Posture is not alignment. Posture is about how you hold something, and many of us hold our posture very poorly. However, alignment is the optimal way that something should be placed in order to work the most effectively and efficiently.
What does proper alignment looks like?
Image from the Restorative Institute.
- Step your feet pelvic distance apart.
- Turn your feet forward so that your heels are directly behind you.
- Stack your ears over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips, hips over your knees, knees over your ankles.
The first step in restoring one’s body has to start with alignment. Alignment is how your body will best operate and function. So, this where we start, friends—practicing alignment as much as you can in your daily life.
Standing in line at the grocery store.
Going for a walk.
Standing at your computer. (Yep, standing, try that.)
As you practice proper alignment, you may find that you become tired easily. That is normal and to be expected. Practicing proper alignment requires new muscles to turn on. So, if you are finding yourself getting tired, come out of proper alignment and then go back into it after you have rested a bit. Over time, you will build up your endurance to stand in proper alignment and your body will start to crave it.
Not only does proper alignment affect your muscles, it affects all the systems in your body. When you are in good alignment, you give your organs more room to do their work and allow the circulatory system to move blood most efficiently.
So, what does that mean on a practical level?
- Your heart doesn’t need to work so hard to pump blood through your body because all of the veins and arteries are in elongated positions and not rounded or shorted. (Think about rounded shoulders, when you round your shoulders, all the veins/arteries take on rounded postures with you).
- For women, your uterus will be able to move into the proper place in your body, which means easier periods, less cramping, and less need to go to the bathroom.
- For men, it gives your prostate more room.
- Your kidneys, liver, and stomach have more room to process your foods and eliminate those things the body no longer needs.
Proper alignment affects much more than bones and muscle. It affects all aspects of the body. And I forgot to mention…guess what the best way to combat osteoporosis is? To have your bones properly stacked on top of one another—proper alignment.