The Approach: Healthy Sitting Posture at Work

The Approach: Healthy Sitting Posture at Work

Last night in the final class of Compassion & Vitality, one student brought in their computer and we re-created her work set up. She wanted to know how could she work without so much pain and stress? Just re-creating her office set up brought on waves of dread. We began with "The Approach." It was a simple experiment – could we change her working physical patterns (and her dread) by approaching her activity differently? Rather than plop down in the chair and breathlessly begin working as she had done previously, I asked her…continue reading →
Time to Learn to Swim NYC!

Time to Learn to Swim NYC!

Last week, I described the right mindset for teaching children or yourself to swim. This post is about one of the most essential and overlooked skills in learning how to swim: effortless floating. There is no better time to learn to swim (or for that matter, teach people to swim) than the summer. Walking to the pool or beach in shorts and flip-flops sure beats encapsulating oneself in polar protective gear before trudging to the pool (I have clear memories of wearing snow boots home from the pool this winter as my towel…continue reading →
Teaching Children to Swim without Fear

Teaching Children to Swim without Fear

Many parents and adults recognize the value in learning to swim: for water safety, enjoyment, and fitness. But people often come away from swim lessons frustrated that they can't "get it," or worse, have been traumatized by an overly zealous teacher who dunked or let go of them in an unsafe way. All in the name of helping them "get over their fear." Well, I've never wanted to send the message (especially to a child) that they can't trust me, the teacher. Think about it: if you can't swim and you can't stand,…continue reading →
The Importance of Being in Pain

The Importance of Being in Pain

Some people in severe pain can't even fold the laundry, let alone try to keep the house as perfect as you'd see in a Clorox commercial. The dream of a perfect life – unlimited upward mobility, floating in a comfortable financial hammock – all this is off the table, for now at least. The dream has been shattered, so who are you now? The advantage of being in pain, or dealing with a disability like this, is that you aren't waiting to live a more present and meaningful life. You aren't waiting until…continue reading →

Quick Tip for Helping Neck Pain

Here's a quick tip to help with your neck pain. The way we move our head and neck, and even the way we think about our spine and head, determine how much tension accumulates in the neck which often causes pain. In this short video, I'll offer a helpful way of thinking about your neck and head while working and going through your day, so that your head feels less like a bowling ball and more like it's floating on top of your spine. If you're interested in learning more how the body…continue reading →

Creating Work Habits You’d Actually like to Keep

From my conversation with Unstuckable cofounder, Stephen Warley, here is why investing in yourself today brings dividends for the future. All in less than two minutes! Too often, we approach our work situation as if it's just a short-term project and LATER, we will get around to sitting with better posture or arranging our desk furniture more peaceably.  However, it's the choices we are making right now which are influencing our mind how to choose the future.  We can start now making small but sane changes that add up to healthy work habits and a…continue reading →
Body As Compass in Times of Stress and Anxiety

Body As Compass in Times of Stress and Anxiety

The body is like a compass in this age of poor navigational signals. We don't know what to do next, though we feel that we certainly should be doing something next. Our attention and decision-making is demanded by notifications from our phones and computers. We have so many relationships to check in on and tidy up through endless apps and platforms. Not to mention worries about our jobs and our expectations for our productivity. With so many different directions to go, how do we decide? One option is that we can listen to…continue reading →
Outdoor Swimming Season Is Here!

Outdoor Swimming Season Is Here!

After nine months of crowded pools, returning to outdoor swimming in a lake or ocean is like liberating a lab rat. There's so much freedom without having to follow that black tiled line beneath you or worry whether the angry Masters swimmer is going to start slapping your foot at any second. So give yourself the time and the space to lengthen your stroke, and start to listen for a more natural rhythm that can emerge when you're not worried about people in front or behind you, or hitting a lane line. There's a…continue reading →

Why Bother with Compassion for Chronic Pain?

Maybe you think that you'll start to be compassionate with yourself as soon as you get over this injury, or as soon as this repetitive stress injury heals and you can get back to work or playing violin. Sometimes it can feel that by "accepting" our pain or injury, that we are somehow condoning it or giving up on trying to get better. In my experience, it's exactly the opposite. When we invest both in the physical aspect of the healing process (whether it's Alexander Technique or physical therapy or exercise), AND invest in healing…continue reading →
Bedbugs, Lead Paint, and Neck Pain: a Case Study of Alexander Technique NYC

Bedbugs, Lead Paint, and Neck Pain: a Case Study of Alexander Technique NYC

In 7 memorable months, my family was visited by 2 of New York City’s dreaded housing plagues: lead paint and bedbugs. If you count hardhearted, greedy landlords, then we had that plague, too. Twice, we packed up all our stuff, tried to keep normalcy for Ruby, and twice we were disappointed (crushed, really) to find out that we could not live safely in the apartments we had moved into. In the first apartment, our landlord evicted us after Ruby tested high for lead in her blood rather than deal with the lead. We…continue reading →