Sunday, September 12, 2010
Tips for perfecting your posture
By: Marissa Anteby
Your posture can tell a lot about you. Are your shoulders rounding in trying to cover and protect your heart? Is your head jutting forward, as if you're trying to sneak a peak in to the future? Do you find yourself with your feet pointed toward the door, ready to run, when someone close to you brings up a sensitive subject? You can assess what your alignment is revealing about your true feelings just by observing how you stand.
1- To start, don't move. How are you sitting or standing right know? From the inside, feel your feet. Are they parallel to each other? Probably not. Which foot is turned out more than the other? Which one is turned in? You can make great strides in improving your posture by simply directing your attention to re-aligning your feet back to parallel throughout the day. Your feet are your foundation, and the more you keep your toes facing forward, the easier it will be for you to follow the direction your feet want to take you.
2- Which leg do you favor by putting more weight on it? Ideally, you should balance your weight evenly right and left sides, and front and back. Unfortunately, we all tend to overuse one side, building strength in our favored foot and teaching our less dominant foot to remain passive, to just go along for the ride. This too can be changed, but you need to make a concerted effort to re-pattern how you stand and walk.
3- Gain better stability in all that you do by reinforcing the power in your foundation. Press down firmly in to the four corners of each foot; big toe mounds, little toe mounds, insides of your heels, and outside of your heels. Pull up from your inner arches, drawing energy up, so your ankles don't collapse inwards.
4- Follow the chain of energy up your body. Is there strain in your low back? Do you hyper arch the small of your back? Or perhaps you round your back too much and your pelvis is pulled out of place. To protect your low back from excessive tension, gently hug your abdominal muscles in and up, and puff out your kidney area (right above the the back waistband of your pants.)
5- Create more breathing room in your torso by broadening your collarbones and opening up your chest cavity. Make sure not to stick out your bottom ribs, retract them in, as you move your scapula (your shoulder blades) down your back and away from your ears.
6- Level your chin with the floor, sending energy out the top of your head, as you take your nose back in space, like you are lining up your nose over your spine.
Keep reviewing these alignment cues in your body and notice how each piece brings your body in to a taller, more lifted state. The more present you are with yourself and the physical placement of your bones and muscles, the more conscious you will become with how and why you position yourself in your own life.