Showing posts from May, 2020

Make Masks for Those In Need

I recently listened to a  story on OPB , my local public radio station, about how farm workers in the Yakima Valley, WA, want to --need to-- work, but working conditions are unsafe during the pandemic. Workers are close together, hand washing is limited, masks that employers do provide are too few and too flimsy, etc. Meanwhile cases of COVID-19 in Yakima are rising too. I thought, well I could sew some masks!  I reached the reporter of that story, and he put me in touch with Christina Ortega with Latino Community Fund. She said workers would love to receive masks! So who's with me?! Would you help make masks for farm workers in Yakima? The more of us who can help, the better. Here's how you can help. 1. MAKE MASKS There are  tons  of mask tutorials online. Maybe you already have a design you like. Here's a  simple face mask tutorial  I like, though I don't put in a nose wire. This video  shows a way to avoid fogging up your glasses, and it'

Connecting movement of life to the whole body

Let's talk about rotation of the body. Envision a sprinter running. She runs with her whole body , not just her legs and arms doing the action. Her torso has a lovely contralateral, rotational pattern to it, that makes her running quick and easy. As one leg and hip swings forward so does the opposite shoulder girdle and arm. The opposite diagonal swings backward. But most of us don't move that freely from our centers, i.e. our torsos. You could even try this little exploration we often do in classes.  stand up put your left finger tips on the front of your left shoulder right fingers on the front of your right hip bone now take a walk around your room and notice if there is any movement in the shoulder and/or hip area don't try to "make it happen" just notice what happens as you walk then switch to the other diagonal--left shoulder to right hip walk with that diagonal as your focus you may find there is no movement, or one region mov

Mind, Body and Emotions

Last week, the Take It Outside Fitness classes -- which ironically are now online during the pandemic -- focused on sensing our shoulders .  The feedback after class was really interesting. Many said they went from feeling grumpy and unmotivated to happier and ready to face the day. Why did this happen?  How your body holds tension plays a role in your mood and emotional state. And vice versa.  Right now the world is shut down, closed up, and in a state of uncertainty.  Many people's moods are mirroring the state of the world. What does your body do when you are startled or scared? The front of your torso contracts. The belly and chest tighten. Your inner thighs tighten, your feet roll inward, the back of your neck tightens. In the bombardment of stressful events, without releasing and letting go of that stress and those contractions, our bodies start to habituate the tension patterns of the startle reflex.  What does that tension do to your body and overall health? You can't b

FAQ: Can Somatics Fix My _____________ Problem?

I get this question all the time. People want to know how to fix their parts and address their specific conditions. And, yeah, I know. I do tout Somatics classes focusing on areas of the body. But I do that pretty much to appeal to your current beliefs about pain relief. So, yes, Somatics can absolutely help you, but not in the way you have been conditioned to address your pain and problem areas. Somatics is not about fixing parts of your body, such as your inflexible hamstrings, a sore knee, or your tight lower back. Nor is about fixing your particular diagnosed condition, such as TMJ disorder, plantar fasciitis or scoliosis. The typical approaches to fixing you are looking at your body as a bunch of parts. That mindset is just paying attention to the area where you feel your problem. Somatics is different. Instead of addressing areas of your body, as a Clinical Somatic Educator, I look at how you move and stand and sit, as the whole being you are. Where are your full