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The Front Splits Fast Program is a Miracle! And that is not said lightly... I used to dance with a company in South Africa (principal roles), but stopped performing for various reasons when I was 25. I continued going to classes though with my wonderful Russian teacher, Pasi Nieminen until five years later when I was in a terrible car accident – a drunk driver drove into my car at high speed from behind, pushing my car into the one in front very violently.
I was very, very lucky to come out alive, but the massive whiplash seemed to have done permanent damage to my nervous system. The description the doctor gave was that the impact (which had shattered the teeth in my mouth as my head came forward) had pulled the my nerves slightly out of the brain stem and that I would have “permanent whiplash”. I don’t know about that, but I do know that I suffered unimaginable pain for the next three years just doing normal things, and was unable to do ballet classes because my whole spine seemed to have tightened up completely with enormous pain.
I learned to live with it, accepted that that was “it” and it was only last year when I started dancing again quite seriously (because Timothy Gordon was offering classes), that I began to realize just how impossible it would be to get limber again. My body was simply “locked up” and no amount of theraband stretching made the slightest difference. It was distressing and quite frankly embarrassing… to look like the girl in class who “never stretched” – when I was trying so hard to stretch every night.
I saw your ad and because I had already bought The Perfect Pointe Book I felt confident that even a small bit of extra input might make some small difference to my flexibility “roadblock” that I simply could not get past. Almost coincidentally I also signed up for some massage treatments here (I’m not much of a pamper puss) and the Asian lady did the most wonderful massage on my neck and what I now know is my occipital region. First there was terrible pain, then amazing relief… so I began to put two and two together that maybe after 10 years my neck had healed up sufficiently for massage to manually work into whatever scar tissue remained, and to manually stretch the neck area again.
Then your program arrived in the mail. I felt quite nervous and left it for two days, then got my courage together and started watching the first DVD, which all made PERFECT sense to me. Then the book illustration and description of what nerves look like – ropes – coming out through the spine, was an absolute revelation. I started doing the DVD 2 workout, and absolutely immediately was able to visualize NOT my muscles trying to stretch into a black hole of pain, but my nerve ropes sliding gracefully in and out through their designated holes in the spine.
Voila – no more pain. Just like that.
Then the stretch reflex kicked in big time on my left side. I used to have issues with my left hip as a ballerina, where it would feel as though it had popped out completely – it really hurt badly, and I think I learned to protect the left side by clenching my glutes constantly and keeping the left hip under strict muscle control. Well, half way through DVD2 the left hip area just locked up. Completely. I couldn’t get off the floor. : ) They don’t call me a “tough bird” for nothing though, so I clawed my way up to the kitchen counter, heaved the left leg up onto it (ouch!!!), and started massaging the glute, hip and hamstring with some force, all the while commanding the muscles in that area to LET GO of that nerve!!
I no longer “believed” that I had any kind of injury on that side, I just acknowledged that there were some muscles clamping down on (probably the sciatic) nerve, and told them to stop doing that. It took about five full minutes of hand to hand combat, but out of the blue the pain stopped, the clench stopped, everything just relaxed. So I picked up my left knee under my left elbow, and lifted it in one easy move to be straight next to my ear (in 2nd position).
I seriously, honestly, have NEVER been able to do that since August 1999. And it happened just instantaneously.
Now my work is to teach my body to let go of the habitual tension from the car crash that I have been carrying for 10 years, and to teach it to relax again in class in all positions, and to help it forget the stretch reflex that has held me prisoner for so long. That will take work, to convince the body that it is safe to let go, but I am already seeing really amazing results in class. I probably look like a sack of potatoes (or a bag of vegetable soup…) because I am so intent on just relaxing everything, but I do think it is part of the process of letting go, and I’ll put my neat work back in place once I get the clenching nonsense to stop forever.
Lisa, your course really can do miracles. It is not an overnight fix, this like with anything else the body has to be trained to remember and spontaneously reproduce. However, the concept of having about 12cm of lovely slidey nerves to allow to run like silk thread through the spine and out along the body IS an overnight fix. I really do believe we all do have more or less the same muscles, whether we’re Sylvie Guillem or Plain Jane Ballerina, it’s our visualization and knowledge that allows us to be flexible (or not).
I will keep in touch – thank you so much for sharing your AMAZING insights and knowledge with us, you are truly a lovely and generous person with amazing gifts.