Tuesday, August 30, 2016


There is something simple and yet profound about life and movement. Having witnessed several births I see the very thing we need to do to be born. We need to extend and stretch. After spending 9 months in a fetal position we have to take a risk and move the exact opposite direction. There have been various articles posted about the benefits of vaginal birth from a bacterial perspective, but I am also curious about the nervous system. How does a vaginal birth trigger our nervous system? Potentially stimulate future movement patterns? As a doula I understand that c-sections have a time and place, but what if we aren’t addressing something that could prevent them.

I am going to jump around a bit and I don’t yet have the information or research to say if my thoughts are correct, but this is worth looking into. There have been more and more articles coming out that sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is bad for our backs, probably our brains too, basically it’s not good. As a Pilates instructor I understand why. We hunch, we take on a fetal position again and extension, let alone standing upright, becomes nearly impossible. Our spines need to move for the health of everything from our brain to our pelvic floor. So let’s say for a second that you’re newly pregnant and that you sit in front of a computer 5 days per week. What impact does this have on the baby inside you? Again I’m not condoning people who sit, shoot I do! But is it possible that a mother’s posture could impact their baby’s posture? I work with midwives who refuse to let a mother sit during labor. If they need to rest they can lay on their sides, squat, or come to their hands and knees. What if this was taken more seriously during the 9 months preceding labor, would labors be shorter, less likely to involve posterior positions of the baby? Or maybe it would just allow mom to feel more confident and empowered by being stronger, more upright, etc.

Kids can easily whip themselves into a backbend, but most elderly individuals can barely keep their shoulders over their hips. You could blame gravity, but you can also blame posture, chairs, cars, and inactivity. It also seems like we grow complacent, we stop extending and stretching. Clearly our brain triggers this response in utero and maybe we need to keep triggering that response in the world. Is this why doing a backbend on a daily or weekly basis makes people feel more creative, inspired, and alive? Is this why kids easily do them randomly throughout the day?

I am a bit of a postural geek. It’s my job. In an effort to experiment I have decided to give up sitting in a chair for a minimum of a week. Unfortunately I will still be sitting in a car from time to time. But I will squat, stand, and maybe do a few backbends to see what this does to my posture and nervous system. And no I am not pregnant, but I am very curious of the impact movement patterns have on our kin.

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