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Are You Really Standing Up Straight?

Are You Standing Up StraightAre You Standing up StraightOver the course of a year I ask a lot of people to show me what it means to stand up straight. When they show me what standing up straight is I always have to inform them that they are actually leaning backwards. I’ll do this with couples and after the first one goes you would think that the second partner would get it and try to stand differently but invariably they stand in their version of standing up straight, thinking for sure that they are standing up straight and they are actually leaning backwards.

Standing up straight in my book follows a line through the center of the ears, shoulders, pelvis, knees and ankles that is perpendicular to the floor. Most people who think they are standing up straight are leaning backwards with the shoulders falling behind the hips and the thighs pushing forward of the hips.

So what does this mean? Proprioception is the way the body perceives itself in space. And very few people perceive themselves correctly. Now of course, I might be wrong, but I don’t think so. The nice thing about proprioception is that we are highly trainable and adaptable animals. We are fully capable of change those most people resist it with all their will.

Take a picture of yourself from the side. Check it out. I will almost guarantee that you are leaning backwards when you think you are standing up straight. If you see that and believe it the next step is to figure out how to change.

Untuck your pelvis. It is that simple. If you want to learn to stand up straight in my vision of the word you have to get your pelvis into the proper position. When and only when the pelvis is properly aligned can the upper and lower body stack in a way to allow you to stand up straight.

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Down in Front
Bill Cunningham: Women on the Street

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