Whether you meditate or you practice yoga asanas, many teachers often recommend you to have a straight spine. Do you ever differentiate your back from your spine? Or your energetic spine from your physical spine? Do you see the difference between a straight spine and poise or upright posture?
These distinctions are crucial if you want to enjoy natural good posture.
1) Straight Spine Focus
Although your spine is not straight and has natural curves, the shape of your spine changes somewhat with your movements. Your back may look straight, especially with poised sitting, but your spine always has some form of curving in it.
When you attempt “to straighten the spine” you are actually forcing a curve to straighten upward creating body stiffness and tiredness. This is why attempting the common idea of “good posture” that way is not sustainable and time and time again you find yourself right back where you started, in a slouch.
2) Curved Back Focus
You may be aware of this dilemma, and may tend to go in the opposite direction. This tend to promote the opposite misconception namely that it is a natural thing to have an arched mid-back at all times. Unfortunately, that is not serving you because, again, you are letting your mind telling your body what to do as if it knew better and you end up creating back curves when they may ot be natural to your specific body.
3) Energetic Spine versus Physical Spine
I think there is a confusion between the physical spine (curved) and the energetic spine or Sushumna which can be thought of as straight when the focus is to direct energy up the spine!
Ancient yogis have told us that the spine could be thought of as a staff or a rod without making a distinction between your energetic spine they call the sushumna and your physical spine. However, we have the means to rectify this by letting our innate whole-body intelligence be in the driver seat.
How can you do this?
4) Curved Spine & Straight Back can Happen together
Learn to activate your whole-body intelligence via your postural mechanism designed to handle your best posture, coordination and balance. It gets you out of the way as you let it decide what is right for you in each moment. Your whole-body intelligence knows better than your mind or your teacher’s mind! It is your inner teacher and it can guide you beyond what feels “right” or “wrong” to you. Beyond what feels “comfortable” or not.
Your individual body synergy cannot be changed one body part at a time and stay the way you want it to stay as many of you have surely experienced in the past!
For sustainable results, you need to address changes as the self-coordinated system that you are and move as an integrated whole for optimal efficiency and wellbeing.
When not aligned above support and relaxed, gravity promotes slouching.
When aligned above support and relaxed, gravity promotes effortless good posture.
Do you want to learn more about this mind/body approach to natural good posture? Or learn how to reclaim efficient moving and freedom from chronic tension or pain?
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