Category Archives for "Personal Stories"

My Tumble Into the Emotional Rabbit Hole

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.)  

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Posture and Judgement: Check Out This Article on Arianna Huffington’s New Website

Last week, someone commented on one of my posts in a negative light and it immediately made my palms sweat.  My heart started to race and I started to spiral into a head space of “wow I suck” and “who in the world do I think I am?”.

To be honest,  I was overtired and overworked, and just needed a day away from my laptop.  However, it made me realize how influenced I am about how I’m perceived.  For a blogger and online posture coach, this fear  of judgement can be devastating. Thank goodness I’m not a Kardashian!

In this online world of constant “opinions” that can be screamed at you  from atop the rooftops from Moscow to India, it’s important to consider how you are perceived in whatever media you publish.  Even in the read world of eye contact and handshakes, a first impression is made in the initial glance of how you carry yourself.  Self awareness is crucial.

I wrote a piece about this very issue for Arianna Huffington’s new website.  In a world of constant technology, stress and disease, Arianna left her position at Huffington Post to pursue a new dream of helping people with their health, stress, sleep and posture.  She invited me to be a contributor. My first piece tackles this issue: how your posture affects how you’re judged.

I talk a lot about the pain associated with poor posture.  Neck soreness, back pain, hip tightness, and even knee pain can all be linked to your alignment and movement patterns.  But what about the pain of not getting the job you wanted, or being ignored by the date you were chasing after, just because your posture relayed the wrong message as your first impression?

Dr Albert Mehrabian, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, conducted research that shows that 55% of all communication is non-verbal (body language, posture).

So, how does your posture affect how you are judged?  Check out my first article on Thrive Global.  Yes, I compared one of the posture types to a “bad dog”.  Could this be you?

My new posture program The Slouch Solution,  can solve the “problem of postural perception” (say that 10 times fast!), as well as  provide you with the daily dose of exercise and breathing to elevate your mood and increase your productivity.

I am only accepting a handful more beta testers for this new course (at half the normal price), so sign ups will be ending this coming Friday, February 3rd at midnight.  

Once you sign up you can start immediately.  Because, as I always say… the longer you wait, the longer it takes.

Enjoy the read on Thrive Global and hope to see you in the course soon.

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a couple of years ago

Zeena’s Posture Analyzed

Many of you played last week’s game, and it’s time to announce a winner and analyze what’s wrong with Zeena.  Actually, I should be more specific. Today we’re only going to discuss what’s wrong with Zeena’s POSTURE.  All the other issues we will leave for my overpaid therapist.

Many of you guessed that I had lower back pain from an anterior pelvis tilt and under engaged core.  If you look closely I do have a SLIGHT tilt in the pelvis, but it’s not drastic enough to cause me undue pain.  To those who guessed this… GOOD GUESS!

The real issue in the pictures of me are told in the front facing shot.  If you notice, my left hand rests much further  forward (on my thigh) than my right hand.  Now, at first glance, you would think that it’s because my left shoulder caves inward.  However, it’s actually due to a rotation that is prevalent in my torso which makes the arm lilt forward while the torso rotates back

Take a closer look at my left rib cage.  Do you see how it’s rotated slightly to my left?  In fact, my left bottom rib pokes out far more than my right since the rib cage is rotated to the left.  Sometimes in xrays, my belly bMany of you guessed that I had lower back pain from an anterior pelvis tilt and under engaged core.  If you look closely I do have a SLIGHT tilt in the pelvis, but it’s not drastic enough to cause me undue pain.  To those who guessed this… GOOD GUESS!

Take a closer look at my left rib cage.  Do you see how it’s rotated slightly to my left?  In fact, my left bottom rib pokes out far more than my right since the rib cage is rotated to the left.  Sometimes in xrays, my belly button ring actually shows up to the left of my spinal cord!

As a result, the pain is in my right shoulder/neck region.  The pulling of the rib cage to the left causes my right shoulder pain and discomfort.  At times when I feel this, I know it’s time to get back to my rotation exercises and get my rib cage back into position.  It takes constant work and diligence.

So maybe it wasn’t as “obvious” as you thought.  No crazy hunchback or flat back syndrome.  But yet “rotation” is still a posture and alignment issue that needs to be addressed for long term pain reduction.

There was no one who guessed the problem exactly, but one reader did get VERY close. This reader noticed the lateral shifts in my pelvis and shoulders and even noticed a fallen arch on my left foot. The winner of this week’s game comes to us all the way from BOTSWANA!  I just love how the internet brings us together from across the globe.  Congrats to Ratsela Mooketsi! Thank you for playing and I’ll get my book Sculpt and Shape: The Pilates Way over to you.

Now I’m off to figure out how to ship to Botswana…


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