Your arms are designed to hang from the shoulder socket. In a well aligned body with good posture the shoulder girdle hangs from the head, and your arms hang from the shoulder.
As a teacher of walking, posture and yoga, I use many different cues to help people feel where they are in space and how that feeling translates into good posture.
I use lots of words but I don’t think they are nearly as effective at helping people to feel what it is I am on about. Exercises serve very well in this respect because having someone walk or stand, perform an exercise, and then feel if there is any difference, is one of the most useful tools that I have.
The concept that your arms hang from the shoulder is one of the easiest cues I have to work with. It doesn’t require an exercise. All it requires is the willingness to look odd for a moment or two.
- Stand up straight or in your idea of good posture.
Try and feel how the arms sit into their sockets. It might require the contrast of the next movement to feel the difference.
- Round forward a bit. Try to round more than lean but either will do.
- Can you feel the moment when your arm releases and hangs from the socket towards the earth?
- Go back up to where you began and not the difference.
- Return to the hanging position and then try to stand back up as straight as you can without returning the arm “locked” position.
Posture is a dynamic process though there are a number of physical cues that can help to determine that you are in a good place in space.
Try to play around with this “arm hangs from the shoulder” concept (I didn’t make it up) and see how it feels.
One of the more interesting pieces to the puzzle is just how far your body needs to move forward before your arm hangs freely and releases.