This is our third blog post in the series where we put popular exercises under scrutiny to examine how they stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture. Here we are looking at “Cat-Cow,” a common exercise for mobilizing the spine.
Cow is one of the “holy cows” of conventional exercise. Done on all fours, it puts the spine into extension (swaying). It is paired with Cat , which puts the spine into flexion (rounding). Alternating between these postures is widely considered to be a good or even necessary exercise for mobilizing the spine. Read more
October 16 is World Spine Day, which makes this the perfect time to share with you a fascinating piece of recent research about the human spine.
In April I was contacted by Scott Williams PhD, Associate Professor at the Center for the study of Human Origins, Department of Anthropology, New York University. He and his team of anthropologists had recently published a scientific paper that concluded that understanding the spines of Neanderthals, a human ancestor, may explain the back pain experienced by humans today.
Who were the Neanderthals?
The Neanderthals populated Europe and Asia between about 400,00 and 40,000 years ago. Neanderthals became extinct, but are considered one of our most recent evolutionary ancestors. Research shows there is DNA evidence that they interbred with early human populations. Read more
Do you suffer from neck tension, muscle knots, or tingling in your fingers? Do you get frequent headaches?
Or maybe your neck is fine most of the time, but seizes up periodically, leaving you unable to function normally in your job, family life, and recreational activities.
Most neck pain involves compression.
In modern cultures, the head often drifts forward as we slouch and crane our necks towards our computer screens. The weight of the head, (typically 11 lb. or 5 kg—think bowling ball), then requires the muscles at the back of the neck to contract strongly to keep the head up. This contraction compresses the relatively delicate tissues in the area. Not a recipe for a healthy, happy neck. If you have forward head carriage but are symptom-free so far, keep reading for tips that will prevent future problems with the discs, nerves, blood vessels, and bones in your neck. Read more
In my experience, people are often unaware that their posture has greatly contributed to their muscular problems and damage.
In this blog post I would like to talk about a frequently injured group of muscles that attach the arm to the torso at the shoulder blade—the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff helps rotate the arm and lift it sideways and is also responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint. Read more
It has been over 60 years since Eastern schools of meditation became widely known in the U.S. and Europe, and meditation became widely practiced, with over 14% of Americans having meditated at least once. If we include those practicing mindfulness techniques, using meditation apps, and attending yoga classes with a meditation component, this figure goes far higher.
The effects of sitting in meditation
The potential benefits of meditation are well known, and include a calmer, clearer mind, lower levels of stress, better sleep, improved relationships with others, and better mental health.
From a posture perspective, whether you sit in meditation regularly or are just getting started, you want the experience to be as healthy for your body as it is for your mind. Read more
In January and February this year I took the Gokhale Method Elements course, which consists of 18 brief (13 minute) but potent lessons. I would like to share my experience of the Gokhale Method with you in this blog post.
My goals were to find out how to sit, stand, and walk well, so that I don’t overstress the scoliotic parts of my back. I was also in search of more comfortable and beneficial sleeping positions. I felt I needed guidance to help me develop a better sense of my body posture and alignment. To be able to do a one-on-one course online made this possible for me.
It was only when I saw the difference between my “Before” and “After” pictures that I realized just how much change it was possible to make to my posture in such a relatively short period. Read more