In the last post, I mentioned that the word "posture" can be misleading.
One, it’s because we tend to understand it more as an appearance, rather than a physical state based on biomechanical principles.
("Biomechanical": relating to the mechanical laws concerning the movement or structure of living organisms.)
Two, it suggests that there’s one best way to stand or sit or walk, when really, this relationship between our parts, and between our parts as a whole and our stress loads, is dynamic and ever-changing.
Even the word, alignment* (while sometimes used interchangeably with posture, is actually quite different) can mistakenly suggest a static position, and so what most of us end up trying to do is hold our bodies in a position or posture or in an alignment that we believe is ‘good’.
And, if this is you, how's that workin' for ya? Not so well, I'm guessing...
(* "Alignment": arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions.)
"Correct" and "appropriate" positions imply an objective reality we would be measuring ourselves against to be considered in alignment. And, there is something to that, in terms of how the effects of gravity transfer through our own physical mass, particularly through the bones and joints, over the course of a lifetime.
The challenge is understanding that alignment can't be forced. It's the natural result of cultivating a state brought about by the balanced relationship between muscular strength, muscular yield, joint mobility ... and, how we're using our bodies on a day-to-day basis.
So, what we're really after is mobility. Functionality. Range of motion. It's my belief that true 'alignment' can't be forced by chronic tension holding patterns.
In other words, 'alignment happens'. And, therefore, 'good posture'.
(Did you get my free ebook, "Six Things You Can STOP Doing if You Want Better Posture"? If not, grab it here.)
In the next post, Bill will give you another way to think about posture and what it has to do with stress.