Posture Is Not About Sitting Up Straighter
Posture is a surprisingly difficult thing to master even though it seems like it should be so simple, right? Just sit up straight!
Why is so hard to sustain though?
Well, we argue that it’s because of a flaw in the thinking about posture. Instead of it being about this one thing – sitting up straight – it’s about more than that.
Typically, when people try to improve their posture, they do one singular move. They lift their chest to straighten their spines, but in doing so, they push their chests up and out, and their shoulders back and down. This movement doesn’t really straighten anything, rather it distorts the spine. It actually sends the “moving parts” in the wrong directions.
This is why that alone doesn’t work.
Of course, muscular development and strength matter. If your muscles are weak (or asleep), they are going to drop you into a slump. They do need to work. There is no question about that.
And, strength also needs to be balanced with flexibility because if your back is tight, it's going to pull in on your and make any collapse in your spine even worse.
But it’s not just the back muscles, of which there are many. You also need to create a relationship with the front and the sides because taking a 360 degree approach sets you up with the kind of support you need to retrain your body.
Next, we have a Lastics principle which we apply to everything we do, and that is to address what is going on under the outer and superficial action, in this case, of lengthening your spine.
And, all of this can be accomplished with one simple addition:
Instead of thinking “sit up,” think “fill up.” By that I mean that with a deep breath into your chest and top ribs, filling it up like a balloon from the inside, you make space for your shoulders to drop down into your back. Think elevator. When the cables go up in the front, the counterweights drop down in the back.
Drawing that nice deep breath in through your nose should fill you with a featherlight feeling – like you’re floating. Then, against that, feel the weight of your shoulders melt down, not just from the top, but all the way down at the base of your blades. When you allow them to sink all the way down, you will see your chest open a lift a little bit more.
It’s small, but mighty and with practice your body will start to register these subtle moves and you’ll be amazed at what a big difference they make!
You may also enjoy reading, Why Your Flexibility Doesn't Improve with Assisted Stretching.
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