Head Up, Shoulders Down

Which came first, a person with a very long neck and then the desire to be a ballerina or a person doing ballet and then a very long neck?  Of all athletes I always think of ballerinas as having the most beautiful necks and shoulders.


I had a very short lived and doomed ballet career.  In the fourth grade I spent one tortuous hour every Saturday morning at Mrs. Kruger’s ballet school.  Mrs. Kruger was an old, mean Russian woman who ran ballet class as if the livelihood of communism was dependant upon perfect child ballet dancers.  I was consistently getting whacked on the back of my knees by her bamboo stick for locking my knees.  You would have thought I was spitting gum out on the street in Singapore for all the caning I took in that class.  It turns out that I was double jointed in my knees and they naturally went back further than Mrs. Kruger deemed acceptable.  After one semester of being beaten my parents decided to save their money and the skin on the back of my legs.


Fast forward four decades and I have now discovered the joys of yoga.  The same lengthening of the neck as ballet with none of the instructor inflicted beatings.  Today, while RJ our teacher was having us do a bridge pose she told us that it massages the thyroid glad because it moves the chest up towards the chin, thus increasing our metabolism.  What?  What was that part?  Increasing my metabolism?


Apparently opening up my chest or holding my head up higher, my shoulders down lower, my shoulder blades back as far as they can be makes my thyroid happier and maybe helps me burn calories more quickly.  I intuitively knew that increasing muscles burns more calories and increasing heart rate was the bomb, but massaging my thyroid was a totally new concept to me.


When I think about all those beautiful ballerinas with those giraffe like necks, looking that way because they held their shoulders way back and as far down as they could get them, I begin to see they were secretly massaging their thyroids all the time.  Aiding their quest for that perfect ballet body. Why has this thyroid massaging exercise not been more highly advertised?  For goodness sake any woman over 35 knows what a Kegel exercise is and what that is improving is almost never seen by the human eye.


So if you see me out walking around like I have a big stick up my ass with my head held high like I’m trying to eat the leaves off the top of a tree don’t think I have became pompous.  I am just practicing my thyroid massaging hoping that will improve my ever-slowing metabolism.

One Comment on “Head Up, Shoulders Down”

  1. Jean Coene says:

    I died laughing! I think back to ballet classes and the way my teacher held a straight pin beneath an arabesque-d leg. Brutal! Eventually, I was asked to explore modern dance because I just wasn’t built like a ballerina. Oh well…

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