It’s a bit like re-moulding your own body
"several Time Out staffers have learned to unravel their knots at Jefferies workshops which come highly recommended” – Time Out
“I learned more about stretching and muscle function in your workshop than I did in 4 years doing my osteopathy degree” - Avni, London
To find out the latest dates for StretchworX and join the mailing list click here to contact me directly.
Full day workshops cost £150 per person, which includes comprehensive illustrated course notes, tea/coffee and (as long as I’m not on a diet that week) chocolate biscuits. Participants are limited to seven per workshop to ensure sufficient one-to-one attention for everyone.
This is not a series of classes that you need to attend every week, it is a one-off workshop. Workshops last 6 hours including two short breaks and lunch break (the 6 hours pass very fast – see clients comments below) and are probably the most comprehensive one-day workshops available that are dedicated to flexibility & movement improvement. Regardless of your age, fitness level or your experience of stretch and movement based work, StretchworX will change your understanding of stretching and transform your range of pain free movement quicker than you ever thought possible.
Who is it for? Anyone and everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Past participants have ranged from 14 to 76 years old and have been everything from housewives, office workers and gardeners to athletes, professional dancers, fitness trainers, osteopaths and GP’s. Some people have come with disabilities and/or bits that have never worked and all have got loads from the day. Others have come fearing that their lack of fitness or flexibility would embarrass them or hold up everyone else, all have been wrong. If you have any concerns or specific questions about the day, feel free to call or drop me a line.
What will you get? Firstly you get me - for 6 hours. An irreverent non-conformist in many respects. I am not arrogant but convinced that I understand muscles better than anyone I’ve met, heard of or whose work I have read. I will not bad mouth other professionals and promise not to shout at anyone on the day. However, I have no time or respect for people who do ineffective work or waste peoples time and money with bad advice and stuff that doesn’t work and reserve the right to find them hugely entertaining. Other than that, I’m really quite harmless and have even been called charming once or twice!
By the end of the workshop you will have a one-hour program of approx’ 30 therapeutic and developmental movements, (all of which are described and photographed in the accompanying workbook) that you can quickly distil down to a personalised full stretch routine that should take you no longer than 15 minutes to do. More importantly, you will have a new understanding of how muscles and joints work, the purpose of stretching and the futility of the stretching you have probably been doing for years. There is a strong emphasis on movement awareness and I have some observations about posture and general fitness training that usually raise a few eyebrows too.
What’s involved? The workshops are interactive, not just a lecture and demonstration. I demonstrate and explain the reasoning behind all the movements before you practice them and use each movement as a vehicle to reinforce your understanding of the techniques being used and the purpose of the movement and you are encouraged to ask questions at any time.
There is no humming, Sanskrit terminology or wrapping of ankles around heads, just simple and effective movements, easy enough for complete beginners but incorporating techniques that have been a revelation to many exercise professionals. It's not hard work (OK, you may sweat a little) and all the explanations/conversations are simplistic so you're head wont explode either. HOWEVER . . . . . . what makes this really work is that you are continuously guided towards FEELING what happens in your body as we do each movement rather than just going through the motions. For this reason you will be expected to get involved.
This is not a stretch class as you know it because what I teach is unlike any stretching you have done before. If you've ever heard of MET, MRT, PNF or AIS techniques or have tried them and found them only slightly effective, this workshop will show you why they don't work and how to make them truly effective by including the bits they missed out, by understanding how and why muscles do what they do and by feeling things actually happen rather than just going through the motions. If you have any experience of yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, Alexander Technique or martial arts based training, my work is NONE of these, but there are similarities to many. The big difference is that - according to me - if you don't understand why muscles do what they do, you will be asking them the wrong questions and not getting the answer you wanted. I aim to give you that understanding. It's a bit like muscular psychology!!
The question many people ask is: If it’s so easy and so effective, why does no one else teach it and why have I been sitting in static positions for hours (dancers) or trying to rip my own legs off (most people) thinking it will improve my flexibility for years? Answer – I have absolutely no idea!!!
Is this better than yoga? There are many reasons for and benefits to be had from yoga, many of which I do not pretend to address. However, if you are thinking of yoga as a means to increase flexibility, let me put it this way. If you’re already into and enjoy yoga, what I teach will make you better at yoga. However if you’re not into yoga, what I teach will save you years of doing yoga!! Translation : in terms of flexibility improvement, what I teach is faster. Much faster.
What will be expected of you?
1 – Bring an open mind, a good spirit and a sense of humour. My jokes are terrible but we always manage to have a laugh.
2 - You will be expected to turn up with or wearing the type of clothing you would wear for light exercise. You do not need to have the latest trainers (a waste really as you’ll have bare feet for much of the day) nor should you feel obliged to wear a fluorescent lycra body suit (guaranteed to induce nausea in people near you during some of the more active movements!), just loose fitting clothing that you can move freely in. Anyone turning up in jeans or their work suit (it happened!!) will be asked to run down to M&S and come back with something more appropriate!
3 – Be ready to listen, make an effort and get involved. You don’t have to believe that what I say is right, just be willing to try what I suggest and see for yourself. If you do, I can show you how to lengthen muscles, mobilise joints and move more comfortably, faster than you ever thought possible and more easily than you ever thought possible. If you’re not able to listen, make an effort and get involved for 6 short hours, PLEASE do not apply for a workshop place. For the same reason (i.e. – everyone else’s benefit), please DO NOT let someone else talk you into a 'day out' that you're really not up for. You might hate them for it later, will probably learn little and will take my attention away from people who really want to learn.
Final note: If you are (or intend to be) working as a therapist, yoga teacher, pilates teacher or fitness professional, YOU MUST contact me separately before applying for a workshop place as I have separate information for you.
Workshops are currently held in London SW4 every two to four weeks. If you can get together your own group of 7 people and would like me run a workshop for you in SW4, or if you can find a suitable venue and are happy to pay my travelling expenses to come to you, I’m always open to suggestions.