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 [...]