Posture is not one size fits all.
Our bodies are like fingerprints. A unique curve here, a slight rotation there. No two are alike so why are we offered cues for posture that are uniform? Besides, if I hear “lift your chest”, my understanding of what that means, might be VERY different from yours. Trust me, I’ve been teaching movement for 16 years and people interpret the same direction in their own one-of-a-kind way.
Instead of posture as a static universal alignment , I’ve grown to view it in terms of my orientation.
Orientation asks, “How do I position myself in my chair, to feel lifted and relaxed?” While, alignment wants to know “What muscles do I engage to hold myself up on this chair, so thatI look 'tall and straight'?”
Posture isn’t about looking a certain way, it’s about FEELING a certain way. Boom. Paradigm shift.
I’m sure you’ve tried to “fix” your posture at your desk, or in your car, only to find yourself, over time, slumped over or supporting yourself with your elbows. That’s because holding yourself up without support (we’re talking internal and external support) isn’t sustainable. Bracing our body, in any position, is exhausting and doesn’t allow us to breathe fully.
Let’s get back to orientation vs alignment. Semantics matter. This idea of orienting our body to our environment, rather than making a ‘posture’ shape, makes room for the reality that, I’ll say it again for those in the back, our bodies are ALL different. By looking for a feeling of “tall” or “aligned”, that’s uniquely ours, we break the societal message that beautiful posture looks like a final product.
I’m here to tell you that there is no such thing as a ‘final product’ when it comes to your body. If you’re seated, or standing and you feel comfortable and at ease, and rooted in your version of strength, without holding tension,…No matter your body size or shape…..then you’re doing it correctly.
Let's do a short exercise to help you feel what I'm talking about. Go grab a small(ish) towel, (you can also use a yoga block or a not so heavy book) and a chair. Pop in your earphones and press play.
I'd love to hear about your experience with the exercise. Did you feel your 'core' wake up? Did you feel a sense of ease in your posture that was new? Any insights or questions are always welcome. Hearing your feedback, helps me to bring you content that helps you find freedom in your movement.
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If you found value in the exercise, join the Calm/Release community class Tuesdays at 9am cst . For more info click here.