Category Archives: Computer

Chair Pose Redefined For Integrated Efficiency!


Do you lead with your butt back or do you feel totally balanced above your feet?

This weekend, I worked with a teacher who had been teaching for a few years. She still experienced muscle and joint discomfort so I had her go into her expression of Chair Pose to assess what was going on in her way of practicing yoga.

She was working so hard muscularly at controlling her body in ways she had been taught that her body was a war zone of conflicts which fed her aches and pain. For instance, she was leading with her butt going back (like most people these days) and got herself off balance which was revealed by her struggling with preventing her toes from lifting off the ground and by a lack of integrated team work in her body as a whole.

Unfortunately, she is not alone in this struggle.

Chair Pose is one of the poses often disliked by yoga teachers and practitioners I have worked with and there is a reason for it. The way it has been taught comes from body builders of the 19th century influenced by the Industrial Revolution. They approached fitness viewing the body as a machine made of parts to be exercised in a controlled way.

In the same live webinar, a yoga teacher in training described the quads strain she felt in her chair pose as “natural strain” because what we get used to comes to feel more “natural” than the natural way itself.

The truth is that when muscles stand out by their hard work, this is a sign that the yogi in this pose is not using her body as the coordinated self that it is. The strain is actually the body communicating to you that you are in stress mode. Holding against your whole-body intelligence warning comes with risks of injury and chronic tension.

Do you search for the seat with your butt and use your hands for help one way or the other when you sit down?
Or do you feel absolutely relaxed and balanced all the way through?
And do you notice a parallel between your Daily Body and your Yoga Body way of moving?

An integrated efficient practice of chair pose keeps you easily balanced on your feet because you are released and the energy can flow up and down as it is designed to do. As a result, you develop the flexible strength of the cat!

In doing so, you are not losing any opportunity to strengthen. All you lose is the excess tension that gives you the illusion that you are creating more strength.

If you want to receive feedback on your chair pose to experience the ease and efficiency of an integrated chair pose like these other webinar teachers did, attend my free webinar too by clicking on this link:…/

For those interested in a more integrated yoga practice for increased efficiency, at the end of the webinar, I will introduce my online course and make a special offer for participants only.

I will soon be closing the door to this program designed for an intimate group of yoga teachers and committed practitioners who want to journey with me for 10 weeks and learn about this breakthrough approach to yoga called the Body Intelligence Activation Process or B.I.A. Process to transform and revitalize their practice!

Want to learn more about how to activate your whole-body intelligence guidance 24/7?

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis enhance their practice bypassing the intellect. She is also a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner. Faculty at Akasha Yoga Teacher Training, she runs a 12 months Mastermind for Yoga Teachers with a Vision, and a 90 Day Virtual Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat. She is currently writing a book on her personal and professional experience to be published this year with BlissLife Press, San Diego California.

Stretching the Same Tension Over & Over?


There is a reason for that and it may not be what you think!

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You may be stretching for flexibility and doing strengthening exercises for strength, yet does this keep you tension free on or of the mat? Or the same tension seems to come back endlessly?

Focusing on stretching and strengthening as two separate qualities is doing just that, focusing on “Separateness”! Learning to focus on these two qualities as the two sides of the same coin is the way to focus on “Unity” and its benefits which is to keep you tension free on or off the mat as you keep getting strong and flexible.

How can you do this when you think that mostly your muscles are your main pathway to strength and flexibility? How can you attend to both at the same time and know how to assess how much of which you need?

Maybe your true strength is not coming from your muscles as much as your skeletal structure and your mind working with your whole-body intelligence? Maybe your joints and muscles are more of a pathway to your flexibility as they keep everything together? And maybe, learning to release your joints is more key to your flexibility?

Releasing excess tension is neither going limp
nor decreasing how much strength you are building.
It is preventing building body stiffness while you are building strength!

In fact, if your bones were suddenly melting, no matter how strong your muscles, would you not turn into a puddle?

Flexible-strength as a skill where both strength and flexibility can be nurtured simultaneously is my personal and professional experience of what Patanjali recommends in his Sutras, namely that each yoga pose be practiced with “Steadiness & Ease”!

When you understand your body functioning in that way, you can build up muscle strength without building excess tension at the same time. When you learn to activate your postural mechanism, you can release excess tension while in a strengthening pose, as you build flexible-strength, prevent injury and reach your highest best without side effect like stiffness in your joints and muscles.

Interested in this way of thinking your movements and poses? Want to learn how to activate your whole-body intelligence via your postural mechanism, opt in my live offerings, local or online.

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar 3)  90 Day Virtual & Interactive

What’s Body Synergy Awareness? The Key to Heal or Avoid Injury!



This is a common self-reinforcing synergy in our modern world.
If your yoga practice is not affecting such habit organically, then you are missing a dimension!

Do you know what your own body synergy is? Do you know it can affect you on all levels of functioning from physical to mental and emotional?  Do you ever investigate why you use your body the way you do? Or do you tend to focus on the end result, like poor posture, and you try to correct it muscularly whether on or off the mat? How is that working for you? Is it changing your synergy off the mat?

Do you know that your posture is the result of how you use the rest of your body all the way to your feet? That is why forcing the shoulders to open up and the body to align according to a pre-conceived idea of “good posture” does not really work for very long, sometimes seconds only. Mostly you go from straightening up to slouching right back throughout the day. Sounds familiar? The thing is that “good posture” is not something to remember to do nor something to hold on to. It is designed to happen organically like when you were children.

Whether playing on the beach or running down a hill,
children display perfect postural alignment without thinking about it.
This is organic good posture display!

Muscular correcting of the body is fighting against the innate intelligence of your whole body. That is why it does not stick with you. The synergy of your whole body automatically brings back your habitual way to use yourself as a whole as it was doing for me in the story below. With a more organic functioning synergy, not only you now have a chance to fully heal chronic tension or left over injuries, you can also prevent  injuries whether on or off the mat and whether you are into hot power yoga or gentle yoga.

To assist people who need help, I designed a process so you can activate your Whole-Body Intelligence in a snap. It is based on over 25 years of practicing and teaching the Alexander Technique, the best kept secret of famous performers and Olympic athletes. And here below is a true story that happened to me and illustrates, in a concrete way, the amazing power of our Whole-Body Intelligence who succeeded where both traditional and holistic practitioners failed.



 I used this process to deal with a pronounced head and hip imbalance doubled with a back nerve pain that could have easily left me crippled. I had started spending more time at the computer on account of blogging and book writing. As a result, I had been in my head instead of staying present to my whole body. One morning, I got up and saw my head was stuck to the left and my right hip stuck off to the right.  Besides, I could not do yoga or even stretch without triggering the nerve pain in my lower back. I was in shock especially considering I help others avoid this type of problems.

Usually I try to figure things out for myself but out of sheer panic, I searched outside of myself for help, going to several alternative practitioners in the hope they could fix what was wrong with me. Six months and two thousands dollars later, it had not yielded any visible results even though going to chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists felt nice at the time.

Since nothing was yielding sustainable results, I took things back into my own hands. So upon coming home from my last visit, I asked myself what I would recommend a student of mine to do in such a situation and I heard my own voice answering “Watch yourself like a Hawk and Activate your Body Intelligence!”. I was back where I ought to have started, trusting my whole-body wisdom and my process to heal myself.


I followed my own advice, got encouraging results in 48 hours and within a month with no stretching and no outside help I was completely healed. I was not only totally realigned properly but my back nerve pain was gone and the problem never returned.

Of course, watching myself like a hawk I noticed quite a few things I was currently doing especially relating to screen time that promoted the problem and I also figured out how the habit had been created when I had young children. It had survived in a subtle form for a couple decades most likely helped by the nature of my work. Nonetheless, choosing not to do the habit and constantly activating my body intelligence took care of it all, old and new habit!

What if you could discover your own unconscious habits and learn how to unlearn them so they stop wrecking your body unknowingly on or off the mat?

Join my blog site, attend my online or local events and learn about the Body Intelligence Activation Process. You won’t regret it!

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar 3)  90 Day Virtual & Interactive Pilot Launch.

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis enhance their practice bypassing the intellect. She is also a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner. Faculty at Akasha Yoga Teacher Training, she runs a 12 months Mastermind for Yoga Teachers with a Vision, and a 90 Day Virtual Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body better on and off the mat. Her blog read by over 20 000 people and her webinars have an international audience. She is currently writing her book on “The Yoga of the Future and the B.I.A. Process: the Missing Link to Drop the Strain and Keep the Gain.” with BlissLife Press, San Diego California.

From Muscular Control to Whole-Body Efficiency in Yoga: A Personal Journey!



This personal story relating to my artwork illustrates the transformation that needs to happen in yoga practice and teaching so that yogis stop wrecking their body unknowingly whether on or off the mat.

It has to do with a change in mindset. Mine started with a very controlling mindset as I tried to get every drawing done to perfection (does this ring a bell?) and evolved into a trusting mindset that surrendered to what is, allowing my innate body wisdom to guide my hand effortlessly (does it not sound appealing?).


When I was a teenager, my friend loved the portraits I used to draw from a black and white picture they would bring to me. You can see that I was being very meticulous and used a lot of erasing pencils to get details of the hair, eyes and shirt just so. It was tedious work although still a way to express my creativity at the time.

These drawings were my attempt to reach an attractive yet illusive perfection by controlling every stroke. And my early interest was mainly focused on portraits maybe because then, the “head” was my familiar place of comfort.


It was not until later when I studied the Alexander Technique and connected to my whole body that progressively a new style emerged as you may have noticed in prior blogs and in this one. By then, I was connected not only to the whole body but to a whole body in motion. From then on, I had the most amazing feeling of freedom and fun creating artwork, which I actually sold in Open Studios and at a Gallery. Drawings of dancers, musicians and yogis in action!:)

That transformation from fear to not get it right to implicit trust in your whole-body guidance is what I can offer you. It brought me from drawing portraits with tedious mental and muscular control of the lines to drawings where I allow myself to free flow and capture the movement without even looking at my paper initially. In the process, I have developed full trust that my Whole-Body Intelligence & Awareness of Movement are always present to guide me and you can too.

I have learned to practice yoga based on natural movements in line with my whole-body intelligence which is the ultimate safety net and injury prevention on and off the mat!

And the beauty of this work is that it translates in everything you do!

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Similar to my teenage drawings, modern yoga teachers tend to entertain some illusive idea that perfect form and anatomical knowledge are the answer to perfect yoga practiceDue to the Industrial Revolution and its focus on “Machines, Money & Appearances”, since the 19th century, the body is being handled as if it is a machine made of parts to workout. Teachers study anatomy in details and describe poses meticulously yet even those teachers get injured. Maybe we have been through the teenage years of modern yoga evolution. Yoga poses must be revisited so they can be done in line with our “Whole-Body Intelligence”, which knows better than our educated mind.

The difference between my teenage controlled drawings and my adult free flowing drawings is the difference I have been teaching yoga teachers so they can stop assessing yoga from a purely visual or analytical perspective. It helped their yoga practice and teaching because they no longer need to know everything with mechanical precision, they just need to know how to activate their whole body intelligence and guide students to activate their own. This way, they can guide or be guided effortlessly into the perfect and safest expression of each pose in every moment.


This breakthrough process can be applied to any kind of yoga style you are attracted to practice, from Hot Power Yoga to gentle Kripalu Yoga. It has to do with discovering and un-learning common unconscious habits you have developed on and off the mat, and also with learning to activate your whole-body intelligence in every movement or pose.

Want to discover and unlearn these common unconscious habits that interfere with your best yoga practice?

Join my blog site, attend my online or local events and learn about the Body Intelligence Activation Process. You won’t regret it!

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar 3)  90 Day Virtual & Interactive Pilot Launch.

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis enhance their practice bypassing the intellect. She is also a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner. Faculty at Akasha Yoga Teacher Training, she runs a 12 months Mastermind for Yoga Teachers with a Vision, and a 90 Day Virtual Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body better on and off the mat. Her blog read by over 20 000 people and her webinars have an international audience. She is currently writing her book on “The Yoga of the Future and the B.I.A. Process: the Missing Link to Drop the Strain and Keep the Gain.” with BlissLife Press, San Diego California.

PS: For those curious about my artwork, you can go to

Self-Consciousness, Self- Awareness & Straining!


Do you know what really motivates you to exercise deep down?


On the surface, it is easy to assume that you do it because exercise is good for you as doctors and scientists keep telling us. Could it be that it is not all that black and white? Not that I am discouraging you from exercising at all. You’ll always gain some benefits from exercising, but do you always get only benefits? And do you get the best out of your practice regardless of how or why you do it?

When I used to exercise out of being self-conscious about my weight or the way I looked, I was totally overdoing it. I was exercising with all the uptight energy coming from efforting to control my body, shape it, trim it, make it thinner. And although exercising was still beneficial to me in some ways, the problem was that it was motivated by a sense that I was not good enough, I was not lovable or attractive enough as I was and would not be till I reach this unrealistic ideal (for most of us) imposed by the media to all of us, especially women.


Why is it a problem? It is a problem because when the underground reason for exercising is fear-based self-consciousness, you are actually stressing the body in a way that stems from and activates your “reptilian brain”. This results in the production of a stress hormone called Cortisol which affects both your mind and body into protective mode favoring holding and contraction. This tends to keep you in the fear based cycle of not feeling good enough unless you are pushing yourself. Exercise becomes an addiction of sorts. How do you truly feel when you reach your goal, do you appreciate it and relax or are you driven to keep going like the hamster on his wheel? Does this sound like a familiar cycle? You are definitely getting some good benefits from the physicality of yoga, but is it worth it to not examine the real reason motivating you to practice when it can actually strengthen your underground stress level in the process? Not to mention that this is what promote straining on and off the mat.

When practicing yoga is really love-based, you are truly nurturing your body in a way that stems from and activates the “pre-frontal cortex”. It creates a feel-good hormone called oxytocin or the “love hormone” which affects both your mind and body into open-mindedness and expansion. It also allows you to function as a fluid coordinated self. This develops flexible strength as one skill instead of focusing on stretching, strengthening or posture organizing as if they were separate from each other. The more you approach movements as a coordinated self, the more your body handles the perfect adjustments necessary for any chosen activity. Your Whole Body Intelligence knows how much to stretch this muscle, or strengthen that muscle and realign your postural balance for you all at once. Straining becomes unnecessary.

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And in this process, your synergy changes to be more functional without needing to strain or push yourself in the usual sense of the term. You challenge yourself by choosing and staying in a specific pose or activity yet you let go of the strain so your body can step up to the plate and do its magic! The idea is to let your body do its job and trust its innate intelligence. It knows better than your mind and the results are safer.

I once was totally off balance for months. As I got out of my overthinking mind to observe my every movements , I was able to discover and then let go of habitual patterns that were straining my body. While letting go, I was also rebooting my whole body synergy using my Body Intelligence Activation Process (B.I.A. Process), a way to allow the natural way to take over. As a result, my own body reorganized my very twisted posture into perfect balance in a month time when constant visits to chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists had not given any sustainable results for a period of 6 months.


Acting on and off the mat from a place of “Self-Consciousness” is not serving you because it is rooted in a feeling of inadequacy that you feel you must overcome,  product of your intellect judging your self as not good enough.  I know because I have been there and it is easy to revisit that familiar place when we are not in the now. Instead let’s be rooted in the present moment, accepting of what is. Acting from a place of “Self-Awareness” outside the intellect is the way to blossom into whatever you choose to do on or off the mat.

And learning to activate the Intelligence of your Whole Body is an awesome key to letting go of  self-consciousness and embrace self-awareness, it is a process that allows your mind and your whole-body wisdom to be team partners, living in the same time zone in a way that gives you optimal safety and best performance whether you are on the mat or in daily life. It positively affects your level of self confidence and  self appreciation while you get the most out of your yoga and out of life.

Interested in exploring this further? Then check:

1) My Free Email Seminar 2) My Free Webinar 3) My Pilot 90 Day E-Course Special.

Physicality, Embodiment & Yoga


Do you feel that unless you strain when you exercise, you are not doing enough?
Are you sure that strain is necessary to get strong in body or mind?

Do you think you are connected to your body because you exercise or practice yoga?
Are you sure that being physical means that you are well connected to your body?

What if strain only added body stiffness to the strength you could build without the strain?
What if being physical was not enough to be fully connected to your innate body wisdom?

On the left she tightens and creates body stiffness in her outer muscles,
on the right she allows space to relax and let her core muscles strengthen themselves!
My  journey from physicality to awareness of disembodiment

When I started exercising and decided to eat right, I was motivated by wanting to look the best I could and keep my weight down. I used to exercise 3 hours a day. Half of that time was walking to and from campus for 45 minutes each way and the other 90 minutes were at the gym, running or an aerobic dance class plus using the universal machines of the time.

I thought I was very connected to my body and although I never strained to the point of hurting myself, I did judge the amount of appropriate tension by how much I was pushing myself. Burning calories was high on my list as I have a compact muscular body and always wanted to trim it down.

However, I had a profound realization that changed the course of my life. One day, while finishing grad school and being very pregnant with my first child. I found myself leaning on the table at the library so my belly was totally squished against the edge of the table. Noticing that was like a wake up call. I asked myself ” What am I doing to my baby? And what am I doing to my body?”. I started noticing other such instances. Maybe I was not as connected to my body as I thought? It made me realize that physicality was only part of being fully connected. I became aware that my physicality had been driven by my mind that acted as if it knew better than my body.

My journey towards embodiment of my aware mind

That profound realization led me to practice meditation and let go of a promising career teaching French Literature at the college level for which I had just studied several years. Everyone thought I was crazy. But academia was going to keep me in my head so I had to find another more holistic type of teaching, and I did. Although embodiment is a life long evolution, working in a mind/body field with the Alexander Technique has made a huge difference in my life, especially combined with my meditation practice.

Over time, I realized and experienced that my addictive straining was only adding body stiffness to the strength I was building. It was true in the gym or on the yoga mat. I found it to be a mindset that reveals itself throughout all aspect of my life as self-created stress if I let it. And when I am flexible and strong in my mind, I can enjoy flexible strength in my workout or my yoga practice.

It became clear that I wanted flexible strength and that flexible strength starts with an aware and embodied mind. When your mind is embodied, there is no room for strain when you are being physical because you are in harmony with your innate body wisdom. And this is a whole body affair through every movement and every moment of the day. When you focus mainly on physicality, you are missing a dimension and the door to injury is still wide open whether you are at your computer, in your kitchen or on the mat.

When your mind is embodied, there is no room for strain when being physical
because you are in harmony with your innate body wisdom.

Connecting to your body in a holistic way means that you are not tending separately to the mind and the body. You are aware of both whether you meditate or exercise. It also means that you allow your whole body wisdom to guide you as it is designed rather than controlling your skeleton muscularly according to the dictates of your mind as if it knew better than your innate body intelligence. It means organic good posture takes care of itself in a sustainable way like it does in children.

There is a breakthrough process that can help you access your whole body wisdom with ease whatever type of exercise you enjoy doing. It helps you to be embodied in a way beyond focusing on your stretch edge or your pain edge which represents only a small percentage of your whole body wisdom. It helps you reclaim organic good posture and strain-free living.

Interested in exploring this further? Then check:

1) My Free Email Seminar 2) My Free Webinar 3) My Beta 90 Day E-Course Special.



Vision/Posture Connection & Drishti

This time of year seems appropriate to talk about vision for various reasons.

On the physical level,  the health of your eyes is a precious thing you may take for granted especially when they don’t give you any trouble. However,  they can affect your overall health depending on how you use them in your everyday activities. Neck craning forward or head tilting back while slouching at the computer for instance can actually create compression or over-extension of the back of your neck and rounding your shoulders.  On the mental level, you envision a specific future for yourself. New Year’s Resolutions for example require you to have a vision of the future you want to see happen. Or you may have a personal vision on a work project or on how to solve a given issue. Such vision guides what you manifest in your life or not. Spiritually, vision is a reference to your ability to see with your intuitive heart beyond what is visible. It refers to your inner vision.

Yoga teachers may talk about “Drishti” (vision), and on the mat, they often refer to it as a form of gazing in the distance to focus your mind in the present moment. Focus is fundamental in yoga practice. Focusing your eyes and your attention is using this yogic technique called “Drishti”.


However, although using your vision to stay in the now or come back to it is an excellent tool, there is something important to consider in “Drishti”. Along with this intention to gaze so as to step out of your over-active mind, you need to always make sure the gaze direction does not lead you to sacrifice your spinal length so the kundalini energy can flow through it.

The woman in the triangle pose above is using her vision well to support an integrated triangle pose. As she is looking towards the tip of her fingers and beyond, her head neck and torso remain nicely aligned. However, there is more to good postural balance than perfect alignment, there is dynamic alignment.  Dynamic postural alignment implies the harmonious relationship between the various part is respected so that the energy can flow back and forth through the muscles into the support and up the skeleton then able to expand in its full space.

Straining interferes with getting the benefit of any yoga pose. Having space to release while in a pose is the most dynamic way to engage in a pose. It challenges the muscles to work without adding body stiffness to the mix. If you have gone to a place where release into your support is no longer an option, you are doing too much.

These women engaged in a seated twist are using their vision to lead their seated twist as they stay balanced and centered above their supported sits bones. Led by the direction of their vision, each is going as far as they are comfortable without sacrificing their skeletal height.


On the other end, the instructions for the seated twist on this picture are incomplete and it shows on the model illustrating this pose. The sits bones are arched a bit like a rocking chair so it is not enough to feel your sits bones, it is crucial to be aligned above their balancing point. Otherwise, any attempt at releasing your back will take you into a slouch.

Here it is clear that she is not balanced because her gravity line is behind her sits bones. As a result, she is slouched in her twist. It is straining her back, squishing her internal organs, limiting her breathing and how far she can go into her seated twist. Although she certainly seems like a happy camper on this picture, she is not getting the best out of her yoga pose! 

Even in daily life, you need to know how to do this. Whether you are siting on a chair or in a car, you can hurt your neck if you do not apply these principles as you turn your head to look behind yourself.

Helpful Tips

1) To maximize a seated twist, connect to the balancing point of your sits bones so your head is still above them without loosing your skeletal height which comes by sending your sits bones into your support rather than tensing your back muscles. Then look in the direction you are turning moving from the joint at the top of your spine first.  As you go, keep releasing neck and back muscles straight into your support. This prevents you from creating body stiffness or muscle straining.

2) Do not fix your gaze, a fixed gaze creates a fixed body which is not the purpose of yoga, keep it soft and wide using your peripheral vision as in driving. Keep it connected to the rest of you! You are on the mat to stay present and to tune in, not to tune  out!

3) When doing asanas, just do asanas. Don’t start to think about the meaning of life or anything else but what is happening right there and then. Your vision, your breath, your kinesthetic senses are all ways to anchor yourself in the present moment.

4) The spiritual dimension of “Drishti” can only come from the practice of being present yet non attached to thoughts, body senses and sense pleasures. Mind grasping or muscular grasping (the two sides of the same coin) take us away from such practice. So stay in touch with yourself and don’t tense your muscles. Body stiffness is not body strength. Body strength remains flexible, like the strength of the cat!

5) Stay aware of the direction of your vision as often as possible. When lost in your thoughts or in your body feelings, you may be gazing in a way that stiffens your neck. So watch out for your neck by making sure your vision choice does not conflict with the need of your neck to stay free of tension. This will give you an integrated movement connecting you from head to toes.

When not aligned above support and relaxed, gravity promotes slouching.
When aligned above support and relaxed
, gravity promotes effortless good posture.

Do you want to learn more about this mind/body approach to natural good posture? 
Do you want to learn how to reclaim efficient moving for balanced living?
Join my latest FREE 6-part EMAIL SEMINAR:
"How to Unlearn Habits that Create Body Stiffness On and Off the Mat"
(Based on the Alexander Technique Principles and Facts)

Wishing you a wonderful New Year,
filled with Gratitude, Health, Prosperity and lots of Laughter!