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This post has nothing to do with posture. But it has everything to do with perspective, which in turn can affect your posture.
Whether it has to do with posture or not, what’s the point of writing a blog if you can’t just write something personal and emotional once in awhile?
A few days ago I had a mini meltdown. It started with the Academy Awards, where I proceeded to lose my “pickem” pool by only guessing 4 wins correct (versus the winner who got 14 correct!). I used to work in the movie industry, so I took this as a major blow.
Then, I was cooking, and I missed an ingredient in not just one dish but two dishes I happen to be cooking that evening. We ended up with two, rather tasteless dishes.
Finally, I got into an argument with my daughter (age 9), and let’s just say that this mom was not too happy with how I reacted. What happened to patient, loving mommy when she’s called upon?
So I lost it. It became of pool of self pity, and self loathing, and complete and utter self doubt.
I spent about 24 hours convincing myself that I could never cook again, never parent again, and that oscar worthy movies are not worthy of me. It spilled into “I should quit writing a blog” and “I should stop helping people lead pain free lives”.
STOP. 24 hours later I was over it. I knew better. It was a day full of “first world problems” and “self victimization”. I am better than that. So, I picked myself back up and got back to work.
But it made me think; why go down this rabbit hole in the first place? What possesses some of us only focus on the negative and allow themselves to only see what’s wrong?
I spent the last few days noticing this in other areas of my life, and I noticed that I do this way more than I would like to admit. Especially in my career as a Movement Specialist.
I pride myself on having a good “eye”. That I can see postural imperfections better than your average person. That I can tell when someone’s glutes aren’t firing well, and can predict that perhaps they have chronic pain. I can sometimes even feel when someone is in pain, or a body part is not working right. I can interpret body language well. I am usually able to predict when a friend is pregnant, just because I notice things instantaneously and know if someone’s body is changing.
How do all those thoughts translate into my head? “Oh look at those rounded shoulders.” OR “Yikes they have no lumbar spine curvature and I bet their glutes don’t work.”
I find I’m only seeing the negative. And despite the fact that these negative thoughts are not about me, they are still negative.
So, I decided this week to experiment with my thoughts. It was time to start looking at the glass half full. Sure it wasn’t perfect. I found my judgemental mind cringing when I saw an older lady with a hunchback so pronounced, I concluded she had to be in pain. But then I checked out her jacket. It was cute: green and fringy in all right places. I would have never noticed that before. Oh and her smile. She was actually smiling at me! I saw her, not just my diagnosis.
When my clients walked into my studio, I stopped paying attention to their immediate postural problems. I noticed their cute workout pants. Their updated hair “do”. I looked for strong muscles. I complimented them as much as possible, and even toyed with giving visual corrections instead of correcting a movement with my negative words.
I’m not sure if anyone noticed but me. I felt lighter. More optimistic. My dismissive self thinking diminished too. A negative thought about my cooking skills has turned into “hey… check out what I cooked!” My daughter’s messy room has turned into “look how creative she is!” The loss of a silly “pick em” game has turned into “I actually got 4 winners correct, which rocks considering I only saw one movie this year!”
It takes conscious effort, but I feel the wave of self doubt behind me. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about your perspective. And positive thoughts have the power to change your pain, your posture, and your perspective.
(More on this, and the link between posture and emotions coming soon.)
Last week I sent you a bunch of emails. I know I did. It was for a good cause. I launched my first course, The Slouch Solution, and I now have clients from all over the world practicing the VerticAlign techniques.
I’ve been getting feedback from India, Australia, Spain, France, Denmark, Singapore, and the UK. I wake up to an inbox full of messages from these amazing clients who have been completing their workouts. I am getting pictures and videos from motivated individuals who are making the commitment to their body, and are they already on their way to a pain free life. Positive change is happening!
I digress…back to my rant about annoying bloggers.
Last week I was probably a bit annoying. I sent email after email, all talking about my revolutionary new course. However, I also did my very best to make sure the content you were receiving was of value.
I sent out handy desk exercises, I explained the need for exercise consistency, and I shared with your some stories about my personal journey with my own alignment and posture. I take pride in the fact that, while I may not be perfect, what I send to you is good for your health and your body.
Not everyone is like this. I follow a ton of bloggers. I mean a ton. I love to see what everyone else is writing about and there are some, that are just, plain, annoying.
The other day I got an email from a coach for online fitness coaches. Yes, there is such a thing. The title of the email was “Hey”. I opened it, because he actually fooled me into thinking “oh he’s reaching out to me individually!”. I was disappointed to find the following message: “I can increase your business twofold in the next month. Does that interest you? If so, email me back”.
Of course doubling my income interests me. But, not with your seemingly useless help! Give me some meat. Tell me your techniques. Make me want to engage you through your intuitive ability to know my current needs and limitations.
The second annoying thing many online video content creators do, is create videos that are simply too long. I don’t know about you, but the moment I hit “play” on a video I want to watch, I check how long it is so I know what i’m in for. Often, if it’s an exercise video that shows off only 1 exercise, I’ll fast forward to the part where I see them moving. Who has the time to watch a video explanation that lasts 4 minutes but only demonstrates 1 exercise? Show me the meat, be efficient with your words, and don’t waste my time.
So on that note, today, I will not be annoying. Today, I present an awesome exercise that a lot of clients in my new course are learning, as I type. Today, I present the video of this exercise that is only 30 seconds long. Today, I present to you…
Scapula Contractions Supine
This exercise is ideal for hunchback posture. There are two very important notes on this exercise: first make sure you are not flaring your rib cage too much when you contract your scapular muscles(a little bit is ok). Second, you want to make sure you are not tensing in your neck. If you are, your elbows are probably a bit too high and you should lower them down a bit.
It takes less than 30 seconds to watch, and 1 minute to perform.
With love from your “trying to not be annoying posture coach”,
You bounce out of bed in the morning energized and ready for the day. You meet your friends for an early morning basketball game, down that green smoothie, and then head off to your office to work at your dynamic workstation and power through your “to do” list.
If this isn’t your morning, don’t be alarmed. You’re not alone. Many people roll out of bed feeling stiff. They feel tired from a day of sitting, and can barely make breakfast, let alone make something healthy.
Luckily, I have the magic solution for you. Yesterday I discussed the power of postural modification and how it’s the number one reported treatment for lower back pain.
Zack Arnold is a respected blogger and founder of Fitness in Post. Much like me, is on a mission to help people with the issues associated with sitting all day long. He invited me to contribute to his blog. We also recorded a podcast and had an amazing dialogue about how proper posture can revolutionize your body. Zack asked me about my favorite chair, we discussed the benefits of posture braces, and I shared a unique exercise you can do while driving.
Zack even let me pitch my new beta course: The Slouch Solution: A 4 Week Plan to Eliminate Your Pain and Command Your Posture
There are some great nuggets in this post about where your elbows should be while you are sitting, and how to make sure your pelvis is in the correct position.
It’s worth a read and a visit to his site. Together, Zack and Zeena hope to give the world pain free posture, powerful purpose and plentiful productivity!
I would like to hear, do you have a favorite chair you like to sit in? Please comment below!