Posture tips

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  • will
    Member
    • Jun 2007
    • 2331

    Posture tips

    I found these a few weeks ago and find them useful. I come back to them throughout the day.

    Ryan Lee, MS, CSCS

    Good posture is simply the ability to maintain the normal spinal curves. Further to this, dynamic postural stability is the concept of maintaining a desired alignment (such as the spinal angle) against external forces and loads

    Normal Spinal Curves exist to increase the flexibility of movement, enhance shock-absorbing capacity, and ensure adequate stiffness and stability at each joint.



    Neck/Cervical spine = subtle inward curve

    Mid-back/Thoracic spine = subtle outward curve


    Low back/Lumbar spine= subtle inward curve


    Sacrum(Coccyx) = subtle outward angle

    The first step towards improving your posture is to first become aware of it. Poor posture doesn't happen overnight, it is a function of poor habits in all activities day in and day out.

    To help increase your postural awareness try these simple exercises throughout your day, everyday:

    1 Neck Check - Place your two fingers at the base of your skull. Run the fingers along your cervical spine. Do you feel any divots? If yes, place your fingers back in the divot. Imagine a string tied to the back of your head. This string is being GENTLY lifted to the ceiling, gradually lengthening your neck along the way (your chin will nod in slightly). Stop lengthening as soon as you feel the divot disappear. Hold this position for as long as possible.



    2 Shoulder Check - Many of us carry the stresses of our day in our shoulder area. Where are your shoulders sitting right now? Are they up around your ears? RELAX. Drop the shoulders down, away from your ears. Hold this position for as long as you can as you go about your way. Recheck often.


    3 Breastbone Check - To bring your shoulders in line with your ears try this simple posture cue. Instead of shrugging your shoulders back in the classic military pose, simply lift your breastbone slightly & gently to the sky or ceiling. This will open up your chest, drop your shoulders back and gently improve your alignment. Hold for as long as you can. Recheck often.


    4 Abdominal Tuck - To help begin increasing your core stability protect your lumbar spine, consciously engage your core muscles (transverse abs and anterior pelvic floor in particular). This can be done by gradually and gently drawing your lower abdomen in toward your spine/pelvis. Place your fingers on the front points of your hips. Inhale wide into your ribcage & back (think of flaring both).



    These simple posture cues, if practiced daily, will not only help improve your posture to positively impact your golf swing but for all your activities be they work, home or play. However, practicing these cues are not enough. In order to have great dynamic postural stability you need to train the muscles that act as the support wires for the spine.
    W
    [size=85:z6oilzbt]
    To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
    To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
    To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
    To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
    [/size:z6oilzbt]
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39419

    #2
    Re: Some posture tips

    Plus '6-PACK ABS' !

    Thanks Will. I will have to give it a try!

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • will
      Member
      • Jun 2007
      • 2331

      #3
      Re: Some posture tips

      Plus '6-PACK ABS' !
      Nope. For those your going to have to work a bit harder and lay off the cheese cake and M n M's

      Gassho
      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
      [/size:z6oilzbt]

      Comment

      • Longdog
        Member
        • Nov 2007
        • 448

        #4
        Re: Some posture tips

        Hi Will,

        I think the tips are good but come at it slightly from the wrong angle, or may be I'm reading them wrong. It gives the impression that you have to force yourself into these positions, i.e. find them and hold them using muscle tension.

        From what I'm aware, and what I try to do is to relax into them , as in alexander technique. Relaxing the muscles that are inappropriatly tense and allowing the body to re-align. May be a subtle difference, I don't know?

        In gassho, and the hope of a good posture one day, Kev
        [url:x8wstd0h]http://moder-dye.blogspot.com/[/url:x8wstd0h]

        Comment

        • will
          Member
          • Jun 2007
          • 2331

          #5
          Re: Some posture tips

          From what I'm aware, and what I try to do is to relax into them , as in alexander technique. Relaxing the muscles that are inappropriatly tense and allowing the body to re-align. May be a subtle difference, I don't know?
          It's pretty much the same. Your just aligning your spine in the appropriate position not tensing.

          W
          [size=85:z6oilzbt]
          To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
          To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
          To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
          To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
          [/size:z6oilzbt]

          Comment

          • Taigu
            Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
            • Aug 2008
            • 2710

            #6
            Re: Some posture tips

            Hi everybody,

            Thank you for the tips...But, my very limited experience and a bit of Alexander Technique over the few last years tell me that:
            a)There is no appropriate posture ( always changing, always moving), so nothing can be fixed or frozen.
            b) What we think is right is not right. Correcting, manipulating, fabricating is not our way. In my very clumsy understanding it is allowing a very spontaneous and lively process. Verticality is not achieved by will, you then shorten the spine, but by relinquishing views about what is right.
            c) You will never get a good posture. And the good posture of a handicaped person, a hunchback or Buddha knows what is far from any idealistic or materialistic picture. No body building or carving a perfect fleshy Buddha will do. What will do is not doing. And I cannot speak about that.
            d) Find a good Alexander Teacher and give it a try. You may then experience what I am trying to put into words.

            Gassho

            Taigu

            Comment

            • will
              Member
              • Jun 2007
              • 2331

              #7
              Re: deleted

              Man. You guys are all about the looks aren't you.


              I found it helpful. I've been working with posture for over 6 years.

              There is no appropriate posture ( always changing, always moving), so nothing can be fixed or frozen.
              From post: Further to this, dynamic postural stability is the concept of maintaining a desired alignment (such as the spinal angle) against external forces and loads
              Yes. Of course. However, if you have the habit of slouching all day this is neither good for your body or your mind.

              Verticality is not achieved by will, you then shorten the spine, but by relinquishing views about what is right.
              Ok. If one arches their back without being aware of it(because of habit), then that can cause lower back problems.

              Shorten spine? This is putting the spine in a natural position. It becomes a habit.

              And the good posture of a handicaped person, a hunchback or Buddha knows what is far from any idealistic or materialistic picture.
              Yes. but my post wasn't for people with disabilities. That's what their doctor is for.

              No body building or carving a perfect fleshy Buddha will do. What will do is not doing. And I cannot speak about that.
              Taigu. There's nothing wrong with being healthy, just as there's nothing wrong with being ill. I guess I should have left pictures out of the post.

              Gassho
              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
              [/size:z6oilzbt]

              Comment

              • Longdog
                Member
                • Nov 2007
                • 448

                #8
                Re: deleted

                Why deleted Will? Seemed a fair subject to post on. The pictures are useful.

                In gassho, Kev
                [url:x8wstd0h]http://moder-dye.blogspot.com/[/url:x8wstd0h]

                Comment

                • will
                  Member
                  • Jun 2007
                  • 2331

                  #9
                  Re: deleted

                  Sorry Kev.

                  W
                  [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                  To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                  To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                  To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                  To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                  [/size:z6oilzbt]

                  Comment

                  • Longdog
                    Member
                    • Nov 2007
                    • 448

                    #10
                    Re: Posture tips

                    8)
                    [url:x8wstd0h]http://moder-dye.blogspot.com/[/url:x8wstd0h]

                    Comment

                    • will
                      Member
                      • Jun 2007
                      • 2331

                      #11
                      Re: Posture tips

                      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                      [/size:z6oilzbt]

                      Comment

                      • disastermouse

                        #12
                        Re: Posture tips

                        What causes a painful neck and shoulders? Specifically, the muscles around my neck/jaw hurt (Sterno-mastoid).

                        Comment

                        • will
                          Member
                          • Jun 2007
                          • 2331

                          #13
                          Re: Posture tips

                          Hi Chet. I really couldn't say. It could be related to a bunch of things depending on where it's tense. I found that the correct posture has help quite a bit with that (I have tension usually around the temples, jaw, and shoulder). Another factor might be habit. For example: I had a habit of constantly flexing and moving my jaw, and pressing my teeth together, which causes tension in the head and neck. Then there is stressing the eyes etc.

                          I would probably work with relaxing the shoulders, realigning the posture, and working with being relaxed and noticing any possible habits throughout the day. If it's not related to any of that, then you should probably get it checked out.

                          W
                          [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                          To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                          To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                          To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                          To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                          [/size:z6oilzbt]

                          Comment

                          • Taigu
                            Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
                            • Aug 2008
                            • 2710

                            #14
                            Re: Posture tips

                            Hi Will,

                            Thank you for taking the time to answer my few suggestions. Struggling with pain and discomfort in zazen has been my daily bread for thirty years. Finding the possibility of releasing and allowing through inhibiting bad habits has been a saving grace. Just a thought arising from a very humble experience. This is the work of AlexanderTechnique. I don t think everybody needs it, some people never have physical problems in sitting. But for a crooked and really dysfonctionnal guy like me, it was a complete revolution.
                            I met countless teachers correcting me with firm hands and sticks and shouts and...Military Zen, body building applied to posture, wecome to the Zen Marines corps...I met the most incredible rigidity, people being so upright that they look down at everything. Through a bit of this work, I learned about my own body-mind rigidity, I learn to notice it sometimes and wish for its release. The process carries on, there is no end to it, no book that can explain what it is, and meeting with somebody like Jundo is a clear expression of the same process. As a Zen teacher, I have no students, and I am nobody to tell anybody what to do. Just point to a direction. I hope you find your way. And please, remember, crooked, physically disabled or handicapped people need more than doctors. How do they sit? Good koan for me and you.

                            Take care

                            Gassho


                            Taigu

                            Comment

                            • will
                              Member
                              • Jun 2007
                              • 2331

                              #15
                              Re: Posture tips

                              Hi Taigu,

                              We all have our reason for saying what we say

                              I can't really doubt the Alexandar technique, I only know a bit about it. But I would agree that we do need to be more aware of the body habits and not force it into any unnatural postion. The post wasn't meant to be that way. It is meant to be helpful. Perhaps you missed the parts where it said:


                              -To help increase your postural awareness

                              -This string is being GENTLY lifted to the ceiling

                              -Many of us carry the stresses of our day in our shoulder area. Where are your shoulders sitting right now? Are they up around your ears? RELAX.

                              - Instead of shrugging your shoulders back in the classic military pose, simply lift your breastbone slightly & gently

                              - This can be done by gradually and gently drawing your lower abdomen in toward your spine/pelvis
                              Did you only look at the pictures?

                              And please, remember, crooked, physically disabled or handicapped people need more than doctors. How do they sit? Good koan for me and you.
                              Yes Taigu, but I am not qualified in anyway to give any advice on that subject. That is a case by case scenario. I am aware of different positions that people with disabilities can use; however, like I said my post was not for that. Shall we disregard any posture material what so ever? Including the Lotus, Half lotus, and Burmese because not everyone can do them?

                              Gassho

                              Will
                              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                              [/size:z6oilzbt]

                              Comment

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