I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people alive to have learned what I have about the body’s natural alignment. Knowing how to let my body be supported by aligned bones has brought uncountable blessings my way, including relief from decades of ongoing stiffness, tension and pain. At an earlier time, I managed to hold these problems at bay through stretching and exercising on an almost daily basis, yet I never addressed the underlying issues that caused this tension and pain in the first place.
Remarkably, I am more flexible now that I’m in my 70s than when I was working so hard at being that way. I gave up all forms of stretching and “exercising” years ago, and yet I am now more authentically strong and energetic than when I was a much younger woman. This is because I am fortunate to have learned how to inhabit my body the way I once did as a toddler—and the good news is that you can learn to do this, too.
As you can see from the photos above, I have not always enjoyed the benefits of an aligned body. In fact, I didn’t learn about this until I was in my late 40s, after I had already been teaching yoga for a number of years. Learning this from Jean Couch at the Balance Center in Palo Alto, California so changed my life, that during the twenty years since then, I’ve made it my life’s work to develop these concepts in a way that makes this information accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, I traveled solo for ten months after my children were on their own, spending most of my time in Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Portugal in search of women who successfully carry heavy loads on their heads without developing pain and spinal problems. Those of us who manage to re-learn how to re-align their bones along the vertical axis of gravity in the way these women and healthy toddlers naturally do, are able to enjoy the benefits of being pain-free, along with being flexible and strong, even with advancing age.
I have written two books on this subject: Natural Posture for Pain-Free Living: The Practice of Mindful Alignment, (2013) and Healthy Posture for Babies and Children (2017) both published by Inner Traditions/Healing Arts Press. Both of these books were originally self-published under the titles Ageless Spine, Lasting Health (2006) and Sad Dog Happy Dog: How Poor Posture Affects Your Child’s Health and What You Can Do About It (2010).
I have taught principles of natural alignment through the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. I offer classes, workshops and private sessions for both adults and children, and I have developed a program for students, which I have taught in public and private elementary school classrooms in Oregon and Hawaii.
I also created several small, portable posture aid products designed to assist with easeful, upright sitting in multiple environments. My company, Natural Posture Solutions, LLC (www.sitonthewedge.com) recently created the Happy Sitting Project, a program that donates one “Wedge” for each child in selected classrooms, along with coaching their teacher in knowing how to guide the children’s understanding of how to sit comfortably upright on an aligned pelvis—like a “happy dog” rather than a “sad dog.”
Click here if you wish to read more detail about the serious consequences of the epidemic of misalignment in both adults and children today.