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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Minimal Shoes and Biofeedback

Minimal Shoes and Biofeedback

If our hunter-gatherer forebears wore simple hide foot coverings or, depending on the weather, went barefoot, wouldn’t shoes that are barely there be good for us too?
Well, not necessarily, because “we’ve paved paradise and put in a parking lot.” We walk on flat, smooth, unyielding surfaces, whereas our forebears walked on grass, dirt, sand and gravel…

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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…

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Wake Up Your Feet!

Wake Up Your Feet!

If you’re thinking that feet are my favorite subject, you could be right. I definitely think that adaptable, responsive feet are a vital component in healthy posture. By adaptable, I mean feet that are able to move--not just to take steps, but also to spread and clasp, to wriggle and writhe and bounce. They can sense the ground and respond to it…

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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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Foot Support for Artistic Expression

Foot Support for Artistic Expression

Finding the sensation of healthy support from his feet made a lovely difference in Eric’s life. In the accompanying video this musician/songwriter shows how his musical expression changes depending on how he lives in his feet.

Your body can move around in the world without your being fully present in it. You may have good body awareness in general but lack presence in specific parts or areas of your body. In the video, Eric speaks about “finding his cuboid.” He’s referring to finding awareness in a specific region of the foot that activates better organization of the entire lower extremity. For more about foot organization, see Know Your Feet, my online workshop.

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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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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…

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Foot Massage

Foot Massage

That may not be true for everyone, but for sure, foot problems stop you in your tracks. As a Rolfer® and movement coach, I’ve seen too many miserable feet and the problems they’ve transmitted to the bodies above. So I’m motivated to share anything I come across that might help my readers care for their own precious gravity negotiators.  Feet, with their 26 bones and 33 joints and countless soft tissue springs and pulleys, are perfectly designed to negotiate uneven surfaces. When they don’t get to do that—when they’re constantly shod and subjected to flat, hard surfaces…

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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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Know Your Feet

Know Your Feet

My intent for the workshop is to empower you through information and experiences to understand how your feet are meant to support and transport you. The content includes:

• demonstrations and explorations to FEEL how your feet should work
• relevant but simple anatomy to understand the complexity and magic of the foot
• the relationship between your feet and your body as a whole
• what it means to feel and receive support
• self-help exercises to improve faulty foot habits

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