Tutorial #1722

Stretch-eze® Tutorial

20 min - Tutorial


Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle introduces you to the Stretch-eze® full-body resistance band in this tutorial. She considers it a communication tool for the body, similar to how the springs of an apparatus interact with the body. The Stretch-eze® provides sensory proprioceptive feedback that facilitates increased awareness of form, whole body fascial connectivity, and dynamic, three dimensional movement.

To purchase a Stretch-eze® or to learn more about it, click here.
What You'll Need: Mat, Stretch-eze®

About This Video

Jun 13, 2014
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Well. Hi, welcome. I have a wonderful, wonderful surprise for you. I want to introduce you to an amazing prop that I've been using for a number of years that is called a stretchies whole body resistance band. And I'm going to show you why I think it's so amazing. It was designed by my colleague Kimberly Dye and a dance therapist and it just takes the theraband to a whole other level. The other thing is that it comes in numbers of sizes.

And I'm going to show you how I play with it and why I think it is a very, very important, um, conversational and communication tool for us to use that is similar to the power of the apparatus that we're so familiar with. Reformer, the chair, so much the, the springs, how the springs interact with our bodies and how does the resistance of the band interact with our bodies in a way that really opens a new awareness, new space, a spatial way of being with ourselves. So the, the band, as you can see, this is a medium that I use. Um, many times when I stand in the band, I'm going to show you what that looks like. Theater hip with the part. You can see the resistance of the band. I'm going to put it over my shoulders and I stand up and it's amazing. You think, uh, you know, pull your shoulders down.

You don't have to do a thing. You're just relaxing into gravity and your shoulderblades sink. They just melt. Now just exhale and right away you feel the waterfall of a shoulder blades down your back and the internal lift of the low belly up the front. It's incredible. Just with no effort. That's what we want to get to.

We want to get to a feeling of effortless ease rather than I've got to do something to myself rather than doing something. How do we allow gravity to support us and get in touch with the deep intelligence of our bodies so that gravity helps us to release and connect with no effort. Now my arms are going to be inside the band in a special way because the front of my body and the back of my body, think of front body, back body. They join one another at the periphery, right? Here's the side of my body, pinky finger, elbow. So as I bend, that's my periphery. That's my side body. We also know the lat along the, the uh, tensor Fascia Lata along the side of the leg along the outer part of the calf along the outer pinky toe. It's all the outer leg. How does the outer leg and sidekick have a difficult time?

How do we [inaudible] I have a hard time getting into that outer legs sometimes and this is going to make the difference. It's going to really help you communicate with your whole pelvis in a way that's going to amaze you. So my arms, my elbows are bending very, very slightly out to the side and I'm also opening up my hands because the other thing that's often missing in Palase is opening the hands and opening. The feet are actually a portal to the whole body. And we don't realize how much we don't concentrate on opening the hands and feet. We pay a lot of tension to the abdominals, and it's actually not how the body thinks. Body in relationship to gravity thinks through sensing weight through sensing space.

So I'm sensing the band as I'm gently releasing into the band. I'm not pushing, I'm just relaxing. And notice how my shoulders are dropping down. Now I'm just gonna Inhale, soften my knees, soften my elbows, exhale, I'm just straightening my arms and legs with no effort allowing. As soon as I bend my knees, something's catching me right.

My hamstrings are catching me. They're preventing me from falling to the ground. So as I bend, just a little bit of tension gets created because my body is getting lifted. As I'm kneeling, as I'm, as I'm gently bending my knees. Inhale, exhale, shoulder blade too. Deep belly turns on. That's our natural powerhouse. Inhale, Eh, exhale.

Now just weight shift to the right and look left weight. Shift to the left and look right. And you'll notice when you, you know, if you decided to get one of these bands, you'll be amazed how neck tension melts away because now I'm feeling the weight on my right side, staying in my left foot, but I'm feeling how the concentration of support on this side allows my neck to free up concentration of support on this side. Weight shifting allows my neck freedom and then I'm just going to look up as I allow the waterfall of the shoulder blades down my back. All I'm doing is looking up. I'm not pulling my chest up, I'm just looking up amazing stretch and now I'm looking down, still letting my waterfall of my shoulder blades relax down my back.

Huh? Completely free in my neck and now I'm just going to pop that off and everything just feels whoa. So light, spacious. So the thing that I've discovered over 40 years of teaching movement is that the most important thing for us to get in touch with is a fundamental way of being with gravity, which is compression and space, which is suspension. And we all have different arrangements. Some people are more compressed, some people are more spatial need grounding. Some people more need more space. How do we find balance for ourselves?

And how do we find a way of balancing left side and right side? How does that happen? Well, in order to not just be stretching the same thing over and over and over again and not really feeling like you're really changing, you feel like you're still doing the same thing over and over. How do you communicate through your body with whatever you're doing, with whatever prop you're using? Consider that the reformer and the Cadillac and the chair are all props. They're all things that communicate with us.

So this is an amazing communication tool that will help us to do mat work and many other forms of movement that opens up your body in an amazing way. So let me show you some other things that, like I said, this is a medium. This is a tall, this is a small. Now what's interesting is you'll see if you're interested and you'll see, um, that, uh, there's a link on this page that will allow you to go and purchase a band if that's something that you want. And, but I'll tell you a little story. The bands are usually according to height. So this was, the media was about, you know, I'm five, eight. And so that's about a, a nice size for me. But I worked with a client a couple of years ago who was five one and I thought, great, I'll get a small band, put the small band over her shoulders.

And she said, oh, it feels really tight. And I said, oh, okay, great. So I just took the band off, I put a medium over her shoulders. She said, oh, it still feels really tight. I just feel like I can't move. I said, okay. I put the tall on her shoulders. Remember I talked about compression and suspension. So her body was so compressed that when I put the tall on, she went, oh, now I know what you mean by space.

I thought, wow, that is so great. So that's why it's so important to consider how we're listening to our bodies rather than this one. Yeah, I use this for only that and I should only use this and I'm only using the ball. I get my inner size with the ball. How do we begin to create a conversation, a way of being with ourselves that allows us to really discover how to open our hips, not just through squeezing something, but rather suspension, periphery, finding the periphery. So I'll show you what I mean by that. Okay, so just like I did standing in the band, now I'm putting, my feet are hip with the part. I'm putting the band around my shoulders just like I'm standing up right?

And now I'm releasing out into the band, just sensing the sides of the band, allowing the waterfall down the back. As I begin to release my tail and begin to curl, I'm just gently straightening my legs. Now here's a roll up in places where people often have trouble. So as I press out gently, I'm feeling a waterfall down the back that lets me lift my head from the waterfall down the back. Now right here. Often what we do is push, right? It can be problem area, but instead of that tightening, the back creates space and when you press it out into the band, my back just widened and as my back widen, my belly dropped down. It's amazing.

It's an amazing feeling, incredible inhale, exhale, and the band just supports the release down. It's just so beautiful. Let's do that one more time. Curl and this time, why not take it to open leg rocker? Wide Open. Another thing to consider is if you get one band that's a little bit long for some movements, just wrap it around your feet, make it shorter and open. And as I press out now, I'm now remember I said that squeezing a ball between your inner thighs isn't always necessarily a thing that'll give you internal lift pressing out.

When we create space, the periphery pressing into the periphery gives us mid line lift. That feeling of out her girl, doesn't it look incredible? This is so much fun. I can't tell you. It's just something I adore. So I'm going to show you with the small how neat that can be sometimes because you put it behind your back, put it around your foot, and that gives me breath into the back. It gives me a feeling of opening. Take it over, taking it over and from there circling.

So now I've got the feeling of the band opening up my back as I create more connection, more internal lift, foot to spine, back of the leg to spine. And if you look at the teaser, the teaser tutorial that I did with Laurel, you'll see why it's really important to get back at the leg. Hamstring connected to the front of the spine. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. It feels so amazing, so beautiful. So let's look at rolling like a ball holding. Pull it up the middle, put it over and see. Once again, this is a small, so it's really giving me a lot of resistance. It's how you can play with having a little more space and feeling like you're creating a tension that's more interesting to your body. What is that?

What does that feeling of interest? Your body just goes, Ooh, that's really plus rolling over a microphone. It's very interesting. And from there floating opening, see the sky's the limit. You just kind of play, you're playing with your body. The other thing is that you know what is beauty? It's like to get in touch with the beauty of who we are, to get in touch with the magnificence of our deep intelligence and how that is, what's moving us is absolutely a gift. That's incredible.

And to be able to do that at any age is priceless. So too to really keep, just keep noticing what is it, what is it that you're doing that uh, is really helping you to energize yourself. I want to show you one more thing that I play with cause I have a scoliosis and so there I've put it around my foot and now I'm going to put it here, step through, cross it around, step through again. I can put it over my shoulder or I can take it this way, cross it again and put it over. So this is just something that I've played with that is absolutely incredible from my body. You'll find millions of ways, but what I find is harder for me to fully fill out my left side.

And so scoliosis is so much about compression and rotation. How do we decompress and how do we do rotate? How do we embody each side of our bodies? It's a pretty amazing thing. So now I can feel as I play with this particular way that I've configured it on my leg, it gives me more. It decompresses the tension here creates more support.

It's amazing. So you see how it's endless on believable. So I can't tell you enough. I'm so grateful to Kimberley for creating it. I was actually in the midst of doing something like this myself. And then I thought, I want to do this created bands.

And I just researched it and I'm just thrilled. I'm very grateful for the thousands of people that I've worked with over the years who have taught me so much and how deep my deep intelligence is continuing to teach me. And this band is a real gift. So I encourage you to get one. Um, see what sizes interests you, what works for you, and ask questions. Be in touch. So thank you so much. Look forward to seeing you. Bye.

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V good! Love it
Thanks Annmarie...let me know what your experience is in exploring with the Stretch-eze band, xwendy
Fascinating Wendy! Will you do a class using this for PA?
HI Hydie,
Yes! Wendy did do a Mat class using the Stretch-eze® and it will be out this week for you to take.
Really....$9 more for a tall person's Stretch-eze® than a short person's? And another $9 on top of that for extra tall!! Other products don't charge more for larger sizes...curious how you justify that this one does.
Hi Joni, PA has nothing to do with the sale or profit of any prop we use on the website, but your post here got me curious too.
When I click on the links to buy the bands, either through Wendy's website or the dyenamic movement website itself I see there is only about $3 difference in price for different sizes. Did Wendy state prices or the bands in the video (I haven't looked back yet)? If she did, I suspect she was speculating because her focus was more on what they do for you as opposed to selling them.
Here is what I found:
Dyenamic Movement
Yes, Kristi, this is the same page that we are directed to in the class description. The band goes up in price by $3 increments from $28.50 for a small to $44.50 for a large. If I wear a size 4 I don't expect to pay less for my clothes than someone who wears a 10. Hey, that would be a great deal for all of us pilates practioner's who work hard for more compact bodies!!
ah yes. ok. I thought you were saying that each size went up by $9. Thanks for the clarification.
Hi Joni, I've not personally (nor have clients) had an issue with the sight difference in price as the bands get bigger, and am thinking it may have something to do with the manufacturer that Dyenamic Products deals with...just a thought. They are FABULOUS...and I hope you try one to see for yourself!
Hello. I am designer. We actually have a distributor who sells all sizes for the same price at $50. a piece. It would be less confusing for us this way as well. But we try to be fair and price according to what it costs us for each one. Less fabric, less sewing as the size gets smaller. So..as in anything there are several approaches. Do hope you give it a try.
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