Jill Miller Fascia Expert

Jill Miller
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Kelly: [0:00:04] Hey everyone, I’m Dr. Kelly Starrett.

Juliet: [0:00:06] And I’m Juliet Starrett.

Kelly: [0:00:08] And you’re listening to The Ready State Podcast.


Juliet: [0:00:16] This episode of The Ready State Podcast is brought to you by Momentous, and today we want to talk about the Sleep Pack.

Kelly: [0:00:23] You and I are obsessed with sleep. We’re obsessed with sleep.

Juliet: [0:00:25] Like literally obsessed. 

Kelly: [0:00:26] We think about it, we organize, we stopped drinking caffeine, we’re like ooh, should we have a beer, no.

Juliet: [0:00:31] We barely ever drink alcohol.

Kelly: [0:00:32] Yeah, and we really have optimized our room for maximum sleep density. The problem with what’s happened is now my sleep is so good at home that anywhere else I go, it’s less good.

Juliet: [0:00:44] It’s less good. 

Kelly: [0:00:45] And I know that I’m going to be confronting that. One of the common behaviors that we’ve engaged in for a long time is we’ve been taking magnesium before we go to bed.

Juliet: [0:00:53] It’s like a total go to for us.

Kelly: [0:00:54] And most of the athletes we know, most people we know are actually not getting enough magnesium, they’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables, et cetera, et cetera. This is an easy way to enhance your sleep. But Momentous has made it even easier. One of the things that you and I are big fans of is looking at reducing barriers to adherence, making it simpler. These guys have done it with the Sleep Pack.

Juliet: [0:01:12] How can we make it really simple to do the things we know we want to do?

Kelly: [0:01:15] This versus just magnesium threonine, this sleep pack has three ingredients.

Juliet: [0:01:21] Which are?

Kelly: [0:01:22] Put together by… Apigenin and L-Theanine plus magnesium. This is Andrew Huberman who is the hottest thing on the internet. He’s our bright, bright friend from Stanford. This is his go to sleep cocktail.

Juliet: [0:01:35] What’s cool is it just comes in this really easy pack with all the things that you need to take to have an epic and awesome night’s sleep.

Kelly: [0:01:43] Non habit forming. And one of the things I want to point out is we can get rid of the little chocolate mints or chocolate thing on your pillow. If we just replaced that with this-

Juliet: [0:01:51] When you go to a hotel.

Kelly: [0:01:51] If you go to a hotel, change your life.

Juliet: [0:01:53] It would.

Kelly: [0:01:53] It would transform society one pack at a time.

Juliet: [0:01:54] We can’t recommend this enough. If you want to try it out, go to thereadystate.com/momentous and use code TRS for 20 percent off your first purchase.

Kelly: [0:02:05] Do it.

Juliet: [0:02:05] Happy sleeping. This episode of The Ready State Podcast is brought to you by Sleepme.

Kelly: [0:02:07] If you listen to this podcast, you know that we have been sleeping with a Dock Pro under our respective sheets, our respective sides-

Juliet: [0:02:17] That’s true. 

Kelly: [0:02:18] There is a DMZ between us. You have your temperature, I have my temperature. But one of the things I want to talk about today is how this device, which can really help thermoregulation at night. If you’re a hot sleeper or a cold sleeper, we’ve got you covered. But one of the things that happens is my unit starts to warm up. And so I’m cold, cold, cold, cold, and then I start to get warm, and I think to myself, time to wake up. I’ve been waking up without an alarm clock because my bed is warming up. That’s so cool.

Juliet: [0:02:47] Why do you think that’s important?

Kelly: [0:02:49] Well, I don’t think it’s important other than, man, it’s a nice way to wake up. I don’t have an alarm. I’m actually warm and sort of active, and it feels like it pulls me out of my torpor.

Juliet: [0:02:58] What does torpor mean?

Kelly: [0:02:59] Torpor is not like hibernation. It’s what most animals do; they just get really sleepy and slow.

Juliet: [0:03:04] No, but it’s true. I mean it’s something that you talk about a lot, where you love to start your night being super cold, like cold as ice, and then warm up as the night progresses, and that’s your favorite way to wake up is in a cozy warm bed.

Kelly: [0:03:16] Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. And then ideally, my wife brings me a cup of coffee, if something’s going right.

Juliet: [0:03:21] That never happens.

Kelly: [0:03:22] But look, I just want everyone to understand that I think thermoregulation sleep is one of the big frontiers of how we can improve people’s sleep who are going 100 miles an hour. This is revolutionary. 

Juliet: [0:03:33] If you want to try out one of our most favorite products ever, head over to sleep.me/TRS to learn more and save off the purchase of any new Cube, Ooler, or Dock Pro Sleep System.

Kelly: [0:03:44] Do it.

Juliet: [0:03:45] There is an offer available exclusively for The Ready State Podcast listeners, and only for a limited time. That’s sleep.me/TRS to take advantage of our exclusive discount and wake up refreshed every day. 

Kelly: [0:03:57] Refresh.

Juliet: [0:03:58] Jill Miller is a fascia expert with 30 years of corrective movement expertise that forges links between the worlds of yoga, massage, athletics, and pain management. Her signature self-care fitness programs, Yoga Tune Up, and the Roll Model, are found at gyms, yoga studios, hospitals, athletic training facilities, and corporations worldwide. 

Kelly: [0:04:18] I got to tell you, Jill has been part of our universe for a long time. I learned about fascia, was part of fascia, and it’s Jill who really brought fascia back into my thinking about how to address all of these tissue systems.

Juliet: [0:04:32] Yeah, I mean you guys have been collaborators and- 

Kelly: [0:04:36] Over a decade.

Juliet: [0:04:37] For over 10 years. You made a product together. So we’ve been longtime friends and collaborators with Jill and her team.

Kelly: [0:04:43] What I love about this conversation is Jill is an entrepreneur with her husband and they have gone out and created a universe solving a problem: How do we have people, she calls it find their blind spots in their home, in their movement practice, and then where do they begin to tug at the knots of this thing. Where you sometimes have traditionally been geared towards high performance, Jill was like, oh, these people over here move a little slower, we need a different set of tools, and she’s done such a wonderful job of picking up the slack.

Juliet: [0:05:15] Yeah, it was really cool to just hear about the evolution of her business and her thinking and where she is today. She’s got a new book coming out that we’re really looking forward to. So overall, it was just a really fun conversation.

Kelly: [0:05:25] Yeah. If you’ve ever been with us and laid down on a roller and had to mobilize your trunk, the gut smash-

Juliet: [0:05:32] Gut smash. That’s all Jill Miller.

Kelly: [0:05:34] That’s all Jill Miller and you’re going to hear the origin of that. This is a great conversation with a very intensely bright human being who has made the world a better place. Please enjoy our conversation with the Jill Miller.

Juliet: [0:05:45] Hey, Ready State listeners, if you like what you’re hearing, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes to help others find our show.

Juliet: [0:05:51] Jill Miller, welcome to The Ready State Podcast

Jill Miller: [0:05:54] Juliet, Kelly, hey.

Kelly: [0:05:57] This is like, I don’t know, this is like hanging out with someone you grew up with as a teenager. So just for everyone who’s listening, for the first time, as we introduce you to the incredible brain and body of work that is Jill Miller, know that this wonderful human had a huge impact on my teaching and thinking. You have been around from the very beginning. I mean in the parking lot of dreams, in the pain cave, that’s how long we’ve been hanging out. Over a decade.

Jill Miller: [0:06:20] Yeah. And I’m just bracing myself to be tickled basically for an hour straight by the two of you.

Juliet: [0:06:27] That’s the goal. Okay, so I want to go way back to the beginning because I think we want to spend a lot of time talking about what you do professionally and all your awesome contributions. But you also had a life before you were doing your current profession. So maybe could you just give us a quick backstory on-

Kelly: [0:06:42] How did you get here?

Juliet: [0:06:42] Where you grew up and what you started doing professionally.

Kelly: [0:06:43] I think of you as the world’s preeminent expert in fascia as it relates to practical home use. People actually doing something about it. I know there are fascia nerds out there, but you are for me the tip of the spear that way. How did you become this person?

Jill Miller: [0:07:05] There’s so many different threads that brought me into the world of fascia, really into the deep nexus of fascial research. I just returned from the Fascia Research Congress where a small group of nerds from all over the planet gathered. So I really went from not knowing anything about the stuff that connects everything together into being, well, into actually having to write about it for a medical textbook without a PhD, without a master’s degree. So how did I get to that point? Well, one, I think the upbringing. I had a mom who was highly asthmatic and in and out of emergency rooms and I was always very aware that there were things affecting her body that were shutting her down. And then two, my dad was an infectious disease doctor so I grew up around the language of anatomy and the language of medicine. But that really wasn’t that big an interest to me. I wanted to be a singer, I wanted to be an actress. And I grew up off the grid in Santa Fe, New Mexico, actually with my mom and stepdad at the time. And I just wanted to do anything to really get out of dodge. I loved Santa Fe but I couldn’t wait to get in front of cameras, get on the stage.

Kelly: [0:08:19] I’m picture you as a kid in a landship outside of Santa Fe with beer bottles for windows. And you’re like I’m going to be an actor. I love that image. 

Jill Miller: [0:08:30] Well, it wasn’t beer bottles.

Kelly: [0:08:32] Wine bottles. Sorry.

Jill Miller: [0:08:32] It was solar windows. My parents were in the solar industry. So yeah, we were way buried halfway underground in a berm bathed house living in one of the only two solar communities on planet earth at the time. But that really is a thing of my past. I don’t even have a solar home anymore. I mean I live in Los Angeles and we have to run the AC all the time because it’s so freaking hot here right now. So yeah, I was really more of a theater nerd but I really always had this love of microbiology. And when I was deciding whether to go become a microbiologist or become an actress, I ended up writing a check to Northwestern University and studying performance. But long story short, I didn’t make it as a successful actress but I always had the science behind me and I always had movement arts that were supporting me psychologically and with my body and my health. And then a shorter story insert of all of that is I succumbed to a number of different eating disorders from age, gosh, probably 12, 13, all the way to age 20. And so a lot of my life path has also been dealing with that addiction and also the repercussions of that addiction and also how to support my mental health. And so really all things connect in the fascia space for me for solutions, for mitigating my own stress levels, but also staying healthy, learning about moment, learning about different practices for autonomic nervous system self-regulation and so on.

Kelly: [0:09:55] You and I do a lot of teaching in front of camera. And what I’ll say is you probably made your current career choice in terms of teaching, inspiring, creating a legion of people that use your model, that film production, you do it as well as anyone else in front of the camera. You’re just so aware. And I think if you’re going to be an effective teacher, you probably could use some communication skills and some meta processing around it. Really, truly. 

Jill Miller: [0:10:19] Kelly, I mean theater arts and production acuity, production elements, are key to being able to get your message across. This is really evident at the Fascia Research Congress where you have a lot of scientists presenting their research and you’re like, oh my gosh, please, somebody give them some media training just so that they even have inflection in their voice. So I think that it is really important. Unfortunately, and we can go into a huge conversation just about that, people actually are getting on the job training right now with the use of Instagram and TikTok. They’re learning what works, what doesn’t work in terms of how to communicate. I have so many things to say about performance and theatrics and the use of a small camera versus the use of a broad stage. You really need to scale your ability to connect whether you’re teaching at a big conference. I’ve seen you, Kelly, teach at conferences where there’s 2,000 people sitting in the audience versus just this one-on-one intimacy that’s coming across on the phone. So that’s a whole other subset of skill that really does help me, you and myself, effective communicators. Some learn on the job, some trained for years like I did, paid a lot of money to Northwestern, to train me how to do that.

Kelly: [0:11:30] The other piece I just want you to work on as part of your background because it really does make up who you are is this notion of self-care and fascia and myofascial mobilizations, which you’re such a leading expert, came out of a movement tradition. It is anchored in a movement tradition. You talk about your incredible yoga teaching.

Juliet: [0:11:51] Wait a second. I’m cutting you off because I have to go back to these prior subjects.

Kelly: [0:11:55] Well, I’m trying to get her history to hear.

Juliet: [0:11:56] No, no, you’re missing the whole… I have to ask a few side questions.

Kelly: [0:12:00] All right, go ahead, J. Sorry.

Juliet: [0:12:02] Okay, so I can’t let your mention of eating disorders go without a little bit of follow up, especially because I have two teenage daughters, so I’m around a lot of teenage girls, and it is rampant in our community.

Kelly: [0:12:12] Even just the RED-S.

Juliet: [0:12:13] Yeah, just the RED-S and it’s a struggle for young girls and when you have a teenage girl, you’re just extra, acutely aware of it. So I just want to find out, I mean it sounds like this was sort of 12 to 20, but also, I looked back at growing up at the same time as you in the ‘70s and ‘80s and there was so much less awareness and support. So tell us a little bit more about that and how you recovered from it and did you have support? Because I feel like a lot of us in the ’80s were just sort of left to be whatever-

Kelly: [0:12:43] SlimFast.

Juliet: [0:12:44] Figure out on your own. So I don’t know, tell us a little bit about how you managed recovering and how it’s affected your life going forward.

Jill Miller: [0:12:52] So I didn’t know that starving myself was a bad idea until I saw a, I think it was 20/20 and it was coverage of Jane Fonda. You remember Jane Fonda was the first out bulimic. Do y’all remember?

Juliet: [0:13:14] I 100 percent remember that.

Jill Miller: [0:13:16] Yeah. And prior to that, I had just been starving myself. And then when I saw that I was like, oh wow, I could eat and then throw up. I know that sounds like a totally crazy way to get a new idea about how to control my body. But first of all, I was a chubby kid. Let’s go way back. I was a super chubby kid. I was also the shortest kid. So I was that sort of round nerd with glasses in sixth grade that got picked last, that was teased, that was not interested in movement. I mean I liked to read books, I liked to play with my dolls. There was nothing in me that was interested in movement. But I got teased so much. And whenever one of my family members teased me, it was very painful to have that criticism. And so I just decided to stop eating. And by I guess the end of seventh grade I had gone from 100 pounds down to 65 pounds. And I was only 4’10 so I was really short but I was skin and bones but I hid it in all my big, baggy clothes because that was the look at the time. I don’t know. You guys remember those huge baggy sweaters? You just could hide it. But I do remember seeing my skeletal body and then thinking that this was wrong and I need to start eating. 

Spontaneously I healed from the anorexia, but then it did transmute into bulimia once I got that idea. But at the same time, I was checking out books at the library about anorexia and bulimia because I didn’t understand why I was doing this to myself and I didn’t understand really what was going on. And then when I finally did seek treatment in college when my best friend was admitted to a hospital because she almost died, she was skinny—we were a bunch of dancers in college, we were a total mess in the dance department—and I finally started seeking treatment. But I also found that the treatment wasn’t helping me, the way that we were processing emotions, the way my therapist interacted with me, none of it helped. What helped for me was this confession I made to my yoga teacher at the time. I made a confession to my yoga teacher, I guess I was 19, I said, “Hey, I can’t feel my abs like my roommate can.” My roommate was pre-med, we were both taking Pilates in the dance department and she would always complain that her abs were sore. And I was like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, my abs are never sore.” It’s because I was bypassing them. I was completely disconnected from my center. 

And so my yoga teacher said, “Well, use this prop.” And she handed me this sandbag that was shaped like a hamburger bun. And she said, “Lay down on it, face down, belly down, and breathe.” And so I laid down on this prop and boy, did I feel my abs, and I felt through my abs, and I felt into a visceral pain. I now know that’s visceral pain. And finally was able to connect the dots of what I was running from, the emotions I was avoiding, and I started to have genuine emotions about my own fears, my own rage. And that was the beginning. And now I have this gorgeous ball. We lay on our bellies and we roll our guts and have this amazing other experience that’s related to performance and strength.

Kelly: [0:16:20] I’ve never heard the origin story of that. That’s incredible. 

Juliet: [0:16:22] Yeah, that’s so cool.

Kelly: [0:16:23] And shame on that person for causing so much dysfunction and trauma of all the people I’ve made lay on a roller thanks to you. I mean that’s a really incredible tidal wave of change that’s gone all the way up. It’s incredible.

Juliet: [0:16:36] And I just have to say what a 1980s story it is, actually. I don’t know why it feels so 1980s to me. But Jane Fonda coming out was actually in a twisted and dark way inspirational to you, but in the wrong way. Of course, that’s not why she would have wanted to come out. So I don’t know, I just feel like that’s such a ’80s way of having that go down.

Kelly: [0:16:55] I’m going to take an aside here because one of the things that you just illustrated is a fight I have a lot with the physical therapy community where it is always top down processing, where it is always the brain, always the brain, always the brain. And I get hammered because I’m like, hey, I think there’s a lot of ways into this system. I mean Iyengar is like nerves are king of the breath, breath is king of the brain, right? He said that a long time ago. What you just described is this bottom-up input.

Jill Miller: [0:17:24] Absolutely.

Kelly: [0:17:24] I can access and change how I’m feeling and how I’m connected by pushing on my body. That’s literally what you just said. And that began a train of reconnection and loci of control shifting and dealing with emotions. That’s really a remarkable we call bottom-up processing moment. And when people tell me I’m wrong, it’s always the brain down, I’m making these things up, I’m like I don’t think so. I mean what you just described is really a revolution in ways back in to complex problems, that we can work on both sides at the same time.

Jill Miller: [0:18:00] I couldn’t talk my way out of an eating disorder, Kelly. I had to feel my way out of it. And the feelings were so cut off. My brain was making noise all the time. I mean the type of OCD symptoms that accompany an eating disorder, I couldn’t stop my brain. You know what stopped it? My feelings stopped it. My body-based feelings. So once I was able to tap in and figure out, oh my goodness, this is the path… Now, that sandbag was way too hard. I started using a rolled-up towel in my dorm room and that was really a… My roommate would look down, she’s like, “What are you doing?” Every morning I would go to the bathroom and then I would lay down on this towel and then I would put it in several different places within my abdomen, breathe, breathe, breathe, try to connect, and then I could get grounded and then I could move into my day with myself connected to myself rather than this head ordering everything around. I could listen to my body. I learned to listen to my physiology, to my what I now know is interoception. So I learned how to have two directional communication from my body and my brain and of course the brain and the body.

Juliet: [0:19:04] So I rudely cut off my husband before who was going to ask you a question, which I think I’m going to try to pick up the thread. But when I first met you and learned a little bit about your background, I sort of knew… It started for me with understanding that you have a very serious yoga practice, that you are really into yoga. It sounds like you were already doing it at age 19 when you discovered this little sandbag and our yoga instructor-

Kelly: [0:19:27] And who was the Glenn?

Juliet: [0:19:30] Yeah, I know you had a very serious yoga career. And if you could tell us a little bit about that and I know there were some pros and cons. 

Jill Miller: [0:19:38] So all of this all started at the same time. So I was in sixth grade, my mom brought home the Jane Fonda Workout. Oh my gosh, there’s the Jane. Jane Fonda Workout and the Raquel Welsh yoga video. So we lived off the grid, like I said. We didn’t have TV. So we had a satellite dish and then we had beta videos. And she brought home these videos. And they lit me up. And this was the first time I was ever excited about exercise. And then of course, I used these videos, became obsessive, compulsive. And then I started to look into the yoga part. Less so the Jane Fonda part. I didn’t really like that feeling of repetitive clam shells or whatever the abs that they did. I just didn’t like that pace. I like much slower pace. So even though I talk very fast, I’m a very slow-paced mover. You have helped me a lot with that pace movement, by the way, Kelly. 

So I started to get a subscription to Yoga Journal magazine. I was in Santa Fe so it wasn’t hard to find yoga classes, even as a young teenager. So I started to look into the yogic arts and, gosh, I really woke my body up through the yogic arts. And not only did I wake them up, I also woke up my mobility, which was excessive. I had no idea that I could put both my legs behind my head and wrap my arms around myself and do all the contortion style positions, which fast forward, decades later, I now know, boy, was that a bad idea. But it was- 

Kelly: [0:21:07] It’s no different than playing football in high school, just to be clear. It’s just a different set of choices.

Jill Miller: [0:21:11] As my friend Tom Myers calls it, I’m a temple dancer. And so I just went into that sort of liquefied state of my joints and connective tissue until I started having real problems and then I had to learn anatomy. I had to back reverse my whole practice and created something called Yoga Tune Up so that I wouldn’t kill myself anymore or pass that along to my students. Did I answer your question now, Juliet?

Juliet: [0:21:33] You totally did. You totally did. I just want to talk about the word hypermobility because I don’t think I knew much about it until I met you. I actually think Kelly is hypermobile but he’s so muscular-

Jill Miller: [0:21:47] He hides it well. 

Juliet: [0:21:47] Yeah, he hides it well. But anyway, I’ve diagnosed him as many things, but one of them being hypermobility.

Kelly: [0:21:54] Lisa just guffawed. Lisa’s just spit milk out of her nose.

Juliet: [0:21:58] But that’s not the only thing I’ve diagnosed him with. But anyway, I know that you both… Really getting to know you was the first time I really became aware of hypermobility and I know Kelly has learned a lot from you about it. And I actually just as a lay person who’s not really in this same community as the two of you, it never occurred to me until I met you that actually as a non-hypermobile person I would think wow, that’s awesome, I would love to be able to be so flexible, but it actually can be a real challenge and cause a lot of-

Kelly: [0:22:25] Would you define it?

Juliet: [0:22:26] Yeah, what is it and-

Kelly: [0:22:27] How would you think about the word hypermobile getting bandied about? What does that mean in your language?

Jill Miller: [0:22:34] It is bandied about a lot. And I think that the definitions do continue to change. I think there was a recent change in the nomenclature in 2019 and of course, I don’t have that exact definition in front of me. But hypermobility is a spectrum of collagen and tissue laxity. And so some people may have very loose joints, loose skin, bruise easily, have difficulty maintaining strength, joints popping in and out of place, sub-luxing.

Kelly: [0:23:00] And there can be real diseases like Ehlers-Danlos where you have actually, you have a hard time synthesizing collagen on one side of the spectrum.

Jill Miller: [0:23:07] Correct. Or Marfan syndrome. So you can have dysregulation of collagen, not just in the ligaments and the bones in the joints but you have to think that collagen is our organizing protein everywhere so you have collagen running throughout your digestive tract, you have collagen running throughout your heart or your eyes. You have collagen organizing your vasculature. So people who have hypermobility might have manifestations in respiratory issues. I know somebody might have respiratory challenges. Like my mom has asthma so you can look at a spectra of familial collagen issues, might have varicose veins; might have elongated eyes, meaning have very, very poor, far vision; manifestations in blood pressure; postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, easily get dizzy; digestive issues. So the spectra of collagen dysregulation manifestations isn’t just necessarily in your movements. It’s also throughout your body. And actually, there’s a really great researcher, you should really check her out, Jessica Eccles. She’s analyzed all of the comorbidities that go along with hypermobility and it’s really, really fascinating. But if we narrow it down, chunk it down to just movement, people with hypermobility often have a lot of pain but they also have a lot of tightness, like this indescribable tightness all the time in certain parts of their body because those parts of their body are clamping up or seizing up in order to help

Juliet: [0:24:33] Yeah, to compensate.

Jill Miller: [0:24:33] Manage the looseness elsewhere.

Kelly: [0:24:36] Those are strategies, that tightness is a strategy the brain is employing for control

Juliet: [0:24:39] T9his is a theory I have in my own mind, but do you find that hypermobile people are often drawn to yoga because they have immediate and early success. If you go to a yoga class and you’re hypermobile, you’re going to be like, yes, I am crushing this class, I’m going to keep doing this.

Kelly: [0:24:57] Are you projecting right now why you struggle to go to yoga class?

Juliet: [0:24:58] I mean I think it is, it’s about me and the opposite feeling, which is that I go and I’m horrible at it.

Jill Miller: [0:25:03] Oh, 100 percent. It’s self-select. It really does just like weightlifting or Olympic lifting is not necessarily going to select the super bendy. But I know when you fuse these two halves of the spectrums together, you have just better tissue resilience. And so the super muscle bound football player, it’s really good for them to do parasympathetic based movement practices and same thing with the super flexy yogis, they really need to load their tissues.

Kelly: [0:25:34] I want everyone to know that our friend Matt Vincent coined a term. He says I was bendy before I was big. That’s my secret. He said, “You were bendy before you were big.” 

Jill Miller: [0:25:42] Okay, I think you just puffed up some beautiful musculature all around these super loose joints. I mean I’ve seen you dance; I’ve seen you move. I’ve seen thousands of videos of you move and that man’s got range and he’s got gain.

Juliet: [0:25:57] It’s not all that work you do. It’s genetic.

Kelly: [0:26:00] Oh, you just stop. You hush. You hush.

Juliet: [0:26:01] Oh, I knew that was going to kill you. 

Kelly: [0:26:03] I just woke up like this. One day I just had it.

Juliet: [0:26:05] Okay, so I want to move on and talk about fascia.

Kelly: [0:26:08] How’d you get those legs?

Juliet: [0:26:09] How’d you get those legs?

Kelly: [0:26:10] Maybe he was born with it. 

Juliet: [0:26:12] At what point in your journey, and I would like to talk to you about the business side a little bit too, I know you originally started with Yoga Tune Up and I think it was when we first met you, that was the first iteration.

Kelly: [0:26:23] Let me frame that for people. I was coming from this we’ll call it a high-performance traditional athletic side and I was working with really stiff athletes who had a lot of tissue. And we had to get into joints aggressively. And one of the questions or the conversations Jill and I had early on, she’s like, “Your balls and all your tools are way too much for my population.” And I was like, “Jill, my fat powerlifters squash out your tools. They’re just not hard enough.” And when Jill started working in the strength and conditioning community, you were like, okay, I need a different set of tools. And I realized as I was moving out of that profession, I was like, okay, I understand where Jill’s coming from now in terms of-

Jill Miller: [0:27:09] General population.

Kelly: [0:27:10] You were addressing that. So I just want to tune that up.

Juliet: [0:27:13] Okay, so let me refine my question a little bit because now I’ve rethought it. But can you start by just telling us how did you start Yoga Tune Up and what was it as a business to begin with and then maybe tell us what it’s now morphed into and then we can talk about-

Kelly: [0:27:26] Why the fascia, why self-care, why the mobilization?

Jill Miller: [0:27:29] Okay. So really, right now I have two brands that are under the umbrella of Tune Up Fitness. So my company Tune Up Fitness that my husband Robert is my copartner in this business and he really is the brains behind the business; I’m the brains behind the creativity of formats and that sort of thing. But he came to one of my workshops a few years ago. A few years ago? We’re so old.

Juliet: [0:27:51] I was like wait, it was just a few years ago?

Jill Miller: [0:27:53] No. Anyway, Yoga Tune Up was something I had been building before I met my husband. So we’re talking 2001 I think I coined the term Yoga Tune Up. And really, it was to pay respect to the lineage because in yoga it’s all about lineage The lineage of education that I had received. And the primary teacher I had is a man named Glenn Black. He’s like a yoga recluse, lives in upstate New York. He doesn’t really have a website or Instagram or that sort of thing. And if you know about him, you’re meant to know about him. He’s also an orthopedic-

Kelly: [0:28:28] Too late. Sorry, Glenn. Genius.

Jill Miller: [0:28:30] Yeah, that’s right. He’s also an orthopedic manual massage therapist who learned his trade from a man named Shmuel Tatz, who created something called Body Tuning. So let me smoosh this all together for you. So when Glenn would teach, he would be very disgusted with how we were performing yoga poses and he would come around to us and massage us, like throw us on the ground, in a nice way, and massage us in order to increase proprioception and to help with accessing mobility in whatever joint was what he would call recalcitrant. So if we had these pathetic recalcitrant movements and we weren’t displaying beautiful asana, he would help us with massage in the moment and then he would help us massage each other. And so that was one of the ways that we were learning the direct application of massage and movement in the moment for performance. So when I started teaching yoga-

Kelly: [0:29:27] I’ve got to say currently highest level of performance therapy is that the physios and chiros are next to the track. The athlete runs and they have input and the athlete runs again. 

Jill Miller: [0:29:39] Absolutely.

Kelly: [0:29:40] That is how progressive that is. That’s a revolution, what he just did.

Jill Miller: [0:29:43] It’s so funny. We were doing that in classrooms in the late ‘90s in upstate New York at the Omega Institute. I started working there, living on their property, and I was like a guest exchange employee… What was I? I mean work exchange, right? So you work for free all summer. You don’t get any money but you get classes, you get fed. It was amazing. Lived in a tent. And so Glenn was just a local resident yoga teacher to all the staff. And I just loved his approach. So intense and I was intense and so it was really a match for what I needed to feel. So he was a great influence on me. So when I started to teach yoga, I saw the same things that he was seeing, which was people who are so disconnected from their bodies. You would tell them to raise their shoulder overhead and their elbow’s bent, their hand is like rotated. There was no connection through the joints and the soft tissues through the Q. Not that the Q is bad, but people just couldn’t feel where they were in space. This is just overblowing it. So what I started to do was bring… I didn’t want to massage everybody, I didn’t have a license to touch. So I started bringing balls into class.

Kelly: [0:30:55] Doesn’t scale. There’s only one of you.

Jill Miller: [0:30:56] And true, right? And I guess we’re getting into the ‘90s, late ‘90s here. So I would bring balls into class and have people roll on them or I would do this thing with the abdomen. First, I would bring in towels and then I ended up starting to use this rubber ball in the abdomen. So anyway, Yoga Tune Up really became this evolution of helping people to find their body’s blind spot. So I called these body blind spots. And they would self-palpate using these tools, balls, towels, yoga mats, straps, blocks. Anything to awaken their sensing system so that they could perform better. 

But really, what I ended up seeing was that most yoga poses weren’t appropriate for those bodies anyway – Juliet, right? So I have so many of what we would call the tin man style in there or what Tom calls the Viking style. And you really need to be able to adapt poses so that people can feel good in their body and learn something in their body, not just overblow joints. So I really started to teach what I would call warmups, sophisticated warmups, these little tune ups, that would eventually maybe lead to a pose or maybe just educate them about their body. I started to extract yoga language, the Sanskrit, from my classes. I started to put in more anatomy, and felt like I really had an obligation to educate the general public so they didn’t end up disconnected from their bodies like my mom, who could probably help herself… I always use her as an example, she’s not going to listen to the podcast. But anyway, mom, you know I love you. You know that every video is dedicated to you. One time she fell asleep at one of my retreats. Like literally front row, she just passed out. So I know I’m too much for my own family. But I’m not too much for the rest of the world who really want to get in there and figure out where’s my pain coming from and maybe it’s these little micro, these little tune ups that can help me finally integrate as a whole. So Yoga Tune Up that thing. Years later, after Kelly and I did the program on Creative Live and you had me on as a guest speaking about fascia, speaking about breath, that your publisher reached out to me the next day after they saw me on the episode or whatever. What was that called at the time? Streaming? And they asked if they could publish my book. And I was like, well, I don’t have a book. And they said, well, just write one, and we’ll publish it.

Juliet: [0:33:19] No big deal. Just write one.

Jill Miller: [0:33:20] And so it was like, well, it would be great to talk about Yoga Tune Up. And I was like I don’t want to write a yoga-based book. I really wanted to talk about my breath approach.

Kelly: [0:33:30] For everyone who knows, that was 2013. That was a long time ago.

Jill Miller: [0:33:33] Yeah. The gut stuff. Yeah. And then I really was like, you know what, self- myofascial release is a rising trend, I teach my own approach to self-myofascial release, I have friends who are fascial researchers. I need to share my approach to this now before the trend bypasses me. So I decided to write that book, The Roll Model, first, and there’s a second brand that really tried to move away from the yoga stuff because Roll Model is so much bigger, there’s so much broader application than in a yoga classroom. I mean and that’s one of the things that I think that really connected Kelly and I also. How do we help people with the soft tissue work?

Juliet: [0:34:14] I do want to get into fascia. I keep putting that off. But tell us a little bit about… So you have Tune Up Fitness as sort of the umbrella brand and then you have Yoga Tune Up and the Roll Model but what do you actually do? And what I mean by that is-

Kelly: [0:34:29] Explain the ecosystem.

Juliet: [0:34:30] Yeah, explain the ecosystem because I know what it is. I know you teach courses, you sell products. Explain to the listener what is the ecosystem of Tune Up Fitness? What services and teachings are you providing to the people?

Jill Miller: [0:34:42] Yeah. So Tune Up Fitness has I would say two different audiences. One are clinicians who really want to create an acceptable and creative way to reach their clients but also to receive the new science of fascia as it’s hot off the press for application with general population or with their client. And then the other big application is just general population. So I designed Yoga Tune Up as well as Roll Model to be extremely context specific. And in that, I train teachers how to be able to use the tools and the movement paradigm, the programming paradigm to transmute it for whatever context they work in, whether they’re working with refugees coming out of Ukraine or whether they are working with high performers, a sports team down in South Florida, or whether they’re in a clinical practice where they just see people one on one. 

That’s something that we work on, Kelly, with the communication style. So we really teach people to bring in their context and how to transmute this to make it their own. So there are teaching trainings. We have eight different teacher trainings. One is Yoga Tune Up teacher training, there’s the Roll Model practitioner training, there’s the Body by Breath Immersion, used to be called the Breath and Bliss Immersion, but to match it with my new book, it’s called Body by Breath. And there’s the hips immersion and the core immersion, the shoulder immersion, and there’s the integrated anatomy immersion. So we have eight different trainings that we do. And we have about 500 teachers worldwide that teach to their communities. Their communities might be CrossFit, their communities might be just yoga studio, Pilates, or I design programs for gym chains like 24 Hour Fitness, Yoga Works, Equinox, to be able to bring this to mass consumers, general population. We also have of course video products, training, CEs that Kelly and I created. Treat While You Train is one of those products on our website. There’s other video products.

Kelly: [0:36:39] You can go right there and see two children.

Juliet: [0:36:39] And you can actually still get the DVD. 

Jill Miller: [0:36:43] Maybe. I don’t know. You’d have to ask Robert if we still have DVDs.

Kelly: [0:36:46] Someone just sent me a snapshot of their DVD.

Juliet: [0:36:47] We have one. We have a DVD. If anyone wants to come over. 

Kelly: [0:36:50] Oh yeah, for sure. It will go in a time capsule.

Juliet: [0:36:51] We don’t have a DVD player, but we have a DVD.

Jill Miller: [0:36:53] Amazing

Juliet: [0:36:54] Hey guys, we just want to take a little break in this podcast episode to actually tell you about one of our own products, and that’s our Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach.

Kelly: [0:37:03] Yeah, the app literally is the first place you should go if you’re trying to feel better, if you’re trying to solve an old movement related problem, if you’re just trying to not be as sore from your workout.

Juliet: [0:37:16] There is so much going on in this app. We have a mobility test that is comprehensive and designed by Kelly Starrett himself.

Kelly: [0:37:23] It’s pretty good.

Juliet: [0:37:24] So you can figure out what your biggest limitations are and start to work on that. There are sport specific mobilizations if you want to try to lift more or run faster. There is pain area. And we even have a ton of bonus content. You can do challenges around squat and ankle and a bunch of other body parts so you can just generally get more supple and awesome.

Kelly: [0:37:44] JStar, you’re killing it. You should talk about this app more often. We started the original mobility project back in 2010 trying to help people solve problems for themselves. We think that every human being should know how to perform basic maintenance on themselves and we want you to be able to engage in some self-care in a really reasonable, responsible way. One of our favorite parts of it, Daily Mobility, you have a 10-, 20-, or 30-minute follow along with me if you just have a ball on a roller, think you want to feel better, move better, play along. I mean we really feel like that’s the base camp practice and you can add in what you need.

Juliet: [0:38:17] We’re really proud of this and what we’ve created here and we think you should give it a try. 

Kelly: [0:38:21] Fact.

Juliet: [0:38:21] Head on over to thereadystate.com/trial and use code Pod 20 for 20 percent off your first month. And just FYI, including your two-week free trial, that’s literally six weeks for $11.99. You can’t beat that. There’s so much amazing content to help you feel better and move better for $11.99. 

Kelly: [0:38:41] In the words of our podcast producer: bananas.

Kelly: [0:38:47] I want to just wrap this up for someone: We have, as an example of how Jill’s work influenced one of our staff members for a long time, this really brilliant coach, Pilates teacher, Yasmen Mehta, she was able to take your teaching and apply it to her community. Something you described there is something that I’m becoming just more and more obsessed with, this idea of hyper locality, that the local teacher, the local family member, knows their community resources, experience better than anyone else. And that if we come down with here’s the Kelly Starrett program and we lay that over, I don’t know, I don’t know the nuances, I don’t know how often you see people, I don’t know their movement history, I don’t know what their cultural experience is. But the person interacting with them does, the teacher does. And what you do is come in with principles that really allow those people to be flexible and dynamic and meet those different needs because your work is all over the place from the Olympics and NFL all the way back to people who are in chronic pain managing MS like symptoms. It’s pretty amazing how universal that is. What do you think is the universality of that message? Is it shifting of loci of control? How is it that your work is so diverse? What’s the secret to that?

Jill Miller: [0:40:06] Well, I think part of the secret is—it’s going to sound so pat, but I titled the book The Roll Model. You are an empowered selfcare practitioner. You are your own best role model literally and figuratively, using the tool. You become your first line, primary healthcare provider. And you also become a diagnostician. The more you start to learn the textures and tensions of your body, you’ll be better able to know yourself from day to day to day and you’ll have better control and realistic expectations of that when you do get injured, when you do get sidelined. And you can talk to a provider. You might end up knowing a lot more than the provider does about your own health, about your own soft tissue.

Kelly: [0:40:59] You should know more.

Jill Miller: [0:41:00] And so I do think that investment really is in helping each person to be their own best advocate. Gosh, it just sounds so cheesy because we do it in the classroom. I mean I can’t do it here in the podcast, but it happens between educator and recipient.

Kelly: [0:41:19] Personally, I just flew back from a conference last night and was stopped on the airplane. A guy reached over, middle aged guy, late 60s—middle aged. See, what I did there? Make myself feel better. I’m still in my youth, in my prime. A gentleman in his late 60s was like, “Hey, are you Kelly Starrett? I blah blah blah.  You healed my back, my shoulders, it changed my life.” And I was like, “I’ve never met you, sir.” That sort of revolution. And I hear stories… Two people talked about you and I conjoined and oh, your work, and Jill’s work transomed and empowered me. And I hear ridiculous crazy stories.

Jill Miller: [0:41:55] All the time.

Kelly: [0:41:55] About how people apply this. I want to give you a shoutout for second. I was hanging out at your house, I don’t remember what we were doing there, but you grabbed my calf and you put it on your shin and started using your shin as a mobility device.

Jill Miller: [0:42:12] That’s right.

Kelly: [0:42:13] As a tool. And I was like why didn’t I think about that? Because I was using other parts of my body and feet and things and I was like, oh, this is great. Last week or two weeks ago, Caroline Starrett, superstar goalie-

Juliet: [0:42:25] Did you see that video?

Kelly: [0:42:26] Did you see? So everyone knows, here’s the origin: One of the kids on Caroline’s team is a freshman who just wasn’t used to playing got a little calf camp, calf tweak, and kind of freaked out, and was right before the game. And Caroline lays her down, grabs her calf and puts it on her shin and starts doing contract, relax and just getting input in there and mobilizing, addressing the stiffness. And the kid went back and played. And the trainer is right there, coach sees it. And here is an athlete, which you described people massaging each other in your class, in Glenn’s class, here is someone saying, hey, I know what to do, we can make this feel better, go back. And we film her and then she catches us and gives us that teenager, “What are you doing?”

Juliet: [0:43:09] She’s so annoyed. She was so annoyed. But it’s such a great video.

Kelly: [0:43:10] But I just want to point out that lineage, giving that homage, that is a direct from Jill to-

Juliet: [0:43:16] That is a Jill Miller.

Kelly: [0:43:17] Kelly to a kid watching, learning how to self-soothe and manage. That is a revolution. That is so subversive. 

Jill Miller: [0:43:24] I love it.

Kelly: [0:43:24] Kudos, Jill Miller.

Jill Miller: [0:43:25] Yeah. Well, the thing is it’s not new, there was just a very long time when our bodies were taken away from us, I feel as a collective and you and I, Katie, Tom, we’re part of the movement movement. Let’s be able to own our bodies and make the next generation who are confronted with so many more distractions and so many more reasons to not be in their body, you really are the ultimate role model, you guys, for your kids. I’m so impressed with her. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I saw that post.

Kelly: [0:43:59] Fourteen-year-old kid. I just saw an Instagram post where someone was… or it was New York Times I think or Wall Street Journal or Washington Post. They just discovered a body that was 30,000 years old that had undergone an amputation. And someone recently a few years ago was asked a question, some thinker, was asked a question, and they were like when do you think human society, when do you think we became a society? And her definition was when we started caring for each other in ways that were a drag on the system. It’s not like Juliet twisted an ankle and just leave her behind because I’m chasing the buffalo and good luck, keep up. They saw surgeries, they saw evidence of care of broken bones that were carefully set. But here’s 30,000 years ago, someone had performed an amputation and everyone was like, I didn’t know that humans knew about the body 30,000 years ago and that they were sophisticated enough to understand how to perform an amputation at the knee. 

Jill Miller: [0:44:54] Wow.

Kelly: [0:44:55] What you’re describing through this yogic art, this yogic tradition, is this heritage. Where do you think we got so off the track? Because what you’re teaching is highly subversive. It’s super subversive. Hey, you can make yourself feel better, you don’t need a professional person. It’s really safe. It turns out to be supported by the science of literature. Hey, you have pain and now you don’t have pain, you have blood flow in areas… I mean it’s kind of crazy. Can you just address that for a second because that’s sort of what some of your writing has done and what some of your research has been of late?

Jill Miller: [0:45:30] Yeah, so I guess one thing I want to say is the Me Too movement definitely tore a path through the yoga community because the yoga community was one of those places where we could be warm and fuzzy and really actually roll all over and touch all over each other. And there were a number of different teachers who fell from grace, fell from pedestals, thank goodness, who had been misusing touch in the classroom. So in the yoga space now, touch has really unfortunately been removed even if it’s therapeutically not harmful. And that’s happening in all places. Touch in general is going more and more prescription pads. And so that’s challenging because we need touch to survive. That’s one of the reasons why, the pandemic, we can’t touch each other, we can’t go near each other with our fields of air or energy within six to ten feet. So how do we get the touch that we need for our bodies’ health and resilience and growth? 

Self-touch is one of those things that can be deployed. We figured this out during the pandemic. So where’s it going now? I don’t know, Kel. I really don’t know where it’s going to go in terms of the boundaries and the off limits where we know that kids need to be touched, it’s helpful when a teacher is allowed to give a hug to a kid after they fall. My kid’s in kindergarten; we’re at a school where the teachers can hug their kids. But you can’t do that at a lot of other schools. So I don’t know. I really don’t know, Kel. I’m kind of freaked out about it myself.

Juliet: [0:47:05] Well, yeah, it’s a scary thought. Okay, I’m going to change the subject because I keep talking about this. But you are an expert in fascia. You want to talk to us about the Fascia Research Congress and tens of other fascia related topics. But I just want you to start by telling us how did you get into caring about fascia?

Kelly: [0:47:26] Was Glenn describing it as fascia. I mean I don’t think so.

Juliet: [0:47:28] And then too, just for everybody listening, what is fascia and why should we care?

Kelly: [0:47:32] Fascia.

Jill Miller: [0:47:34] Is it fascia, is it fascia? Is it fascia? I actually was at the airport coming back the other night and I thought I saw a guy that had asked a bunch of questions and so I walked up to him and was like, “Oh, were you just at the Fascia Congress?” And then the woman at another table like, I don’t know, four feet away, she was like, “Fashion week?” I was like, oh my God, we have so much work ahead to educate the general population about even just the word and what these connecting tissues are. Why it’s important is because it’s the thing that is stringing everything together. In the last few years, I think previously the massage therapy, the Rolfing universe, they really had a hold on connective tissue in, I would say, if people knew about it because they had been massaged and somebody might have talked about fascia or they had been Rolfed. And they had this very, very intense rearrangement of their structure, this temporary rearrangement via the fascia tissues, Ida Rolf, the founder of Rolfing. And the mechanical properties of fascia were really kind of what the sell was, that, oh, if you massage fascia your body’s going to be able to rearrange because you’re changing connective tissues. 

But research has shown over the last few years that you’re probably not changing the connective tissues, you’re probably changing the cellular environment within the fascial tissues, the fluid environment. But predominately, you’re probably affecting the little tiny nerve endings that are populating your connective tissues. There is new data on nerve load in connective tissues in the body. The fascial tissues, according to this guy named Grunwald has 250 million sensory nerve endings in your fascia. You have something about 100 million in your skin. So if you want to talk about your body’s ability to sense things, you need to talk about your connective tissue. And a lot of the sensory ability in your fascia is pain sensing neurons. There’s also lots of other sensory neurons in your connective tissue that don’t have to do with pain but they’re also controlling the little tiny blood vessels. The microcirculation within your body’s controlled by the neurons embedded in your fascial tissues. 

So I think it’s either Tom or A.T. Still said if you start studying fascia, it opens up every system of the body to you. Every single system crosses through or lives in or is impacted by these fascial tissues. As we describe when we’re talking about hypermobility, I mean how could one thing affect so many things? That’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about fascia. So I recently wrote a chapter on self-myofascial release for this medical textbook called Fascia Function, Medical Application and I had to sit down and read every paper written about self-myofascial release. And I was totally terrified to do this paper, or this chapter, because I’m not a science writer, I’m just an applicator. I’m an experimenter. And this is such a new science. How old do you think palpation science is? Just palpation science is, Kelly? Touch science?

Kelly: [0:50:54] I would think modern palpation science is probably 1900s.

Jill Miller: [0:50:59] Okay. You’re close. A hundred and fifty years old. So when was the first paper written on self-myofascial release?

Kelly: [0:51:06] It would be by the osteopaths, I think would be my guess. Some osteopathic physician wrote about some aspect of some change as a physician, but I have no idea. The modern? I would say the ‘70s.

Jill Miller: [0:51:19] So the first tool-based paper that was ever published was 1991 or ‘92. So we’re only in a 30 year-

Juliet: [0:51:28] Research window.

Kelly: [0:51:30] Wow.

Jill Miller: [0:51:32] But insurance is never going to cover your rollers or my balls. Well, maybe they will someday, but who cares if insurance covers it or not? It works. Self-myofascial release works and has so many amazing benefits for pre-covery, recovery, and all the things. Did I answer your question, Juliet?

Juliet: [0:51:51] Yes.

Kelly: [0:51:52] One of the things that I struggle with in education is when I have input to the body. Is this nonthreatening input to the brain where the brain’s like, look, this is safe? Are we addressing trigger points underneath that? That’s a muscular system. Are we impacting the way you can move? Is this addressing dry fascia? Thomas Myers in his wonderful book Anatomy Trains, in the beginning, I think I have a new edition where he came back with a new opening, and he said, “Hey, look, which one of these systems do you think you’re impacting when you push on the body?” And he lists like 10. He’s like, “We don’t know, we can’t know, but we know that we’re probably impacting some aspect of all these systems. Isn’t that good enough?” 

And that’s why the objective measure isn’t just pain or no pain, that your objective measures originally were about this movement, this position, that’s an objective measure. And so when we test and retest against an objective measure, you can’t put your arms over your head and express normative range or you don’t have control in that range. Those are actually objective measures and not do you feel better in your body. That’s a really difficult objective measure to feel. And I just want everyone to hear this and to say that understand that Jill transforms people’s lives with her work by people feel better, their digestion’s better, their pain goes away, their headaches go away. If you go to Roll Model, there are case after case of really remarkable success stories using your techniques, mine included, around asthma. But simultaneously, your root system is always based in objective measure, which is you should be able to flex your hip as much as you should. This is what everyone agrees is normal range. So it’s difficult to talk about some of these changes in the body systems without these objective measures. You can impact a lot of how the body functions, but I just want to remind everyone this isn’t just touchy feely, this is absolutely you are seeing changes. Subjectively, people have transformed. Objectively, they still see the transformations.

Juliet: [0:53:44] So I want to just, I know you just said this about fascia, but you reviewed every single paper on self-myofascial release.

Jill Miller: [0:53:55] Well, through PubMed, Google searches, some journals.

Juliet: [0:53:59] But I mean I felt like your point there just got lost in the overall-

Kelly: [0:54:03] Does it work?

Juliet: [0:54:04] Yeah, does it work? I mean it sounds like it does and sounds like you did your own version of a meta-analysis of all of the studies. But yeah, it works?

Jill Miller: [0:54:12] Well, luckily, there’s also a meta-analysis and a couple of systematic reviews that also say it works. So doesn’t need me to come in with my narrative review. But they wanted to do this book for clinicians. So the book is fascia functions and medical applications. So the chapters cover everything from nutrition, self-myofascial stretch therapy, cancer. I mean there’s so many different topics, narrow topics, in the field of fascia. So that doctors can feel confident saying, “Well, you know what, I’ve heard that foam rolling actually does work, so go ahead and roll out your butt.” 

So I’m teaching at the International Association of Yoga Therapy Conference a few years ago, right before the pandemic, and I’m teaching a workshop probably called Vagus Voyage or something like that. And I was having people do some gut work, some pelvic floor work, some neck-based work. And this participant came up to me afterwards and she was like, “Wow, these are really great.” She’s holding my Yoga Tune Up ball, the smallest rubber ball. And she’s like, “You know, I think this would probably help my nurse with her neck pain.” And I was like, “Oh, your nurse, what do you do?” And she was like, “Oh, I’m a pelvic cancer surgeon.” And I was like, “Oh yeah, let me show you what I can do.” And I showed her Neck Gnar for her nurse and then she Coregeous ball and she goes, “Yeah, I think this might really help the pelvic floors of the people that I pull stuff out of.” And I said, “Yeah, it’s so funny that you say that because we don’t have any research on that and I can’t tell people that it’s going to help them, but I know it does.” So here’s a surgeon thinking, oh, this might really be helpful, but I can’t actually say, “Oh, it helps,” because we don’t have any clinical evidence.

 But you know, Kelly, you know that this helps with scar tissue, mobilization, the ability to contract, the ability to get the body out of pain. But we need to have that crosstalk which is one of the reasons why the Fascia Research Congress is such a great interprofessional organization and I hope someday either you keynote there or you just come and take in the view. It is so necessary for all of us who are stumbling through all of these systems that are impacted by fascia to continue to try to educate our populations why this is helping or why it might help. And I don’t know. Your voice is really needed there, Kel. I’m just saying that right now.

Juliet: [0:56:35] Okay, so Jill-

Kelly: [0:56:35] I always want to be the odd person in the room, the thickest, hamstringiest, glutiest. That’s right.

Juliet: [0:56:41] We are literally never going to get to all the questions that we have, but I do want you to talk about your new book, Body by Breath

Kelly: [0:56:49] And where you guys are going because one of the things that I feel like I can honestly say is you work on your side, Jill, with Robert, Juliet and I work on our side with our team, and we’ll meet you in the middle. And we won’t ever meet in the middle. There’s just too much work on either side. So I want to know about this book and where you think your opportunities are going.

Jill Miller: [0:57:08] So my next book is called Body by Breath, and Kelly, I think I called you probably seven years ago to say that as soon as I turned in The Roll Model, as soon as it was published, they were like, “Okay, we want your next book.” And my goal was to have another child and not to write another book right away. But I knew I had this other book that I wanted to write, which was my approach to breath-based work. But really, what the book is about is a way to compound novel parasympathetic virtues in the body so that you can build your resilience on the other side of the spectrum because so much of our life pumps us towards sympathetic or high performance. But this is a really coherent and beautiful way to add a number of different tools into your toolbox so that you can dive into long term parasympathetic endurance style of recovery-based methods. So it’s really a recovery-based book. 

But I dive into of course the anatomy of respiration, physiology of respiration, I get into the vagus nerve, neuroanatomy — very painful chapter to write. I really love the work of Dr. Stephen Porges and polyvagal theory. I think it’s a really great overarching theory to understand, different zones of respiration and different zones of palpation and that also govern emotional regulation and emotional reactions. So there’s four different tools that we use. One is breathe. The other is move. The other is roll. And the fourth is Yoga Nidra, also known as non-sleep deep rest. Dr. Andrew Huberman rephrased Yoga Nidra in this very sort of dry way, non-sleep deep rest. And these are the four compounds that we squish together in the practical aspect of the book. So I’ve been writing it for almost eight years-ish. And I’m in layout right now. We’re in layout, edit. So it should be out early next year, dude.

Kelly: [0:59:08] Whoo hoo. I cannot wait to read that. And I think we talked about that because breath was getting very hot in strength and conditioning. It was having a moment. It was having its moment again. Not that the yogic communities and Pilates and world communities haven’t been talking about it for thousands of years. But I think you had a chance to let the dust settle and talk about it in a really fresh way. I can’t wait for that to come out.

Jill Miller: [0:59:30] Well, you can’t breathe well if you have stiffness, if you have thickening in all of the tissues that are supposed to help you breathe. So I help people address those soft tissue relationships.

Kelly: [0:59:45] I try to tell people, I’m like, “Hey, you can improve your VO2 max by improving how pliable your ribcage is.” I’m like your ribcage doesn’t really move and if it just moves a little bit better, lo and behold, you can actually take a big more powerful breath and run faster. And they’re like, “What, I don’t have to just do more laps in a steel container?” I’m like, well, less so.

Juliet: [1:00:06] So I don’t want to speak for you but I assume the answer to this question is in part Body by Breath. But the question is what’s next? What are you looking forward to personally, businesswise, whatever, however you want to take that?

Jill Miller: [1:00:20] Well, I really look to you all as leaders in this industry and I’ve learned a lot by watching you all grow and develop. And the one thing I’ve been dragging my heels on for forever until the pandemic hit was online training. And so that really is our next goal is getting especially The Roll Model into an online format. So we’ve been Excel spreadsheeting that for a good year. But I just keep interrupt with edits for the book. You guys know what that’s like. It takes over my life. It upends everything. And it’s very hard to have the capacity to have brain power to put into all the things to be able to press the gas on all the things at once. Plus, being a mother to my kids. So big thing is-

Kelly: [1:01:07] Let me just jump in. I think you’re still alive these days and not working 24/7. I’ve been around you pre-kids and the workflow can be intense around you and Robert. And I think your children were like great breaks where you were like, oh, I guess we’re going to have to be human and not just making spreadsheets about videos we’re going to make. And I just want to shoutout that your teaching is international and we have seen that because we have such a digital presence, we have such international representation and it’s really a game changer. I think that’s a great win.

Jill Miller: [1:01:37] And then the other thing just personally that I’m working on, there’s something for children that I’m working on. And then the other thing is I have been singing. I started singing again. I put that again when I became bulimic in college. I just couldn’t hit notes and I just didn’t have the kind of strength that the people in my department had. So I stopped singing, I kept acting, I kept dancing. And then I sort of gave up on my childhood dream, which was actually to be a singer or an actress or whatever. But the singing was my first love. 

And my kids take music lessons from a real rock n roll guy. He’s got Billboard songs and he’s their teacher at School of Rock. And so during the pandemic when I turned in the first draft of the book, I treated myself that day to a vocal lesson with him and he’s been able to undo a lot of bad training. And I’ve been able to be in my body as a singer in a way that I never, never imagined was possible. And there’s also a chapter in my book called “The Vocal Vagus,” so I better know what I’m talking about. So I had to put in the hours so that I could retrain my voice. And it’s just the most joyful addition, adult education process that I’ve ever done in my life. It’s just such a revival for me.

Kelly: [1:03:00] Long way around the barn. Good job.

Jill Miller: [1:03:02] I’m really looking forward to continuing with vocal stuff and actually probably eventually I’ll try and perform just locally, not anything on a big stage. But I’ve got to really put myself to the test.

Kelly: [1:03:12] Oh, we are so there.

Juliet: [1:03:14] We are so there.

Kelly: [1:03:15] We are so there.

Juliet: [1:03:15] Okay, tell our listeners where they can learn more about what you’re doing and preorder your book and do you training.

Kelly: [1:03:23] All the socials.

Juliet: [1:03:24] All the socials, the websites, you name it.

Kelly: [1:03:26] More Jill Miller.

Juliet: [1:03:27] So much can be found-

Kelly: [1:03:29] By the way, it’s one word. Jill Miller is one word. You’re just Jill Miller. 

Jill Miller: [1:03:32] It’s The Jill Miller because Jill Miller was taken so now @thejillmiller on Instagram. That’s t-h-e. @thejillmiller. And you can find our website, tuneupfitness.com. So we have a brand Instagram page just like you guys have your individual Instagram pages and you have the brand. So @tuneupfintess is the Instagram page. We also have an online classroom and mentorship. So we have a subscription like you guys do where I do classes in the move, breathe, roll categories, as well as interact with our students once a month. So that’s where to find us on the socials. Of course, Facebook. 

And then I’m teaching in public. I’m going to be at a performance center in Nashville in November, November 12, 13, doing The Roll Model and then hopefully next year I’ll be on the road more, much more than I was during the pandemic and less on Zoom. And then just find a teacher on our website. We have hundreds of teachers worldwide that teach the method from Japan to Singapore, through Germany, through Europe, through South America, all over the US and Canada. Just put in your ZIP code and you can find our teachers there.

Kelly: [1:04:34] Amazing.

Juliet: [1:04:35] Thank you so much, Jill.

Kelly: [1:04:37] The Jill Miller. Always such a pleasure.

Juliet: [1:04:37] You’re such a boss.

Jill Miller: [1:04:38] A ball boss. It’s a pleasure, you guys. I love you.


Kelly: [1:04:46] Thank you for listening to The Ready State Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, check out all our episodes here or at thereadystate.com. And be sure to subscribe or leave a review on iTunes to help others find our show. 

Juliet: [1:04:58] Check us out and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @thereadystate.

Kelly: [1:05:03] Until next time, cheers everyone.


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