When you’re doing stuff, do you find it hard to notice what you’re doing with your body? Do you notice at the end of the day that your back aches? With these pictures, my goal is to help make it easier for you to make your own discoveries about how you coordinate your body. Generally, I don’t want to tell you that one is right and one is wrong, because criticizing ourselves for being wrong tends to create more tension and actually perpetuate the habit. But we can objectively say that in Option 1 I am collapsing and in Option 2 I am using my support more effectively. Keep reading below for more insights on where I’m working harder and where I’m relaxing!

Option 1

Here I look bored and disconnected from my self and from my surroundings as I wait in line. I’m collapsing downward with the mistaken idea that I’ll be less tired. Because my chest is collapsing downward, I have to pull my head back and compress my neck to look up. That means my whole body has to work harder to hold up the weight of my head … usually leading to back and neck pain. In my attempt to “relax,” I’m pushing down on the shopping cart in a misguided effort to get support from it, putting considerable pressure on my wrists.

Option 2

In this picture I appear to be interested in where I am (Mexico!) and I’m paying attention to my self at the same time. I’m taking advantage of my wait in line to think up! I’m remembering to allow my head to release upward so that my spine supports it without extra muscular effort. I’m doing less by resting my hands and arms on the cart without pushing down. I do seem to be gripping the handle with more tension than necessary, but in general everything is easier. Even my face looks a lot more relaxed in this picture than in the other one!