Trying to DO good posture? How’s that working for you?
Working with a client this morning, it reminded me of how I used to be. I spent alot of time TRYING to DO GOOD POSTURE! From my personal experience I can say it didn’t work, I was just tense and my back and neck still hurt. This client was having the same problem until I got them to start to ungrip and they realised they would not fall to the ground or even slouch.
There is a lot of talk about the importance of good posture these days. You hear it in gyms, yoga sessions, Pilates and even the very popular barefoot running.
However when you say to people “Think about your posture” they tend to TRY and stand up straight, possibly holding onto their legs , heaving up their chests and even tensing their necks and pulling in their backs in the attempt to DO good posture.
We have a strange idea of what good posture is. We try and DO IT by putting ourselves in a position and fixing ourselves. Unfortunately most of the time we cannot maintain this and we tire and we might even injure ourselves doing exercise, as we are moving this tense body around.
So what is good posture ?
In Alexander Technique lessons I firstly state that one should never fix themselves in a position, whether sitting, standing or even lying down. If you do, you are fixing and probably tensing your muscles.
The force of gravity on us encourages our bodies to lengthen and widen and we have the potential to release and lengthen into activity eg: the movement from sitting to standing. We did this as a toddler and we can get back to it by thinking in a different way. See how good sportsmen and women use there bodies, they lengthen into activity in a very natural way.
Having good posture shouldn’t be a struggle and we should definitely not be using extra effort. With our minds we can change things and we can start to move in a more lengthening and widening way which will encourage freer breathing.
Firstly we must recognise if we are trying too hard. Are we gripping with our legs/buttocks? Holding our tummies in? tucking our tail bones under? Thowing our heads back?
If we can choose NOT to do those things we are half way there.
We then choose to lengthen and widen, not by DOING it or even using muscular effort but by thinking and allowing our bodies to move in a natural way.
In a way we are allowing gravity to take us up and be more springy like a toddler.
Why not get an Alexander Technique teacher to show you how? Book Online here