The good news is that most of you have the capacity to get yourself out of chronic pain and attain a more vibrant and youthful body than you ever imagined possible. However, it will require that you relearn appropriate movement patterns and discard deeply entrenched posture habits.
Posture is somewhat literally how you balance your body. There are countless arrangements of possible joint configurations that result in a body balancing itself. But relax, no one has ‘perfect’ posture. The objective for robust posture is to strive towards the best possible biomechanical orientation of the body where all the muscles and joints are ideally aligned to function as well as possible while coherently stressing the foundation muscles and not the joints or discs. In other words, the power of your posture is how well you know and control where your body is in space.
Most of us would agree that the majority of people live in their heads. Be it driving your children to school, at work, squeezing in grocery shopping, never mind the elephant in the room (media). For example, look around you right now and observe how many people are fixated on a media screen of some sort. This has got to be the biggest reason why our bodies are losing consciousness. The only time that we may actually try to connect with the body is the few hours a week when we may go to a gym, exercise class, guru, etc.
What if we turned all of this around? What if you used your imagination to make every movement an active and conscious engagement (what I like to call, ‘ACE’). Conscious posture is when you know and can feel the specific place for your body to be bio-mechanically strong. Posture is often called ‘the window to the spine’ – in other words, if your posture is out of alignment, it means your spine is most likely out of alignment. For example, if you are seated properly, you should feel your stomach muscles engaged (as well as every foundation muscle). With perfect posture, your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are all aligned. When you’re standing, and walking, and moving, no matter how you’re using your body, it’s the foundational muscles engagement and coupling up and down the kinetic chain that minimizes injury and maximizes performance. Eventually, you should no longer need to be doing any of the techniques, because, as the gurus say, ‘you are.’
If you’re old enough to remember the film ‘The Karate Kid,’ there was this young boy who was put through a series of exercises, but he didn’t know why. Ultimately, this character found out that, if you pursue mastership, there is nothing left to learn. By adopting this philosophy, you will logically move to higher ground and these patterns will become primal.
– Lawrence Woods