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Some Novel Advice

A writer friend of mine did an impromptu survey of her Facebook friends: “Can you think of any good advice (that applies to real life) that you’ve gotten from novels?”  I quickly zipped a response to her before my next client came in:

“It’s a waste of time to rail against the universe that your technology or machine is broken, and still a waste of time to apply a poor quality quick fix. A better use of time is to learn how to fix it in a quality manner, or just release your reliance on it completely.”

On my walk home that night, I wondered why I gave that response, especially since I stopped reading the book that had inspired it, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, after just a few chapters. Surely I could have thought of something from other novels I liked enough to finish? Read more…

The Exercise Resolution: Where Should You Start?

“Start Exercising” is a popular resolution, and joining a gym is often a result. But what should a usually sedentary person do first? Weights? Machines? Spinning? My answer is none of the above.

My advice is to start with Read more…

Stand Up for Your Cells!

I love this cartoon. It’s a reminder that to thrive, we need to create an optimal environment for every cell in our body.


Studies show that when we sit for too long, we increase our chance of developing metabolic syndrome, a precursor for heart disease and diabetes. Why? It’s a complex issue, but one reason is this: our cells don’t like to lounge on the couch.

Muscle movement triggers important processes within specific cells that help metabolize fats and keep those numbers your doctor likes to talk about in the right range.

Read more…

Provoking Thought AND Movement


My mentor, Biomechanical Scientist Katy Bowman, wrote a brilliant article this month for Breaking Muscle.

Here’s just one thought provoker:

“An animal in the zoo needs to be given an exercise program because their habitat limits their biological reflexes.” – Katy Bowman

Ever thought about your own captivity from shoes, cars, elevators, or even email? And is an hour at the gym really a solution?

To get the full flavor of Katy’s message, read the entire article here:

This Year, Exercise Less | Breaking Muscle.

Observing Foot Placement

foot placement

Generally speaking, humans walk with their two feet pointed straight ahead. Makes sense, right?  But skewed feet can happen and for different reasons. Bone shape and conditions at the knee and hip are factors, but the most common reason for skewed feet is muscle weakness somewhere in the lower body.  Read more…

Joe Pilates and The Legends of the Spring

I recently participated in Benjamin Degenhardt’s Archival Pilates Reformer Workshop here in NYC. (Benjamin is awesome. I highly recommend his Archival Workshops to fellow instructors of all Pilates styles)

During the workshop, Benjamin presented his research on the legend of Mr Pilates and his apparatus. Along the way, he dismissed the popular story about Joe’s use of springs.

For those unfamiliar, the legend goes something like this:   Read more…

So, You Want to Run a Marathon…

Disclaimer: I am not a runner. The most I’ve ever run at one time is 6 miles.

A couple of weeks ago, I worked as a volunteer in the post finish medical tent at the ING NYC Marathon. This was my fifth year volunteering. Helping sweating, hurting, and occasionally vomiting runners isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I always have a blast. Read more…

Alignment vs Posture

What is Posture?

Posture relates to posing, body language, emotional feelings, or an impression that we give to others.  Some postures say, “I’m laid back,” or “I’m demure.”  Others scream “I’m in charge!” or “Come at me, bro!

There’s a lot of cultural influence on what good posture looks like.


Ideas of posture and gait first form from the examples around you as a small child. Then, as a teenager, you probably heard your parents say, “Stand tall! Shoulders back! Lift your chest!” Your grandma would point out the beautiful postures of military men and ballerinas, while you were probably noting the cool slouch of models and rock stars.


Posture is subjective, cultural, and a sign of the times. Desirable posture in 1900 is different from the desirable posture of today, and a pleasing posture in North America is different from what is currently pleasing in Asia.

The High Fashion Slump of the West and the Pigeon Toe look of Japan.

The High Fashion Slump of the West and the Pigeon Toe look of Japan.

Whether you cultivated the proud posture of a ROTC boy, the lofty yet slew-footed posture of a ballerina, or the slouchy posture of the too-cool-for-school kid, none of that is what I mean by alignment.  Read more…

This week in High Heel News…

Yikes. I picked a bad interesting week to plan a post about high heels.


While attending a tech conference in NYC this week, start-up CEO Jorge Cortell caused a stir when he tweeted his disregard for a female at the same conference because she was wearing high heels. The bit that really got people upset was the hashtag he chose to include with a picture of the offending high heel shoes: #nobrainsrequired. When the people of twitterland lashed back at him for his remarks, he insisted that it was more out of concern for her health than anything else.


Ok. So, Mr Cortell’s boorish choice of words won’t win him any charm awards anytime soon. If knowing how to use language to influence people in a positive manner is linked to success, I don’t think Mr Cortell marketed himself very well to the Venture Capitalists attending the conference. He also exposed further what is already rumored: the tech world is a male dominated, hostile environment for women.

However, this is a blog about understanding the general engineering of the human machine, how to maintain its parts for maximum health and longevity, and analyzing some common thoughts and habits that affect health but often fly under the radar.

The truth is, wearing high heels can affect your physical health. Just like wine, caffeine, and ice cream, heels should be completely avoided by some people, and worn in moderation for others. Let’s talk about why. Read more…

Go, Baby Toe, GO!

Here’s a test for you:

Completely barefoot, stand with your feet pointing straight ahead and spaced hip distance apart.

Keeping the ball of the foot on the floor, can you lift all 10 toes?
Can you lift and spread all 10 toes? Don’t forget the baby toe!
Can you lift the big toes only and leave the other 8 on the ground?
Can you do the reverse?
Can you slowly lift one toe at a time in a fan-like movement and then reverse the movement to put them down?


How did you do?

This exercise catches many by surprise. Many of my new clients have a hard time with this, even though we live in NYC, one of the best walking cities in the world. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Read more…