Part 1: get your mindset right.
Before we dive into Body Parts, let me introduce myself.
My name is Yoav Taler. I live and work in Israel. Since 2003, I’ve been teaching people how to use their body in all sorts of environments:
- Holistic and conventional exercise like Qigong, Pilates, gym, running and flexibility) or conventional (gym and running),
- The office environment (posture and ergonomics),
- One on one rehabilitation (posture, chronic pain),
- With musicians, physical workers, suffering parents and more.
I am qualified as an Alexander Technique teacher, Pilates & Qigong instructor, Gym instructor and a Chinese Medicine acupuncturist and herbalist.
How my work can help you with your problems
I work one on one with people, on a weekly basis, for long periods of time.
My job is to identify habits of movement, posture and mindset – that create problems, and teach them a better, natural alternative to use their body in everything they do.
This teaching brings about a shift in everyday behavior that enable people to heal themselves.
Following years of experience in my practice, I came to an understanding:
- We all share similar habits, especially since most of us do the same things with our bodies (sit by a computer),
- This is all about consistent awareness and focus: being mindful towards your body through time, while applying the right principles to improve your condition (the mind-body language).
- This knowledge helped so many people I’ve worked with. Therefore I want to share this knowledge with people across the globe.
Your mind is the key to improve your condition.
You probably experience difficulties or challenges with your body, much like my clients. And my goals with you are similar to my goals with them.
Long term, consistent mindset: be in your body
Persistence makes the difference.
So if you’ll follow my work – I’ll provide you with long term, consistent mindset: be aware of your body. And when your awareness points towards your body, you can apply the mind-body language.
What should you do with your body? The mind-body language.
This is the language you should speak with your body, the physical knowledge of how your body should work – naturally and in better harmony.
In other words, mind and body brought together. And the longer you do this – the more you’ll advance and discover.
Part 2: Why should you learn your body parts?
Here’s an in depth video for parts 2 & 3:
We start off by identifying our biggest, macro, body parts:
- Our head,
- Our torso,
- Our limbs: arms and legs.
No complex Latin words, nothing too scientific. Sounds too trivial?
Your body parts create or prevent your problems.
It’s not trivial at all. Working with hundreds of people made me realize that our body parts do not work together as they should, and this causes many problems.
So the process of improvement starts by identifying those parts correctly.
Example #1: lower back pain
People with lower back pain physically behave as if their lower back is actually a part of their legs – and not a part of their torso. This is so common, almost replicated in all people I’ve seen with lower back issues.
Here’s a TikTok I made that demonstrates this in sitting:
Example #2 : sedentary problems
People who sit all day long by a computer tend to slouch down with their shoulders and chest.
This means their arms “stole” their upper back. This common behavior causes posture problems, neck and shoulder pain, and much more.
Here’s another TikTok I made to demonstrate your arms stealing your upper back:
So first, we have to define our parts in our mind. This process will be rather simple, and critical for your well-being in every activity you’ll do from now on.
Body parts: like countries on a map
Knowing the exact borders or meeting places between your body parts allows your countries to live in peace with one another.
For example, it enables your head to live in peace with your spine and torso. Your torso to live in peace and harmony with your legs and arms.
As I mentioned before, if your legs steal a part of your torso, or if your head steals a part of your torso – you’ll have problems at the scene of the crime.
Part 3: Your head and your body.
Your head is the upper most part of your body. If you think of yourself as a chain of connected bones, your head is the upper most, leading bone of the chain.
Your head has the least amount of weight hanging on it, so… it should feel very light – right?
But somehow it doesn’t. It’s heavy and pulled… something’s not working right with your head.
Lightness of the head is something we need to find by creating a healthy connection with the rest of the body. And we obviously need to start with the head’s closest neighbor: the neck.
Hint: a good connection of our parts will create lightness all across the body.
The critical border point between your head and your torso
Right in the middle between your ears, you’ll find the head-neck joint. Google calls it the atlanto-occipital joint.
But why don’t you find “the head neck joint” easily on a web search? Because common knowledge lacks the focus that a specific technique gives us. And nowadays, focus is king.
Saying YES: looking down/up
We all use computers, desks and smartphones. Looking down all day long, we use our head and neck the wrong way, which creates us many health problems.
The common mistake: Bending from the hump – a gross movement.
- Postural hump.
- Closes down the front of your body – which causes lower back tension, constricted breathing and much more posture related health problems.
- Neck tension or pinching – especially when looking forward or up.
The right way: bending from the head-neck joint – a delicate movement.
- Better posture: no bending of the hump.
- Allows to release neck tension.
- Allows to open the torso front and back.
Here’s a short youtube that demonstrates how to use your head-neck joint:
Saying NO: rotating the head right/left
The common condition: your neck is stiff and tense, you rotate it and feel limited or painful.
Creating a better rotation requires a looser neck to open up spaces between all your vertebrae. This will enable you to rotate your head much better.
Watch the in-depth video of parts 2 & 3 (10th minute) for a demonstration of head rotation.
Your mission for parts 2 & 3:
Discover your head-neck habits in everyday life:
- Do you bend from the hump?
Now reverse the process, and use your head-neck joint instead.
How many times a day did you discover your habits?
- Do you rotate your head like a tight sponge?
Now reverse the process, let go of your neck, find your length and rotate again. What were the differences between the two?
Feel free to comment below with your answers or contact me with your feedback.
Part 4: Your Torso.
Coming soon: Body Parts video – part 2. Please stay tuned.
Exclude your head, arms and legs from your body – and there’s your torso.
The torso is the center of your body, and it works closely with your brain to manage and activate the whole thing.
Your torso and your head
As we concluded from the head lesson, your head meets your torso in the head-neck joint. So all the way up there – your spine goes.
Don’t forget that your spine is the backbone of your torso. Around your spine you have all the structures that enable the torso to be a 3D body: your ribcage, pelvis, shoulders and your internal organs.
But most importantly – remember the big package: your torso.
The Alexander Technique paradigm: As modern humans, all that happens within us can work perfectly fine – if our body parts are in good balance and coordination.
Lower back issues: your torso and your legs
The most common torso issue is lower back pain. And one major cause of lower back problems is “invasion” of your legs into the bottom of your torso – the lower back.
When this happens, your torso gets compressed from below – which causes pain and excess tension.
So you use your body all day long with the wrong borders between your body parts, creating harmful friction. Your parts disturb each other and problems will rise.
So if you have lower back issues – this is critical for you:
The correct border point between your torso and legs is in the hip joint. When you use and free up your hip joint, you don’t have to bend your lower back all the time. And bending your lower back is exactly what happens when your legs “steal” your lower back – to create pain.
Uniting your lower back with the rest of your torso eliminates many lower back, posture and leg problems. Let’s see some examples:
Sitting and your lower back
The common habit: bending your legs to sit causes your lower back to bend too. When this happens your legs “steal” your lower back from your torso, and it persists during your sitting time to create lower back tension.
If you want to reorder our body parts naturally, you need to reconnect your lower back with your torso, release tension from your hip joints to become a good separation point of your torso and our legs.
Posture, upper back and neck issues: your arms and your torso.
Sedentary life make us use our arms more than we use our legs. Mostly in front of desks and computers, we push tiny buttons all day long.
This means that our body, our arms, our focus – are all aimed down towards the device we use. Only our fingers are moving, our arms become heavy, pulling our body down: our shoulders, neck, chest and spine compress into each other.
But first and foremost, our shoulders suffer from the heaviness of our arms, and so again we can talk about the separation needed between body parts.
The problem: our arms are pulling our torso down.
As our legs “stole” our lower back, our arms pull down our upper back, shoulders, neck and chest. This causes shoulder problems, neck tension, posture issues and lower back problems – Just to name a few.
We compress and stagnate ourselves, damage our circulation and general health.
Improving the arms-torso relationship: know your shoulder joint.
The shoulder joint separates your torso from your arm. Practically, you can locate this separation by:
- Raising your arm up.
- Placing your finger in your armpit.
- Bending your elbow to take your arm all the way back down.
Your armpit is the most useful spot to use here, and it’s critical for improving all postural and tension issues in your upper back area.
You can move your arm forward and back while keeping your hand in your armpit to feel this new relationship.
Computer, keyboard and mouse
When you let yourself slouch in front of your desk:
- Your arms become heavy on the desk,
- Your shoulders and chest become heavy too.
Ask someone to take a picture of you or use a mirror to catch a side view of your sitting posture: you’ll notice that your shoulders sink down with your upper back, and you might feel some neck tension too.
- Remove your arms from the desk for a minute, and straighten them up to the ceiling. Your whole torso will open up.
- Follow the same procedure as before: focus on your armpits, and bend your elbows and shoulders back down. This will bring you to a different state than before.
- When you put your arms back on the desk, be aware of your border point: let your armpit separate the arm and the torso, so you won’t lean with your upper back towards the desk.
Summing up the guide: the process of learning
This guide gave you awareness to the core structure of your body: essential knowledge to improve your condition, across all activities.
Now that you’re aware of your body parts, you’ll start noticing your behavior much more than before. That is our goal! To notice our habits, and improve them.
Allow yourself the time to grasp this guide. You’ve understood a new thing or two. This is an opportunity! Use it in your everyday life.
Read and watch the guide again after a while – you’ll understand it from a different perspective, which is great. Keep that process going on, as this is circular learning, not linear.
We go over the same things, the same body, over and over again, each time understanding more, deeper, different.
Thank you for completing the Body Parts Guide! Please hit me up with feedback or questions in the comments below or contact me privately.