Are you sitting right?

Are you sitting right?

I don't know about you, but when I go out for lunch or dinner I look at how people sit, and it scares me. The amount of people who are sitting in what I would call good posture is close to 0%. Their backs look more like bananas rather than nice vertical columns of ingenious design, and their heads look like they are about to fall off the front of their bodies!

What is "good" posture? I hear and read everything from shoulders back, chin back, straight back, back, back, back...The truth is the human spine is not designed to be straight. The curves help distribute gravity and allow proper movement to occur, while protecting your spinal cord. When the spine is straight it can actually put tension on the spinal cord which could lead to a myriad of issues that I could talk to you about in detail some other time.

Posture is all about the Goldie Locks effect. Not too straight, not too curved, but just right. Let me give you a great analogy that I found on a Ted Talk about proper posture. Imagine a tail extending from the back of your sacrum (the flat inverted triangular bone on the back side of your pelvis). Most people sit on their tail - imagine a very unhappy or scared dog. Instead, sit so your tail extends straight back from your sacrum - happy dog.

Here are some basic steps to do this: First, when you begin to sit down, hinge at your hips (which you will learn in class, or watch my hip hinge video) so the weight goes into your heels and your butt leads the way down. Said in another way: sit down as if you are about to fall back over your heels, while engaging your muscles to maintain control. Next, get a little more familiar with your gluteal anatomy. With your hand grab under your butt muscles and find a bony protuberence. This is your ischial tuberosity, better known as sitting bone. Its is actually closer to your pelvic floor and further in than you might think. Once you find it, shift your weight so you can easily pull the sitting bone away from the opposite knee. Repeat on the other side. If you did it correctly you should be sitting more firmly on your sitting bones. Be sure to pull the bone back, not just the superficial flesh and muscle. The latter could lead to micro tears and no one wants a torn buttocks. :) From here, lift through your spine, and practice your decompression breathing.

This is just part of the puzzle to proper sitting. Good posture is made from engaging a bunch of muscles and linking them so they can stabilize and support each other. Now we have to get you to access the muscles to assist in keeping your spine stable and strong. And to do that, you can come take a Foundation Training class or buy the DVD  :)

I urge you to observe how you and others sit, and let that mobilize you to learn how to  improve your posture, and even your confidence and happiness.