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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…

Is Your Workout Long on Fitness but Short on Health?

  • Do your workouts always include reaching for Advil soon after?
  • Are you super strong from muscle-building workouts but balancing on one (bare)foot is hard to do?
  • Are you an indoor cycling enthusiast with strong legs but your toes won’t wiggle or spread apart?
  • Do you workout often but your alignment always seems off?
  • Do you love taking cardio dance classes but suffer from a bit of urine leakage while doing so?

Are any of these you? If so, your body may still not be getting what it needs for optimal health, regardless of your fitness level.  Read more…

My Journey to a New Perspective….and a Blog!

My journey begins with the hundreds of hours needed to become a fully certified Pilates Instructor.

Mr. Pilates, who died in the 1970s, strangely didn’t write much down regarding how his exercises should be performed and why.  He wrote two books, but they covered less than 25% of the entire exercise repertoire.  So, to learn Pilates, you had to learn from a practitioner who also had the information handed down to him or her from an earlier generation.  In some ways, this was awesome.  I felt like I was learning a real trade and part of a very special club.

However, the trade I was learning was very subjective. Much was left open to interpretation and misunderstanding.  It was a Pilates telephone game.

The Pilates Telephone Game

In the early years, when many dancers made up the ranks of Pilates practitioners, it’s a safe bet that any unknowns regarding Mr. Pilates’s intentions were filled with aspects of ballet training. (Years later the gym industry would start their own Pilates telephone game, but that’s a story for another day)  As a former ballet dancer myself, most of Pilates felt very natural to me.  But I also knew what is physically necessary for dancers isn’t necessary or even advisable for the average person.  Read more…