Core Support, Kneeling and Stiff Toes

Core Support, Kneeling and Stiff Toes

What follows is my response to a letter from someone who had difficulty kneeling on a yoga block as shown in the abdominal core lesson of my DVD. I know that when someone raises a question, others are likely wondering the same thing…

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Shoulder Pain and Sitar Playing

Shoulder Pain and Sitar Playing

Below is a video I made for one of my Skype coaching clients.  She’s a petite woman who is learning to play the sitar, a difficult and awkward instrument to tune as well as to play. I've been helping her with her sitting position, and with pain in her left shoulder that had become  severe enough for her to seek medical help. The exercise I shared in this video has helped her exchange upper shoulder tension for secure support that links her shoulders to her mid-back.  The video also includes a brief review of abdominal support and pelvic inclination. Many musicians—most anyone who plays a stringed instrument—could benefit from this exploration.  Not to mention non-musicians who simply have a habit of loading stress into the upper shoulder area…

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Lifting a Box

Lifting a Box

Recently, coming home from a walk, I was confronted with eight heavy boxes stacked up at the base of  the steps to my house.  They were not my boxes, not my responsibility, and without going into all the details, carrying them up the steps was not my idea of fun.  I had walked a long time and was ready to rest.  It was beginning to rain, and these boxes that were not mine  would become a far worse inconvenience  were they to become drenched. So I schlepped them up the stairs, one by one…
 

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Poor Posture: Arms Akimbo

Poor Posture:  Arms Akimbo

This post is a reply to a reader who expressed concern about her habit of standing with hands on hips.  Since the term, "arms akimbo," has been around since Chaucer’s day, I’m sure my correspondent is not alone in her curiosity about it. You can assume this posture in a variety of ways:  with the elbows thrust back and chest forward. or with the shoulders rolled forward and chest resting down and in.  Either of these positions can be varied further depending on the position of the neck and head.  The chin can be thrust forward or pulled back. Fingers may be spread, or fists closed.  Try on some of these options yourself and marvel at how expressive your body can be!

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Coughing and Your Core

Coughing and Your Core

On page 110 my book, The New Rules of Posture, there’s a sidebar about coughing. I’ll quote it here, to save you the trouble of looking it up. “The relationship between your diaphragm, pelvic floor, and core support is graphically demonstrated in the act of coughing (or laughing for that matter). If you cough with your pelvis rolled back, you’ll feel a tendency to puff out your belly and bear down into your pelvic floor. If you cough while sitting in a slight forward pelvic tilt, you won’t feel the same pressure on your bladder…

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On Pilates and Core Strength

On Pilates and Core Strength

As the author of The New Rules of Posture, you might think I’d be a paragon of deep abdominal core strength. Sadly, not true. In fact, shortly after the book was published I was beset by an embarrassing bout of low back pain—a sure sign of low toned abs. And this wasn’t the first such episode—I’d been plagued by a back that “went out” pretty regularly for 15 years. Because I’ve been a proponent and practitioner of Rolfing© Structural Integration, I continued to assume that the pain was due to misalignment, and that more structural bodywork was what I needed. But I also saw the occasional chiropractor…

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The Passenger Seat

The Passenger Seat

What’s the rule? A car length for every 10 mph? I don’t always follow that rule, but my friend drives way closer to the car ahead than I like. We’re in freeway traffic that is crowded but moving. Several times the brakes are necessary when our lane unexpectedly slows. I sense myself applying brakes of my own, griping my calf and digging my heel into the floorboard. I’m gripping a phantom steering wheel as well–my traps (upper shoulder muscles) clenched in an effort to gain control. My tongue presses back into my throat in a half-swallow. My mother was a nervous passenger, too…

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When to Build Good Posture

When to Build Good Posture

When do you become most aware of your posture? When you’re checking out the fit of some new jeans? When walking into a new situation, uncertain as to how you might be received? You can be dressed to the nines, but if your posture projects shyness or uncertainty it sabotages the impression you want to convey. But by then, it’s too late to develop good posture…

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