibility and strength resistance band exercises for healthier shoulders and a happier YOU!

Early Bird Pricing Ends November 13 and Registration Closes November 30. Grab your spot TODAY!

Click HERE to find out if this class is right for you.


8 week shoulders









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Win a Momentum Motivational Wrap! http://ginimartinez.com/win-a-momentum-motivational-wrap/ http://ginimartinez.com/win-a-momentum-motivational-wrap/#respond Thu, 06 Nov 2014 06:26:25 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=4510 I was exploring Instagram one day and happened upon @MomentumJewelry’s account. I’m not really a jewelry kind of girl (I’ve worn the same earrings every day for the last 14 years), but I do love bracelets and when I saw that I could customize a Momentum Wrap Bracelet with my own personal saying, I knew I had to have one. So, I decided to get one as a birthday present (I’ll be 41 on Sunday) and a second one to give away.

“What does the bracelet say”, you ask?

Jackassery Free.

Of course, right?


Side note: I took a poll on social media, asking which you all liked better – Rock What’s Yours or Jackassery Free. Interestingly, all the dudes chose the former while all the ladies preferred the latter. Not sure what that means, lol, but I decided to go with Jackassery Free!












How do I get the free wrap bracelet?!

Good question. You know that self-awareness is at the heart of what we do here. I mean, you can’t rock what’s yours unless you know what’s yours. And so, in the spirit of becoming more familiar with our unique movements, postures, and habits, I’m inviting you to take part in the 5 Day Awareness Challenge, starting next Monday, November 10 and running through Friday, November 14.


How It Works.

Each morning I’ll post a prompt on social media (twitter, instagram, and Facebook) asking “What are you noticing today?”. All you have to do is reply, telling me what you’re noticing. (I highly recommend using the hashtag #5DAC on Twitter to be sure your tweets get counted.) It’s that simple. Each reply is considered an entry. At the end of the week, I’ll tally up all your entries, put them into a hat (or its equivalent) and pick out a winner!


What if I’m not on social media?

In that case, do things the old fashioned way and email me! Be sure to include the hashtag #5DAC in the subject line.


What am I trying to notice?

I’m looking for anything relating to your movement or posture habits. For example, you might say …

“I’m noticing that I clench my jaw while driving in traffic.”


“I lean my upper body into the computer while writing.”


“I don’t roll through my left foot the same way as I do my right when running.”

or even

“I feel like I lose a little piece of my soul whenever my trainer has me do burpees.” (Hey, we feel ya.)


In honor of my upcoming online shoulder class, you could notice things like:

Do your shoulders creep up to your ears to keep your neck warm when it’s chilly?

Do you collapse your chest while doing ab curls or rollups?

Do you lead with your chin while watching television?

Does your head sag to the floor when you do push-ups?

Do your shoulders tense up while doing dishes?


More Noticing Suggestions.

Do you sit on both sit bones or lean into one side?

Where do you feel your weight  placement when doing squats, in your forefeet or your heels?

Do you stand with your weight balanced equally over both feet or do you ‘sit into’ one hip?

Does one arm feel more dominant – stronger, more supportive – during push-ups?

Are you breathing shallowly? Deeply? At all?

Does your foot on your supporting leg roll in while doing Tree Pose?

Do you always take your first step with the same foot?

I could go on, but you get the idea. Wait. One more thing …


How does noticing any of this help you?

You want to do (and be) your best whenever possible, right?

Well, small habits like the aforementioned can slowly erode your ability to do just that. Awareness is the beginning of change and improvement.


As G.I. Joe says:

Knowing is half battle!


If you’d like to receive a personal reminder to start the 5 Day Awareness Challenge (#5DAC), sign up below!

* indicates required

photo 4


















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How You Might Be Acting Like Barbie (Or Ken) and Why You Should Stop. http://ginimartinez.com/how-you-might-be-acting-like-barbie-or-ken-and-why-you-should-stop/ http://ginimartinez.com/how-you-might-be-acting-like-barbie-or-ken-and-why-you-should-stop/#respond Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:51:53 +0000 http://ginimartinez.com/?p=4488 Beach Fashion Shoot

Do you think your shoulders are like a Barbie’s? Or Ken’s?

If you think of them being ball and socket joints, then the answer is yes.

Your hip joints are ball and socket joints, but your shoulders are more complex. (And subsequently, more versatile!) Instead of 2 bones articulating at one joint, your shoulders are comprised of 3 bones which create 6-ish joints. I say -ish because not every anatomy source agrees on the number.

Wikipedia will tell you there are 3 joints:

upper arm (aka humerus) – shoulder blade (aka scapula)

scapula – collar bone (aka clavicle)

clavicle – breast bone (aka sternum)
Gray206 sternumHumerus




















We’re going to be more precise and say there are 6 joints within each shoulder:

humerus – scapula (articulating specifically with the glenoid fossa)

humerus – scapula (articulating specifically with the acromium process)

scapula – clavicle

clavicle – articular disc

articular disc – sternum

scapula – ribcage













Why does it matter how I think my shoulders work?

I’ll give you two reasons:

1. Range of motion – Barbie and Ken can only move their arms forward and back. With a ball and socket joint, you couldn’t reach across your body to put on your seat belt or rub sunscreen between your shoulders and the back of your neck. Pretend you have Barbie shoulders and try driving your car. (Spoiler alert: you won’t be turning any corners.) Neglecting the involvement of your clavicles and scapulae (the plural form of scapula) significantly limits your arm movement options.

2. Relaxed stability – Last night I was driving with my middle son when Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy’ came on the radio. I proceeded to take my hands off the steering wheel and raise my arms in a V while singing along (my son chastised me for doing this). Can Barbie and Ken do this? Yes, they can raise their arms in a V, but what exactly is holding them up there? In theory (‘cuz they’re plastic), it’d be their muscles, which would tire out pretty quickly. Your super cool shoulder girdle, on the other hand, allows your upper arm to rest in the cup-shaped socket of your scapula as it slides down and under to catch the convex head of your humerus. This enables your muscles to work smarter, not harder like Barb & K’s.

If you want more range of motion, better stability, and more efficient muscle movement, get to know your shoulder girdle!

You can learn all about your shoulder girdle and incorporate that knowledge into a resistance band workout to improve your flexibility, strength, and overall health of your shoulders in my online shoulder class. Click here to find out if this class is right for you and your super cool shoulder girdle.


image credit: Holly

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