Restoring healthy posture from childhood for relief from chronic pain, easy flexibility, and enduring strength and vitality well into old age
• Offers 12 physical exercises to become mindful of your posture and discover pain-free alignment of your pelvis, rib cage, shoulders, neck, and back
• Provides simple yet detailed instructions on how to sit, stand, walk, bend, get up from a chair, sit to meditate, sleep, and practice yoga with proper alignment
• Includes full-color diagrams and posture photographs from around the world
Our bones are the framework of support for our bodies, much like the wall studs and beams of a house. Yet the alignment of the skeleton along the vertical axis of gravity is largely overlooked today, even by fitness experts and yoga teachers. In a culture of cocked hips, sauntering models, and slouching TV watchers, where “chin up, shoulders back, stomach in” is believed to be good posture, we have forgotten what healthy alignment looks and feels like--leading to chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain for millions.
Sharing photographs from around the world of “gurus” of natural posture and authentic strength, such as women in their 80s who easily carry heavy loads on their heads and toddlers learning to walk, Kathleen Porter shows what natural skeletal alignment truly looks like. With insights based on the fundamental laws of physics and detailed full-color diagrams, she guides you through an understanding of the body’s naturally pain-free design. She explains that when the body is aligned as nature intended, your weight is supported by your bones rather than your muscles, allowing a blissful release from chronic muscular tension--which you may not even be aware you had. She offers 12 physical exercises to become mindful of your posture and discover healthy alignment of your pelvis, rib cage, shoulders, neck, and your body as a whole.
Providing easy-to-follow instructions for mindful alignment during the most ordinary daily activities, even sleeping, as well as a chapter on practicing yoga safely, Porter shows how returning to our forgotten alignment from childhood can offer relief from chronic pain and tension and can provide easy flexibility, enduring strength, and vitality well into old age.
About the Author
Kathleen Porter is the director of the Center for Natural Alignment in Portland, Oregon. She offers programs for people with posture-related pain and for children and teachers in classrooms. She has taught principles of natural alignment at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, and the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
“Kathleen Porter’s eloquent photojournalism adds powerful, persuasive impact to her message about the relationship between dynamic structural alignment and health of body and mind. The chapters about children, pregnancy, and fitness should be required reading for all parents and physicians.” — Mary Bond, author of The New Rules of Posture and movement faculty chair at the Rolf Institute
“As a family physician treating my share of patients with back pain, neck pain, osteoporosis, and dysfunctional labor, I find this book instructive. Kathleen Porter’s observation of peoples around the world who retain their natural alignment, movement, and relaxation is a clear window into the healing of the chronic pain syndromes of our culture. More than that, her work has been personally transformative.” — Leah Morton, M.D., family practitioner
“In Natural Posture for Pain-Free Living, Kathleen Porter powerfully portrays the extensive damage we do to our bodies when we lose connection to natural principles of body alignment. Rather than looking to surgery, medication, and infinite exercise technologies to find freedom from discomfort and pain, we need only learn to stand, sit, walk, and move the way we did as young children when we learned organically to let our bones support us. Porter offers an abundance of useful tools for returning to our natural wisdom and greater body fluidity.” — Ingrid Bacci, Ph.D., author of The Art of Effortless Living and Effortless Pain Relief
“This updated second edition is an instructive, comprehensive look at how we move unconsciously in ways that cause our bodies pain and injury. Kathleen Porter, who directs the Center for Natural Alignment in Portland, Oregon explains through photographs and exercises the ways a supple spine can help remedy much of what ails our stiff bones.” — Joshunda Sanders, Spirituality & Health, July 2013
“The book is amazingly understandable, beautifully designed for maximum ease of use, and contains lots of documentation that justifies Porter’s claims. I happened to be struggling with a knee strain when I read it, and applying a simple change to my stance, per Porter’s instructions, brought instant improvement.” — Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight, August 2013
“Guidelines for daily activities including sitting, walking, sleeping, and safe yoga practice fill this user-friendly reference and resource. This helps the practitioner ease chronic muscle tension, combats chronic neck/shoulder/back pain, and improve everyday life. Color photographs enhance this thoroughly accessible guide, highly recommended to readers of all walks of life.” — Library Book Watch, September 2013
“Kathleen Porter’s book is a great companion for teaching for many other modalities, but I found her information exceptionally beneficial in regard to the active meditations I teach. Movement is obviously important, but conscious movement is not as obvious for most people.” — Dhara Lemos, Lotus Guide, November 2013
“Never before in the world of fitness has there been a more readable, groundbreaking, or seminal book than Natural Posture for Pain-Free Living. Through this revolutionary book, Kathleen Porter is about to rock your world!” — Jean Couch, founder and director of the Balance Center and coauthor of The Runner’s Yoga Book
“‘I believe, barring accidents, most orthopedic surgeries could be avoided if the body’s natural alignment is never lost in the first place,’ Porter says. Natural Posture for Pain-Free Living provides a blueprint for returning to that state of nature.” — Lisa James, Energy Times, November 2013