Posture is defined in two ways: as a position of a person’s body when standing or sitting and as a an approach or attitude. These are two very different meanings, but very related at the same time! Because in essence, the way you hold body, or your posture, directly affects your emotions, opinions and self- image, which in turn shapes your approach or attitude. Therefore, improving your posture improves your life. When you improve your posture, meaning your body position, you experience physical improvement, including decreasing back pain and potentially full body pain, reducing your odds of suffering spinal related injuries, breathing easier and more efficiently. As a bonus you will start looking better by gaining length!
The way this works is simple. Gravity. Gravity is a force that weighs down you down. To counteract this force, you must line up your body in as close to a vertical line as possible. If you were to drop a vertical line, also called a plumb line, down the side of your body, it should bisect your ear, pass through your shoulder joint, pass slightly behind your hip joint, and go slightly in front of your knee and ankle joints.
Therefore, from the ground up, you need to stand with your feet lined up under your hips, with your pelvis centered over your feet, your rib cage stacked directly over your pelvis, and your head centered between your shoulders. It is also helpful to try to lengthen your body upward against the vertical force to ensure that each of your joints has the least possible amount of stress. This will keep you balanced whether you are sitting or standing, resulting in good posture!
If all this sounds confusing, try Pilates! Pilates is all about moving efficiently. What makes Pilates so important with respect to posture is that Pilates trains you to develop and use your core strength, rather than holding your position with superficial musculature. Restoring good posture is oftentimes a work in progress—as your joints become more mobile, your muscles will become stronger, and your soft tissues will become more flexible. Gradually your innate good posture will be restored!
Once you achieve good posture, you will have less discomfort and more mobility. You will stand tall, and with confidence, which will in turn cultivate a more positive approach and attitude towards life! To truly reap the benefits of good posture you must focus on your core. In turn, your good posture will change who you are at the core. Having a strong core is where it is at. It will ensure good posture and a good life!
AUTHOR: Jessie Abrams