Within your oral cavity, you now have both descent (your mandible resting down) and ascent the subtle lift of your tongue. Notice what that does for the sensations at the juncture of your head and neck.Read More
This exploration is one I share with nearly every one of my private clients. Awareness of the space around our bodies is uplifting. It emancipates joints, making movement freer, as I hope you’ll be able to feel for yourself..Read More
Car designers seem to devise seats to support the lowest common denominator of posture, believing that people need soft seats that cradle the derriere, and backrests that ignore the capacity of your spine to support itself.Read More
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…Read More
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
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
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…Read More
Can you see knot at the nexus of my left shoulder and neck? It’s never been especially troublesome, but it has been a long time companion. Off and on I’m moved to investigate the tension, and my “shoulder journal” has grown to near novella length. What follows is a recent entry. If I compare the feeling of my left arm with my right, the left one seems shrunken, shorter…Read More
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…Read More
In my last several posts, I’ve been drawing your awareness to the front of your spine. Releasing the tensions we hold within our bodies at this depth can restore mobility, ease and freedom we didn’t know were missing. Upper-cervical-facet-jointsIn this video you’ll practice a movement meditation that can restore mobility at the joint between the top of your neck and your cranium. This area so often expresses stress as rigidity, and is exacerbated by long hours spent in front of computer screens…Read More
Thanks to my colleague and proud father, Charles, for sharing his time in the accompanying movie. And for sharing his problem—I’m sure he’s not the only new dad who finds himself with unaccustomed aches and pains. His problem is fairly universal too, so his solutions can apply to your life, even if you aren’t rising to feed someone at 4 a.m. It’s a matter of having the right support: support from the pelvis for the spine, support from the spine for the shoulders, support from the shoulders for the hands and arms…Read More
I like this illustration for The New Rules of Posture so much that I’ve begun using it as a logo for my work in general. It depicts one of the characters in my book as she cleans a chandelier. Here’s the story with its “posture moral” at the end.
What I’ve called “posture zones” are muscular and connective tissue structures that lie roughly perpendicular to the body’s vertical mid-line. When we’re under stress—even a pleasant stress like Alison’s excitement at discovering an Art Deco treasure in her new apartment—one or more of the posture zones tightens in order to keep the body stable. The posture zones are like valves whose closing deforms the body’s mid-line and in so doing distorts posture…Read More
Maybe you’ve had one of those headaches that seem to start in the nape of your neck. Surprisingly, tension in the neck is often a result of tension in structures that lie in front of the neck: the jaw, throat and tongue.
For most of us, concentrated thought involves verbalization. When you’re puzzling over something, your tongue and back of your throat (think of the place where you swallow) unconsciously become active, even though you’re not speaking. Next time you review your bank statement, notice what’s going on in your throat or tongue…Read More