Making magic in Maui

It’s impossible not to feel energized, inspired, motivated and yet completely relaxed and calm when I enter into Alejandra’s peaceful studio surrounded by palm trees and multi-colored flowers swaying in the gentle, flowing breeze. This is upcountry Maui after all, the quieter part of the island away from all of the resorts, hotels and most of the island’s tourists. We’re minutes from one of the best kitesurfing beaches in the world, which makes sense since the only thing disrupting the bright sunny skies and the nighttime tropical showers is the persistent wind, not fierce or annoying but warm and invigorating.

Within seconds of entering this incredible space, I fully understand why Alejandra has chosen to have her studio in this location. I encounter an unquestionable energy of healing and positivity as I’m greeted by the warm smiles of Alejandra and her colleagues. I immediately know that I’m going to be able to get some serious work done here, so I get right to it…

It’s difficult to describe exactly what Alejandra’s method is. She has created her own system of exercise/movement/training/therapy that she calls Neuro Kinetic Pilates but it’s so much more than just Pilates. The moment I started working with her, I could tell how skilled she was. Following the request she makes to all of her clients to take my shirt off, I felt slightly overexposed, especially with my belly popping out which is a result of still not having control of my abs. She reassures me, “If I’m gonna get anything done, I have to see how your body moves and I have to start poking to see if those muscles are firing! Are you ready for that?”

Alejandra got me up on the Reformer, the Cadillac, the Barrel and a few other pieces of equipment that are commonly used in Pilates. She used pulleys and bands and cables, stretched me and yanked me and got my body in positions it had never been in with the final result being me more exhausted doing her exercises than anything I had previously done. Each exercise I did consisted of multiple simultaneous prompts from her asking me to do what seemed nearly impossible. How could I possibly hold my balance in this position without falling over, while still engaging my lat muscles, keeping my collarbones open yet chest in towards my ribs, breathing with my diaphragm and trying to suck my belly in all at the same time??!!

Alejandra uses fascia lines to connect different parts of the body to each other and awaken neural connections that are damaged. And just so you know, understanding fascia lines isn’t some alternative, eastern medicine, hippy dippy approach. In fact, when I asked her if the fascia lines had anything to do with acupuncture meridians, she simply shrugged her shoulders and said that she had no idea because all of her training was in western medicine. Simply put, fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and connects muscles, nerves, and blood vessels and runs through our entire body. One way to think of it is that instead of having over 600 separate muscles throughout the body, we have just one muscle with 600 different parts to it but all interconnected and related. (Check out this link to learn more)

So I’ll leave it there for now and throw in a couple videos of some of the exercises that I did, so you can see what this all looks like. I’ll write another post about my work with Alejandra with more videos and maybe get into the theory a bit more so stay tuned….

26 thoughts on “Making magic in Maui

  1. Amazing and great. I cannot wait to hear more about this program and how you will integrate it into your routine now that you are back home. BTW, your belly does not pop out! Not sure how it looked before, but I would consider it flat. 🙂

  2. This is awesome. Keep it up, maybe you should move to Maui so we can all visit you and cheer you on! 🙂 For the record, I don’t see a belly. Looking good as always my friend! Love you xoxo

    • Don’t think I haven’t already contemplated moving there. I definitely liked how I felt the whole time I was there. I’m sure the sunshine, warm weather and pervading calmness contributed to my accomplishments. -AB

  3. wow Arash this looks great, and so do you. Can see the hard work you are doing, and it’s nice to know you are doing it in such a healing, peaceful and beautiful place. Bravo! Much luck and good wishes for you

  4. Great work you’re doing. I must say, seeing the videos of the exercises are really helpful to your followers (especially those that have their own SCI to deal with).

    Your belly may look a little softer than those strong arm muscles, but it certainly doesn’t ‘pop out’.
    I guess you’re comparing it to the Belly of Old.

    Remember, this is a new Arash and a new physique you’re working with. There’s really no comparison. You look to have a lot more muscle than most people in your upper body, so I imagine that will eventually flow through to your lower body as time goes by.

    You’ve certainly make remarkable improvement since I’ve been following your blog. Well done!

    • You’re so encouraging and supportive. Thank you for that. Yes I was referring to the Belly of Old indeed. Haha. I am starting to notice the improvements quite a bit more recently and am looking forward to more in the future. Great to read your comments as always 🙂 -AB

  5. I finally met up with Michael Housewright and Juliette the other day. We talked about you and how amazing you are. The others have commented on the progress they’ve seen in you since they started following your blog, so I won’t repeat what they have said. These videos were great, Arash. Go you!!

    • Thanks so much Jess. I won’t get tired of hearing about the progress because it always feels different in my eyes and that I’m not progressing enough so thanks for that. Hope we can hang again soon -AB

  6. “we have one muscle with 600 different parts to it “- that is such an amazing thought, and so easy to grasp! living so far off the grid, i have little contact with anything new that’s happening, and this is fascinating! i’m so glad that you were able to go and are giving more than one hundred percent. you’ve grabbed taht meanole bull by the horns, and by damn, you’re going to wrestle him to the ground and STOMP ON HIM!

    I’m so proud and happy for you, and i am sure that 2014 is going to be an amazing and positive year for you!

    thank you for sharing the details of your life with us! z

    • Haha well apparently even those of us on the grid haven’t heard of this approach. This is a pretty cool idea that just needs to be more adopted but it seems like so many new and alternative approaches are difficult for the medical establishment to accept. I just wish there was a better way for ideas and approaches to be integrated into common thinking. Thanks for your continued support. Happy new year to you 🙂 -AB

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