If you want to learn how to correct bad posture, you need to learn what proper alignment of the body requires. I find that the greatest impediment to changing posture is our perception that we all stand correctly. I begin all of my sessions by asking clients where they are in space. Their answers are invariably wrong. I used to be amazed by this but I started to realize that the issue is with the brain more than with the body.
Without getting to scientific (cause I ain’t no scientist), the brain has a series of “righting” instincts that essentially make sure that we feel normal. We have to get through the day with the body that we have and certain instincts are telling us that we have proper alignment and no need to correct bad posture.
Understanding this has been a long strange road for me. I ask people if they are standing up straight, leaning forward, or leaning backwards. Ninety-nine percent of my clients say that they are leaning forward, as most everybody thinks that they are rounded in the upper chest, though very few people are. Everyone leans backwards. If you ask me how to correct bad posture and find proper alignment the answer is simple: Lean forward.
The easy way to look at this basic correction is that the body is a hinge and the pelvis is the pin. Take the thighs backward and the upper body forward imagining that the pelvis was the pin in between the two. Technically, proper alignment is the correct stacking of the bones with each bone living on top of the one above or below it. When the bones stack correctly they hold the body up in space, freeing the muscles to move us along.
Back to the perception thing and how to correct bad posture. Look at the pictures above and think about which one you think you resemble. Then look in a mirror or ask someone for help. I will almost guarantee that you are leaning backwards when standing up. Proper alignment requires a change in the perception of where you are in space. That is the first step to a new you.