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Tuned In — Aligning Body and Mind

Are All Trainers Created Equal?

By: Whitney Easton - Monday, January 23, 2017
Are All Trainers Created Equal?

In Los Angeles, there are thousands of personal trainers, body workers, yoga teachers, pilates instructors, and the list goes on. It can be hard to sift through the masses to understand how one type of trainer differs from the next. One of my hopes in creating this blog, Tuned In, is to help our clients, past, present, and future, understand what distinguishes our approach and philosophy at the Garage.

Our trainers at Human Garage support the work that we do in realigning bodies, minds, and souls through a distinct approach. It is why we don’t, in fact, call them “trainers.” Rather, they are our Progression Specialists that support the work of biomechanical development and progression.

So, what is Biomechanical Development / Rehab and what does it have to do with living a pain free life?

Q: We are often asked: why do I need a trainer at the Garage? I already have a trainer. Are all trainers created equal?

A: The Progression Specialist at the garage is on the same page to get your body to function at its best, be fully relieved from pain, and move forward powerfully with a solid foundation. We have a more rehabilitative approach than a regular trainer you may have hired for other reasons.  We really take people on a journey from the inside out. In the process we use to unwind the body, we unwind to create space so that a person can then align better biomechanically.

They’re focusing on the feeling of alignment.

We can be considered a cross between physical therapy, neurologist, performance coach, and those who possess other healing/aligning modalities.

We don’t heal people. We align people with who they already are. That’s all it is. It’s all accessible within them. We just facilitate that process of realignment.


Q: What do we mean by “Progression Specialist?”

A: The simplest way to put it is when you’re a baby, you cannot go from crawling to running. If a baby starts from crawling to running, that baby is going to have some serious problems in their joints and they’re probably going to develop a lot of injuries throughout their lives.

You can’t run before you walk. It’s a natural progression of life and it’s important to embrace those steps that are in between. It’s necessary to have that solid foundation so that when you run you feel really good. Otherwise when you run you feel discombobulated, expend more energy, and are slower, less agile.

We’re just facilitating this process of progression and moving along the steps.

Q: There are a lot of trainers in L.A. What would you say is the biggest difference with our approach?

A: I think the biggest difference is we have a focus on alignment while at the same time we are taking them through a neurological component of training which less than 1% in the world do. This is a huge part of the missing link for bringing the body into full alignment that results in the best physical results in performance, less pain, reduction in chance of injury, greater muscle gain and even weight loss.

We take into account not only the biomechanics but we also take them from the train of thought that a trainer is going to give them exercise and nutrition and they’re just going to follow this thing blindly. We really connect all the dots.

We teach them how to fish, we don’t give them the fish.

We give them a sense of empowerment. They understand they have the ability, the capacity, and capability to do it all on their own, without having a codependency on somebody to be there forever.  

We simply facilitate and guide them and reinforce these new thought patterns and new ways of moving as well. So they remember they can do it all on their own.


Yari engaging Director of Client Experience, Sarah Yurich, in a Front Opening Dynamic Stretch

Q: What does "biomechanical development" mean and is it the same as personal training?

A: Biomechanical development means creating and building a strong foundation from which to move and operate from. We want to be sure that the client is taken care of by taking into account the reason they came to us in the first place (pain, faulty posture, weight issues, etc.) and where they want to truly be. It’s a beautiful combination of both wants and needs fully met. We take them through a process of unwinding first which then gets them into a new body, new sense of self because we’re not only unwind their physical fascia we’re also now unwinding some of their stagnant emotions since the emotions are stuck in the fascia tissue itself. Both emotionally and structurally they’re being changed.

The “biomechanical development” ties that together with the neurological component of creating neuroplasticity in the body by rewiring their neuropathways. They are now more connected and their bodies are moving from a much clearer map. Before, all their movement patterns were sort of stuck in their ways and now they’re able to flow with more ease, because of the neurological coupling with the unwinding.

It’s a very methodical process in which we basically take the person from the whole and don’t just start to build upon something that’s not a solid foundation. What we give them is this very solid foundation on which to build upon.

So many injuries happen when they haven’t created the core, solid foundation that includes the fascia, the neurological aspects, the brain is such a powerful thing that if they don’t address the brain, they’ll go back to old habits and old patterns of movement which will then get them to wind back up.

Q: What would you say to the person that is skeptical about the necessity of going through the biomechanics protocol?


A: I would say to reflect upon their past experiences. What they have done and how they’ve gotten injured or developed a body that has limitations: have I gone into a program too fast too soon? How have I developed this posture? When did I start getting pain? Did I exercise focusing on just my goal and disregarded the foundation? How has my experience been with other trainers in the past? Have I ever truly done anything to address this from a neurological and biomechanical progression standpoint? With that reflection they can come to a better understanding. 

The body speaks all the time and it is important for us to tune in.

To take the steps of developing their body from a solid structural foundation so they have less chances to injure themselves and to wind back up because their brain is still functioning from the old self.

Q: Would you equate it to a rehab of sorts?

A: Yes. I would say that it is rehab, repair, and alignment. 

Neurological Visual Exercise, engaging body + mind in Biomechanical Development 

Q: What does the brain have to do with it?


A: The brain has everything to do with it. It is the interpreter. If their bodies and their joints aren’t open they’re still receiving information in a way that the brain interprets. But if that information isn’t being received from a place of openness within their joints, their brain is now going to interpret it in a certain way and it will by default give a faulty output.

They’re going to move in a faulty form, which then creates faulty patterns, which then creates pain, which then results in that same vicious cycle. So, the brain has a lot to do with it. If we can get clear signals to the brain, the brain will give you better output.

Q: What might you say to the person that feels better after going through alignment sessions at Garage and then goes right back into working out again and gets hurt? What do you think is missing for that person?


A: I think too fast too soon will break a person down. It’s always about progression. They’ll be like a brand new person once they finish that unwinding process so they have to treat themselves more gently, even though they feel better and with more energy. They have muscles that haven’t been used in so long will now be firing so that’s going to create more soreness in the body. If they aren’t more gentle in their approach it has potential to backfire with injury because they’ve given too much stimulus to those muscles and parts of the body that hadn’t been worked on.

It’s the same as a stay at home mom who decides to hit the gym when she hasn’t worked out in months after giving birth and she goes into a one hour boot camp class it’s too fast too soon and the body can totally have a breakdown. In this case the mom may have wanted to do some bodyweight exercises or have begun going for walks before she joins a bootcamp class.

It’s important to slow your roll into it so your body can start to give you really positive results over long periods of time. Because you can burn yourself out or get injured really quickly, which will put you back to square one.

Q: Is there a lesson that has come up for you in working with HG clients?

A: Everything has its place, everything works synergistically works well together. There’s not one thing only that is the answer. It takes a multitude of things to allow you to be whole and complete and work at an optimal level. So there is so much value in the fascial release work, just as there is in the neurological component. And also, the strengthening and the heart pumping sort of stuff that happens after this integration with your body. Because i also feel it is important to challenge the body as well. Because the body is a mechanism, a machine that adapts to everything. 

Progression Specialist Fletcher dynamically building strength 

Q: Are there things I have forgotten today in our conversation?


A: Yes, it’s important to align yourself with things that bring you joy. And whenever you can connect with your highest joy. Like dancing for me. One of the things that helped heal my back the fastest when I went dancing. And dancing, my back didn’t hurt me, partly because of being in my highest state of joy. When you’re in your highest state of joy you aren’t so tight in your body, because you’re not creating stress in your body. When you’re in a state of stress, it tightens up your body that that much more, therefore creating a lot more pain and potential injury. But when you let go and you can release that because you’re dancing or you’re painting or whatever it is that fuels your soul, that is one of the ways you’re going to align that much faster.

Which is what all of this is created for. To create your ultimate happiness in a way that is sustainable.

And, just as much as you participated in creating the injury or creating the disconnect in the body or pain in your body. Understanding you are responsible for that as well just as much as you are responsible for your alignment and healing. So we are consistently participating in whatever it is that we are experiencing.

And we are not here to fix anyone because the healing happens within you when you allow all of yourself to come into balance.

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Yari, our Director of Biomechanical Development, left our conversation with these important reminders. If we haven’t already convinced you there is something distinct about working with a Progression Specialist at the Garage, we encourage you to try a session with Yari, Fletcher, Jerry, Anela, or Jenn today.

“I think it’s important for a person to ask themselves when they got injured: what was their life like? Were they in a high level state of stress? Were there a lot of things going on in their lives? How was their relationship flowing? Finances? Work? Whatever it was that was going on in their lives, did they get injured at a point in time when they were in their highest state of joy or, when they were highly stressed?

This is important so that a person can begin to connect the dots of why this has occurred.

As Progression Specialists, I think that’s part of what makes us different; we help people understand how they helped create it (pain) and how they can also undo it.”

Whitney Easton

Whitney is Director of Digital Communications at Human Garage in Venice, California. She holds an M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology and is a regular contributor to Elephant Journal. When not writing and blogging about the mind/body connection, wellness, life, and relationships, she can usually be found basking in the sun, practicing yoga, hiking in the mountains with her rescue dogs, and enjoying her peaceful, aligned life.


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