Category Archives: Computer

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!

img_6119     IMG_3910      img_6125


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.

IMG_4930 IMG_4929

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!

Yoga Body, Daily Body & Sensory Perception


  woman-on-computer-3Daily Body Sitting

 Do you see a difference between your Yoga Body and your Daily Body?
Would someone observing you (without you knowing it) perceive a difference?
What is your Yoga Body focused on while on the mat? Core strengthening? Flexibility? Proper Alignment? Relaxation?
All of the above? What does your Daily Body remember between classes?
Does it remain strong, flexible and does it display sustainable good posture? Or not?

Yoga Body Sitting

Often, there is a bit of a discrepancy between those two bodies
and yet they impact each other greatly in a positive or negative way
depending on how in touch you are with your body wisdom.

Do you find yourself slouching at the computer or on the couch? Do you find yourself crossing your legs always favoring the same side crossing over the other? Or if you are a parent, do you favor one hip over the other to carry your young one? Or maybe you crane your neck forward and down to read or send text messages?

640-01351420 Model Release: Yes Property Release: No Portrait of a mother carrying her son

Right hip locked to the right, left foot forward and to the left

As you sit at your computer, you probably try to stand more upright once in a while and you bring your shoulders back and lift your chest up. Doing so you may be arching your back and this feeling becomes a synonym for feeling taller, only is it sustainable for long? Not really, unless you are a chronic holder, seconds later, the synergy of your whole body reclaims the habitual slump. Does it sound familiar?

The fact is if you repeatedly spend time in a distorted position,  you start distorting your skeletal structure in a way that is so habitual that it feels more natural than the natural way. As a result, your skeleton is not organized for effortless balance, so your muscles are overworking creating stiffness and tiredness or giving up all together into an inevitable slouch. You can’t wait to go to your yoga class to stretch and strengthen yet why is your back not getting strong enough to stay upright in a sustainable way?

The danger of regularly catering to harmful habits is that, although it may feel comfortable in the moment,
it weakens your postural muscles because you do not let them do their job.


You finally make it to your yoga mat, it feels so good to stretch and move your body. Whether you do power yoga or gently yoga, you enjoy yourself because this is the style of yoga that speaks to you. But whatever the style, you are also bringing with you your Daily Body habits to the mat. You may be aware of some of them but habits can become invisible to your awareness after a time.

The confusing thing is that, you can still feel better on some level because yoga is a wide field of many colors, the asanas being only a small part of it. However, how you use yourself on and off the mat must be addressed if you are to get the most out of your practice and truly prevent injuries even if you choose to challenge yourself on the mat?  Stretching tension or building strength can be beneficial if done in line with your innate body wisdom. Overdoing can be seductive and often misleading because of the element of physical pleasure and instant gratification it includes. And this is true both for stretching and strengthening!

How can you know for sure if you are in line with your innate wisdom of your whole body when you listen to parts of you at a time and your sensory appreciation is no longer fully reliable?

The woman on the beach is an example of distorted torso to gain the end of touching her toes.
An integrated pose that respects your innate body wisdom as the woman in purple is more beneficial!


As mentioned earlier, your Daily Body sensory perception gets somewhat corrupted over time. As a result, it needs a bit of reeducation. Without regaining accurate sensory perception, you cannot truly rely on what you feel while practicing yoga or engaged in daily movements and yet most people do. As a matter of fact,  it is my experience that this is the real culprit in most yoga injuries. Whether they happen on or off the mat, the majority of neck back or joint injuries if you are a healthy yogi, tend to start with your Daily Body habits brought to the mat.


Controlling your habits on the mat then catering to them the rest of the time
is not going to get you out of the tension cycle.
It is like collecting water from your dripping ceiling when it rains 
instead of fixing the roof problem in the first place!

On the surface, it may seem that tension is the problem and yoga the solution. However,  you will get more out of your yoga when unnecessary tension is dealt with for what it is, a symptom of something else that needs addressing to get lasting results. And sorry to say that no costly gadgets can get around the need to regain accurate sensory perception!

You have a wonderful mechanism in your body called “Postural Mechanism” and it is an ambassador to your Innate Body Wisdom. It is in charge of handling your posture, fluidity of movement and balance. When you learn how to stimulate it, you can stretch and strengthen without taking a chance to overdo. In fact, as you unlearn your harmful habitual patterns, you keep empowering that mechanism to do its job. And it is available to you 24/7.

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)


Muscle Engaging, Bone Strength and Dynamic Posture!



In the fitness world including yoga, it is common to hear teachers urging students to engage their muscles in one way or another. Mostly, they urge you to engage your core muscles. But what does that really mean? What do you do when your teacher encourages you to engage your muscles? Are you using your will power to tighten your muscles further expecting to feel and get stronger that way?

Have you considered that tightening muscles may not be the best way to “engage your muscles”?
Could it be creating as much body stiffness as it creates strength?

What about building the flexible strength of the cat instead?


Obviously, no matter how strong your muscles are, if you had no bones, they would turn into a puddle on the ground? That is because your skeleton has a lot to do with your strength. Your bones are the structure and firmness needed by your muscles for you to stand, sit. walk or jump.


Watch or re-watch this easy to view 7 min video by Kathleen Porter
about how the skeleton works as your primary support system!

Your skeleton does need a certain amount of necessary muscle tension to work with; however, as long as skeleton and necessary muscle tension work together as part of an integrated movement, your strength develops itself to support the movement with no need for unnecessary muscle tension, the source of much of your body stiffness. Your bone strength makes up for it. Using your will power is more about the mind choosing to sustain a challenging integrated pose or activity than to muscularly force the body to stay in it. The more you use your skeletal system strength, the easier it is to not use unnecessary tension and the stronger you are building your core strength. Only then, you are building the flexible strength of the cat!

In integrated movements, all your body parts work in harmony together.
Tightness gets in the way of this harmonious functioning of the whole.

The woman in black displays Poor Use of her Skeletal System, notice her muscular straining in the upper back and neck.
The woman in white displays
Good Use of her Skeletal System with her skeleton and muscles working more together.

images-18 images-16

While exercising, necessary muscle tension is a whole body feeling of power or stability rather than a tight feeling in a specific muscle group. Your body-wisdom does work some muscles more than others as needed yet it also knows your natural limits of the moment and will not let you go in an injury promoting zone. Children and animals trust that process. Just touch the muscles of a cat, so soft! And yet they certainly can jump up or down with powerful strength and accuracy in a beautiful integrated and fluid motion!

Maybe it is Time to Learn to Be Strong Using Brain and Bones & No Longer Overworking your Muscles. Besides, it feels easier simply because gravity becomes your ally and you can work out smart instead of hard! The only thing you will loose is body stiffness, not strength. Check the humorous 2-minute video below, you’ll see what I mean!

A woman in the early 1900’s lays the smack down with some classic Jiujitsu


 Dynamic posture does not require you to remember to check in and position yourself to sit upright. It is an integral part of good and fluid functioning, not a holding you go back to when you think of it. Look at young children! No effort whatsoever, and it is also your birthright!


Modern life offers challenges for sure with time spent at desks and computers, or standing for hours. Yet is it those activities that are the problem or how you use yourself while engaged in them?

You know that you cannot force a horse to drink water but you can salt his oats to make him choose to drink. And when thirsty, he’ll go the extra mile to satisfy his thirst. In the same way, you cannot strengthen your inner core muscles by sheer force but you can challenge your whole body with a specific pose or exercise and let it engage your inner muscles which will strengthen them in an organic way. They will go the extra mile if and when they have to!

So you can learn from children and animals how to reclaim an efficient and integrated way to use yourself on and off the mat where all your body parts work harmoniously together to benefit all of who you are! .

Till we meet again, be well!

Incoming workshops in Boston, MA:
Integrated Motion for Mind/Body Flow on March 26, 2015 6 to 8pm
Strain-Free Yoga/Strain-Free Body on March 29, 2015 1.15pm to 3.15pm
For more detail and registration, go to:

 Working with an Alexander Technique teacher is a short cut to changing the habits of a life time. Call me to schedule and appointment or sign up to my workshops and classes. And I am working on an online workshop or class for those far away who want to work with me. Will keep you posted!

Off The Mat Yoga, Inner Motion and Sitting Meditation (Cushion or Chair)



You know what moving your body means , but do you know about inner motion?
On the Mat Yoga and Off The Mat Yoga are the two sides of the same coin. The way you understand and perform movements in everyday life affects how you understand and perform yoga poses or how you sit in meditation. When you “hold” a yoga pose or “hold” yourself upright on the meditation cushion or chair, inner motion is difficult to experience . Unnecessary muscle tension is used to hold the skeleton. True stillness is effortless. Holding is an effort. This is why at the end of a meditation, you may feel an urge to collapse in relief!

What is inner motion? Does it bring about an easier way to sit in meditation?
Inner motion is an ability you have to release unnecessary tension all over your body without loosing your skeletal height. Instead of releasing tension by stretching your body,  do it on the inside without moving. Like sand in an hour-glass, allow tension to drip down your body into your support while you stay tall.

As the constricting muscles soften around the skeleton, your whole body is free to expand up and out like bread dough rising. This is inner motion in action. Your postural reflexes get activated when the released tension reaches your support. As they activate, your posture realigns itself with ease. No holding or stretching is necessary to be relaxed, tall and wide as you sit on the meditation cushion.

What is meditation?
Meditation is the art of being aware of what you are doing while you are doing it. Breathing in, you are aware that you are breathing in. Breathing out, you are aware that you are breathing out. You are in the present moment. Yesterday no longer is. Tomorrow does not exist yet. Your mind tends to be distracted by ongoing thoughts pertaining to the past and future. Meditating is coming back to the now, over and over.

Stay present to whatever arises. If a thought comes in,  don’t push it away,  just choose to not engage with it,  let it go like a little cloud passing by in the sky. You do not need to sit to meditate but sitting meditation does help you strengthen your ability to come back to the now in daily life. Anything you do, with awareness of what is in the now,  becomes a meditation. With inner motion, yoga and meditation become deeper practices!


– Choose a quiet space with no draft but not overly warm either so you can stay alert

– Preferably, sit on a leveled chair, feet flat on the ground, the back of your hands resting on your legs

– If you can, do not lean against the back of the chair as you want your torso to stay aligned

– If need be, you can use a firm pillow for extra back support if you can stay upright

– Make sure however you can release any excess tension straight down into your seat

– Aligned above the sits bones tip,  there is no urge to arch your back to sit up and no urge to slouch when you relax.

– Your meditation can begin!

Just listen to the silence of your mind, observe your breathing and go back to it as often as you can. Enjoy!

For more instructions on meditation or being mindful, check Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s books

such as “The Miracle of Mindfulness” or Spiritual teacher Eckart Tolle’s books such as “The Power of Now” or “A New Earth”.
Here is a very short U Tube videos just to give you a taste:

Off The Mat Yoga and Computers.


Understanding with The Body
You may have experienced neck or back pain after using the computer. Shoulders or wrists feeling tight after typing? Possibly you can feel a headache coming on or your eyes become sore and red? Even medical and alternative practitioners can experience such discomfort! I have my own story to share. I thought I had everything under control till something happened to me. Suddenly I felt a shooting nerve pain in my lower back. Ironically,  even as a specialist on  postural balance,  I found myself completely off center with a severe and unusual discomfort. What is going on I wondered? What could have caused this pain?

What do you do when you start experiencing sudden pain?
This was not happening from lack of exercise since I do it everyday. In fact using the elliptical was still fine but doing my yoga triggered a nerve discomfort, and that was not good.  At first I went for outside help  even though it was a costly choice.  I went to see a massage therapist first, then a network chiropractor, and an acupuncturist. They helped in the moment but then, the benefit did not stay. Something more powerful was at stake here. When I realized that, I went back to square one and asked myself, “Can it be something I am doing to myself?”

Could it be something you are doing to yourself?
Well, I started observing my every movement and sure enough, I found the main culprit: my screen time with computer work and movie watching! First I noticed that I was leaning to the left on my elbow while at the computer. I was doing that because my desk is not designed for a laptop so there was no room for my mouse on the right unless the laptop was slightly pushed to the left. It had actually become so habitual, it felt very natural to lean on my left elbow. I actually caught myself doing it as I was watching a movie curled up with my elbow and forearm resting on the left side of the couch.

In that case, what can you do about it now?
Sure enough, logic had me make some ergonomic changes. I added a little folding table next to my desk on the right. This way, I could use my mouse from there while re-centering the laptop in front of me where the opening for my legs is. Then, I made a point to sit on the other side of the couch while watching a movie to avoid surrendering to my leaning to the left habit.

Things started getting better as I received some more hands-on work. Now the positive effect had more staying power. It took a few months to realize what was going on and a few more months to feel I had changed my habits sufficiently to feel almost back to normal. Spending more time at the computer to write a book had started this off or took what already was to another level!

Are ergonomic changes enough?
Without making changes to my computer space I would now be in chronic pain,  feeling that nothing was helping. Although ergonomic changes helped break down the harmful habitual pattern, it was still not enough to heal fully. I needed to be aware of my postural reflexes (see blog #2). Triggering them re-centered me over and over thanks to the innate wisdom of the postural mechanism.

Changing a habitual way of moving by controlling the skeleton with muscle tension does not work. For instance, you use unnecessary muscle tension to hold yourself up and since it is neither comfortable nor natural, the next minute you collapse and think it is a lost cause! Sounds familiar?

Awareness of your body and postural reflexes activation are an essential part to quality ergonomics. It does for you what good ergonomic equipment does for your work station. This is why, your awareness of the basic facts below can be quite helpful in preventing trouble or in moving away from discomfort or pain. Including the tips below into your yoga practice turns your yoga into a way to address computer related problems. The young lady below stopped doing yoga as it seemed to be hurting her back. Notice the improved alignment when she was taught how to activate her postural reflexes. Her hip joint socket released and suddenly her knees released and her head released at the top of the spine and she felt the increased ease within her pose!


HELPFUL TIPS for both your Yoga & Computer Use
1) Always use the least amount of tension necessary while keeping your head, neck and torso aligned whether doing yoga or in front of a screen. Excess tension does not help building strength, it only builds up excess tension!

2) Know that your head, neck and torso won’t cooperate in staying open and up unless you are allowing your sits bones to point towards your seat away from your head. It is true whether you sit upright or lean forward towards your desk.

3) Releasing does not mean collapsing into yourself, it means letting go of excess tension all over your body without sacrificing your skeletal height. Releasing may feel like sand or water dripping down your skeleton into your support allowing your skeleton to expand in its full space almost like bread dough rising.

We function in two very basic ways: either we are in a state of contraction or we are in a state of expansion. So when we stop unnecessary tension to shrink our stature, the skeleton is ready to spring into expansion! And what a joy that is on or off the yoga mat!