Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Postural Righteousness

"We all have the right to have good posture!"
This is my belief anyhow. I, admittedly, have good posture. That is, when I think about it, I have good posture. I teach Pilates to a range of abilities. As a part of my class I talk a lot about posture, body alignment, and body awareness. But I didn't always have good posture. In fact, I Don't always have good posture. I have to think about it! A lot.
In the past year or so many of my friends have asked me, "Are there exercises to help my posture?"
Rock climbers have terrible posture. You know it, you can see it. We all look like the Hunchback of Notredame. I'm starting a new element of this blog and I'm calling it, "Postural Righteousness". I will do my best to give weekly exercises and ideas to help all of us with this habit (it is a habit you know), stick with me and we'll all get over it.

This is the hunchback................................This is Me...................

So, stand up straight, stick your chest out and make your mama proud. Your first homework assignment is simple:

You are an upright individual. You walk on two legs, sit on your bottom, swing your arms when you walk. Do you really know what your body is doing at any given moment of the day? We are going to start by connecting our minds with our bodies because this above all or any exercises I can give you is going to be the key to your presentable uprightness.
  1. Sitting down, without moving away from your computer, try to visualize all the parts of your body. Got a mental picture? Now, start to add to this picture. What is the position of your feet, your hips, stomach (near your navel that is), chest. Visualize your spine, your back, your neck, your head. Where is the top of your head?
  2. Paying special attention to what your spine, stomach, neck, and head are doing. Where is your stomach in relation to the bones that form your spine and your hips?
  3. Place both feet on the floor. Lean forward. Do you feel your hips tilt and your stomach change position?
  4. What does your neck do when you lean forward? Does it stay in line with your spine or does your chin jut forward?
  5. What is the position of your shoulders? Are they held high, tilted to one side, or maybe level. Lift your shoulders as high as you can trying to touch your ears and take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Lift them high!!!! And then drop them. Repeat. Breathing in, lifting your shoulders high, and exhale DROP them.
    Are your shoulders lower than they were?
  6. Sit back in your chair so your bottom touches the back of your chair. This may feel awkward and stiff but stay with me. Try to begin from your tailbone and slowly press your lower back against your chair. Feel you hips tilt to a very upright position. Smoothly, allow the rest of your spine to rest against the back of the chair. Did your shoulders rise? Try to relax them down. You should feel that your shoulder blades are even on the chair as well.
  7. In this position, relax your neck and shoulders by taking a deep breath in and exhaling any tension you might be holding.
Congratulations, you have now met your body, acknowledged it, and now you can begin to help it. You can do any number of these things during your day. Sitting or standing. Just by taking into account what your body is doing at any given moment is your first step to better posture.

1 comment:

Write your mind here.