How to Perfect Your Posture: A Step-by-Step Guide
In Western medicine, doctors often treat the symptoms rather than the cause of ailments. Many pains and aches in the body could be prevented by maintaining a balanced posture, which allows the body to rely on the correct muscles and relax the unnecessary ones. A strong muscular foundation helps create more ease and prevent issues that may arise from poor posture.
Bone Stacking: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
Bone stacking refers to aligning the bones vertically to create more strength in the body. Essentially, it means striving to have a nice vertical line from the ankle to the ear. Achieving proper bone stacking helps maintain the integrity of the spine, reducing the risk of injury and promoting optimal functioning of the body.
Posture Check: Starting From the Ground Up
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart, with your weight equally distributed on both feet. To take this further, try to feel equal weight at the base of your big toe, pinky toe, and heel. Visualize a triangle that links these three points under your feet. If you are barefoot or wearing shoes that allow it, lift all your toes up, spread them, and then put them back down. Shift your body weight forward and back from your toes to your heels and side to side before finding the perfect place where your weight is evenly distributed. Remember, your posture should not be static, but a constant awareness of alignment, engagement, and relaxation of the right muscles. You can also try grabbing something with your toes to help lift the arch of your feet.
Moving up the Leg: Stopping at Your Knees
Are your knees locked? If so, make sure you keep your knees soft. Hyperextending your legs, which means keeping them totally straight, can create tension in the lower back. Instead, feel the connection between your knees and lower back. When you slightly bend your knees, you can more easily place your pelvis in a neutral position, elongating the lower back. Also, make sure that your knees align with your second toe.
Pelvis: Neutral Position Is Key
Place your pelvis in a neutral position. Imagine your pelvis is a bowl of water that you don’t want to spill. Make sure the bowl stays even without spilling by pointing the tailbone down, engaging lower abs, and keeping the glute muscles relaxed. Bring the rib cage down, engaging upper abs. When you breathe in, feel the air filling the rib cage sideways and back instead of just pushing it forward.
Upper Chest: Roll the Shoulders Up, Back, and Down
Roll your shoulders up, back, and down to create an opening in the upper chest. Try rolling your shoulders back, turning the palms of your hands forward, and feeling the upper back muscles firing. Release the palms of your hands toward your body in a neutral position while maintaining your upper body externally rotated.
Head Placement: Mind Your Head
Many people feel tension in the upper back and neck area because their head is often pushed forward. To help bring your head back, place your ear above your shoulder and try tucking your chin in. You might need to exaggerate it at first, like if you were trying to create a double chin. Finally, try to extend from the top of your head, as if you are making your spine as long as possible.
How Often Should You Check Your Posture?
Commit to doing a posture check multiple times a day. With practice, it will become automatic, and you’ll engage the right muscles and relax the unnecessary ones. Checking your posture will help prevent issues that may arise from poor posture over time. Remember, the same posture rules apply when sitting.