A change to save my neck

From time to time, some of you contact me to find out more about an eccentricity of mine that involves sitting on the floor (ie, on a tatami mat that amounts to my “office”), usually with intention of adopting the same habit.

I first explained why I started doing that in the Yoga Journal seven years ago, and then showed you two (of the many possible) poses in which I sit — ie, Lotus and Virasana.

The original reason I started sitting on the floor was to make and then keep my hip and knee joints supple, and to have better posture.

But I have been noticing an unpleasant side effect: Even as I was keeping my hips open, I was ruining my neck and shoulder muscles.

I should have thought of that: While we did evolve to sit on the ground, not on chairs, we did not evolve to sit on the ground in front of … laptops!

Fortunately, Matthew Gertner has come to my aid, and now deserves a big Thank You. Matthew is one of the many among you whom I only “know” through the blog (ie, we have never met offline). But he has also been trying to get himself down onto the floor (are you down now?).

Matthew advised me to save my neck by investing in three new things (whereas I usually try to avoid accumulating clutter):

  • a laptop stand, to raise my screen to just below eye level,
  • a Bluetooth mouse, and
  • a Bluetooth keyboard.

This week, I followed Matthew’s advice, and already my neck feels a lot better. Once again, Thank You, Matthew, and here is another close-up of what it looks like:

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How I write

I meant that title tongue-in-cheek, and quite literally. Here is how I write: On my tatami mat in front of my laptop, sitting either in Lotus (Padmasana in Sanskrit) ….

… or in Hero Pose (Virasana in Sanskrit). Which is to say, with my butt between my heels, as below. (For the etymologists among you, the vira, or hero, in the pose’s name is the root, via Latin, of our virtue, virility, triumvirate, et cetera.)

Having said that, when I first get into my “office” in the morning, and I’m still stiff and cold, I usually warm up a bit first. So, for a while I might sit in half-Lotus, with one leg on top of the other. Or I might kneel, Japanese-style. Or sit in cobbler’s pose.

But… why? Why would I do such a thing? Can I not afford a chair?

I can. I just decided a few years ago to “ditch my chair,” for the reasons I described in this Yoga Journal article. Call me eccentric. It’s allowed.

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