Sunday, April 28, 2019

ADL Walk Against Hate 2019 @ Liberty Station - JOIN ME!

Sunday May 19 at 8:30 AM I'll be walking with Tifereth Israel Synagogue/Silverman Preschool in solidarity for the Anti-Defamation Leagues' 2019 Walk Against Hate.

The walk takes place at Liberty Station, in Ingram Plaza, in San Diego, CA. Register as individual here:
or feel welcome to join our team:
The walk is a 5K loop around Liberty Station and there is a Diversity Expo featuring local San Diego organization to highlight the diverse tapestry of San Diego!

We do we walk? To support the ADL as they defend civil rights, to combat against anti-semitism, to teach students to fight bias, to train law enforcement, to fight extremism, to counter cyberhate, to empower the vulnerable through hate-crimes legislation, to confront disrimination and secure justice, and to work tirelessly for immigrants and refugees!

Can't walk? Donate today:!/donation/checkout

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Happy Hands for the desktop and mattop

For anyone that frequents a keyboard and mouse configuration, I must recommend an ergonomic mouse. Back in my fully functional technical writing days when I was doing multi-hundred page manual editing and layout, my right hand would frequently experience numbness along the pinky finger and the bone just above the wrist below the left finger (the pisiform) would have a small callous.

My nickname for this syndrome was "mouse-itis" and hand and wrist issues were a running joke in our department as we tried to find the correct keyboards, mice, standing and sitting positions, chairs, footrests, desk heights and physical therapy exercises to help alleviate the repetitive distresses our bodies would experience from 8+ hours a day typing and "mousing."

Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical
Ergonomic Optical Mouse,
A traditional "flat" mouse caused me to rotate my hand medially (inward toward the thumb) and hurt at the elbow and wrist, but also put pressure on that pisiform bony because I was using it as a lever to lift my wrist up to move the mouse. As a result, I was not only causing elbow and wristing tendinitis, but also pinching the ulnar nerve, causing the numbness in my hand.

With a limited home office budget, I scoured the internet and found this amazing little "vertical" mouse that allows me to rest my right hand on the side and use the mouse itself a support. It glides easily, holds my fingers in a natural position, and I don't have to lift the mouse up at all so I don't have to use my wrist bones as a pivot for lifting nor for rotation. It's an arm-saver.

Which brings my to how it relates to yoga.

When we do downward dog, we might tend to put a lot of pressure to the outside edge of our hands, rotating then out to a more "natural" resting position. The thing is, downward dog, for all that we call it a "resting" position, is a pause in our flow, not an actual position of muscular "rest" especially for our arms and hands.

We need to root through the index finger and thumb to draw the medial (thumb in this position) side of the hand down and root through their knuckles to prevent putting all the upper body weight on that little bone, the pisiform, and the little finger carpal and metacarpal.

The action of hugging the elbows under the body, externally rotating the shoulders to activate the latissimus dorsi should stabilize the arms and shoulders. In contrast to this action we need to root through the whole hand, creating pressure under the fingertips to activate energy across the whole hand (as if it's a foot) and support the bones in the wrist, the elbow joint and alignment all the way  the front off the body.

The wrists should have an open angle, with tops of the hands more than 90 degrees away from the forearms (oblique angle) which is hard for those that have tighter chest or shoulder muscles. So, using an ergonomic enhancement helps prevent the wear and tear, or perhaps "down-dog-itis."  Lifting the wrists is key! A block under each hand will elevate the floor, making the forward folding less difficult.

Position the hands in the middle or further up on the block (not at the closest side - the wrists should never bend sharply more than 90 degrees), with fingers and thumb gripping over the edges,  to give the hand muscles more opportunity to activate and helps prevent the outward roll and lifting of the thumb and index finger. There are many other types of props that can help accomplish this, like the yoga "eggs" or even wedges, but everyone should find the thing that suits their practice. Even a folded edge of a mat with fingers off the far edge.

So, whether it's a desktop or a mat-top, good body positioning habits can be very hand-y.