Perceptual Tensegrity

Perceptual Tensegrity

Tensegral body attitude, by expanding the space within the torso, grants more living room to your organs, beneficially affecting all visceral functions, including circulation, respiration, and digestion. And, because expansive visceral space contributes to high vagal tone, it can positively affect both health and social connectedness.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Healing Posture in the Real World

Healing Posture in the Real World

Walking through a natural setting, among trees and rocks, accompanied by wind sounds and bird cries, your body feels and moves differently than it does when you walk through an environment of glass, steel and straight lines, like an airport.  Your emotional state, the rhythm of your gait, your sense of yourself — it’s as if your bodymind airportmirrors the terrain — the varying textures and spaces of nature, or the hard, flat surfaces of the man-made world.  Your perceptions shape your posture and steer your movements…

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