The book, Move your DNA (Katie Bowman), triggered my curiosity about posture and how a good posture can help us to 'move better'. We sometimes hear the word ‘good’ posture or ‘bad’ posture, but what does that really mean. How do we measure ‘good’ or ‘bad’ posture and why is posture so important for our overall health?
In this blog I will try to answer those questions. My personal testimony might be an inspiration to others. Over 7 years ago I attended a teachers training in the Garuda Method. The Instructor and founder, James de’Silva, made me aware of my ‘swayback’ posture. The seed of 'awareness' was planted that day, for which I am still grateful today. Since then, I have managed to change my ‘habits’ for good by following a regular Pilates routine focused on my specific challenges. I have pro-actively intervened and challenged the imbalances in my body. My point is that it all starts with that 'awareness'. Awareness is the key foundation when starting this journey and as important is a good Pilates Studio and Instructor that understands your body.
What is posture?
Posture is a term that describes the overall position of body alignment, in relation to its parts, but can also be related to a conscious mental or outward behavioural attitude (the way that one carries oneself). The figure above shows various different postures, compared to the neutral or balanced posture, also referred to as the ‘Plumb Line’.
Good vs. bad posture
Bad Posture results from uneven muscle distribution whereby the bony structures become misaligned or pulled out of place, thus nerves and organs are compromised. Bad posture can adversely affect both the physical and mental state. Read more about the psychological affects of maintaining a good posture in this interesting Ted talk Lessons from Lobsters by Jordan Peterson (https://youtu.be/5ZOkxuNbsXU).
Bad Posture has also been linked to a weakened immune system and compromised lung function. In the book “Move your DNA“, Katie Bowman describes how tight fascia resulting from bad posture can inhibit normal muscle function, thereby limiting flow of oxygen to the muscles and cells. This phenomena can affect our overall health, even on a cellular level.
Good posture is also known as static posture. In ideal posture, gravity is acting in a balanced line on the physiological curves of the spine. Any shift away from that line means another part of the spine or body will experience different loads leading to compensation (over working) in other areas of the body which eventually leads to stiffness and pain in the over-worked muscles.
How do we lose the ability to move naturally?
This is a fable that describes a frog being boiled alive. The theory states that if you put a frog into boiling water it will jump out, but if you put the frog in cold water and gradually change the temperature, it will adapt to the subtle changes in stimuli and be boiled alive.
The same can be said about the ability of the human body to adjust to our ever changing
environments and stimuli, if change happens slowly and over a long period, we are less likely to notice the changes in our postures.
What is Postural Analysis?
The purpose of the postural analysis is to observe a person’s posture and then interpret the implications of what is seen. In the simplest terms, this means looking for any abnormalities and imbalances and then assessing how they are affecting the way that a person’s body moves and functions.
What can be observed by carrying out a Posture Analysis?
Carrying out a Postural Analysis can determine whether a person has any postural deviations, imbalances, muscle weaknesses or any other abnormalities in their movement patterns which could be causing pain or discomfort.
A Postural Analysis is the first step in being pro-active, giving the Pilates instructor an understanding of the body he/she is working with.
By carrying out a Postural Analysis assessment we are able to identify which muscles are overactive (or ‘short & tight’) compared to those that are under active (or ‘long & weak’). These imbalances could also affect the Range of Motion of certain joints which can create stiffness in certain muscles and joints.
We can either choose the passive option of “watching and waiting” or we can choose Pilates as a proactive alternative to intervene before its too late. In the Internationally certified Pilates training our Pilates Instructors are qualified to perform a postural analysis. You can also have this checked by your Chiropractor or other specialists in this area.
Act now and book your Postural Analysis at In-Sync Pilates. Our Private Sessions at In-Sync Pilates are focussed on a program designed to help bring your posture back to the ideal posture. Our Private Sessions focus on:
creating body awareness (teaching you techniques for better proprioception);
breathing techniques that support a good posture;
basic corrective exercises;
designing a maintenance program specific to your postural challenges (using all Pilates Apparatus).