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Donna Luder
Monterey, California
I'm a dancer immersed in the academia of kinesiology while mommying and working.
Interests: ballet, kids, pilates, movement, evolution, graphic, gyrotonic, design (biomechanic, fashion and style), piano....
Recent Activity
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image from freerangestock.com I hold my #PilatesInJail class on the upper level of the laundry area where the heat is intense and there is just enough room for about 6 yoga mats. The inmates say the thermostat must be broken because the furnace runs all the time and the pod... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2013 at Plug Into Power
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The jail where I volunteer-teach has an enormous, homemade wooden cart that I put the exercise mats into and lock with a padlock. (Apparently if you keep something useful or expensive in a jail, you must keep it under lock and key or it will wander off.) This sign is... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2013 at Plug Into Power
Written Jan 28, 2013, posted Feb 4 Today I met with the group of inmates at the county jail in V-Pod and we began another 6-week course in Pilates, imagery and mind-body techniques for managing stress, anxiety, depression and anger. The 6 women seemed very interested and glad to be... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2013 at Plug Into Power
I had to split the video into 2 pieces. Sorry! Whew! And then there's this.... Here are the statistics from my survey. The maximum score is 5.0 on each domain, with 5.0 meaning the subject believes exercising/meditating can deliver the stated benefit. A lower score means the subject does not... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2012 at Plug Into Power
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As the story goes, when Joe Pilates was a young man he joined a traveling circus and left Germany to see the world and earn a living. He had a Greek statue act, where he powdered his body white and stood in classic postures, astonishing the ladies and impressing the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2012 at Plug Into Power
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"Then I invented someone and became her" -Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake About 10 years ago, I invented myself again and I took on a mission statement to fulfill, a possibility to live into. The foundation on which I stand and operate is the balance and flowering... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2012 at Plug Into Power
If you've experienced tension in the hip joint, or if one of your clients has, here's a video for you! This is a great way to release the hip - and it just happens to feel really good. If you're not a teacher and you want to just skip to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2012 at Plug Into Power
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In the NYTimes today, an article about diet restrictions read, Ms. Yayanos first dropped gluten, sugar and carbs on a friend’s advice after being mugged at gunpoint, a trauma that left her fending off panic attacks and depression. “Within 48 hours, it felt like a thick layer of gauze had... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2012 at Plug Into Power
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Imagery is most typically used in a visual format. Your personal trainer or dance teacher demonstrates a movement, you watch and then try to copy it. But imagery can include so many more options than just visual! You're familiar with auditory imagery, in the form of someone telling you, not... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2012 at Plug Into Power
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As an anatomy geek, I was struck by this photograph of a cave. Look at the wall to the right. It looks just like a side view of the ilia, or the hip bone. Do you see the cave-ilium's 1) foramina for the obturator group 2) ischial tuberosity 3) lesser... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2012 at Plug Into Power
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I'm a huge San Francisco Giants fan so when our best hitter landed on the DL with a fracture in his left hand, at first all I could think about was our 2012 prospects. After my personal pity party, I then got concerned for the Panda's hand. Yeesh. Fractured hamate.... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2012 at Plug Into Power
When I talk about performance, I mean every time the body is used to do something. Athletics and sport, yes. But also the traditional sense of the word as in acting, dancing and making music. Running, taking a Pilates class and mowing the lawn are all physical tasks. A successful... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2012 at Plug Into Power
Donna Luder added a favorite at Plug Into Power
May 30, 2012
I've moved my active blogging to my Plug Into Power blog - join me there! Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2012 at The Foot Mechanic
Although I have had a very good time blogging separately about the body (my Somatic Mechanic blog) and Feet (through my Foot Mechanic blog), I've decided to blog only here in the future. If you are interested in posts from the past, you can still get to them. But from... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2012 at Plug Into Power
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Your feet accomplish a lot for you every day. What do you do for your feet? Do you give them a few exercises or stretches every day to keep them healthy? Do you know how to keep your Achilles tendons happy, or how to help slow or stop that bunion or hammertoe or plantar fasciitis from developing further? This workshop will empower you to be the authority on your own feet. This 3-hour Franklin Method workshop will cover: • The biomechanics of your feet, particularly the transverse tarsal arch, the longitudinal arch, calcaneal eversion/inversion, subtalar sliding, the gears of the... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2012 at The Foot Mechanic
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Have you ever seen gnarly toes dressed in a gorgeous strappy sandal? "Poor thing" we think. Then "Thank God those aren't my feet". On the other hand, and I'm sorry to be blunt, but perhaps you look down at your own feet and see Gnarly Toes. Here's the good news: you don't necessarily have to have gnarly toes. Ever. And if you do have them now, you don't necessarily have to have them forever. But you do have to do something about it other than hoping or wishing. Are you ready to take it on? This is the bottom of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2012 at The Foot Mechanic
Well getting a cramp *while* you're doing an exercise typically means the muscles are really really weak. Sorry. (I'm patting you kindly on the shoulder while I say this.) So, what to do? Hold your foot in your hand and stabilize the toes so they can't move. Then press the pads of your toes into your hand, contracting the muscles on the sole of the foot. Doing this as an isometric exercise should help you gain strength without re-triggering the cramping. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2011 on Some exercises for foot cramps at The Foot Mechanic
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Here is a NYTimes article about some fashionable young men wearing tall-tall shoes to parties and clubs in the city. The problem is that usually men have tighter feet than women, so the male foot stubbornly resists the demands of high shoes. I'm sure we can all agree that tall shoes are very demanding biomechanically. If your feet can't negotiate with your tall shoes, a few things are likely to happen: you fall down or you give up and take them off. This is not acceptable! Your shoes are way too cute for that! You've got to develop flexibility in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2011 at The Foot Mechanic
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We tend to think of our feet in only one dimension: the-looking-down-at-your-foot-from-above-dimension. (You thought there were only 3 dimensions, didn't you?) This plane is the most familiar: the top-view plane: There's the profile plane: And then there's the head-on view (also called the transverse plane): Anyway, the five metatarsals (if you don't know what or where metatarsals are, read this post) move in this transverse, or head-on, plane when you step on your foot. And they don't all move the same direction. Look carefully and critically at the foot and you will notice it can be divided into two distinct... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2010 at The Foot Mechanic
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Scientific rumblings about whether running shoes deliver on their promises have been growing louder in recent years. In 2008, an influential review article in The British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that sports-medicine specialists should stop recommending running shoes based on a person’s foot posture. No scientific evidence supported the practice, the authors pointed out, concluding that “the true effects” of today’s running shoes “on the health and performance of distance runners remain unknown.” via well.blogs.nytimes.com The problem with assessing your foot posture and then recommending a certain shoe type (cushiony/soft or supportive/rigid or middle-of-the-road) is that your static foot... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 24, 2010 at The Foot Mechanic
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The above image is from Thieme's excellent Atlas of Anatomy. Get it if you don't got it. I met a new client this week who suffered a Lisfranc fracture in a head-on car wreck. This is when the midfoot, where the long metatarsals meet the cuneiforms and cuboid, dislocates and/or fractures. It appears that this fracture is missed probably 20% of the time. (see footnote) The thing to watch out for with Pilates clients with this fracture is discomfort when the foot is on the Reformer's footbar, on the push-through bar or in the footstraps. Basically, anytime the foot is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2010 at The Foot Mechanic
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Mar 15, 2010
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I'm sure you remember the foot is constructed of arches (from the toes to the heel is the longitudinal arch and from the big toe to the little toe is the transverse arch). Your weight depresses these arches slightly with every step, just like pressing down on the toilet plunger compresses and deforms the suction cup end. Instead of sticking you to the floor, however, like this guy... this spreading or widening of your foot is an energy absorber. (But wouldn't it be cool to go up the sides of buildings like SpiderMan or a tree frog with your sticky... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2010 at The Foot Mechanic
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Every step you take moves through a gait cycle. Look at the activity of the right foot: half of the time you are standing on it (stance phase) or swinging it forward and preparing for the next step (swing phase). The stance phase is made up of the following events: heel strike, foot flat, heel off and finally toe off. Here's an illustration of the gait cycle. When the foot moves through toe-off (that's the second leg to the right of the shaded leg in the above illustration), normally the big toe is the last bit to leave the ground.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2010 at The Foot Mechanic