posture, locomotion and personal ergonomics
Under the umbrella of Movement Intelligence, Ruthy Alon, a senior Feldenkrais trainer for over fifty years, has created a body of work based on the principles of Moshe Feldenkrais that more directly address power against gravity. In all of these programs, learning to find the sweet spot in everyday functions as well as in strenuous physical activity is central.
Movement Intelligence programs
Bones for Life ~ Chairs ~ Walk for Life
Mindful Eating ~ Self-Care Strategies for Optimal Mobility
We offer two of these programs, Bones for Life and Walk for Life, on a regular basis.
Inspired by load bearing African women
African women who bear loads on their head have been studied for nearly 30 years. They are able to carry up to 50% of their body weight while maintaining or gaining energetic efficiency. In studies, they regularly outperformed younger males from the U. S. army. These women possess superb alignment for bearing loads. They also have an easy, yet powerful gait pattern. Ruthy Alon studied the way these women stand and walk. This study became a major influence in foundational principles of the Bones and Walk for Life programs.
Bones for Life
It may sound obvious but bones exist as a necessary response to gravity. As bones stack, animals and humans are able to move upward against gravity. Humans have the extra challenge of balancing on two feet, so posture becomes very important. Bones for Life works extremely well with balance, posture and bone stacking. The better your bones stack, the healthier your bones and joints will be. You will also have less chronic muscle tension and generally feel very energetic.
Bones for Life classes or private sessions consist of learning exercises to help you find your capacity to move against gravity once again. You can expect improvements in joint alignment, balance, posture, energy and comfort.
Learn to use gravity,
instead of gravity using you.
Bones for Life can be used with all ages. Here is a short video of Cynthia Allen teaching a group of seniors at the City of Cincinnati’s Dunham Recreation Center. It may inspire you to try the work, no matter what your age.
Walk for Life
When you were crawling about on the floor as a child, you were doing more than killing time until you knew how to stand. Crawling is nature’s exercise for building upper back strength and support for the head and neck. When you see a big cat walking, the movement of the shoulders and haunches, the perfect balance of the head as she scans the horizon, and the play of the ribs and spine with every step are easy to see. There is no doubt about the power contained within that coiled system.
Humans were designed with much of this same potential. But on two legs, in a culture that thinks so much and moves so little, we tend to lose track of how our arms and upper back are designed to function.
Walking is really just upright crawling. The use of trekking poles allows us to reconnect with pressure through our arms into the ground. The resulting counter pressure streams up to engage the upper back muscles and vertebrae. It literally reverses the round shoulder, head forward posture so many of us struggle with.
Trekking poles also:
- allow for more rhythmic walking
- stabilize the hips and low back
- provides ballistic propulsion forward and upward
- provide more of a total body workout on your daily walks
- can be used for rehab, yes, but every day too.
Improvements in balance and gait have been validated by the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Kinesiology. “Walk for Life participants improved their walking speed, step length, and time spent on each leg during walking. They also experienced an improvement in their overall balance confidence.” — Erik E Swartz, PhD, ATC, FNATA, Associate Professor, Clinical Coordinator, Athletic Training Education Program, University of New Hampshire