I'll be teaching classes ("Transform Your Posture through Yoga") in the Healthy Living at Your Library series in March, April and May, 2017. You can find the schedule here: https://sonomalibrary.org/events/programs/healthy-living-at-your-library Learn how to improve your posture sitting & standing, and apply this to yoga poses so you don't hurt your back doing yoga.
When I started working for Jean Couch at the Balance Center, she said I had some of the flattest feet she’d ever seen. I was surprised, because I thought my feet were kind of normal. However, I did have knee pain, which is often related to problems with foot alignment. I had a dance injury that caused me so much pain when hiking that sometimes I thought I was going to have to call the park ranger to carry me out on a stretcher! Every step I took was so painful that I couldn’t even carry on a conversation with [...]
I just read an interesting article in Psychology Today about posture: "Straight Up. Don't Be a Slouch." I agree with parts of it, but not all. Here's the link to the article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200611/straight-dont-be-slouch Here are some of my thoughts about it: Holding tension at the belly button can lead to excess tension. Be careful with this. Plus you don’t need your abs to support your rib cage. If your spine is in a column, the ribs will have plenty of support. The chest stretch is good. Most of us need stretches like this for the chest/shoulders. Hamstring stretches are very [...]
I just read an article on Shape Magazine’s website called “Hold Up – Is the Barre Tuck Actually Bad for You?” The article talks about the “barre tuck” done in barre fitness classes. I haven’t been to a barre class, but I’ve been to many dance classes before (when I was a Flamenco dancer) where we were told to tuck the pelvis under. It was considered to improve our posture and our dance technique. What I’ve since learned about posture, after studying with Jean Couch of the Balance Center in Palo Alto, is that it actually does neither. I followed [...]
We used to watch this video clip at the Balance Center in Palo Alto, in the Foundations Series. It's a great example of someone in Balance/Spinefulness. James Cagney is bending from his hip joints and his spine looks so straight.
In my last article, I wrote about some of the different styles of yoga that you can choose from, with an emphasis on those who have back pain or want to prevent it. Now I'll cover some other things to think about to make sure you and your back stay safe and healthy. CHOOSING A CLASS If your doctor or physical therapist warned you against yoga, it may be that they are more familiar with the more vigorous styles of yoga (see the Part 1 article), or that they are seeing patients/clients coming in with injuries from yoga. Just because [...]
With so many different styles of yoga available these days – everything from “hot yoga” to “power yoga” to “naked yoga” (I’m not making this up!) – how do you choose the right style for yourself, especially if you have back pain? In this month’s article, I’ll go over some of the styles of yoga that are out there. In the next issue, I’ll cover some other things to consider when looking for a yoga class that won't hurt your back. Though yoga is known for its many health benefits, from improving strength and flexibility to reducing stress, you can [...]
Thanks to the suggestion from Traci Hanson of Crystal Rose (www.crystal-rose.org), the studio has been totally remodeled! It has a fresh, clean look that seems more spacious. We're finishing up the last few details, but you can get a sense of it from the images here. Traci's husband David did an amazing job painting and upgrading the trim along with many other details. Traci's skill in interior design helped her pick out great colors and new furniture as well. Thanks much to Traci and David!
This is the time of year that many people set goals for what they'd like in the New Year. These New Year's resolutions often don't last more than a few weeks. It can be demoralizing to set a goal only to find yourself slacking off less than halfway through January (right about now)! Is one of your goals for 2016 to get out of pain? How about to look and feel healthier? If so, changing your posture can make a huge difference in that area. Like exercise, changing your posture has many benefits, including reduction or elimination of muscle and [...]
Arthritis: A Pain in the Joints Over 52 million people in the US have been told by their doctor that they have arthritis. (cdc.gov). The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition leading to joint pain. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage on the ends of bones wears away, causing pain, swelling, stiffness and redness (mayoclinic.org). This often leads to reduced range-of-motion, especially when cartilage wears away; then there is bone-on-bone contact, which can be extremely painful. People are then likely to avoid activities that aggravate the pain in the joints involved, and may [...]