Everyone wants to feel at their best. When we do we radiate vitality and can attract beneficial situations to ourselves like magic. Your body has incredible intelligence and learns what you teach it amazingly quickly. Just like a child it is important to show it healthy patterns of behaviour, which will then become healthy habits.
Many people spend hours of their lives sitting at desks, standing for long hours or using repetitious body movements. Thankfully social awareness is growing and the negative effects of these patterns are being recognised. Health and safety regulations encourage employers to help workers look after their bodies by taking breaks, doing rebalancing excercises and using ergonimically designed tools and furniture. However it is up to you to look after yourself properly and when you are tired your body naturally starts to droop. If you can rest, sleep or even just lie down flat for a bit, your body will generally recover pretty quickly.
Continual awareness of your posture is one of the most powerful tools that you have to change and maintain a healthy mind/body. When you hold yourself in upright alignment you direct your muscles and tissues to support your whole bodily system.
Organs are not compressed, blood flow can reach into all areas bringing nutrients and oxygen to the cells. As your body is continually refreshing all its cells, maintaining good postures will lead your body to grow in a strong healthy shape. If you do not uplift your bodys posture it will form using the collapsed shapes which eventually lead to hunches, stoops and poor alignments. These can lead to illness. Do yourself a favour open up and straighten up, it’s free and one of the most holistic things you can do for yourself.
A few sinmple things you can try…
Feet are friends that often get forgotten. It may sound simple but when you think about it our feet are the first things that enter into every new space we take our bodies. Our feet lead us into our future!
As you walk around have a look down at your feet and become aware of your walking patterns.
Do either of your feet turn inwards or outwards? Do you land softly on your feet? Do you land heavily on your heals? The easiest way to change a pattern is to make a game out of practicing a new pattern.
How long can you walk with awareness? Notice each foot as it lands. Place each foot down with the toes facing forward. Think of your big toe as an arrow pointing you towards your destination.
Gentle and consistent attention to straight foot placement will slowly correct twists that may be being transfered up the leg when the foot is placed down at an angle.
Landing heavily on the heals sends shocks straight up the leg bones, jarring the joints and potentially causing knee and hip problems…Owch!
Imagine that you are a star athelete or a graceful dancer and practice landing with a little bit more control. Place the weight either evenly across your whole foot as you land or land on the front edge of your foot, across the strong ball of your foot just before the arch.
The arch of your foot is like a bridge that pivots between the front and back of your foot. It is one of the strongest shapes in nature and it needs to be as it is the shock absorber that takes your weight as you walk.
Standing and Sitting
Help your body stay strong and vital by keeping it as aligned as possible.
This means placing the weight over the load bearing parts of your body.
The best place to start is by checking that your spine is straight. Checking to see if the top of your torso is leaning forward and if so straighten your spine so that your chest is facing forwards instead of downwards.
Drop your shoulders down away from your ears and roll the shoulders back and down. This will make your chest feel as if it is wider and more open. This will open the lungs up and you should be able to breath more deeply and easily.
BINGO! More oxygen in the blood more vitality!
Check your neck and head are also straight. Working on computers in particular often leads to craning the neck forward. Imagine that your ears are in line with your shoulders and your head has a string attached to the top of it which is pulling it gently upwards. This may feel a bit awkward at first but will become more comfortable the more your body remembers it.
The last simple tip is making sure your pelvis is tilting forwards. I was always told I had a ‘Sway Back’. This means that the lower part of the spine curves backward slightly making your bottom stick out a bit. I found with patience and perseverence I could correct this by tipping the end of the tailbone forward. This aligns the spine and takes the pressure off the lower back. The weight of the upper body is now resting on the hips instead of a couple of the lower vertebrae.
If you want to find out more about body alignment you could try yoga. Iyengar Yoga in particular focuses on the structural alignment of the body. If yoga is not your thing then there are many other bodywork practices that you can investigate instead. Remember we are all different so find out what best suits you.
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