Tag Archives: Posture

Tips to sit like winners at the Tea House


Written for yoga practitioners, the article below actually gives a good tip for all for sitting down with your legs crossed without slumping your back and collapsing your chest (and a little bio-mechanics as a bonus). Indeed, although slumping might feel more comfortable (and easier at first), at the end of the day it is more tiring for your muscles, as well as your mind, for it associates more with a “defeated state”.  Not like us at all 🙂

>> Sitting up straight and expanding the chest forward in Sukhasana , by Daily Bandha

Another tip for adopting a fluid posture while sitting down legs crossed is to place a cushion under your bottom and only sit at its edge, so your bottom will be higher than your knees and it will be easier to keep the natural curves in your back (also known as “zafu sitting”). You can read more about this in our hands massage manual here : https://hackingwithcare.in/wiki/doku.php/maozada#good_posture



34 Pictures To See Which Muscle You’re Stretching


Whether you’re a chronic sitter, a daily exerciser, or a weekend warrior, you probably know stretching is a critical habit. By sending blood flow to your muscles and helping your joints move through their full range of motion, stretching improves your posture and athletic performance while lowering your risk of pain and injury.

But when you do yoga or a flexibility routine, do you know which muscles you’re actually stretching? Or whether you’re performing each stretch correctly?

With this knowledge in your back pocket, you can choose the best stretches for your goals. And if you ever feel pain — and I don’t mean the good, stretchy kind of pain but the “Whoa, something doesn’t feel right” kind of pain — you can pinpoint the muscle giving you trouble and alter your technique to avoid getting injured.




ICI archive vidĂ©o d’une prĂ©sentation de la disposition clavier ergonomique francophone (et polyglotte !) BEPO, donnĂ©e Ă  Paris lors de l’Ubuntu party de novembre. BEPO ou “Plus de mots, moins de maux “, le tout en licence libre (CC-BY-SA). Sans quitter la rangĂ©e de repos, pouvoir Ă©crire “Une sainte aura ruinait la nuit trainante”. Absurde AZERTY, c’est fini ?!

Lire aussi Qu’est-ce que le BEPO ?



Classic, concise, clear, accessible yoga book ASANA PRANAYAMA MUDRA BANDHA by Swami Satyananda Saraswati is available HERE although not in its latest version.

Imo, this manual is particularly interesting when new to yoga and/or or looking for some easy body routines that you can start practicing alone. The Beginners group is good indeed, with different series of basic exercises to help prevent or help alleviate disorders caused by overexertion and stillness-stasis combined (as in a lot of computer / office work). Check out the Exercises for the eyes !

(Remember to first read the advice and precautions in the introduction)

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Posture: Spot the differences game

Pay attention and FEEL the differences between postures to help yourself minimize body harm from your long desk hours. Here are two images to reflect on what can be a less straining posture at your desk.


Young man sitting in front of a computer screen, by Jonathan Janson


Computer Eye-gonomics, from article in the Atlantic by Lindsay Abrams

Addition to this post :

Ironically, there is actually more life “portrayed” in the first picture. I don’t know about you, but in a way I’d rather be the first dude, even with shoulder strain. As much as postural advices are interesting, they should not become a cold, rigid, norm… It’s not about seeing 90° angles everywhere and becoming postural orthodox, right… ? Careful how you hold yourselves, and don’t freeze into any posture..

Posture must flow



One way to improve posture so as to avoid piling up strenuous tensions is to think of it as a continuous flow.

The image of flow is a tool dear to (re) educational somatic disciplines (e.g. Feldenkrais or Alexander techniques), and of course to dancers, whom it helps perfect their art.

In the practice book Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, we read:

“The concept of flow is crucial to creating dynamic alignment. Just as we have said that your mind can sculpt your body into a certain posture, your mind can also help your body flow into better alignment. And here is the good news: A flow cannot be held because it then ceases to be a flow; therefore alignment based on this notion cannot become rigid. If you begin to realize that your alignment is flowing, constantly changing, even if on a cellular or molecular level, you are able to take charge of this flow. Using imagery, you can constantly guide your alignment toward increased efficiency without ever holding onto it. If you were to stop the flow, even in what appears to be a biomechanically well-aligned position, tension would ensue. The building blocks of our body, our cells, are both filled and surrounded by fluids. Therefore fluid motion is inherent in our very structure.”

In a resting still position, the image of flow can also be used to “flush” muscular tensions:

“Imagine a river flowing down your back, expelling all muscular tension (figure 12.40). Visualize the tension points as little rocks and pieces of wood carried out with the flow. Imagine the murky water turning crystal clear. Watch the river flow down through the gutters between your spine and ribs to flush out all remaining tension” 


Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, by Eric Franklin. 

Atelier bien-être: ANTIDOTES aux usages douloureux de l’ordinateur, PARIS le 17/04


Nous passons beaucoup de temps assis, tête rivée à des écrans, ordinateurs à bout de bras, clic sous index droit, téléphones en mains, tablettes…

Comment nos corps sont-ils affectés par nos usages des nouvelles technologies et outils de communication ? Souffrez-vous un peu, beaucoup ? Qu’est-ce la posture ? Quels gestes pouvons nous pratiquer, pour nous-mêmes ou en massage, pour soulager des tensions et prévenir des maux plus graves sur le long terme ? Quelles habitudes simples pouvons nous adopter et/ou suggérer à nos clients ?

Emily propose d’explorer ces questions dans un atelier découverte ouvert à toutes et à tous, chez Biopulse Formation Massage

12 Rue Saint Sauveur
75002 PARIS

Tarif: 15 euros

Inscription au 01 44 82 51 29

Being programmed by a program: a review of Workrave by Sophie Hiltner

Physical therapist Sophie Hiltner offers a quick review of Workrave ”a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.”

More from Sophie in the talk she gave at 30C3 last December, CODING YOUR BODY. 

Workrave: being programmed by a program

A review by Sophie Hiltner 

Sitting at my desk working as usual I suddenly feel the urge to stretch my arms high in the air, extending my thoracic spine. Two seconds after I had followed my impulse, the little reminder from workrave popped up to tell me I needed a micro pause. What happened here, had the one week trial phase already left its impression in my movement patterns inside my brain?

I will give you a quick overview about the program workrave (http://www.workrave.org/), my experiences with it and a physiotherapeutical evaluation of its function.

Workrave is a programm that monitors the use of keyboard or mouse. The programm offers two different kinds of pauses, a microbreak and a coffeebreak. The preset timing, of the intervals of the pauses, did not feel good to me, therefore I chose a twenty minutes rhythm for the micropause of thirty seconds and one hour rhythm for the coffee break of five minutes. During those breaks your monitor is blocked, unless you decide to skip or postpone the break by a certain period of time. In general I use these microbreaks to stretch, get out of the chair,  go to the bathroom or fill up my tea cup. Choosing a small cup and putting the tea pot at the other end of the room is a great opportunity for a small walk between the sitting phases of your day.

During the coffeebreaks the programm offers excercises for shoulders, eyes, fingers and arms. For example: stretching out your fingers or neck muscles. Each exercise is about twenty-five seconds long. Depending on your motivation you can choose up to ten excercises per break. These exercises are helpful from a physiotherapeutical point of view, but especially the stretches are way to short. If you like the excercises offered I would suggest doing one maximum two and repeating those for at least one minute each. Concentrate on your breathing while stretching, for example your neck, and feel the tension leave your body while you exhale.

A friendly person sent me his comment about workrave “Since I use workrave, my room is much cleaner.”. I have to agree, besides the stretching I used the breaks also to tidy up things quickly, wash the dishes or make fresh tea.

Besides all those advantages I have two points I am not happy about. First of all, when you are not typing or using your mouse the programm counts it as a break. Since I am also reading a lot when working I need to remind myself of those breaks. But after using workrave quite often while I was writing, my body started to remind itself of the needed breaks. This does not mean, that the program became unnecessary, but that Pavlov was correct. Bottomline: the programm helped me to be more aware of continuous sitting periods and I start to move subconsciously whenever a break should be taken.

The second point of criticism: workrave is incredibly sexist, since the person presenting the exercises is a big busted woman with braided hair. A neutral person would be more suitable, at least for my taste.

Another thing is, that wordrave is not availabe for Mac L sorry to say. If anybody knows a mac compatible programm let me know.

That is what I have to say about workrave. If you have questions, suggestions or critique: Let me know! Till then keep working out in the office,


The Uncomfortable Chair and other well-sitting hacks


About sitting around the clock:

Sitting all day can have real negative impacts on our well-being and health. You can take a quick look at this Sitting is Killing You infographic to get a picture, and/or watch the talk Coding Your Body physical therapist Sophie Hiltner gave last week at 30C3.

One of my favorite “hack” to remedy for this problem has to be the UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIR, which was cited by Sophie Hiltner at the end of her talk. When asked by someone in the audience what is the best chair to prevent musculo-skeletal disorders caused by sitting all day, she answered that the best chair could actually be the most uncomfortable of all, the most basic one, because then one has no choice but to stand up every so often to stretch. I think that is brilliant. It reminds me of a friend, movie director, who used exactly the same trick for a different, and also very interesting, purpose: He said he would always sit in the most uncomfortable chair to watch movies, because he believed comfort was detrimental to a healthy critical sense, and he certainly hated falling asleep in the arms of whatever storytelling.

Sophie Hiltner also cited having INCENTIVES TO STAND UP in the room, like placing the pot of tea or coffee on a different table than the actual desk, so one has to stand up every once in a while to get a refill. It’s a good one too, though the incentive has to be pretty strong, knowing how sometimes we don’t get up to go to the bathroom even though we are bursting.

Another woman we met told me how she cannot stay, and will not, stay in place behind her computer even though she does spend hours on it, and how she was always POSTURE SHIFTING at her large desk. She demonstrated to me a few moves, options for sitting, kneeling, forward bending, and it resembled a strange, very personal kind of yoga involving office accessories. And, she also moves/works away from the main desk, to other spots in the room where she experiments with other postures. She said it will all be perfect when she gets a desk that can adjust its height so she could then include standing postures in her “routine”. Very refreshing 🙂

STANDING DESKS are an interesting option by the way, you can read some posts about them + IKEA hacks and how to build your own here on lifehacker.


She also mentioned her and her son trying the exercise BALL as an office chair, but said that it proved tiresome and too f****ing distracting in the end. I have never tried it so I wouldn’t know. I hear that the interest is that you have to keep moving to maintain your stability, and that this gets your (forgotten, atrophied) stabilizing muscles to workout and that it prevents you from turning into a petrified human that will end up breaking at some point.


Me, I ideally like to have a chair with a wide enough seat (not too soft or spongy) so I can sit in a SEMI-LOTUS POSE on it every now and then with a straight back (not straight as in straight, straight as in with nice spinal curves). Days when I’m not flexible enough, I will add a CUSHION under my bottom, just so my hips are higher than my knees (if not, the effort I have to make to raise myself over the level of my knees is too much and counterproductive). This is also known as “ZAFU SITTING” for meditation. This way of using a cushion or “prop” can be useful even when sitting more classically on a chair (legs uncrossed), for elevating the hips and helping reinstall the healthy spinal curves. DO think about it whenever you are working on the floor at a low table.


About computers and other devices sucking life juices out of you…

The same woman mentioned another very interesting “trick” (that is way more than a trick, actually) so that machines would not end up sucking all life out of her : She has DOGS. Most of us have probably already heard how stroking a “pet” can be soothing for the mind and emotions, but that is not exactly the point here. In her case it has more to do with sharing her work space with OTHER LIFE FORMS, having a room inhabited, kept vibrant with life. Not to mention the fact that dogs will always remind you that is is TIME TO TAKE A WALK (how’s that for an incentive?!). She cites dogs for lively counterpoints to computers and/or points of reference for what matters in life (that is, life), but of course there are many ways in which to explore how to keep a connection to the living world while giving it all at the work place. It can make it easier to COME BACK from long deep immersions into technological realms.


I like PLANTS for that purpose. Indeed they are more easy going than dogs, yet not less alive. I sometimes like to suggest CARING FOR A PLANT as means to start taking care of oneself (better), and to stay connected to life. An idea to make it even more fulfilling is to pick a plant which kind of resembles you: in shape, original habitat (where does it grow), cycles, flowers or no flowers, spikes or no spikes, needs for water and sunlight, and whatever more you find relevant. A plant that you will like and will like to care for, and that, without you really knowing at first, will care for you too (no, I’m not crazy). Then keep it with you at your work place. Look at it from time to time. What does it need ? Do you provide it ? Does it look well? If it has become dusty, asphyxiated, dehydrated, is turning yellow, is losing its leaves, and is shrinking… You probably are too.

A taste of other well-being hacks and how nice it could be to create a WELL-BEING HACK BOX

Other people at 30C3 shared with us other well-being hacks, tricks and personal rules that work for them and that one can use to improve their quality of life in relation to extensive use of computers and other devices. For example, not having devices in the bedroom (a huge step for many!), or at least turning them off before bed (yes, that is taking action), covering computers with a blanket (making them disappear for the time being almost like a magic trick would), taking offline holidays, only allowing oneself 10 minutes of use before breakfast, installing some software that will interrupt the computer work regularly… These tricks and hacks can be already well known and/or very singular and surprising, and they come in response to a vast array of discomforts, in relation to eating, sleeping, socializing… Each of these topics would deserve specific articles. Here now I just wanted to give you a glimpse of how nice it good be to actually collect and put some more of these hacks and fixes together in relation to specific problems so we can all pick from a box, be inspired, and overall feel better.

If you feel inspired and want to contribute with your own hacks, cyber grandpa and cyber grandma home remedies, go to our survey page on the menu of that blog ! THANK YOU 🙂

Art credits

Erwin Wurm, Idiot II & One Minute Sculpture

Mark Wentzel, XLounge

“CODING YOUR BODY”: Physical therapist Sophie Hiltner talks at 30C3

In this 30 minutes talk, physical therapist Sophie Hiltner explains basic anatomy of the musculo-skeletal systems, the physical structures that hold us together and enable our actions. This is of course of interest to people who spend most of their time holding themselves the same way, not shape-shifting much, sitting all day, heads tilted over screens, forever clicking… You get the picture.

How is a little anatomy interesting ? Understanding the physiology and mechanics of the bones, muscles and connective tissues, leads to a better understanding of the constraints and stresses our postures exert on these systems everyday all day, and of the negative consequences these postures can have for the general well-being and health. Over the years, these consequences can in fact turn out quite bad, Sophie remarks, as she invites the audience to not lose more time before starting to listen to important warning signals from the body (you know, like pain). Note that the worse posture of all can be any posture in which one will let themselves become a statue, that is to say, lack of movement sabotages us in the long term. On that subject, French readers can read my post “l’effort musculaire de la statue”, on my massage blog.

From Sophie’s overview of the musculo-skeletal systems it then becomes quite clear that preventing and/or reversing the negative effects of still and sloppy habits can/should be in one’s power, as one becomes more aware and hopefully doesn’t wait to be too hurt before he or she takes simple steps that can go a long way. Like… Getting up ! Moving! A little later on after the talk, Sophie took the crowd outside (best place, given the hot air, lights, hyperactivity and electricity inside the building) for a little stretching and moving about. NICE ONE :)

So yes, a little knowledge in anatomy is very useful, and it can trigger a realization that movement is vital, which can save everyone some avoidable pains and strains (not all pains in life in the world are so easily avoidable, so we might as well prevent those which we can). It was great that Sophie was there at 30C3 to communicate this, because as crucial as it is, this kind of knowledge and practical body wisdom is not much represented… I myself am not fond of the analogy with machines  when speaking of the body (I like to stick to the living), but I guess it helped in getting the message across at 30C3, which mattered. As an experienced masseuse I guess I also would have enjoyed it if there had been more time for Sophie to present the case studies of her patients she had brought but… next time !