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Home > Health & Wellness > Bad Backs and Boats – How to use your ASSets

Bad Backs and Boats – How to use your ASSets

Saskia confesses she loves boats yet still has to learn to park them! Her nautical skills may be limited, yet her understanding of pain and balancing the body is thankfully better than her boating.

Exercise class for bad backs

Aged 20+, sitting at a stressed office desk, Saskia was in so much pain. She begins her story, “I knew it would be impossible to carry on in this much discomfort as a consequence it led me on a quest of 13-years. I’ve been travelling the world learning diverse pain relief techniques and I still love to be in perpetual education for myself and others. As I continue to come out of pain and learn about the body, I love sharing what’s helped me and seeing how it helps others.”

In a society full of distraction, despite her studies and practises, Saskia struggled. There were always blocks to her implementation, integration and living life by the practises she learned from her teachers. She envisioned a space to practice – to be on a retreat all the time. She’s developing ‘Realine’, a practice for transformation at Casa Del Karma in Ibiza. A place where Saskia can invite and welcome others to relax and create change for themselves, shifting their mind-body connection, whilst immersed in Ibiza’s mysticism.


I asked Saskia what Realine was. “Realine is a synergy of all that I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn, which means my practises and sharing are also evolving. My primary purpose is to aid people to move out of pain. Learning basic movements that we all practice daily (getting out of bed, standing up, lifting objects) in a way that aids the body to memorise the optimal and healthiest way to move, helping us away from painful movements into a lighter more joyful experience.”

“Observe an animal as it moves from a resting position, they all have a good stretch to prepare and activate for action. By stretching and moving in specific ways, we activate our fascial bodysuits, preparing us for action. Realine teaches how to feel into our own body’s wisdom. To develop awareness of where your bodysuit is conscious and balanced and where it is not. This offers us an opportunity to come back into balance, to Realine with natural movements. As we connect the mind and body, we connect to the part of us that connects all parts of ourselves, and helps us recognise our interconnectedness.”

When working in the Yachting industry, in a small engine room, tight galley or moving around during heavy rolling seas, knowing how to use your body effectively is vital.

Saskia’s Top 3 for Spinal Safety

  1. Use Your Powerful Posterior to Lift

When you reach down to pick up heavy weights, try bending your knees a little more than you usually would and then lift your bum as high as you can from your sit bones, avoiding rounding your low back. Most injuries occur around L4/L5 discs often due to the spine and vertebrae bending and moving in a way that doesn’t support healthy movement, which feels painful and can end in injury.

  1. Toe Steps
  • Our feet are the foundation of posture. Not only do shoes hamper our natural connection to the earth, but wearing them has done our postures no favours.
  • Feet are a primary need for healthy posture and movement. Try paying attention to how your feet land on the ground. How we walk and use our feet affects our pelvis and our pelvis affects the alignment of our spine.
  • A majority of us wear the soles of our shoes down unevenly. By noticing where we wear them down, in other words where our weight tends to land, we can understand and feel how we can balance our feet, legs and hips affecting our spinal alignment.
  • The underuse or or misuse of our feet are cause for bunions, knee injuries, hip issues and other spinal problems. The good news is, it’s never too late to Realine and the great news is that fascia/connective tissue is highly malleable and with just a couple of practises as reminders, you’ll find your posture and body start to change shape as you shift your movement patterns and it’s highly probable you’ll notice old aches and pains shifting too.
  • One of my teachers would say: ‘The big toe is BIG for a reason!’ designed to carry more weight. If you start using your feet in different ways and notice if you use your big toe, you might notice some other changes too!
  1. Sleep Effectively

Cabins, bunks and hammocks are renowned for causing backache, yet how you sleep may be the root issue. Sleep is crucial for optimal health. As we sleep, our fascia relaxes, and because we spend (hopefully many or enough) hours sleeping, as fascia (connective tissue) has memory, our sleep position affects the shape we take on for the rest of the day. For example, if you sleep in a rounded foetal position with your tailbone tucked under you, your tissue memory will mould into this shape.

Ideally, to aid your body suit, if you sleep on your side, you would have your hips in a diagonal, way back behind your rib cage. Bringing your hips back allows your belly to open and relax which gives space for your vital organs as opposed to constricting your organs into a smaller tighter space. Having a firm pillow or bolster underneath your knee and foot of your upper leg helps align your pelvis. Sleeping on your left side is always a good idea to support your digestion.

If you like to sleep on your back, avoid using a high pillow as this will exacerbate the modern-day ‘text-neck /galley-chef issue’ where your head is constantly forward and down, this constricts the windpipe and your breathing. A more beneficial position for your head, keeping your throat open, is slightly back and up.

Saskia’s closing words “If you have pain, try listening and feeling into your habitual movements, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right. As you get older, we don’t necessarily need to be in more pain. As I get older, I feel younger, more agile and energetic.  And I love that my clients and students are discovering this too.”


If you’d like to find out more and have a chat about your posture, book a 20-mins consultation via Zoom. Saskia offers one-on-one sessions, online group sessions and transformational retreats at Casa del Karma Ibiza. Find out more here:

Website: https://saskiagriffiths.com/

Easter Retreat: https://saskiagriffiths.com/shining-body-and-soul/