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Moving in the Right Direction  

By incorporating proper postural principles, we are actively stabilizing, therefore strengthening, the muscles that support the spine in a seated position. (Photo: Flickr user, akeg)
By incorporating proper postural principles, we are actively stabilizing, therefore strengthening, the muscles that support the spine in a seated position. (Photo: Flickr user, akeg)

Making the posture connection

by - Story: 60885


In the attempt to develop your body/mind connection, I have to ask you -

Where is your body in space right now? This is a challenging question that requires you to stop and think for a moment or four;

  • Is your head reaching forward?
  • Is your chest closed and your shoulders blades moving away from each other?
  • When you are sitting, are you sitting upright on your sit bones or slouching on your tailbone?
  • When you are standing, is your tail bone lifting up to the wall behind you or is it dropped towards the floor?

These are the kinds of things that we want to think about if we want to first, develop postural awareness, and second, convert our awareness into a strong healthy pain-free posture. There are generally four different categories of postural alignments; the ideal posture and then 3 others which are deviant alignments that can, over time, lead to short, tight muscles and decreased movement around the joints. Of the many postures our spine takes on throughout a day, let’s look at the posture of our spine when we are sitting at a computer:

1. The low back is flexed which aggravates tight hamstrings, and weak spine and abdominal muscles;

2. the chest is closed and the shoulders are shrugging up to the ears which aggravates tight chest and shoulder muscles, and weak shoulder blade stabilizers;

3. the head is reaching forward which aggravates tight neck extensors and weak neck flexors.

By ignoring our spinal alignment in a simple seated position for an extended period of time, we can create huge imbalances in our musculo-skeletal system that can lead to chronic pain and loss of mobility.

Now, let’s correct this poor posture by re-establishing the natural curves to the spine.

First, pull the pelvis back into neutral by rolling from the tailbone onto the sit bones, and dropping the pubic bone towards the floor

Secondly, draw the shoulder blades towards each other and down, feeling open across the collar bone and long in the neck

Thirdly, pull the chin back so that you take the wrinkles away from the back of the neck, which feels like the crown of the head is lifting up to the ceiling.

By incorporating these postural principles, we are actively stabilizing, therefore strengthening, the muscles that support the spine in a seated position. Please continue to consider these awarenesses with everything you do. Continue to ask yourself, “How is my spine aligned right now and how do I establish a strong stabilized position?” Ultimately, when the spine is properly aligned, you can confidently attempt most movements without injury. Going beyond potential risk of injury, proper postural alignment allows you to excel in sport, excel in a work day, and excel with your family. A strong and healthy posture will allow you the strength and mobility you need to be successful through a day.



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About the Author

Lori Rockl graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Political Science. After working with the Federal Government through two elections, she escaped back into her gifted life of fitness training and now owns a successful Pilates & Yoga studio. Although her clientel tell her often how much they learn from her, Lori would tell you that she is the one that learns the most from her clients. For Lori, the study of the mind-body connection is an infinitely fascinating study. She has found that Pilates and yoga are excellent tools for healthy living and incorporate those tools into her marathon and triathalon training. Please contact lori at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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