Posts Tagged ‘Optimize’

What’s Sitting Got to Do With How You Feel!

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

What’s sitting got to do with how you feel? Think about how long in any given day you sit. Now think about how you sit, are you collapsed into a chair, rounding your spine and pressing back on your Sacrum? How easy is it for you to come to stand from the chair? Do you use momentum, throwing yourself forward, do you push down with your hands to stand up? Do you even know what you do? Is holding your breathe so familiar you don’t even notice it? What about the place you stand your feet, are they behind your pelvis or underneath your knees? Might you have knee issues and hold your breathe with just the thought of moving your legs or coming to stand?

From my dear colleague in Germany from, “Feldenkrais Zeit”, Rodger Russell shares that there is a new saying, that “Sitting is the new smoking”! Well let’s think about this. Smoking is a pattern that many become so familiar with, without realizing how addictive it is and how it becomes a habit. Think about how often someone lights up a cigarette and still has one burning in the ashtray, or maybe they just finished one only to start another. One often feels benefit from smoking as you sometimes hear one say it calms them down, allows them to quiet and think, but it also is problematic when it becomes a compulsion. Now what does this have to do with the idea of sitting? Think about it, we sit because it’s comfortable, to rest, to relax but we also are sitting endless hours a day in front of computer screens, holding SmartPhones to connect with the world, driving or being driven… We start to focus more on what we are involved with and forget that we are sitting and using more muscle than feeling our skeleton as support. A result is that we are shortening, slouching, and therefore our muscles are contracting. Our inner organs are continuously getting unhealthy pressure, our breathing becomes compromised and many other issues arise from this as we are sitting in chairs for endless hours any given day. We also give ourselves over to the less than optimal support of a chair. We buy ergonomic chairs only to find they don’t really do what they say they will and these hours and hours every day are killing us. We have so habituated to sitting in chairs versus sitting on the floor as many Eastern countries did, that we lose our ability to feel the slouching and muscular tonus that arises as a by-product of this habit. When we slouch, lean back on our Sacrum more often than not, we are creating havoc in our spine and feel the discomfort throughout our entire spine and also in our pelvis, hips and often trigger Sciatic pain. You needed trust me but rather recognize how the entire medical community has been writing about this problem that doesn’t seem to improve.

Dr Moshe Feldenkrais (1904 – 1984) expounded on this idea of good posture when sitting and communicated that “organic sitting posture” is the ability for one to move in all cardinal directions effortlessly. That means we can move forward, back, right and left as well as up and down with a smooth, easy, efficient way instead of using momentum and force, holding our breathe and tensing as we too often notice. What we tend to do is to dissociate from what we are doing, too obsessed in something else. We call this multitasking but at what cost.

What happens when you limit your beliefs and overlook that you can create another possibility? You can and will enable a more comfortable back, pelvis, hips and knees as well as your neck and head that sit atop your spine. What if you get curious, move gently and notice where you look, how you breathe. How limiting are your choices in how you move, do you have many possibilities that improve this function of not only sitting but coming to stand effortlessly? You can begin to find other potentials to move more efficiently but you need to change what you are doing. Doing the same thing over and over again will only (at best) improve what you are doing or make things harder and create more deterioration of tissues. So if you are doing something that creates resistance, discomfort, holding your breathe, than you are only getting better at disorganizing yourself. It’s not that sitting is bad, but more How you are doing it. Little bits you can find a path that enables your nervous system to feel resilient and a newer pattern can develop where you notice more ease, comfort and availability. You can learn other, more optimal ways to sit, playing as you sit, mindful as to where you sit in your pelvis in comparison to your spine. You can begin to feel and therefore recognize in a felt sense how to sit in an upright fashion. It is possible to feel your skeleton that supports us with the least amount of muscular effort. Save the muscular effort for more productive actions instead of pushing, forcing and straining to achieve a simple enough task that we learned as little ones. How to remember what you’ve forgotten and likely has been pushed far into the recesses of your brain. Good thing is, that sense of ease is still stored within your brain. Question is how do you bring it to the surface to refresh and renew how you do the function of sitting and coming to stand. It’s easy, seek out a Feldenkrais practitioner and follow the path of learning how to adapt yourself in finding more efficiency and comfort in a daily function that you do and will continue to do for the rest of your life.

Imagine coming to stand feeling taller, lighter and easier aligning through your bones and joints. Movement gets easier, life gets better! You move better, you feel better, you think clearer and life improves. Isn’t life worth making better, finding easier ways to live? For me it’s unthinkable to plod along doing the same thing day in day out without looking for variations and variety. For more information find a Feldenkrais Practitioner in your area or contact the Feldenkrais Guild of North America to learn more at There are Feldenkrais Guilds throughout the world so get curious and begin to make your life even better than you thought was possible!

How to Make Life Better, Optimize with The Feldenkrais Method ®

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Too often people think of their bodies as parts of a whole, and attention will go to the part(s) that hurt.  By the time the pain and discomfort gets attention most are so deep in their patterns they cannot recognize how the pain developed.  Often people in pain will rely on an authority in the hope they will be fixed so they will soon return to feeling better.  The flaw in this approach is usually if the authority isn’t around, there is no strategy to understand and relieve the pain. This is fairly typical and we can all relate to our own personal experiences in this regard.

What we need is to re-evaluate how we think and invest in ourselves

All our body parts are interconnected!  Our moods affect how we feel, how we think and carry ourselves.  Every mental state actually has its own muscular configuration.  When we feel scared, hopeless, confused, annoyed, happy, sad, ecstatic, bewildered, befuddled, in love… each of these emotional states maintain a posture within our structure.  The structure is your skeleton, and it helps guide how you think, feel and move.

Our parts create the whole, which is comprised of the many bodily systems.  There are at least 11 systems: Cardiovascular, Endocrine, Lymphatic, Respiratory, Gastro-Intestinal, Reproductive are a few of the many.  States of being affect our bodily systems and therefore, when one is under stress it snowballs into the entire being.  When we begin to recognize the interactions of our states of mind, our emotions, our muscular contractions, this adds a whole new way of thinking about how our systems are all intricately connected.  Have you ever noticed that when you get really nervous your hands might sweat or you get chilled or start to shake?

A Feldenkrais Practitioner sees the human form as a collection of working systems that includes a personality derived from life experiences and conditioning. Optimizing these systems so they are listening to and working with each other is the mission of any Feldenkrais lesson whether it is a class or private session. With Feldenkrais you will be learning and renewing the skill of how to recognize your patterns to empower and help guide them into a more optimal pattern yourself. Create the awareness to sense an easier flexibility – to move better, in more efficient ways that enable a more comfortable, integrated whole.

If you are open and curious about learning more beneficial patterns, you will begin to awaken your internal sense of self. With enough sustained commitment this will begin to create a sense of self awareness, resilience and potency that will stay with you forever.  All you need is the eagerness to grow and learn a bit more than you already know.  You might be surprised to discover how much you find out about yourself, what makes you tick, what holds you back.

So if you are open and interested in finding easier, more comfortable ways to improve the quality of your life, get curious and look into finding a Feldenkrais Practitioner in your area.  Join a class or schedule a private session to enhance your extraordinary learning experience!  You will be pleasantly surprised to find there is a path to find your own way to a quality of life that keeps getting better.

If you are in the Montgomery County, MD or Baltimore areas I hope you have the interest to join my class delving into these potent self explorations.  What am I looking for?  For those of you out there who are tired of doing the same thing over and over again without much advancement in feeling greater ease and comfort in your bones, your mind and your spirit!  So if you are one of these people I AM LOOKING FOR, please respond and let me know how we can begin to create a world of improvement, one little step at a time.  All it takes is your taking an action in a different direction.  A direction that leads towards your future that can be brighter, moving you forward in a direction of ease, comfort and knowing HOW to create more of this in your life!

Our habits do not have to be permanent.  By changing a habit you realize how much more you can do and believing that it can be different, leads you to a place where you have a choice!

Eu-Stress and Di-Stress, Finding Balance with Feldenkrais®

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Many people have asked me, why do Feldenkrais ®Awareness Through Movement ®lessons, after all they exercise or have a regime that they partake of some of the time, well, maybe. So I become really curious as to how to respond to this inquiry. For those of you that know me, you have become familiar with my metaphors and analogies that help provide examples for understanding something that we already know, reflected on something we do not know. It brings us a bit closer to having a moment of, ahhh, hummm, maybe even interesting! Does this begin your curiosity?

So what if we look at it this way. We live in a world which brings to us so much. Some of these things, events, and situations are good, others not so good and others really horrible, yet we are here. How to continue forth to enable something better, nicer, were we not only LIKE the situation more but we LIKE ourselves better!

These things are called stresses, Eu-stress = the good stuff, like getting married, falling in love, a new baby or puppy or kitten, snuggles, kisses and of course chocolate! The other side of this coin is the Di-Stress. In moderation, we need both, it is the balance of the two that enable our experiences being nicer and what we want. When we fall out of balance and remain there too long, we feel lost, stuck and even anxious about ever being able to move into a place we like better.

Stressors affect our nervous system. Small amounts of stress, maintaining the dance to resume balance is one thing but too often what happens is an incremental amount of di-stresses developing, little bits at a time. Each stress we begin to accustom to, without noticing the burden and weight it puts on us. Even though we may not notice it, the stresses are building, little by little. It’s as if you left your engine running, constantly. This continuous running creates adrenaline and cortisols that reeve our body and nervous system up. Over time this depletes our adrenal glands and has us running on empty. It is as if our engine is overheated and ready to boil over or burn up! This creates a burden on you, all of our bodily systems that keep us functioning, now due to this added strain, begin to function less optimally and we feel the weight and effort. Running on empty, having no reserve leads to burn out.

The amount of energy it takes to heal is huge and as we begin to heal, then returning to our daily life, the smallest daily function can deplete us, amazing us as to how can this be the case, will we ever get back? Remember, healing requires lots of energy and consumed energy requires lots of time to reboot so that we can feel restored, refreshed and potent. If we push, feeling good in the moment, we are disappointed to find we throw ourselves back into the depleted state. All we forgot is the time that is required to restore. Each of us are different, our level or tolerance to stressors is very different person to person. Was our stress cup near full at the time of an accident, a trauma, a blow to us? Then there is the question, different for each of us as to how much stress we have accustomed to that has lead us to the brink, the tipping point of what seems to lead us to no return. There is a return but in order to return, we need to notice what is working, little bits and build from there. Instead we want a linear approach of all or nothing, push ourselves too far, too soon and then we are back in the hole!

How much stress is already in our system will dictate how successful our healing is and how quickly our system, our body will get back to harmony and find a good balance between the Eu-stress and Di – stress. Another thing to be mindful of is, something that is working, we usually sense in a brief period of time, the incremental improvement, yet too often we get stuck in doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome. This is known as either insanity or also called neuroses. What we need to be more attuned to is how to be mindful, aware of what is leading us out of the hole, enabling a shift to something more optimum, little incremental steps that lead us forward instead of 2 steps forward and 3 steps back! Do we understand what our part is in this process? Do we begin to recognize our habitual patterns that are unconscious and how to create other more optimal choices? These are choices that lead us to what we prefer in how we think, feel and move, what we like more and want more of!

So attending Awareness Through Movement classes gives you this opportunity to gently, without pushing yourself to the brink, find other, more enjoyable options in how to move forward, out of your past that you are tired of malingering in and into your future of what you prefer seeing, sensing and feeling is possible. It is, simply by being curious with yourself, gentle in how you inquire, creating different possibilities in how you think, feel and move.

Life can be better, even if it is really good for you now, find more that can and will serve you better. Things change and change is the only thing we know for certain. So as the inevitable occurs, isn’t it nice to realize you are more prepared to make the shifts to enable something so much easier and nicer despite some of the not so nice unexpected events.

Come to an ATM lesson, investing in yourself, your future, whether it’s your first to explore or your 100th. There is always something more to know about yourself that can make you surprised and return to a feeling of resilience!