I recently recommended to a Skype coaching client that he read pages 131-132 in The New Rules of Posture–pages that describe what I nicknamed “skintelligence”. One of this man’s goals was to improve his ballroom dancing. His partners had commented that they felt he was holding them rigidly, so I wanted to remind him of the surprising degree to which our tactile sense influences motor coordination. I knew that turning on his skin could help him turn off excess muscle tension…Read More
This video blog shows shares a way to relieve upper shoulder and neck tension by resting your arm over a ball. The one I used is a dryer ball, but I first learned this exercise with a tennis ball. Any small ball that fits comfortably into your armpit will work…Read More
The video below accompanies the last several blog entries in which I wrote about how the “corocoid corner” affects the stability of our shoulders and arms, and about the relationship between our arms and our hearts. The tissues that clasp the corocoid process need to be pliable in order for the upper arms to seat properly in the gleno-humeral fossa (the shoulder socket). When pectoralis minor and biceps brachii are chronically shortened and glued down around the corocoid, the humeral heads (tops of the upper arms) slip forward in the sockets. While this capacity of the shoulder joint lets us reach out for things, the position should be part of a temporary gesture. For stability of arm and shoulder, the humeral heads should rest back into the socket as deeply as possible. The video shows one way to open up the corocoid area…
Consider the relationship between support and openness–how does that work in your life in general? Think about a situation in which you were vulnerable—your metaphorical heart opened–but you lacked backing… My guess is that it wasn’t your favorite experience.
Our physical hearts, too, need support, and what I shared in the last blog about the corocoid corner can shed light on what I mean…Read More
Because I entitled this video blog “Secrets of the Shoulders”, I don’t want to just tell you what the secrets are. Watch the video to be introduced to bits of your anatomy you may not know you have: your corocoid processes. You’ll find out where those are, and what you can do with them. It’s a little tip that I’ve found useful and hope you will too. Once you get the feeling of letting your “corocoid eyes” look forward into the world, see how it feels to walk around with that feeling…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
Sandra Blakeslee’s book, The Body Has A Mind of Its Own, explains the neuroscience of brain mapping—the way your brain is organized to run your body. Brain maps for sensation and movement, interwoven like figures in an intricate mandala, make is possible for you to scratch your nose when it itches instead of poking yourself in the eye…Read More
You’d think, having spent the better part of 30 years teaching people about posture, that my own would have paragon status. It’s pretty good, I’ll admit, but that doesn’t stop me from being unconscious about my body use in certain situations. Like sitting at my computer and getting lost in a project…Read More
What’s the rule? A car length for every 10 mph? I don’t always follow that rule, but my friend drives way closer to the car ahead than I like. We’re in freeway traffic that is crowded but moving. Several times the brakes are necessary when our lane unexpectedly slows. I sense myself applying brakes of my own, griping my calf and digging my heel into the floorboard. I’m gripping a phantom steering wheel as well–my traps (upper shoulder muscles) clenched in an effort to gain control. My tongue presses back into my throat in a half-swallow. My mother was a nervous passenger, too…Read More
This time of year, as many of us step onto a holiday roller coaster, tension along the tops of our shoulders becomes almost epidemic. Necks ache, shoulders are tender and the holidays begin to promise more chores than cheer.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone in your household who gives good shoulder rubs, you know that a ten minute session under those hands can give you a new lease on life. What you may not have noticed is that when you stand up after the massage, your posture is better. Not only that, but it’s easier to breathe and your holiday to-do list looks less overwhelming…Read More
Since 2007, when The New Rules of Posture came out, I’ve had scores of requests for a video to assist readers in moving through the explorations and practices in the book. We all take in information through various channels, but when it comes to body learning, there’s no good substitute for the senses. Words, no matter how pictorial and evocative, have a hard time becoming flesh.After many months resisting the video project—I knew it would be a mountain–I finally jumped in. The first step was to find a videographer—an easy task, you might think, here in Hollywood-land. But I had a bite-sized budget and a yen for quality—two things that might be hard to match. Eventually I found Ian Campbell, who, I learned after I’d hired him, studied yoga at my friend Mike Nalick’s studio. (You’ll meet Mike in my DVD workshop.) This was the first of many good omens…Read More
It’s not always easy to walk my talk. The truth is that my current situation here in Dallas challenges my own sage advice to replace compressive, destructive, teeth-gnashing tension with sincere and steady shifts in perceptionRead More