Good Posture

 

Yep, you’re feeling it, aren’t you? “It” being the effects of too much texting, typing and flexing of your spine. Heck, these days you don’t have to be old to feel ancient and notice the effects of bending for the majority of the day.

Those poor postural habits add up and leave us achy in our backs and necks. It begs the question, “Just what is good posture and where can I find it?”

The truth is most of us don’t really know what good posture feels like. As my student Luke remarked, “I tried sitting up really straight, I really tried. But it hurts. It starts to hurt my low back, then I have to move around. Then I go back to rounding and then that starts to hurt, too.”

Most of us are like Luke. We know we want to release the constant flexing of our spine but we go to the other extreme and pull the shoulder blades down our back and force ourselves to sit up straight, like our mothers told us. We add more rigidity when we really want to loosen up.

“Good posture,” says physical therapist and Pilates pro Karen Sanzo, “is about building a healthy relationship with your spine. Posture is about the relationship you make between your pelvis and your back, your shoulders and your neck.”  Drawing your back ribs over your pelvis is a good place to start, but Sanzo adds it’s helpful to have a teacher decipher what good posture means to your spine since we’re all a little off center.

There’s lots of little steps you can take to ensure good posture but one of the most important is to find a good Pilates class. You’ll find what good posture means to your body and a whole lot more.

In the meantime, give yourself some breathing room and feel how much tension you can release.  Float your head towards the ceiling and feel how easy it is to create length in your spine.  Pressing the sit bones down into the chair, can you expand the back of the chest even more?  Relaxing into the pool of the breath, let go as you find your inner balance.

Small changes make big differences – over time. Remember, one of the best ways for you to find good posture is by becoming a Pilates regular. Come to our great mat classes and we’ll do more tweaking on the foam roller. You’ll feel better and get to know what good posture means to you.

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