Slim, graceful, gentle notes to you about being, breathing, moving.  These notes will come from teaching experience or from first-generation writings once vetted through the publishing world – actual books.

V Column: September 25, 2022


Read the article above.

This is a brief bit of ’news’ about a ’special’ muscle, that improved metabolic health even during long periods of sitting.

It is about your Soleus.  
You have two – one in each lower leg.  Soleus lives beneath and under the gastrocnemius, or ‘gastroc’ in the gym-world.  Gastroc is the sexy curved part of your calf.  The Soleus is the long slim humble part of your calf (back of your lower leg) which does some heavy lifting.


I distrust much of what I hear through media about health and fitness.  However, this conversation has some ground to explore. Neuroscience News is founded by a neuroscientistand is a site dedicated to neuroscience research news and other cognitive sciences. The newsletter arrives in my inbox as often as once per day (I’ve got years of back reading to do.)
This article is particularly relevant to my students since we end every class with the so-called “Soleus Push Up” (SPU).  And we have for 25 years.  And it can elevate your metabolic rate for hours after the exercise.  
Who knew?! 
Well, we did, intuitively, but now we have scientific research to support it.
In short: 
“The soleus muscle in the calf, though only 1% of your body weight, can do big things to improve the metabolic health in the rest of your body if activated correctly.  

[ ]  Marc Hamilton, professor of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston, has discovered such an approach for optimal activation – he’s pioneering the “soleus pushup” (SPU) which effectively elevates muscle metabolism for hours, even while sitting. The soleus, one of 600 muscles in the human body, is a posterior leg muscle that runs from just below the knee to the heel. “


“All of the 600 muscles combined normally contribute only about 15% of the whole-body oxidative metabolism in the three hours after ingesting carbohydrate. Despite the fact that the soleus is only 1% the body weight, it is capable of raising its metabolic rate during SPU contractions to easily double, even sometimes triple, the whole-body carbohydrate oxidation.  

“The new approach of keeping the soleus muscle metabolism humming is also effective at doubling the normal rate of fat metabolism in the fasting period between meals, reducing the levels of fat in the blood (VLDL triglyceride).” 
By the way the foot/ankle series of movements through the feet bones/muscles and ankle actions also tones the Soleus.  My 52 second video of that work is too big to email but I will send via We Transfer if you respond with which mail you want to use to receive it.  
The Series is also on pages 53 and 54 of my Wee Small Stretch Book.

IV Column:  January 24, 2018

Surviving a restive, viral world – to thrive in a restful, creative world.

Aporkalypse Redux


Read article in link above.  Wash your hands; stay home sick; practice physical and mental conditioning – integration of complete movement, rational thinking, imaginative mind, and acute attention to breathing.

III Column:

Enfolding and exposing – through the upper extremity.

“Clearly, the balance between a hyperextending upper spine with arms reaching into the space behind and a flexing upper spine with arms pulled in to the front had to be a dynamic one.  Somehow movement through all directions n s[ace had to be taking place simultaneously for there to be a balance that doesn’t hurt or dull.”    ….  “Since the potential range of motion of the upper extremity is tremendous, no one culture encourages the use of all this range in ‘normal’ daily activity.  Therefore, the final step involves performing movements one may have never thought of before.  Performing activities that are ‘abnormal’ may bring subtle censure from one’s own internal, and perhaps uncompromising, moral judge.  The censure may be in the form of feeling awkward or just uncomfortable with the unusual movements, or even a little sad or irritated.”   by Irene Dowd in “Taking Root to Fly”.


By yourself in a quiet place- lift your chest UP; throw your head back; make your throat vulnerable; spread your arms wide and back; arch your back.  Breathe.  What is the feeling?  Fear?  Anger?  Sadness?  Wanting more? or Less?  Power?

II Column: “Hyperventilation is repeatedly causally implicated in stress syndromes, and in most mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, panic, and phobias.  Its symptoms span …. anxiety, dizziness, faintness, apprehension, a feeling of unreality, vertigo, and often the fear of going crazy, or of dying. ”  “Good breathing is an essential part of good health and many books have been written about the healing aspects of breathing exercises . . .  Proper diaphragmatic breathing promotes efficient gas exchange in the lungs and so rehabilitates oxygen deficiency disorders, balances the autonomic nervous system, reduces physiologic correlates of anxiety . . . and pumps the lymphatic system.  I have come to believe that I would choose correct diaphragmatic breathing if we had to share only one tool or technique for maximally improving physical health. (p. 60) “

The physiologic processes of respiration, and the critical role that breathing has in maintaining the body’s metabolic processes, are covered comprehensively in “The Hyperventilation Syndrome: Research and Clinical Treatment” by Robert Fried.  See also “The Psychology and Physiology of Breathing, In Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Psychology, and Psychiatry.”

Action: Inhale into your lower back.  Fully exhale – Exhaling is the part of the respiratory cycle associated with the parasympathetic nervous system, to slow down the body’s systems, to find homeostasis, to avoid the acidosis associated with hyperventilating and resulting in autoimmune, and other physical and mental disorders.  NOTE!  If you have kidney disease, heart disease, or diabetes, your hyperventilation may be a critical survival skill to maintaining the ph balance in your blood and thusly your brain.  Discuss with your medical provider how to incorporate the systematic recovery provided by correct breathing into the rest of your health care plan.

I Column:  Your skull consists of 22 bones that are fused together by generally immovable fibrous joints called sutures. It is likely that these bones move a bit, not in the way you see your arms and legs move but in the glacial drift of the tectonic plates of the planet. The skull’s face bones hold 4 of your senses: tasting hearing, seeing, smelling. The ‘cranium’ is the brain case. Relieving muscle, fascial and nerve tension around your skull may improve sensory awareness, reduce headache pain and improve posture.

Action:  Pull your head back, not your face up.