Hello !! Summer often moves us out of the regular routines -- with travel, visitors, longer days, warmer weather, and seasonal activities. Though ref

Depositphotos 8928015 s-2015

Hello !!

Summer often moves us out of the regular routines -- with travel, visitors, longer days, warmer weather, and seasonal activities. Though refreshing to step outside our usual patterns, routines do help maintain habits that serve us well. That’s what I’ve been thinking about this month: routines that empower. What routines empower you?

Best wishes,


We Get What We Practice

Depositphotos 4147778 s-2015

From time to time, I think of the saying “We become what we repeatedly do” (Sean Covey) or my own version – we get what we practice. Its one of the reasons I love teaching -- I keep practicing!

It can seem overwhelming to change movement or postural habits, like turning around this cargo ship. But even a tiny change, a one-degree shift in direction, can radically change the destination.

Although change in our ways of moving usually occur incrementally, we tend to notice those changes suddenly-- for instance, glimpsing our bent-forward posture in the reflection of a glass window. It’s often a shock to realize we are not doing what we think we are! With age, the stakes go up. Poor posture often begets less balance, spiraling into less confidence and less movement, and pretty soon we’re “old” before our time.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can influence the big picture by small daily decisions. That’s the focus of this month's classes. We’ll extract from a series of lessons, the pieces that, when put together, provide a Morning Routine to help with flexibility, coordination, posture and balance.

And in the meantime, see if a few of these little practices help you stay more upright and comfortable:

• As the computer starts up or while waiting for something to load or print, rock and roll your pelvis. Roll backward and forward on your sitting bones; shift from one sitting bone to the other while keeping your head centered; roll around in a circle, feeling your spine round outward and arch a bit inward, as well as bend side to side.
• Notice where you look when walking. Only glance downward briefly to get an idea of what’s ahead, quickly returning your head to its rightful place on top of your spine. Check out this month’s movement practice for help finding that placement.
• When eating, think of bringing the food to your mouth, rather than taking your head forward to the food.
• As you prepare to fall asleep, notice your shape. Are you lying on your side, all curled over in a sort of fetal position? Are you on your back with pillows under your head that carry your head forward in a slumped forward or looking down posture? See if you can find a way to lie comfortably that keeps your spine and head in more neutral alignment.

Just a few ideas. But that’s the thing: we get what we practice. Even if we don't know what we're doing.

Aligning the Head and Neck - Movement Practice


This topic came up in the recent Walking with Poles class. Without realizing it, we may carry our head a bit forward radically changing the weight experienced by the neck. Here's a way to gently encourage more upright posture, drawn from Bones for Life®, the application of the Feldenkrais Method to posture, alignment and bone health.

Start by sitting comfortably, your feet on the floor. Give yourself time with this lesson -- it is subtle; imagine the suggested result at first if it isn't clear to you.

• Touch the back of your neck with the fingers of one hand; feeling the shape of that part of your spine.

• In your imagination,"glue" each finger to an individual vertebrae so they move together. Then look up and down with your head, feeling how your fingers, and therefore your vertebrae, get closer together when you look up, further apart when you look down.

• Keep one hand on your neck and let your other hand rest on your chest with the thumb under one collarbone and index and middle finger under the other. Gently use that hand to guide your chest and collarbones upward toward the ceiling and, with your fingers, feel your neck lengthening, with a bit more space between vertebrae. Keep your lower back relaxed -- no extra arching! Rest

• With a hand on your neck, let the other hand cradle your jaw, your chin between your thumb and index finger. Now gently guide your jaw back, almost like closing a drawer, feeling as if the back of your head lengthens upward and again feeling space between vertebrae in the neck. Rest and sense your sitting alignment

Once you're learned to align your neck while sitting, try it standing. One of the suggested "adjustments" may work better for you. Do what is easy but keep practicing -- changes happen slowly over time. Once you've found the upright posture, slowly walk in place, then around the room, appreciating your new way of being.

Class Focus: Develop a Daily Movement Routine


Start your day with improved flexibility, coordination and sense of vitality.

Experience lessons addressing major movement patterns of your spine, ribs, shoulders and hips.

Learn a daily routine drawn from these lessons. Handout provided.

Awareness Through Movement®
Chintimini Senior Center - 2601 NW Tyler Ave
Tuesdays August 4 - 25 10:30 - 11:30 am -- Drop-in spots also available!

Awareness Through Movement®
Yoga Center of Corvallis -- 111 NW Second Street (at Monroe)
Tuesdays August 4 - 25 Noon-12:45 pm

Smaller class allows individual attention. Drop-in spots available. Contact Marg for information.

Elders sitting

Mindful Movement with Parkinson's

Ongoing Class

A specialty class for People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers focused on movement issues important to health and safety. Participants will learn specific movement strategies to make daily activities easier and more enjoyable.

New students--first class session free! Read More
Fitness Over Fifty -- 6735 SW Country Club Drive Corvallis
Wednesdays 11:30 am-12:30 pm

For More Information

Contact me: margbartosek@gmail.com or 541-286-4678

or check out: My Website

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