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” ??
Common issues can arise from these sayings that are frequently used to encourage good posture for the spine, core and shoulders. This blog will take you through these phrases and how they can be misunderstood and provide you with our top tips on how to establish good posture and alignment
Let's take “stand up straight”, although the aim seems to be to increase the length of the body 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.
Lets take “pull in your tummy”, have you noticed that if you ask someone to pull in their tummy, commonly 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 in an attempt to flatten their tummy. In the attempt to gain good posture the individual ironically compromises their posture by over arching the spine, causing neck tension, and causing an awkward strain on the overall body whilst holding your breath. This position tends to be held momentarily before the individual enhales with relief. Surely we can recognise that an understanding of good posture should be able to be more consistently achieved and not put our body under stress or strain by instead allow our bodies to function with the highest level of efficiency
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.
The aim is to be able to move freely but with efficiency and to lose 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 and this knowledge should be implemented into everyday life so it then becomes a habit and we develop a higher sense of body awareness. 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 transfer into everyday life and help you gain Grace & Poise.
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.