A cairn of stones is made by finding the natural balance point of each stone … then letting it rest on top. The bones of our bodies are meant to do the same — one bone after the other finding and resting on their natural balance points.

In January 2019, I was certified in Palo Alto by Jean Couch and Jenn Sherer to teach Original Alignment, a way to move through the world with natural ease, based on the research of Noelle Perez. Original Alignment work is a radical re-education in how to stack our spines following the shape of our bones, joints, and vertebrae, allowing our bodies to easily carry our weight though our bones instead of through our muscles.  The pioneer in this work is Noelle Perez-Christiaens, with her Aplomb Institute in Paris, France.  She studied the sitting, walking, standing, and bending styles of people in countries where there is little or no back pain.  She found that it looks a lot like the posture of infants and toddlers — which means that as we grow older, we learn habits of movement that take us away from our natural posture.

When we look at toddlers and young children, we are amazed by their energy and their relaxed bodies.  We were the same at that age!  We all have known what it is to feel the ease and body comfort of babies, toddlers, and young children, who instinctively stack their bones in the most efficient way and have incredible amounts of energy even though they move so much during the day. You can see Original Alignment in people in other cultures around the world, where people are able to carry heavy loads on their heads, through all stages of life … and remain limber, pain-free, and strong. So … what happens to us? We are immersed in a culture that has forgotten what original alignment feels like. We live in a culture that thinks we are more comfortable when we slouch (we aren’t) and has us try to counterbalance that by sucking in our guts and throwing our shoulders back, which is exhausting.  A lifetime of looking around at our culture, and copying what we see, ends up rounding our shoulders, hunching our upper backs, and tucking in our tailbones, because we have learned to copy with our bodies what we see around us, rather than continue to organize our bodies around that natural inner sensation of lightness and ease.

Many of our long-standing aches and body issues come from holding ourselves up for hours in while sitting, standing, or walking, unconsciously and artificially using our muscles to do what our bones are supposed to do.  It doesn’t have to be that way, and we can all learn to go back to what we knew as children. I began studying Original Alignment in 2017 in order to explore and re-learn what it feels like to carry my body weight through my bones, and to use my joints in ways that release them from strain. Relearning good habits of walking, standing, and sitting is absolutely possible, and can lead you out of chronic pain.

The constant fight against gravity carried in our cultural posture can be relearned. To relearn what we knew as toddlers — how nature designed our bodies to be used — we need to learn to move and sit in a way that allows our bodies to stack the bones of the skeleton to support us. When the bones are stacked properly, our muscles can relax, because they are no longer straining to hold you up against gravity.  Original Alignment, using the principles and research of Noelle Perez, helps us to rediscover the ease and comfort we all had as toddlers and young children.

REvolutionary Posture! is my business of teaching Original Alignment to restore strength, comfort, and vitality. 

Massage to soothe tired muscles is wonderful. Preventing your muscles from becoming chronically tired in the first place is even better!  Right now, I am teaching only private lessons, or offering insights as part of a massage session.  As we emerge from this time, I will teach natural spinal posture workshops for you to learn how to reshape how you approach standing, sitting, bending, and walking using the human body’s original alignment.  There will be introductory 2-hour Vine & Spine events in Northampton, MA, including a slide show presentation and yummy snacks.

Postural Information

These U.S. websites offer books and trainings on the insights and methods of the Aplomb Institute.

Jean Couch:  Balance Center
Jenn Sherer:  Spinefulness

Put Your Back at Ease, by Thea Sawyer

Kathleen Porter: www.naturalposturesolutions.com/the-theory
Esther Gokhale:  gokhalemethod.com/gokhale-method

Cairn pile photo by toddwmac on Pixabay