[RIDER’S POSTURE TIP] Make gravity your BFF

Rider's Posture Tip - Connection Down for stability - ©2016 Emily Clark TheSuppleRider.comI show riders how to create effortless, free posture in and out of the saddle. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at the Oregon Equestrian Trails (OET) Statewide Roundup. The first point I mentioned was the importance of gravity for stability.

Gravity and stability

This comes as a surprise to lots of people, because most of us think of gravity as a bad thing, especially in terms of our bodies—”giving in to gravity” and “letting gravity take over” both sound negative. We’ve been taught to sit up “ramrod straight”, but free and easy uprightness isn’t possible without a connection down to the earth.

I was reminded how important this is when I heard from one of the OET audience members, Wendy Kerns, a few weeks later:

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[Tip of the Month] Stop Clamping Down Your Posture & Start Going Up Right Now

Image of bubbles going up

Illustration courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

Are you bothered by pain or posture problems like slumping? If the answer is yes, you could be making the problem worse by unknowingly tightening and clamping down your body. Read on for a tip to nip this pattern in the bud and start going up instead. Going up relieves the tension and makes you effortlessly taller.

What triggers clamping down?

Stress is the cause of so much unnecessary tension in our bodies! How do you know if you’re clamping down without realizing it? Are you dealing with one or more of these types of stress on a regular basis?

  • Time stress “I’ve got to get all the horses fed before I go to work”
  • Emotional stress “My partner’s upset with me because I complained about the socks on the floor”
  • Physical stress “My shoulder is tense”
  • Postural stress “My trainer says I brace my back (drill sergeant) or slump in the saddle”

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Keep your stress from snowballing into an avalanche [VIDEO]

Click here to register for the free preview


What:  Back Pain Be Gone Free Preview
When:  Monday September 21
Time:  6:30 – 8:00 pm
Where: 5001 SE Brooklyn St. Portland, OR 97206

Register here:  http://tiny.cc/BackClass


Hi, Emily here, from TheSuppleRider.com.

If you’re stressed to the max and live in the Portland area, you’re in the right place.

You know when you have so much on your to do list that you just freeze up? I call it the stress snowball. Stress is one of the main causes of back pain. The good news is, there’s a solution for that. It’s a simple easy class called Back Pain Be Gone.

Join us for a free preview next Monday September 21st at 6:30 in NE Portland.

Click here for more information and registration.

Until then, remember you CAN keep stress from snowballing into an avalanche!

See you there!


Body solutions that improve your mood [VIDEO]

Click here to register for the free preview


What:  Back Pain Be Gone Free Preview
When:  Monday September 21
Time:  6:30 – 8:00 pm
Where: 5001 SE Brooklyn St., Portland, OR 97206
Register here:  http://tiny.cc/BackClass


Hi, Emily here, from TheSuppleRider.com.

If you live in the Portland area and sometimes feel anxious or down, you’re in the right place. Did you know that your posture has a big impact on your mood? When you slump it can make you feel depressed and hopeless.

When you brace your back you can feel anxious or rigid. The good news is, there’s a solution for that. It’s a simple easy class called Back Pain Be Gone. With free, easy posture you feel calm and in control.

Join us for a free preview Monday September 21st at 6:30 in NE Portland.

Click below for more information and registration!
See you on the 21st!

[VIDEO] What is the Alexander Technique?

Are you a horseback rider with pain or stiffness before, during or after you ride?

Or maybe you feel great, but want to connect even better with your horse?

Hi, I’m Emily Clark, The Posture Professional, in Portland, Oregon.

I show horseback riders how to reduce or eliminate pain and stiffness so they can connect with their horse every single ride.

My clients learn a proven solution called The Alexander Technique.

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What to do when you hurt your back

back pain womanAbout a month ago, I wrenched my back out for the first time since becoming an Alexander Technique certified instructor over a decade ago. I’d bent over to pick up my giant tote bag and jerked myself up without thinking.

It hurt like crazy.

I had that “uh-oh” moment when it felt like a rubber band stretched in my back, and didn’t spring back into place. Yikes.

A bad case of the “shoulds”

As a back-care professional, all these thoughts went through my head:

  • I “should” have prevented it
  • I “should” have known better
  • I “should” feel better faster
  • I “shouldn’t” need help

Then I realized, none of the “shoulds” were doing me any good

The “shoulds” were just creating more stress and making the problem worse.

After the initial embarrassment, I knew I needed to get help fast.

I called my office neighbor who is an amazing Bowen practitioner and massage therapist and got on her table. I scheduled an Alexander Technique lesson for myself with a colleague and friend. I practiced Active Rest twice a day.

Within one day I got significant relief, and by the end of the week I felt like my old self again.

Tips for getting better fast—if you have back pain

  • Get relief right away from a trusted practitioner such as a gentle massage therapist or an Alexander Technique instructor
  • Practice undoing tension in your body daily with Active Rest
  • Learn how to prevent the pain from recurring with Alexander lessons

You don’t have to suffer if you get help sooner rather than later

You can download a no cost recording here that walks you through Active Rest, and contact Emily to chat about next steps that work.

Horseback Riders’ Self-Care Quiz

Woman readingCan you remember the last time you got away from it all?

Was it a vacation, a weekend retreat, or maybe it was a special occasion with your spouse, partner or a friend? If you could quantify the benefit, what did you get out of it?

Recharging batteries

I don’t know about you, but when I get away it really recharges my batteries. Something else that recharges your batteries is investing in some essential self-care. For riders, self care is an investment that has benefits for you, your riding AND your connection with your horse.

Self-care essentials

The obvious ones are eating right, exercising and getting adequate sleep. And there are 6 more to consider: stress relief, breathing (yes, lots of us hold our breath most of the time), pain relief, and injury prevention strategies as well as paying attention to your posture and mood.

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Why free breathing is essential for horseback riders – 2 how-to tips

©2014 Rengith Krishnan, freedigitalphotos.net

Image © Rengith Krishnan, freedigitalphotos.net

Just breathe. You’ve probably heard that a million times. But why is breathing so important for horseback riders? Freeing your breathing (or holding your breath) has a direct impact on your posture, safety, energy, mental alertness and connection with your horse.

Tip 1: How to know if you’re holding your breath

 You may be thinking: “I’m alive, so I must be breathing, and that’s good enough for me”. I hear you. But try this little experiment to see if you could be breathing freer:

Stand and place your hands on your rib cage. Think of your hands “listening” to your ribs. Notice if your ribs are moving.

If your ribs don’t move (or just move a tiny bit) you have a great opportunity to let go of your habit. Just read on to find out how. It couldn’t be easier.

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Alexander Technique and Equestrians – Spotlight #2: Habit & Choice

Alexander Technique introduces the concept of allowing rather than forcing our bodies to do the things we want to do. The concept of allowing means removing obstacles to poise, elegance and ease, rather than applying more physical effort.

In an Alexander lesson, the path to effortless poise starts when your teacher helps you recognize a habitual pattern, such as raising your shoulders any time you move your arm. This habit could be so ingrained that you don’t even realize it’s part of a more complex stress response called “fight or flight”.

Your teacher helps your pin down your habit so you can do something about it. “Name and tame, if you will.”

But How Do You Change an Ingrained Habit?

It’s not easy but it is simple.

The tools for change help you “get our of your own way”. FM Alexander put it like this“stop doing the wrong thing let the right thing do itself”.

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How not to indulge in panic

window of a red pickup truckI have a confession to make

Even though my life’s work is teaching equestrians solutions to stress and tension with the Alexander Technique, a couple of weeks ago I totally lost my cool and wound up picking up the pieces — literally.

I’m fairly new to the Portland area, so networking with riders, riding instructors and other practitioners is high on my priority list.

One of my new contacts invited me to have an Alexander Technique lesson with her teacher who was visiting from New Mexico. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to meet my new contact in person, expand my network and have an Alexander lesson myself.

But perhaps even more than that, I wanted them to “like me, really like me” (as Sally Field said in her Oscar speech), and respect me without even knowing me.

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