Posture in Motion

Posture in Motion

I practice yoga to keep my fascia silky enough and my joints adaptable enough that my coordination can stay smooth even as the aging process diminishes my stamina. Yet, here I was, post yoga class, walking in this awkward way. I teach movement, for heaven’s sake. How had I slid into this familial pattern?

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Mastectomy, Spatial Perception and Movement

Mastectomy, Spatial Perception and Movement

After explaining these phenomena to my client, I suggested she notice any sense of diminished movement on the affected side. To become more aware of the space around her body she could imagine a sphere—something like a snow globe—and standing within it, notice differences her sense of the qualities of the space on each side.

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Posture & Perception: Naked Skin Moments

Posture & Perception: Naked Skin Moments

Contemporary living undervalues body awareness and overrides it most of the time. But could it be that listening to our interior body signals has an evolutionary advantage? If so, we undervalue this capacity to our detriment. We need to practice activating it. 

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Sitting with Pelvis Support

Sitting with Pelvis Support

When you’re feeling self-confident and assertive, there’s an automatic uplift to your chest, spine and neck—your posture automatically organizes itself for the better. But no one feels terrific all the time, right? By teaching yourself the physical sensations that correspond to a good mood, you can use your body-mind connectivity to good advantage. Body awareness helps you cultivate positive outlooks in humdrum situations…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Tongue-to-Shoulder Tension Relieved!

Tongue-to-Shoulder Tension Relieved!

I was lying in a backbend, supported by a chair. It had been beastly hot in Los Angeles, and Karin, my yoga teacher, had given our class a number of supported asanas to cool us down. But I was resisting: I had let my yoga practice lapse for a number of months and hadn’t been in that upside down position for a while. My throat felt taut. Trying to find the source of my discomfort, I zeroed in on my tongue. Sure enough, loosening it helped me settle into the posture. But Hyoglossal_musclewhy did my shoulders release so dramatically, just from softening my tongue? The image that came to mind was anatomical…

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Body Literacy: The Sound of Your Heart

Body Literacy: The Sound of Your Heart

Not long ago Katy Fox, an artist and yoga instructor in San Francisco, contacted me because she had found The New Rules of Posture useful in her work. She also wanted to share her own vision with me. Katy has a huge vision–nothing less than the re-embodiment of our culture.Sensibly, she’s starting small. The week following our conversation she launched her first embodied public space: Soundscape of the Human Heart. She was pretty jazzed about this when we spoke…

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