Tips for good posture. It doesn’t need to be a struggle.
“4 Giant Misconceptions About Posture”
by Amira Alvarez
People regularly come to me and say, often in a guilty voice, “I know I have terrible posture. I should try harder to sit up straight. My husband/wife/mother/doctor is constantly telling me to sit up straight. I just can’t seem to do it. And my back is killing me…”
It’s like the posture police are after them.
They think they’re damaged goods, permanently stuck hunched over forever, and feel forever watched and judged.
I’m here to say, that’s simply not true.
You can learn to have good posture and the ease and openness that comes with it. You just need the right information and a system for integrating it into your daily life. You need a strategy given to you in bite-size pieces so it makes sense and is doable.
You certainly don’t need judgment.
You don’t need the posture police and admonitions to sit up straight. (Can we all say thank god in unison?)
Better posture is a result of changing your conception of what posture is and how to have it, not striving harder. So let’s start that process right now and re-frame some of the giant misconceptions people have about posture.
1) Posture is NOT a dirty word, but there are better words.
Alignment, BALANCE, connection, and coordination are all better words.
When the voice of the posture police starts railing at you in your head, just say no!
Try this tip: Leave judging yourself behind. Stop the internal voice that says “sit up straight.” It only causes tension. Ask yourself instead how could I be better coordinated, balanced or aligned? How could I be more integrated or connected?
2) Posture is NOT a held position.
We are animals made for movement. Allow for it. Even when sitting for hours at the computer, you can find a bit of movement whether it’s changing your foot position or getting up entirely to stretch.
Try this tip: While keyboarding simply notice that your whole being, and your ribs especially, can move gently with your breath. Envision your ribs moving easily, like those of a sleeping cat or dog.
3) Posture is NOT a right position.
It’s not about sitting or standing only is one way. And it’s certainly not about the rigidity of “shoulders back, chin up,” although many people have this misconception. We can do modern dance, we can fix plumbing, we can curl up on the couch (as I am doing now as I write this) with excellent coordination and alignment. All different positions, all fully possible, all potentially good for your health.
Try this tip: Drop the idea that you have to pull your shoulders back and hold them there. It’s not how we are designed and will just cause you incredible amounts of back and neck tension. Our shoulder blades curve forward ever so slightly and are not meant to be “straight”. Let yourself experience their natural curve. And no this doesn’t mean slumping.
4) Posture is NOT just physical.
Posture is an expression of your whole being. For instance, when you’re depressed (or tired, overwhelmed, confused, or judged) you tend to collapse or contract in on yourself. It’s a posture that serves to protect you in the moment, but it can be harmful physically, mentally and spiritually in the long run.
Although this posture may have become a conditioned habit, it will not serve you when you’re wanting to be in a different mood. It’s important to be able to choose to express your actual feelings and not be locked into an old habitual posture pattern. Having this kind of choice gives you the possibility of true freedom of expression.
Try this tip: Start noticing how your mood and posture are related. Don’t try to fix your mood or posture directly – just notice the relationship.
This is the beginning of a new conception of posture and will help you change. Effortlessly.
Amira Alvarez is dedicated to providing the best learning experience for her students through innovative, comprehensive, and extraordinary effective programs designed to teach you how to have less pain, less pressure, better posture and much more happiness. Her students dramatically improve their performance and enjoy life more. Her weekly Knowledge is Power newsletter goes out to subscribers across the country and world. If you are ready to Create The Life You Want, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at www.amiraalvarez.com