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How often does your skeleton come in for a landing?

floorview I find myself tracing the “flight paths” of people’s skeletons. I know, it’s odd.  I tend to notice the corridor where our pelvi move through space most of the time, and I reckon we inhabit a narrow vertical range of between 17 and 35 inches with small variations due to our height.  We who spend a lot of time in chairs and cars, and sleep on mattresses with box springs rarely come to a full landing on the ground.  We’re lucky if we have young ones who call us to the floor for an hour of Lego therapy, coloring book group, or a board game retreat. How many grandparents do you know who think they are no longer able to join their grandkids on the floor? If we’re not mindful of this default path, we can become locked into this narrow range. My mother certainly is. She traveled through her 60’s, 70’s and now her 80’s in a very different way than her ancestors, or her peers in other parts of the world. Her pelvis now can never drop below the 18 inch altitude safely. This status also comes with the ignoble label of “Fall Risk”.  Living on stilts during our last decades is not inevitable for human beings, but we’ve created a way of life that incrementally, through thousands of seemingly inconsequential choices, can deliver us permanently to a flight range of fewer choices, less independence. I was contemplating these things recently as my daughter Hannah and I drove to Kansas City to catch a flight. We were on our way to join family for my father-in-law’s memorial service in Florida, I thought about our daily glide paths, how the range of this up and down path of our skeletons can have outsized effects on end of life choices.  For most of our travel, Hannah and my pelvises were traveling at the same altitude as everyone else's, zipping along I-70  then walking to our gate.  Once through security though, our hips followed a slightly different trajectory than those around us.  We found a spot on the floor wtih a...
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The continuing price we pay for sitting on chairs

Thanks go out to good friend and alert reader Don Asbee for directing me to this New York Times article entitled "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body".  It's written in the usual alarmist style and the author has to reach all the way back to the '70's for many of the horror stories.  However, a telling comment found early in the the piece got my attention. The author quotes a NYC Yoga teacher, Glenn Black: "According to Black, a number of factors have converged to heighten the risk of practicing yoga. The biggest is the demographic shift in those who study it. Indian practitioners of yoga typically squatted and sat cross-legged in daily life, and yoga poses, or asanas, were an outgrowth of these postures. Now urbanites who sit in chairs all day walk into a studio a couple of times a week and strain to twist themselves into ever-more-difficult postures despite their lack of flexibility and other physical problems. " Our sedentary life style is setting us up to be injured by the very tools that could save us from ourselves.  The other danger factor that is addressed over and over in the article is the rampant lack of awareness of what's going on in our body.  We're in the habit of ignoring the subtle cues our bodies provide throughout the day.  Signs and symptoms of having sat too long, consumed too little water, drunk too much caffeine, ate too much sugar.  Then we show up for a Yoga class where it's our job to decide moment to moment what our body needs to do in response the challenge of the postures.   After a day of numbing out to the very same thing?  I don't think so. We're woefully unprepared to face that situation effectively.   It's like sending someone to a Christie's auction with the appetite of a museum curator and a budget of $10.  Oy!  They'll be in hot water in no time. My advice is to extend your Yoga or Pilates practice into the entire day.  Be more like those first Yoga practitioners and spend less...
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