DanaD

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So far Dana D has created 89 blog entries.

Yoga and the Middle Path

By | June 6th, 2014|Body Awareness, Healthy Posture, Yoga|

I recently attended the exhibition "Yoga: the Art of Transformation" at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, CA.  It was a fascinating exhibit, with sculptures, painting, videos and films, and illustrated books showing yoga asanas (poses or postures).* While many people believe that yoga asanas are ancient, the experts that comment on the pieces in this exhibit state that modern Hatha Yoga asanas are much more recent, developing mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries as a combination of various elements including calisthenics and wrestling.  Ancient texts only describe seated postures to prepare one for meditation. The famous Yoga [...]

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Dowager’s Hump — How to Prevent or Correct It

By | April 11th, 2014|Aging, Back Pain, Healthy Posture, Neck pain, Shoulders, Sitting Posture|

Many people I meet are concerned about getting more rounded and stooped over as they get older.  I know I was! Your thoracic vertebrae (in the upper spine) have a slight forward curve naturally (a “Kyphosis”). In many people in the industrialized world, this curve can become extreme. When the extreme curve is high up in the thoracic area and into the cervical spine (neck area), it is sometimes called a “Dowager’s Hump.” This can lead to back and neck pain, due to strain on the muscles that occurs with misaligned posture, and loss of height.  Over time, this change [...]

Can Technology Help Your Back or Joint Pain?

By | February 12th, 2014|Back Pain, Technology|

I sometimes get asked about various apps that purport to help people improve their posture. Do they really work? Can they reduce back pain? The idea behind these is that the app catches you when you're unconscious and reminds you to stop slouching or improve your posture. That might be helpful, as we all go unconscious a lot. I know that I did, especially when I was first learning Balanced alignment. It's probably a good thing in a way, since you wouldn't want to change everything all at once. Some amount of forgetting probably allows your body to gradually get [...]

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Great Stretch for Good Posture & Healthy Shoulders

By | January 10th, 2014|Healthy Posture, Shoulders|

In the last 2 months I've talked about a simple exercise to heal shoulder injuries, and how to stop a main cause of shoulder injuries (by getting the pelvis underneath your spine rather than in front of it). I also mentioned my article from August, 2013 that goes over how foam rollers can help to straighten your upper spine, which really helps your shoulders. (You can find this here on the blog.) This month I'd like to address another component of shoulder problems - tight muscles in front of the shoulders. The "pecs" (pectoralis minor and major) are chest muscles [...]

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Stop a Major Cause of Shoulder Injuries

By | January 6th, 2014|Healthy Posture, Shoulders, Yoga|

One major cause of shoulder injuries has to do with the alignment of your spine.  Last month I gave you an exercise to help heal shoulder problems. This month we'll look at how the spine affects the health of your shoulder joints. The 3 Curve Model The spine has 3 curves normally - a lordosis in the lumbar (or lower) spine, a kyphosis in the thoracic spine (or mid to upper), and a lordosis in the cervical spine (neck). Lordosis means a backbend, kyphosis means a forward bend. Most people in industrialized countries have much more rounded spines than we [...]

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Heal Shoulder Injuries with This Simple Exercise

By | November 4th, 2013|Shoulders|

Many of my students lately are wondering how they can heal shoulder injuries of one sort or another. Whether it's torn rotator cuff muscles, frozen shoulder, arthritis, or some still undiagnosed problem, shoulder problems can seriously interfere with the activities of daily life. I learned some interesting things about the shoulder joint and shoulder injuries recently in a Teleclass series by Judith Lasater, a yoga teacher who is also a Physical Therapist. Some of these I learned in my teacher training at the Yoga Room in Berkeley, but it's great to have a refresher! How Kinesiology Can Help You Kinesiology [...]

How to Sit on Couches/Sofas without Pain

By | September 18th, 2013|Back Pain, Furniture, Healthy Posture, Sitting, Sitting Posture|

Do you find yourself complaining about how uncomfortable furniture is? Do you squirm a lot, constantly shifting your posture to get comfortable?  This is really common.  There are 2 big challenges these days to getting comfortable when sitting: 1) Our modern misaligned posture and 2) Our modern unhealthy chairs.  How can you deal with these challenges? To deal with the first issue of misaligned posture, I’ll refer you to previous articles on my blog.  Try searching under the “sitting” category.  You can find a link to my YouTube video on Pain-Free Sitting as well as an article on “10 Tips [...]

Straighten Your Upper Spine

By | August 9th, 2013|Back Pain, Healthy Posture|

One of the first things people want to do after their back pain starts to go away (after getting back to activities like dancing, running, hiking, etc.), is to straighten their curvy upper backs.  In industrialized cultures like the US, our misaligned posture leads to back and joint pain as well as loss of height. Have you noticed that you’ve gotten shorter over the years? It’s pretty common! Since modern posture is not aligned with gravity, it leads us to collapse and get curvier as we age. You can stop the cause of this curviness by changing your posture. (See [...]

Who’s More Misaligned? (Part 2)

By | July 9th, 2013|Fashion, Healthy Posture, Standing|

I had some fun the other day when I walked through the mall.  I’ve been meaning to do this for months now. I was curious to see what the mannequins in store windows looked like. Were they still as misaligned as ever? I got quite a few photos, which confirmed that yes, they still are really misaligned. Here are a few photos I took that day.  Who is more misaligned? Which of these mannequins has the best alignment? Which has the worst alignment? I’d love to hear your responses. You can submit your guess by commenting on this post.  The [...]

Who’s More Misaligned? (Part 1)

By | June 7th, 2013|Back Pain, Healthy Posture, Sitting, Sitting Posture, Standing|

You may wonder why Americans have such poor posture. This started back in the early 1900’s, probably with the “Flappers”, but unfortunately the trend has continued unabated since then. People have speculated why this change took place. Some say it was a rebellion against the rigidity of the Victorian age. Others say it had to do with Americans wanting to be “modern” and look “relaxed.” There may have been many causes of this phenomenon, but certainly the cost to our society in terms of back pain is huge – billions of dollars are spent on dealing with back pain each [...]