Your posture says a lot about your personality. It also says a lot about how your joints and muscles are working and most importantly how your fascia health is doing. People often ask what is fascia and why is it so important? Fascia is also considered the organ of structure or posture. Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It forms a continuous tensional network throughout the human body, covering and connecting every single organ, every muscle, and even every nerve or tiny muscle fiber.
It is no secret that physical and emotional stress leaves its mark in the body via tight fascia and muscles creating aches and pains. Every time we have been in a stressful situation, our body has reacted by tightening up and holding that stress in the fascia.
How you look and feel can be directly related to your posture. We all know that a good posture is important, but most of us don’t do much about it. We go about our lives with our imbalanced hips and hunched shoulders, and deal with discomfort and pain because we feel this is normal.
Living with bad posture can cause fascia, muscle and ligament imbalances and can lead to all sorts of problems. Such as:
Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain Foot, knee, hip and back injuries
Headaches Stiffness Fatigue Sciatica Breathing Difficulities Digestion Issues
Carpal tunnel syndrome .
Most postural diviations occur because something is too tight. For example if a persons shoulders are pulled forward and they are hunching ,this is usually because their Fascia in their Chest is too tight. This causes the person to be pulled forward, creating an imbalance between the front and back sides of their body. One is being stretched to short and one is being stretched too long.
So what is correct posture ?
Here is what a proper alignment in posture looks like:
Notice in these pictures that the joints are stacked, the ears over the shoulders and the ribs over the pelvis and the pelvis is over the heals. The pelvis and spine are in a neutral position.
To feel your own posture you can stand in the yoga pose Tadasana Mountain Pose. Stand tall, feel your feet on the ground, open your chest with arms at your sides, slightly tuck your tailbone, engage your thighs, roll your shoulders back and down to lower your shoulder blades, and bring your chin back so your ears are above your shoulders. You want to align your body from feet to head. If you are able to look in a mirror you will be able to see where things align and where they are out of alignment.
Everyone has various postural differences and one way to understand your own is to have a professional who understands posture give you feedback and have a postural assessment with you. The good news is all of this can be corrected!
There are different ways to go about correcting posture. There are exercises, yoga and Structural Integration such as Hellerwork and Rolfing which will address imbalances in posture and also help you to create new awareness and posture patterns.
Align with the New year and a new you!