Updated: Sep 22, 2020
Many of us think of our posture in terms of the position we are holding our neck, shoulders, chest and spine in when we are sitting or standing. We might have a memory of being told to sit up straight at school and not to slouch, or we may have adopted a 'not wanting to be seen' posture as we were growing up that still has remnants of its hold on our body even well into adulthood. We are constantly bombarded by beliefs around posture whether from people we know, what we see or what is shared through the media, that if we were to give ourselves space to explore how they feel in our own body when we try them out we might find that we have been told or what we have seen as attractive 'posturally' is at loggerheads with what feels natural, free and open in our own body.
What if we were to consider posture as something that involves our whole body, something that is with us in everything we do whether laying down, sitting, standing or moving? If we were to approach posture in this way it is likely that the stranglehold of the old, rigid 'shoulders back, chest out' or the 'shrink so as not to be seen' approaches we may recognise from the past.could lessen their grip as we begin to accept that good posture does not involve following a strict rule book of 'to do's.' How would it be to throw out the rule book and instead allow our bodies to instruct us whenever we feel to tune in, whether we are stationary or moving and whatever position our body is in. Good posture then becomes a much more fluid all encompassing part of our daily lives.
Good posture is characterised by easy, flowing movement in a body that is light and balanced. Bringing awareness to how you sit, stand and move throughout the day is a great start if you want to explore your own posture. Some things you might like to ask yourself are:
How do my feet feel when I am standing? Is the weight going through them evenly or am I taking more weight through one than the other?
How does the rest of my body feel as I am standing – are there any areas that feel tight. And how is my breathing? Can I feel my breath in my back as well as the front of my body?
Do I feel that my head is well balanced on top of my shoulders or is there tension there?
When I walk which parts of my body do I feel? Is there any area I am less aware of? Can I work out why this is? What happens when I bring awareness to this area?
When I sit down can I feel if both hips land on the seat at exactly the same time and was the movement controlled and gentle?
If I was to describe how my body feels as I move what words would I use?
There are many ways you can bring awareness to your body to explore your posture. As your awareness deepens and you build a deeper connection with your body you will find a wisdom within which constantly feeds back what works and what does not. It is a tuning in to your own inner knowing and the more you do this the more you are able to let go the old constraints and patterns of movements that have been holding you back. Allowing your body to settle into an alignment not based on any rule book but on the joy of connection is gold.
Enjoy exploring your own body and how it feels from the inside as you move through your day.