After a long day of eye-lashing, how is your body feeling? Through my own body issues over the years, I have learned a lot about how we can move better. I am so excited to share with YOU in learning to move more mindfully – reducing injury, while possibly helping you become a faster and more efficient eyelash artist!
Many of us spend hours a day with our clients. Add in the time we use looking at our computers and phone screens, and we can become quite hunched forward. With daily discipline of just a few minutes spent breathing and moving, we can prevent and undo the damage of our repeated postures.
Sitting and Centering
Today we will be talking about how to sit, and how to begin moving and breathing in your hips and upper back, to be liberated from discomfort. Just like with any lifestyle change, if you have major body stuff going on – always consult your physician before jumping into a new practice.
Improving Pelvic Stability
Are you aware of where your pelvis is when you are sitting? The best pelvic placement is to be perched up on your sit bones. Do not tuck your pelvis underneath you, this causes rounding through your entire spine, creating pressure on your vertebrae. Think of the movement toward your client as a hinge that comes from your hip fold – be one straight line from your sit bones through to the crown of your head.
How To: Finding a Hinge
A great way to train your body to hinge is to sit on the floor with your legs straight out in a ‘V’ shape. Then, bend at the knee bringing your toes together. Your legs should now resemble a diamond shape.
Squeeze your sits bones together, holding the squeeze. Lift up out of your pelvis, sitting as tall as you can. See how far you can fold forward without rounding. In the beginning this will most likely feel awkward, and be a very tiny movement.
While you are up on your sit bones, notice when you sit where your weight is being distributed. Is one sit bone making more contact with the chair than the other? Most people tend to weight their right sit bone more (from driving a car/ being right hand dominant). Take a moment to notice what your pelvis is doing, and redistribute your weight to find balance.
Proper Chair Height
It is important when you sit, that your knees are NOT higher than your hips. This is something you definitely want to pay attention to, so that your hip flexors are not gripping. Your knees should be at the same height as your hips, creating a 90 degree angle with your legs. Adjusting your seat height is essential.
Take a Beat!
While working, reset your body every 30 minutes or so. Take a moment to sit up straight. Do a couple of shoulder rolls back, and ground them down away from your ears. Check in with your sit bones, take a deep breath into your back, sit up straight, and begin again…
The Importance of a Strong Booty and Core
Below is a diagram of what starts to happen when we are not strengthening and lengthening from the right place while eye-lashing. Through strength building and stretching we can train our brain to fire the right muscles, so over time it doesn’t take as much effort. Check out the screenshot below to see how strong glutes and abs are a must for a balanced-bodied eyelash artist. Thanks and credit to @theptinitiative for the image.
Strengthening the Glutes
My favorite go-to movement to strengthen the booty, while opening up the front of the hips, is the ‘pelvic press’ (refer to the image at the top of this post). Pelvic press is a great place to find pelvic stability, and build pelvic floor strength. Pelvic press looks a lot like what you may have seen in yoga, called ‘bridge’. How it differs is that instead of coming up as high as you can, this movement is about keeping your lower back long… You should only come up as far as you can maintain a pelvic tilt toward your nose, and never higher than your bra line.
How To: Pelvic Press
Lay flat on the ground with your knees bent, placing your heels close to your sit bones. Your feet, ankles, and knees should be sit bones apart, or squeezing all the way together. Do not let your knees move apart.
Take a deep breath and tuck your pelvis – tucking toward your nose. Take another inhalation, and exhale to press up into your pelvic press as far as you can maintain. Do not come up past your bra line. Imagine the sensation of your heels pulling closer to your booty.
Take a breath at the top. Now, keeping your pelvis tilted toward your nose, roll down, one vertebrae at a time, melting down like butter. Your pelvis comes down last out of tilt.
Thoracic Spine Mobility
The rounding of the upper back – aka increased thoracic kyphosis – happens when we allow our pelvis to tuck under us, and our shoulders to crunch forward in our eyelash practices. This begins to cause rounding through our shoulders and neck. Doing extensions is not enough to open it up… To maintain thoracic spine health, rotation is required. Below is a simple, accessible way to being to add rotation into your life.
How To: Upper Back Rotation
Lay on your side, with your knees bent in front of your hips, in a 90 degree angle. Keep your pelvis stable, anchor it by keeping your knees glued together.
Take a deep inhalation, and exhale… Imagine starting the movement from your belly button, continuing through to your elbow. Begin opening your chest to the ceiling.
Continue the rotation through to your crown, opening your top elbow to the floor behind you, bringing your gaze with your elbow. Then, take another inhalation, and exhale, using your belly button to initiate the movement again – elbow closing last, and rotating back to the starting position.
What’s Up Next?
In the comments below let me know what you think of these two movements, and how they feel for your body. I will do my best to address any questions. In my upcoming blog of this series, I will be giving you 15 and 50 minute moving practices for the eyelash artist! Until then, make sure you are moving mindfully, and taking lots of deep quality breaths. 😉 xo