There has been a recurring theme in my office this week of stagnation and heaviness. It has been really rainy and the seasons are changing which is making people feel bogged down. When we feel mentally heavy, we also feel physically heavy and it comes through in our posture. Thankfully the sun is shining again and I'm here to shed some light on the weighted topic.
About a month ago, a colleague of mine brought my attention to a wonderful podcast about the spine. The woman being interviewed, Ester Gokhale is a bodyworker, but also studies other cultures. In her studies, she has learned that ours is one of the only cultures that doesn't carry things on our head. Most Americans are happy not to carry anything on our heads, but the end result is a weaker spine with more curves that aren't supportive to us. There is a remedy for this and I'm happy to share it with you!
Esther sells a head cushion that you can place on the top of your head to push against and resist gravity. You can also use a book or push against the air, creating your own resistance. When you do this, you give your spine some much needed traction just by the support of your muscles.
Try it out for yourself. Stand with your feet hip width apart, toes forward and heels behind toes and gently unlock your knees. Check in with your body to see if you have discomfort anywhere. Now place a book (doesn't need to be heavy, 5 lbs or less will do) on your head and push up against it. Check in again with your body and your initial discomfort and see if it is still there. If you noticed a difference, you too can stand tall and give your joints a break from all the work put them through.