Standing correctly is relative. We are not static beings and we are never truly still, but there is a place where our bodies can live in harmony with the world around us and it is a place worth searching for.
I amuse myself because making these videos means that I watch them over and over again when I am preparing them. Which can be painful. I never stop moving, I never stop babbling and I grab my butt when I am talking about the butt. And let’s throw in that I make videos with my back to the camera. But it’s all in fun and I do think I am always, or almost always, standing correctly. This is another video that I made with fellow yoga teacher Killian O’Brien where we talk about three cues for standing correctly which is actually five cues because there are three cues for the pelvis alone. I can’t say enough about how I appreciate her willingness, enthusiasm and good humor.
The search for good posture and standing correctly begins with finding the pelvis in its proper place. It is hard for anything good to happen when we are standing, walking, or doing yoga if our pelvis is misaligned. My main approach to my CoreWalking Program and yoga teaching is that there is a correct placement for the pelvis, there is an optimal action for the movement of the breath on the inhale and the arms are meant to hang in a certain way. Once you find those feelings it would be fine to lengthen up as tall as you can but for most people the effort to stand up straight takes us out of one if not all of these important feelings of alignment.
When most people stand up in what they imagine is straight they are—gripping the butt, breathing up into the chest and locking the arms in their sockets. All of which we want to avoid.
Try and play with these three cues and see what you can do.
- Relax your butt when standing
- Feel the belly distend slightly on the inhale
- Let your arms hang
All of these cues are relative. We are moving breathing creatures that change constantly, but these three images are a decent starting point for finding a new and better sense of good walking patterns and standing correctly.
There exists a profound opportunity for people to change how we stand and move in space and with it change our lives forever and for the better. Learn to walk and learn to stand and you will be learning to age gracefully which in many ways is all that matters.