for full article and link to the Anatomy Trains Web Page click  Cobra

by Tom Myers on Sunday January 20, 2013

cobra1The upright human posture and plantigrade gait requires a delicate balance to keep the ventral cavity operating at its functional best. Solving problems in the abdominopelvic region has focused primarily on the horizontal belt surrounding it: the transversus abdominis and its fascial connections to the thoracolumbar fascia and neural connections to the levator ani of the pelvic floor.

The concept of ‘core support’ has ramifications to proper sacroiliac stability, lumbar support, pelvic floor health and continence. and a good foundation for respiration – and even on up to shoulder balance and neck strain.

While support in this outer belt is important, and the exploration has produced positive results for patients, less emphasis has been placed on a primary myofascial relationship which is of equal importance to human function, which could be termed our inner ‘cobra’. The cobra lurks inside the belt, and is essential for easy lumbar support of the rib cage, and links the rhythm of breathing and walking.

Cobra 2Our inner cobra is made up of the psoas major muscle and the diaphragm considered together as a functional unit. While these are often depicted as separate in the anatomy books, in the dissection lab the fascial connections are very clear between the diaphragm and the psoas major.

The posterior diaphragm is rooted into three structures: 1) the crura, which blend from the aortic arch into the anterior longtudinal ligament along the front of the lumbar vertebrae, 2) the psoas major (and, if present, the minor) which reaches down from each diaphragmatic dome to the lesser trochanter of the femur, and 3) the quadratus lumborum rooted down to the iliac crest and iliolumbar ligament (and in fascial terms beyond into the iliacus and iliac fascia).

There are two cobras, one on either side of the spine. The tail of the cobra is the lower end of the psoas, curled around the neck of the femur parallel to the pubofemoral ligament. The cobra’s ‘body’ goes forward of the hip joint itself, and then retroperitoneally back behind the organs to lie of either side of the lumbar spine. The ‘hood’ of the cobra is the spreading dome on each side of the diaphragm. In the image, the cobra’s face would be at the front of these domes, approximately at the end of the 6th and 7th ribs.

Cobra 3Considered as a functional whole, the balance of these two muscles is essential for respiratory and spinal health. Get the balance and function of these two cobras correctly, and it will matter less whether your patient has ‘washboard’ abs or ‘washtub’ abs. With a strong and balanced cobra, tight abs are less necessary to upper body support.

When the cobra gets too short, the cobra lifts up and exposes its throat, so to speak – in postural terms, the lumbars get more lordosis and the rib cage tilts back, restricting breathing in the back of the diaphragm. When the cobra loses tone, the head of the cobra dips, the lumbars fall back and the rib cage falls, restricting breath in the anterior part of the diaphragmatic domes.

Learning to read and correct the position of the cobra offers a new aspect to core support that supports the upper body easily, dynamically, and with less residual tension than just slamming down those abs.

Endlessly tightening the TvA, though it does offer increased support, also restricts movement, especially respiration and the organ excursion from respiration essential to their health. Your organs are ‘massaged’ neatly 20,000 times per day by the breath – restriction of the ‘abdominal belt’ and the ‘abdominal balloon’ may create support at the cost of essential function.

Learning to see, assess, and treat the ‘cobra’ of the psoas-diaphragm complex renders core support truly at the core, linking pelvic neutral and lumbar neutral with an easily functioning diaphragm.

-Tom Myers


Campfire Sweet Potatoes



  • Medium Sweet Potato
  • 1 TBSP Grass-Fed Butter
  • 1 TBSP Rosemary


  1. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4″ thick slices using a knife or a mandolin. Place on a large sheet of aluminum foil.
  2. Sprinkle the rosemary on top of the potatoes and top with the butter.
  3. Seal the aluminum foil by bringing up the edges and folding them, making a “packet”
  4. Cook on the grill (or over a campfire) for 20 minutes.
  5. Let sit about 5 minutes before serving.

SportsTrackLive | jpcollins | Sleep

I decided to evaluate my HR while sleeping. Click the link below for results. I really just wanted to get my resting HR but decided to record my entire sleep. I had a low of 50 BPM and an average of 59 BPM.

SportsTrackLive | jpcollins | Sleep.

How Meditation May Change the Brain

for full NY Times article click here  How Meditation May Change the Brain

Over the December holidays, my husband went on a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Not my idea of fun, but he came back rejuvenated and energetic.

He said the experience was so transformational that he has committed to meditating for two hours daily, one hour in the morning and one in the evening, until the end of March. He’s running an experiment to determine whether and how meditation actually improves the quality of his life.

I’ll admit I’m a skeptic.

But now, scientists say that meditators like my husband may be benefiting from changes in their brains. The researchers report that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. The findings will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.

FoodNavigator-USA’s enlightening interview: the industry POV on GMOs

FoodNavigator-USA’s enlightening interview: the industry POV on GMOs.

Derek Trucks with David Hidalgo & Cesar Rosas

Fruit and Chocolate Cereal with Honey Almond Clusters



  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup almonds, slivered/sliced/chopped (omit if nut-free)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 cup dried strawberries (or dried fruit of choice), chopped to desired size
  • 4 squares dark chocolate (one half of a 3.5 oz bar), grated or chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried coconut, chips or shredded


1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees F.

2. Add coconut flour, almonds, coconut oil and honey to a medium-sized bowl and mix until well combined. Mixture should resemble a cookie dough that’s just a bit on the dry/crumbly side.

3. Press mixture on a baking sheet (use parchment paper if desired) into a slab with a thickness of approximately 1/4″ and place in oven for 3 hours. Remove, leaving oven on.

4. After slab and baking sheet have cooled enough to handle, with your hands or a large knife, break/cut it into clusters of desired size. Return to oven for 1 hour, remove and let cool.

5. Add clusters, dried fruit, chocolate and coconut to an air-tight storage container and mix to evenly distribute ingredients.

6. Serve with milk of choice or enjoy on its own as a trail mix.