How to Strike the Perfect Mind-Body Fitness Posture: Aligned Spine - dummies

How to Strike the Perfect Mind-Body Fitness Posture: Aligned Spine

By Therese Iknoian

For many mind-body workouts, how to achieve an aligned spine and tall posture are the first things you find out. Achieving a great, tall, yet relaxed posture can in fact be the foundation of doing many mind-body exercises in the best way.

The basics of good posture are those you’ve heard all your life. Start simply by checking your current posture: Stand with your side to a mirror and your feet about hip-width apart so you can see your entire body. Wearing snug clothing, or shorts, helps you see your alignment, too.

  1. Stand as you normally do. Now take a look at the curves through your spine.

    The natural curves of your spine should remain — they enable your spine to be more forgiving of impact. But are the curves overemphasized? Ask yourself these questions as you scan your posture:

    Is the curve in your low back too deep, forcing your belly to hang out?

    Are your shoulders sort of rolled over to the front, forcing your chest to sink in?

    Are your head and chin kind of protruding to the front so that if you dropped a line from your ear lobe to the floor the line would fall in front of your chest?

  2. Now straighten up as much as possible by following the points below:

    Your chin and neck should be pulled in so that your ears are over your shoulders.

    Your shoulder blades should be rolled back and open, but flat on your back. This position causes your chest to lift tall and open wide. That doesn’t mean your rib cage is puffed up, it’s just lifted so you can breathe better. Oh, and do breathe as you stand there!

    Your abdominals need to be pulled in tight with your pelvis and spine in “neutral.” Uh-oh, what’s this neutral stuff? Read on. . . .