Posture and Procrastination

Posture and Procrastination

I don't think the earth feels equally solid to everyone, or even equally solid to anyone from one moment to the next. In this moment, I only seem to be relaxing. In fact I'm in a state of procrastination and my to-do list looms in the air about three feet away.

Read More

Sisters of the pelvis

Sisters of the pelvis

We dipped into pelvic dance, the ancient feminine communion originally meant to prepare women for pregnancy and childbirth. We explored the possibility of dancing from our ovaries, from our cervices. If we could dance that way, could we not also walk that way? But where and when, in current culture, would that feel safe?

Read More

Posture, Elbows and Consciousness

Posture, Elbows and Consciousness

As a Rolfing® practitioner, I've observed that tension in the elbows affects the whole body. Habitual flexion there, however slight, pulls the upper arm forward in its socket, starting a chain reaction that pulls the shoulder blades forward, and the collarbones and chest down, and the neck forward. Elbow tension often corresponds with flexion in the spine just behind the diaphragm, and that interferes with fullness of breath. The postural end result feels, and certainly looks, nothing like the upper crust ladies of Downton…

Read More

Posture, Perception and Presence

Posture, Perception and Presence

Since I’m not prolific—one every 10 years is all I can manage—it was easy to forget how stressful writing a book can be. I’m organizing the new book in a non-linear way, so I keep reviewing and revising–I want to hold it all in my mind and not repeat myself.  This takes time and patience. Despite my efforts to stay present with the process, I experience surges of fear that I’ll never see the last page…

Read More

Eyes on Posture

Eyes on Posture

Looking at computer screens creates a habit of narrowed vision. This use of the eyes draws the neck forward, stiffening it, and interfering with overall body balance. Mary Bond, author of “The New Rules of Posture,” suggests this exploration to heighten body awareness and improve alignment.  Cultivate Two Way Vision: Stand comfortably.  Now focus your eyes tightly on an object in front you…

Read More

Rounded Shoulders and Elbow Tension

Rounded Shoulders and Elbow Tension

I often observe a particular pattern of tension in nurses, mothers, and caregivers in general. It’s a pattern of being ready to help at a moment’s notice. If you have this habit, you’re likely to complain about neck and shoulder discomfort. The source, however, may be lower down in your arms…

Read More

On Breathing Patterns

On Breathing Patterns

Thanks to a reader of The New Rules, for inciting me to write again about breathing. It’s a HUGE topic, so this post is a distillation. Here’s my reader’s query:  Here in Germany, singers, yogis, and tai chi practitioners are hotly debating the possibility of two types of people with different body organization. The focus lies on differences in breathing: exhalers and inhalers. In my understanding, their spatial organization corresponds to what you call earth-orienting and space-orienting, respectively. In everyday breathing…

Read More

Becoming Bone Conscious

Becoming Bone Conscious

I’ve been browsing through a wonderful new book about myofascial efficiency in movement. Born to Walk, by my friend, James Earls, delves into the minutia of joint mechanics and into how they are supported by the soft tissue layers. The book is exhaustively researched and elegantly illustrated. Earls considers the helical motions of the feet and pelvis, legs and spine, and for my money, gets it about as right as right can be. Body workers and somatic educators will do well to study this fine volume…

Read More

Bodies and Wholeness

Bodies and Wholeness

In my teaching, writing and manual therapy, I try to help people experience how bodily wholeness contributes to the health of mind and spirit as well as body. Two recent encounters have reminded me that “wholeness” is relative, and that no matter how integrated, coordinated, aligned and aware our bodies become, the health of the human spirit is vaster and more mysterious than mere physical perfection. My friend George has been in the online dating game for a long time…

Read More