Alignment is dynamic and although one may be able to stand perfectly aligned when stationary, life isn’t stationary! We have to learn how to maintain good alignment when our bodies are active moment to moment.
Have you ever been told “Stand up straight” “Pull in your tummy” ‘Shoulders down” ??
There are a few issues with these sayings that are used to supposedly encourage good posture.
Lets take “stand up straight”, the issue here is that is is physically impossible for the spine to be straight, the spine possesses a natural curve and to develop good length of the spine and length through the body it is best to try and find your neutral spine and lengthen the spine.
Imagine that your pelvis is a bowl of water. Tip all the water out of the front of the bowl, then all the water out of the back of the bowl. Now find a middle point where you can imagine that the water is level, this is your neutral spine.
Imagine that your spine is connected to a string attached at the crown of your head, the string is suspended pulling your body softly lengthening it towards the ceiling.
Lets take “pull in your tummy”, have you noticed that if you ask someone to pull in their tummy, immediately they take a deep breath in and hold it, squeezing their tummy as much as physically possible, they lift their shoulders up towards their ears and arch their body backwards to try and get a little more length in their tummy. Now.. this cannot be good, talk about the over arched back, the neck tension, the awkward strain on the overall body and holding your breath??? We can not do that consistently to maintain our posture can we?!
Imagine that you are wearing a belt, there are 10 notches on that belt, 10 is the tightest. On an out breath pull the belly button towards the spine to about notch 3 on the belt. This would be a gentle engagement of the abdominals, try to maintain this engagement as you continue to breath and move.
Let’s take “Shoulders down” . Now this is an interesting one but not all together wrong, the problem here is when people pull their shoulders down they tend to over arch their backs and cause a winging in their shoulder blades. This causes many issues as a result from a general lack of knowledge of what shoulders down should mean!
This is a lovely relaxing image , free of tension and just what we need to feel when holding good alignment day to day.
Imagine that smooth warm chocolate is melting down your back, gently soothing your shoulders the chocolate trickles down and down, gently guiding your shoulders down and back and to lye smoothly along the width of your back.
The aim is to be able to move freely but with efficiency and to loose those poor alignment body habits. To understand how to effectively align your body when moving you need to gain training in how to do this. Ballet and Pilates are proven to aid body alignment and encourage good dynamic posture. Participating in one of these body forms with a good teacher to correct your alignment will help you to develop the awareness that will transmit into every day life. At Grace and Poise we offer both Ballet and Pilates Classes to help Ladies, even our little ladies as young as 2 years old, develop good alignment.
A lady must endeavour to gain good dynamic alignment