Shoes and Scoliosis

Shoes and Scoliosis

Ballet flats aren’t cute on a misaligned foot. If the foundation in the feet doesn’t support the body above, another region of the body will take on the responsibility for support—a knee, a hip or even the shoulders. Misalignment leads to more misalignment, and more tension.

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Office Chairs and Sitting

Office Chairs and Sitting

When you sit with your thighs slanting downhill, your pelvis automatically finds an orientation that supports a neutral lumbar spine.  When a chair is too low, your pelvis rolls posterior so your weight rests too far back—on your tailbone—and your spine above becomes compressed.

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Manspread Explained

Manspread Explained

To roll forward onto an upright pelvis often requires a manual adjustment men would rather not make in public. He told me about friction between the fabric of jeans, an undergarment, and the skin of the scrotum. Especially when the weather is warm . . .

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Celebrity Spine

Celebrity Spine

Vince Vaughn hasn’t signed up for online coaching with me, but if he does, I’ll be ready! This actor is frequently cast as an unconscious oaf who goes through a humanizing rite of passage. He’s good at it, and his fine serious talent shines through all the silliness. The other day I rented “Delivery Man.” Because Vaughn is in nearly every scene of this movie, it became impossible for me to ignore the way he moves. One could assume his lumbering gait is due to his 6’5” height, or is part of his characterization. But I think his  gait is an artifact of a spine that, lacking normal curvatures, doesn’t properly rotate…

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Spine Decompression Exercise

Spine Decompression Exercise

For some time I’ve wanted to share an alternate version of an exercise in Lesson 7 of Heal Your Posture, my DVD workshop. The exercise on the DVD is similar to the yoga “cat stretch” but with added special imagery. The image is that each vertebra has its own vector, its own potential direction of movement.  For the flexion part of the exercise (the cat), the spinal vectors aim each vertebra into the space behind the body.  Envisioning each vertebra to have its own trajectory and attempting to move them one by one helps decompress the spine…

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Low Back Pain and Substance Abuse

Low Back Pain and Substance Abuse

A year ago I posted a piece about the relationship between joint pain and digestive abuse–an after-effect of  holiday cheer.  You’d think I’d learn, but guess what?  This year I’m fessing up again, with a different twist. Beginning in December I experienced pain in my right hip, with radiating pain down my right leg and into my knee and low back stiffness. This was demoralizing because I’d been low back pain-free for three years, ever since becoming sincere about tending to my deep core strength. The pain was weirdly intermittent. A good Pilates class seemed to chase it away, but in a few  days, back it came…

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Helical Spine Stretch

Helical Spine Stretch

The attached video is a holiday gift to my subscribers—a de-stressor practice.  But it actually has a further purpose. When we walk, our spines are designed to move in two counter-rotating helical patterns.  This movement is the basis of our contralateral walking gait; it’s why our arms and legs swing oppositely when we walk…

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Subversive Postures

Subversive Postures

My bare feet go flap-flap-flap on the kitchen floor before breakfast.  The sound of it rests along the back wall of my attention as I flick my mind over the tasks ahead for this day. And muse about how much nicer it would be to laze on the couch with a book instead. It’s been triple digit weather in Los Angeles for way too long, and such heat wears a body down!

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Posture Zones and Chakras

Posture Zones and Chakras

A few years ago, yoga instructor David Thornton, asked me whether I’d been thinking about the chakras when I described the posture zones in The New Rules of Posture.  Here’s what I wrote to David:  I understand the chakras to be energy vortices located along the body’s central energy channel that affect all aspects of the person—body/mind/spirit.  The chakras have spiritual or emotional content that impedes the free flow of energy through the core of the being…

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Enliven Your Spine, Part 2

Enliven Your Spine, Part 2

Begin in a seated position as you did in Part 1 of this exploration. Imagine that each of your vertebral bodies contains a light source. When you inhale, the lights brighten; when you exhale, they dim. Imagine that the 24 vertebrae and sacrum can each project a distinct beam onto a wall a few feet in front of you. Each time you breathe in, your spine subtly extends, and that makes the light beams on the wall spread slightly apart from each other—visualize that happening. Breathe slowly and steadily.  After every exhalation take a second to sense the weight of your body on the chair and your feet on the floor…

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Enliven Your Spine, Part 1

Enliven Your Spine, Part 1

When you think about your spine, it’s likely your awareness goes to your back.  Perhaps you visualize the bumpy projections of the vertebrae you feel if you lie down on a hard surface. But your spine has a front surface too. It’s composed of the bodies of your vertebrae. These are round and thick, each one cushioned above and below by discs. Your spine has depth–the front surfaces of the vertebral bodies project 1/4 to 1/3 of the way forward into your trunk (2/3 of the way inside your body from the front surface). Located just behind your vital organs, the front of your spine can be an emotionally vulnerable 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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