Snellen measurements and posture

I’ve been busy with studying for finals at school  (I’m all done now 🙂 ), so I am a little behind in posting.

Last Thursday night: I did open focus practice with the Snellen chart for about 30 minutes.  I started off not really being able to read 10/200 too clearly, but I cleared to 10/50 and almost 10/40 by the end.  I can usually read 10/200 with confidence at the start of the sessions, but this time it was difficult.  The only causes I can think of are that I wore my glasses more than I needed to that day and that I was tired.  Despite this, I was still able to clear my visual acuity to about the same level as usual.

Last Friday night: I did open focus practice with the Snellen for about 20 minutes.  At first I could see 10/200 a little blacker than normal, and I cleared to 10/50.  I could almost read 10/40; I had a very quick flash of one or two letters from this line.  The 40 line has five letters, so I would only say that I cleared that line if I had been able to read at least three letters (so, I was very close 8) ).  I think this session was so successful because I wore my glasses very little that day.

Lately, I have been busy with final exams at school, so I have not been using my chart.  However, I now have about a month off until next semester, so I will definitely be practicing with the Snellen chart much more.  One final note I want to make is that I have been working hard at improving my posture lately while standing or sitting.  I haven’t had any Alexander technique lessons or anything similar, so I am mostly just judging how good my posture is by how extended and straight my spine feels and looks (in a mirror).  I mainly focus on four things: holding my chest high, keeping my stomach flat and not curved out, keeping my shoulders down and back, and  keeping my chin down.  When I am doing all of these things at the same time, my body feels a little more relaxed and like it is using less effort to keep itself vertical.  I haven’t really noticed any direct improvements in my vision since working on this, but I mostly want good posture since it is easier and healthier for my body.


9 thoughts on “Snellen measurements and posture

  1. Sue Benson says:

    I’d definitely check out the Alexander Technique – will give you a whole other perspective on posture. They have a great site at

  2. Nancy says:

    Nice going on the chart work; you’re making a lot of progress. I agree with you that wearing glasses less will help you have better results, as I’ve seen this too.
    About the posture, I think this is important to free the breathing & also to let the energy flow upward form the body into the head/eyes. I’ve read 2 books on the Alexander Technique, 1 by MIssy Vineyard & 1 by Michael Gelb which I just finished, which was recommended by the teacher who gave me 2 lessons in November. She’s not local & I really want to find someone here to continue this. I’ve been focusing on letting my neck be loose so my head can go forward & up, & the rest of the spine is supposed to follow. This feels a lot more comfortable than the way I usually carry myself. I’m not sure if the vision progress I’m seeing lately is due to this or not though.

  3. fuoco says:

    This is all very interesting, I congratulate you on your improvements and successes. May I ask, though, what is this open focus practice you are referring to? I was unable to find information on that? It seems not to be in Bates books or the magazines, or did I miss it somewhere?

    Thanks a lot!

  4. mark825 says:

    -Sue Benson- I have looked at that site before, and it does have lots of useful information. I once watched a video from that site of F.M. Alexander giving a lesson to someone (it was an old video in black and white); the link to the video is here:
    In part of the video (around 1 minute and 50 seconds from the start), the camera does a close-up shot of his face. He blinks often, constantly moves his head and eyes around, and has a relaxed/calm look to his face. These are all habits of good vision, so I wonder if F.M. had clear vision even into his elderly years. ❓

  5. mark825 says:

    -Nancy- I hope to someday read a book on the Alexander technique so that I can at least learn the basic components and concepts of it. I’m glad that you are able to get such good postural results by just being aware of your neck muscles and keeping them loose and relaxed. When I have good posture (to my knowledge) it does feel more natural than how I usually stand or sit.

  6. mark825 says:

    -fuoco- The open focus technique is found in Jacob Liberman’s book Take Off Your Glasses and See. Its purpose is similar to the ideas of shifting or sketching: relaxed, unconscious movement of the eyes using the peripheral and central vision.

  7. emilylouise519 says:

    Good job on your improvements, I’m proud of you =]

    Also nice work on posture. A lifetime of performing arts has programmed me to sit up/stand up straight most to all of the time, haha. I’m glad you’re working on it. It’s good for your body, especially if you have a history of back/spinal problems like I do.

  8. mark825 says:

    -Emily- I’m glad that you naturally use good posture. I remember that since we have been a couple, I have always noticed that you are taller than me when we are sitting, even though I am taller than you when standing; we’ve talked about that before. I’m pretty sure that this is because of your good posture. I usually slouch pretty badly when I sit down.

    I’m glad I can use your good example to remind me to sit/stand up straight. 🙂

  9. Lutz Golbs says:

    Hi Mark,

    if you’re interested in combining Alexander Technique with vision work, have a look at Peter Grunwald’s site: . Peter joins elements of Bates methods with Alexander Technique, which creates in my experience a very usable idea how to play with gravity.

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