Honey, I Shrunk My Hips

Honey, I Shrunk My Hips

Contrary to everything you’ve heard in the press, in my teaching studio the average American is getting smaller. I’m not talking about belt size or average caloric intake. I’m talking about how anxiety, stress, and poor ergonomic conditions all contribute to excess muscle tension that, like a tightly wound instrument, shortens and narrows us. What I often see are students with shoulders which remain bunched up, ribs and stomach fixed, and the lower back compressed onto the pelvis. These all lead to poor breathing and a general feeling of dis-ease. How could it…continue reading →
Giving Up Good Posture

Giving Up Good Posture

I started meditating long before I ever heard of the Alexander Technique. Now, my experience as an Alexander teacher has profoundly affected how I sit on the cushion and even how I approach meditation altogether. A week ago, I taught a workshop at the Interdependence Project called Posture, Pain, and Meditation Practice. My experience there inspired me to write about "good posture." If we look at a meditator like this, from my perspective as an Alexander Technique teacher I can see a few imbalances which are likely making this posture uncomfortable. The low…continue reading →
What Are You Looking at?

What Are You Looking at?

Picture the black eyes of the shark, seemingly uninterested until something tasty swims past. I sometimes think of this animal and its blank stare when I’m lost in work at the computer. I’m dimly aware of what I am seeing, my world reduced to a glowing computer screen. In my experience, stress, anxiety and depression can reduce our visual vividness, our sense of being in the world outside ourselves. Our worries and chronic pain can lead to a tuning out of sensory input to be replaced by an intensification of our thoughts, fears,…continue reading →
How an Average Swimmer Crossed the English Channel

How an Average Swimmer Crossed the English Channel

How this self-described “middle-aged, middle lane swimmer” went from barely being able to swim a couple laps to being the 280th woman to ever cross the English Channel Interesting side note: first recorded person to ever cross the English Channel was shipwrecked seamen floating on a bundle of straw. What athletic or adventurous feat do you dream of? Given that history pain in my hands, I'm not thinking of anything too crazy. But I would like to swim a mile in clear ocean water where I can't see the bottom. I'd like to…continue reading →
Pulling an all nighter at work just got…

Pulling an all nighter at work just got…

…easier? A little weirder? More likely to be strangled by computer power cords as you sleep? A friend sent me this blurb, which is advertised under the heading “Future of Home Living.” Just when you thought that work/life separation couldn’t be any less separate.continue reading →
The Waves of Lake Ontario?

The Waves of Lake Ontario?

I spent the last week camping on the shores of Lake Ontario. Just a 2 ½ hour drive from Toronto, we camped on one of the largest freshwater sandbanks in the world. You had to wade out at least 60 yards to get over your head in the clear and surprisingly warm water. Sometimes the lake was still as a bathtub and other times wind roughed up the surface and created choppy waves. On one of my last days there, I spent time floating on my back with my feet towards the shore…continue reading →